About Me

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Illinois, United States
I am a band director at five private schools in Kankakee. Music is a big part of my life, but knitting and crafting are right up there too. I own a ridiculous stash of yarn, which I am slowly using... and replacing with better yarn... I tend to knit and crochet a lot, in class, out of class, while watching tv, while driving, pretty much constantly. I have been involved with crochet romantically for 15 years, and involved with knitting for 11 years. They sometimes get jealous of each other. I think its funny. Along with knitting and crocheting, I quilt, spin (drop spindle) and design patterns!!

Friday, December 09, 2011

But why do you spin???

This is not for those who spin.

This is for those who do not understand why I own a spinning wheel.

This is for those who stare at me weird when I say I spin my own yarn.

This is for those who are confused what I mean when I say I spin my own yarn.

Get ready for the extremely watered down version of how I go about spinning.

First off. You have your animal.

Sometimes sheep, sometimes alpaca, some times even silk worms. For realz.
You make the sheep bald and cold, then clean the wool.

Then someone dyes it. I have not gotten into dying yet, as I do not have the kitchen space, free time, or creativity as of yet. Though it will happen in my future.
^someone dyeing their fiber. Beautiful right?

After it is dyed, they dry it and braid it (depending on how they finish their fiber, sometimes they braid it, sometimes they batt it. There are differences but its just too much detail :) )

It is literally a thick....well... wrist thick...chunka.

Then you do this thing called drafting, which means you pull at the fibers so it is no longer thick, but looser and loftier.
And you take a drop spindle (which is what I started on)

Or a spinning wheel (Which I now have *SQUEE!*)

And you spend hours, (more so on the spindle) and I mean hours spinning. I am not very fast at the wheel yet, but I am getting better. The spindle and wheel literally twist the yarn, making it stronger (most of the time). And once you're done spinning half of the fiber you can stop there and call it a single. Or you can ply it, where you literally twist what you just worked with with another yarn, or onto itself. Confusing? It's really not. Its just alot of steps!

Once the yarn is spun, I wrap it around this swift which my awesome dad made me for Christmas last year. wrap wrap wrap, tie, measure, and then its off to the sink.

You have to soak the yarn to set the twist, then you fwack it. (Slam it against the wall, pull it, yadda yadda.)

Once the yarn dries, you have a skein of yarn! (I navajo plied this! First time and it went sorta well)
Close up of the yarn, not too shabby!

Some other yarn I recently spun and navajo plied. I was not fond of it at first but now I love it. I only wish I had more!
I LOVE IT! But seriously. 74 yards wont even get me a hat... hmmmm
What do I do with the yarn once its all spun up and pretty? I usually put it up in my store for a couple months, and if no one buys it and it expires in the store, I usually knit it up into something.
For instance! This was some of my favorite yarn that I spun up. It was 100% wool, and so colorful! The hat will be sold in my store shortly.
This is a shawl I made with some yarn I recently spun. It will also go up in my store soon.

Hopefully that gave you an idea of how I go about spinning my yarn.

Why do I do it?
It's relaxing
It's fun
It's exciting to really get down to the basics.
I couldn't find a good rainbow yarn, but I found some fiber. So I made my own yarn. How many people can say that?

I like knitting with the yarn I spun.

It's unique.
I like saying that I spin yarn.
It's what I do when knitting, crocheting, and quilting get boring.

And lastly.
It hypnotises my cat.
Which just makes it that much more worth it.

Spinners out there? Why do you spin?


Rhonda said...

I am intrigued to know somone who spins her own yarn. Very cool, Vanessa!

Cat said...

i spin because it is so much fun! and even if no one understands it... it is rather satisfying when you hold your own yarn in your hands =)
i only have a handspindel (also half a spinningweel but that is in germany at my mums place and half of it is hers so....)