You spin me right round

With all the talk of the Tour de Fleece lately, I thought now would be a good time to share some of my spinning adventures. I wrote an entry quite a while back sharing my experience with building a DIY spindle. I couldn’t wait to give it a try, so I went to Knit Picks and grabbed a pack of their Bare Wool of the Andes roving.

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My first spinning attempts were awful. I ended up with a blobby, unusable mess that couldn’t have been salvaged even if I wanted to try. I was a little discouraged so I shoved my roving and spindle into the back of the closet. I knew I’d eventually be bitten by the bug and want to try again so I let myself forget about it for a few months. Sure enough, I saw some handspun yarn on Instagram and that was the inspiration I needed to break out the roving and spindle again. The thing that amazed me the most with this second attempt was that, despite not working on it for months, it was actually okay! I guess the months of letting the spinning knowledge stew in my brain really helped? (Does that even make sense?)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of my first spinning attempt. (I threw it away to run away from the failure, ha ha!) The second attempt was definitely better though! It was thicker than I wanted, sure, but it was more consistent. Once I got the hang of it, all I wanted to do was keep spinning. In fact, I spun half of what I had before I even noticed!

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Eventually, I went online and bought a new spindle. I suspect that my little DIY spindle isn’t balanced very well so I wanted to try something that was professionally made. It was a little overwhelming looking at all of the spindles available, but I finally decided on a Schacht Hi-Lo spindle. I liked that I had the option of spinning high or low whorl, and it had good ratings. I used up the last half of my roving the first day it arrived, and it was my best spin yet, though it wasn’t great by any means. But you know what, that’s fine. It was just cool to know that I’m capable of getting better at this after that terrifying first attempt.

My latest goal is to try plying my little pile of singles into a finished yarn. I’m also wanting to give dyeing a try so I’ve been doing a lot of reading on that. I think my first attempt will be dip dyeing, but I’m really excited at the prospect of handpainted yarn. It’ll be a while before I’m feeling confident enough to try that, but until then, I’m going to have a lot of fun spinning my own special yarns.

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Close up of my latest spin

I’ll definitely be back to talk about my plying and dyeing attempts, but until then feel free to leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve ever tried handspinning or dyeing your own yarn. I’d love to hear any stories you have about your first attempts.

See you next time! ❤

15 thoughts on “You spin me right round

  1. Oh wow, well done! Yarn spinning has got to be very satisfying! I’ve never tried spinning before and have no plans to. I do want to try my hand at yarn dyeing and I’ve already bought all I need to do so but I’m kinda terrified to try! It’s going to have to happen at some point though.

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  2. Thanks! 🙂
    I’m the same way! I bought all the materials I need for dyeing, but I’m too nervous to try it. I don’t want to mess it up, ha ha!
    Good luck on yours though! I bet you can do it! 😉

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  3. Very cool Rachel, I actually just took a handspinning class last month using a wheel and I’m addicted! I’m going to get my first wheel in September for my birthday (because it is a bit of an investment) and I can’t wait! Looking forward to see your progress too 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That sounds amazing! I’ve given some thought about whether or not I’d want a wheel in the future. They definitely are an investment so it’ll probably be a while before I get one, ha ha. What wheel are you getting? 🙂

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  5. From the class I’ve done, I really like having a double treadle wheel but as you said they are an investment so I was thinking of starting with the Kiwi from Ashford (they are made in NZ so no shipping cost to Australia through their vendors). It’s one of the cheapest new wheels you can find 🙂

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  6. Awesome! I’ve been looking at the Ashford Kiwi also, actually. I follow a couple people on Insta who use one, and I’ve heard really positive things about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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