Since we took our class together at the Sheep and Wool Festival, K has been itching to spin some real yarn. I've not wanted to hand my Golding spindle off to her because that's MY ball of yarn and I don't want anyone else to mess with it, thank you very much!
So I went down to Woolbearer's to look for a spindle for her, because although I could have made her a toy wheel spindle, I knew she wanted the real thing. I found the perfect beginner's spindle there (selling for peanuts) and some variegated purple merino roving that I knew she'd go crazy for, and a book called Spin to Knit: The Knitter's Guide to Making Yarn. I brought home the book, 8 oz. of the roving and two spindles and sat down to fiddle.
I knew, getting into this, that the merino would be harder to spin than the coopworth. Its shorter fiber length makes it slippery and easy to pull apart, and my impatient tugging didn't help; my roving kept drifting into little clouds. But I loved the merino's springiness and soft hand, and I enjoyed working with it.
When K got home we took the guinea pigs outside and put them in their pen, then sat down in lawn chairs to spin. We had a rough start because I got fussed about making sure she drafted in a particular way, and I couldn't see that her drafting was fine; it just wasn't the same as mine. (In fact, it was better; her fiber never drifted apart.) There were tears and there was some shouting, but once I realized my mistake I quickly apologized, and soon K was brightly saying, "Isn't this fun?" and chanting, "I'm makin' ya -- arn, I'm makin' ya -- arn!" And she was. She got the hang of drafting and twirling the shaft and managing her fiber and she did a fine job.
(We plan to make hats with the yarn we spin and be Purple Hat Buddies. Also, I have signed up for a spinning class at Woolbearer's that starts this Saturday. Oh boy!)