Friday, October 29, 2010

Drop Spindle Spinning

I've tried to spin yarn before, but not really having any clue what I was doing, I never got very far.  I have 3 drop spindles and some practice fiber, all of which has been buried away in the closet for the last several months.  When I saw that Cloverhill Yarn was offering a beginning drop spindle class, I jumped on the opportunity.  After two hours of class, I definitely had some progress to show for my time.

 I loved every minute of it. When I got home, I pulled out the pretty trindle and fiber that I got at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival last year, and I sat down and started spinning. It's new, it's awkward, and it takes my full attention as I try to draft the fibers evenly and keep the spindle spinning. I'm still big on "park and draft" -- meaning I stop the spindle from spinning as I work on drafting the fibers.  My yarn isn't perfect but not lumpy either.

 When you first start knitting, each stitch takes concentration, and in the beginning, it seemed to me that there were always new skills to learn.  I loved that part about learning to knit.  It was easy to block out the world and just stare at the loops of yarn over 2 wooden sticks.  Simple, but so much to pay attention to.  After knitting for several years, rarely do I shut out the entire world and focus only on my hands and stitches.  A big part of me misses that aspect of knitting.  I miss the escape it provided.  For the past several days as I anticipated stress at work, I found myself reaching for the spindle.  Spinning requires my full attention, and there is neither pressure to rush nor an expectation of how much I should be spinning in a given time frame.  No rows to count or fabric to measure, just a calm and quiet twirling spindle.  Progress is slow, but I'm definitely seeing some results.

I'm not sure whether spinning will stick more this time or whether once again the tools will be put aside.  I'm not too worried about it one way or the other.  Right now, I'm just enjoying the peace.  Although I admit, I might be a little eager to finish up the 4 oz of purple fiber I'm working on now so I can move onto this:


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