February 8, 2012


I've been spinning a lot lately. After picking it up in the summer, I put my little bag o' fiber and spindle away in November when I was too busy knitting away for the holidays to do any spinning and I sort of, forgot about it. Most of what I know about knitting and all of what I've learned about spinning has come from Youtube. I'm a visual learner so reading phrases like "draft out the fibers" doesn't do much for me. I need to see it to understand it, which makes Youtube my friend. What did we knitters and crafters do before Youtube and Pinterest? We probably got more done since we weren't spending all our free time online trying to figure out the difference between Andean Plying and Navajo Plying (I don't know the answer to that, by the way, plying techniques are next on my to-figure-out list).
The evening before Vogue Knitting Live, my darling friend Stephanie and I went to a cocktail party at a local knitting store where we drank all clear beverages, ate non-oily and non-staining snacks and met Debbie Bliss. While we sat and talked and fondled yarn, I got into a conversation with two ladies who were chatting away while they spinning on drop spindles. I was fascinated. Youtube is great but seeing it in person was much better. I stared. A lot. And asked stupid, novice questions. And realized how far I had to go.
At the end of the night I was wavering between "I must go home and try to spin like a real spinner" and "Hopeless, give up now, you'll never spin like that." My spindle stayed put in my under the couch yarn storage.
But the other night I got all inspired and took it out again and suddenly - spinning, real spinning. I think my brain had just been marinating what I saw and suddenly, the whole concept of drafting and fiber length and plying and spinning made sense. In one fell swoop I went from wobbly thick yarn to wobbly fine yarn. (Yes, you would think the thick is what you are after but if you look at commercial yarn, it's made up of multiple strands -which, I've learned recently are called singles - that are twisted together - that's plying - so thin is what you want.) And now I can't put it down. It's meditative and calming and the only problem now is that I can't decide if I want to knit or spin when I sit down in the evening. I now resemble a knitting shop, or maybe a sheep, what with the piles of yarn and fiber that accumulate around me whenever I stop moving. If you don't hear from me, just assume that I've been swallowed whole by the wool.