20 December 2009

Spinning around


On Dec 12th I took the first of two "Spinning with a Drop Spindle" classes at A Verb for Keeping Warm in Berkeley with WonderMike (Ravelry name) as our instructor. It was a fun class. I took it, because I have a few yarns I would like to ply together - so I was mostly interested in plying. I bought one of their student spindles (an $18 Schacht top-whorl spindle), and we were supplied with 2 oz of combed Blue Face Leicester fiber - Wonderfully soft - and you can still smell the sheep! I was able to spin a yarn, mostly approximately fingering weight, but overall ranging from worsted weight to lace weight. It was fairly consistent in thickness when I pre-drafted, but when I tried over-the-fold the yarn became rather chunky.

Just takes practice. It's rather fun, one step closer to the source so to speak, but I don't think I'll be taking it up seriously as a hobby - I'd rather knit something. We got homework, too: we had to spin 1/2 oz and wind it off onto a cone, and another 1/2 oz and leave it on the spindle, so we are ready to ply during the next class.

In yesterday's class I was able to improve my over-the-fold drafting. Then we learned how to handy-ply (instructions here at Knitty) and from a cone (basically the same technique as for handy-plying, with the cone taking the place of your hand). Here is the result:

2 small skeins of Blue-Faced Leicester wool

Now the twist still needs to be set, then I can actually use them for something. It was a great class - Thank you, Mike!

Recently I also got Cat Bordhi's book A Treasury of Magical Knitting in which she teaches how to knit Möbius shawls and scarfs. It's a great book - I really like her style - and I've been practicing with my "dishcloth" cotton yarn as a break from my Louis shawl.

Test Möbius with applied I-cord

It's great mindless knitting - I can use up some of my alpaca for the Merging Stripes or Honey Lane Alpaca patterns in the book. I've also ordered some Moguls yarn for her Moguls Möbius scarf - I love the way it looks!

Till next time!


  1. Nice spinning! It does get easier. And over-the-fold is wonderful for slippery yarns, but it's not wonderful for something like BFL.

    The Google Docs site seems to have a download limit--nothing you are doing. The pattern will go up on Ravelry soon, but in the meantime, instead of downloading it, email it to yourself. That is the current workaround.

  2. Congratulations! You are about to be sucked into the spinning vortex!

    Over-the-fold spinning works best with slippery yarns.

    As for 200/2 yarn, I actually have a cone of it here that I bought years ago for bobbin lace. Haven't decided what to do with it yet. When I get the Rana Pilosus yarn into the store, you will be the first to know :)