Kathryn Ivy

April 25, 2007 - Posted by Grace Schnebly

You Spin Me Right Round

I am feeling overwhelmed by the amount of projects I want to do. I just don’t know if I will ever get around to all of them, especially since I just learned how to spin! I wanted to show off my first (and only) handspun yarns. I made both using a Ashford Top Whorl drop spindle. I have had a 45 minute lesson from Lucy at Mind’s Eye Yarn, but that’s about it. I am just kind of blindly going at it, but I am proud of them! I have no clue if they are “good” or not, but whatever.

My very first handspun yarn.The very first yarn I made from 4 oz of black merino wool roving. It is a double ply, thick and thin, and about 70 yards. I spun it in two days; I just couldn’t put it down! The roving seemed to be a bit greasy and still had some vegetable matter in it. I don’t know if it spun up easy or hard, because I have nothing to compare it to! I definitely think I over twisted it, and I still have no clue when about exactly how much twist is needed per yarn width (any tips?). I also wouldn’t recommend using black as your first spinning yarn. It is really hard to see some of the detail, and I would love to see how different it would look if there was just a little bit of color in there!

My second yarn. It's super coiled!My second yarn I just finished up yesterday. I figured I might as well try out a single ply yarn. I used some merino roving I had hand dyed using acid dyes. I just had a short piece, so my yarn ended up being only 32 yards. I think I over spun this one too… I really need to figure out when to stop. The colors in this one are so pretty though, and I especially like it when there was a little bit of undyed white roving. It really helps the contrast! When I took it off the drop spindle it became really coiled. I know that single ply yarns can do that, but are they supposed to do it this much? If any one has any suggestions or tips I would love to hear them!!

Single ply yarn spun from handdyed roving.

My Ashford Top Whorl drop spindle while spinning my second yarn.I really love the drop spindle that I am using, and would really recommend it to any person who is thinking about learning to spin. I thought it was pretty cheap at $15.00, and it has already taken a lost of abuse but looks no worse for wear. It really is fun to use! I also relied a lot on the book Spin It by Lee Raven. It has tons of good information on using a drop spindle, how to process your yarn, plying, fiber prep, and TONS more! This book has been invaluable, and would highly recommend it to anyone.

If anyone has any suggestions for products I should try out or tips, please tell me! I have seen some of the most beautiful yarns on flickr, and hope someday I could make something half as good as them!