Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spinning my wheel

I've been bitten, bitten hard. Everyone needs a hobby, right? When my quilting hobby became my job, I needed to find something new to do, just so I wasn't working all the time.

I've been a fiber maniac my whole life. From four on, when my grandmother taught me how to embroider, I have spent my entire life either playing with fiber or figuring out how to get more fiber. One thing I had never done was spin wool into yarn.

In my down time I've been hanging out at Twisted Warps and Skeins, playing with their assortment of spinning wheels.There are so many factors to consider before choosing a wheel. Just as in quilting, spinning has a vocabulary of its own. While Pam and Dale tried to convince me to take my time before making a purchase, I just knew that I needed to have a wheel at home to be able to practice in a quiet space.

They had me spend some time on this used wheel, an Ashford Traveller, then offered it to me at an awesome price, and it became mine.

This is the first yarn that I spun. It's pretty much a disaster. Too thick in some spots and too thin in others, and over twisted throughout. I was just going to dump it, it's a small expense, just about the cost of a yard of fabric, and I figured I'd learned everything I needed to learn out of that fiber. But no, Dale said I had to take it home.

So I turned it into "art yarn". I've finally found a use for the crock pot that the men in the family despised. Several packs of Kool Aid, and a soak in the pot for a bit, and now I've dyed my first yarn. It's just crazy yarn, and I'm thinking I'll knit it up with ginormous needles and then felt it, perhaps into a seat cover for my desk chair. Or, something cozy to toss into Gracie's crate.

Learning something entirely new has been good for my soul. It has reminded me of how lost one can be when learning a new process, how terms that are second nature to us can be mysterious and confusing to beginners. It's given me something to be bad at, and yet enjoy the process of getting better. As I always say, anything worth doing is worth doing badly for as long as it takes.


  1. My heart sank when I read you were going to toss the yarn. I'm also a spinner/knitter and love your art yarn. It would be great added to a woven scarf.

  2. Glenna11:57 AM

    You are so adorably inspiring. I hear what you are saying. It was only 9 years ago that I started quilting at 57 years old after a lifetime of "sewing". I thought I was completely lost until I went to my first live quilting class (it was all from TV and patterns in the beginning). I was the only one in the class who knew how to turn on the machine. LOL

  3. Phyllis6:25 PM

    Oh, I love this post. It might be my favorite so far! Really speaks to me right now.

  4. Lots of weavers would pay a lot of money for your textured yarn Beth LOL I'm not joking it true as it gives a wonderful texture to scarfs woven on a small loom, I use to spin and weave, even had my own angora goats which I would shear and the fleece would end up finally on the loom, that was when I lived in cold NZ LOL. Have fun it is a wonderful way to relax but make sure you have a comfortable chair to sit in. You have bought the perfect wheel Ashfords are made in NZ. Cheers Glenda