As you know, dear reader, I decided to take up the ancient art of spindling last July, and in October, I joined the ranks of wheel spinners. In the year (almost) that I have been spinning, I have made a lot of progress.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not anywhere near being a master spinner. I probably will never be close to being a master spinner. I’m just not interested in all the really technical stuff. The only thing I really care about is being able to produce yarn that I like. I still have a lot to learn, but I think I have reached the point where I produce singles that are consistent in both size and twist.
My default singles are quite fine, so fine that when I ply two of them together, I get a lace-weight yarn, and when I ply three of them together, I get a fingering-weight yarn. And four of them plied together results in a nice sport-weight yarn. My singles have become a lot more consistent, with much less variation in the thickness and amount of twist, and my plying has improved to the point that my finished skeins are virtually always nicely balanced. I’ve come a long way from my first attempts at making yarn.
Do you remember my very first yarn? I spun this from a sample that came with a “toy wheel” spindle that I bought to get started.
There’s a lot of thick and thin, and some parts are over-spun, but all in all, it’s a pretty darned good first effort.
My second yarn, which was spun and plied on a Knit Picks Turkish spindle, also has a lot of variation in the thickness.
When I first finished this yarn, I was horrified by how inconsistent it looked. But looking at it now, I see a gorgeous art yarn that I probably couldn’t replicate no matter how hard I tried.
I will probably keep these two skeins forever. I love them too much to ever part with them or knit them up.
My spinning has advanced a lot since these first attempts. I recently finished what I consider to be my very best yarn to date. The fiber is Wool of the Andes Roving from Knit Picks (which isn’t roving at all but, rather, combed top) that I spun and plied on my Ladybug.
This is my most consistent yarn yet. The singles have very little variation, and the plying is very consistent.
It’s a lovely fingering-weight 3-ply yarn that I’m itching to knit up into something.
It’s hard to believe that these two skeins of yarn were spun from the same type and preparation of fiber but the same spinner.
What a difference a year makes.
It’s time to try some new fibers and techniques and to add some new skills. Here we go!