A new obsession – Spinning!

At the beginning of the new year, instead of setting resolutions for myself that I knew would be lost after a month or two – I instead tried to come up with a list of crafting goals for myself in 2012. And wouldn’t you know it, I have been slowly been tackling new projects and checking off my goals! One of the things I knew I really wanted to try this year was spinning. And aside from the fact that you get to make your own yarn, I just loved the zen-like calm that spinners have about them as they sit at their spinning wheel.

Combined with the fact that I had a wealth of information all around me since so many others here at the KP office know how to spin, I finally faced with the fact that it might be time to learn. I had a good chunk of Wool of the Andes Roving in Tidepool Heather that I started on with a drop spindle, and that is where my spinning adventure started!

L: Full Circle Roving, R: Full Circle and Wool of the Andes Roving

And let me tell you, what an adventure it has been! I knew I have always been intrigued by the spinning process but I was not prepared at all for the full on spinning addiction after I finished up my first bobbin. I also had some Full Circle roving in Espresso, which I started on the very next day. By the end of the night, I wasn’t ready to stop there so I decided to ply the bobbins of Wool of the Andes Tidepool Heather and Full Circle Espresso together, and that my friends, is how my first skein of handspun yarn came to be!

    Wool of the Andes Roving, Tidepool Heather and Full Circle Roving, Espresso

As I picked up my neglected needles the next day, I tried telling myself that it was fun and that I had gotten the need to try spinning out of my system. But, no matter how much I enjoyed knitting on my project, I found myself glancing at the spinning wheel again and again. I finally decided on pairing more Full Circle rovings together (don’t forget that Full Circle is 10% off for the whole month of April with an additional 10% going to the Arbor Day foundation!) and the next weekend, I found myself with bobbins full of Wolf and Quarry. By Sunday morning, I had two skeins of yarn plied together and ready to be put in a nice bath of wool wash with a bit of Soak.

      Full Circle Roving, Wolf and Quarry

And yes, there is even more roving on the bobbins at this very moment! I don’t think I realized just how fast spinning with a wheel was. I knew it was faster than spinning on a drop spindle, but I had no clue that I would be putting together skeins of yarn over the course of one weekend. If I keep going at this rate, I will be making much more yarn that I am knitting up!

So there you have it, the beginning of a whole new obsession – spinning. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect, as this weekend is the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival! I am so excited to go to a fiber show where I can admire all of the lovely braids of roving and know how to use them. I still have a lot of learning to do, but I am really looking forward to the new challenge.

Have you tried spinning on a spindle or wheel? What is your best advice for a newbie like me?