Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spin to spin

When I first got my spindle, and then spinning wheel (and I know that some people name their wheels, but I think that's a little bit silly, so mine will just be "spinning wheel," at least until I acquire another, which I'm assured I will) I felt certain that I had to produce knit-worthy yarn right away, even if it was lumpy-bumpy "art" yarn (which it was.)   I was spinning for quantity, as well -- if I were going to knit with the yarn I made, I wanted to make enough yarn to make something useful, which for me is nothing smaller than a sweater -- so you can imagine the fluffy puffs of fiber knocking around our house.  But I have taken some time off from spinning to wash my two raw fleeces and do some sewing and knitting, and now I have some new spinning goals:

The Intentional Spinner: A Holistic Approach to Making Yarn

  1. Read Judith MacKenzie McCuin's The Intentional Spinner: A Holistic Approach to Making Yarn and LEARN!
  2. Spin for consistency -- learn to make yarn of a consistent, smooth thickness
  3. Spin to experiment -- try using the wheel at different ratios and treadle speeds and with different fibers
  4. Spin for joy -- because it's fun to spin!
  5. Spin to make yarn -- don't worry about a finished garment, just see what kind of yarn comes out and assign it to a project later -- or call it art yarn!
  6. Spin to practice plying -- an excellent skill to master
  7. Spin to dye -- try dyeing some handspun yarn in Kool-Aid or natural dyes (I am not quite ready to set up a chemical dyeing situation just yet)
  8. Spin for practice -- don't worry about whether the finished yarn looks perfect -- focus on what I am spinning IN THE MOMENT
  9. Spin with a spindle -- because it is meditative and soothing
  10. Spin for speed -- also a good skill to acquire, though better to be slow and produce excellent yarn than quick and produce shoddy yarn
That said, I do have one final goal in order to see that these other goals are met:  Spin for at least three, one-hour sessions, per week.  That sounds like a lot, and it kind of is, but I think it will help make me a productive and accomplished spinner -- and may help me produce some yarn that I can actually use in a knitting project, because I do have some in mind, yes, I do...

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