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In The Spin Zone

Remember back in junior high school when you wanted whatever anyone else had? Your friend had gaucho pants and wedge heeled boots and you had to have them, too. Your other friend cut her hair and next thing ya know, you’re Farrah Fawcett. Reading blogs is like being back in junior high school. You see something on someone’s blog and BAM you want one for your own self. Before you know it you’re knitting Birch or Clapotis or a One Skein Wonder. It’s how we can celebrate Socktoberfest and have all those freakin’ knitalongs. Hey, everybody else is doing it, I should do it, too.

One of the things that has intrigued me for quite some time is spinning. Everyone else is doing it and I’ve been wanting to TRY it. Just try it and see what it feels like to make yarn. Last week I bought a couple of spindles and some roving on ebay. I waited anxiously for them to arrive and when they did I gave them a whirl and I sucked. I sucked so bad that those two rather expensive spindles are at the bottom of a basketful of yarn. Of course, I wasn’t all that disappointed to suck at spindle spinning because what I really want, irrational though it may seem, is a wheel. An Ashford Traditional, if you must know.

So Sunday? When Dale and I were looking for something to do? We took a drive to Cambridge to Mind’s Eye Yarns, just to have a look. Because it’s good to shop around and make an informed choice, right? I mean, I’ve been talking and talking to other bloggers and getting advice on what to look for and what I might need, but it would be good to actually see some wheels in person. Right? I wasn’t going to buy a wheel, I was going to wait until SPA to purchase a wheel. Yup, wait until February. Because I’m so good at delayed gratification and all.

We were in the shop about five minutes and Lucy had me sitting in front of an Ashford Traditional drafting while she treadled. Then I was treadling while she drafted. Next thing I know she’s got me drafting and treadling and I’m in the zone. Being in the zone makes me exempt from all responsibility because you know what she did next? She leaned over and whispered, oh so seductively, in my ear, “you could take this one home with you today.” Can you guess what happened? Sure you can.

Next thing I know, she’s strapped in the back of my Jeep and we’re heading home.

So far, I suck, but not as badly as I did with the spindle. And – here’s the most important part – I don’t even really care that I suck because I love it so much. The whirr of the wheel is enchanting and the whole process (Hi, Margene!) is so what it’s all about. And, I made yarn. I. Made. Yarn. Granted, it’s sucky yarn, but I. Made. It.

It’s a slippery slope, this blogging business. You start out wanting to keep a record of your knitting projects and put your thoughts out there for others to ponder. Next thing you know, you’re knitting things you’d never dreamed of trying and then, lo and behold, you’ve got yourself a spinning wheel. I blame it all on blogging. Really. I do.

This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. Yay! Congratulations on the new family member! Your first singles look so much like mine did, same color even, how funny. I’m so happy for you!

  2. And the caption “In the Spin Zone” cracks me up — I am hearing O’Reilly say “Today’s topic is spinning. Carole, from Massachusetts, what say you?”

  3. You’re my hero! I was just at Minds Eye last week for my 1st drop spindle and roving. I’m trying to excercise restraint and rent a wheel before I buy one though. Yours is gorgeous – have fun!

  4. Uh-oh. I bought a drop spindle 3 weeks ago, then ordered roving from eBay. Have been receiving online advice from one of your online blogger advisors.….

  5. A very good wheel choice! I don’t spin at the present, but have one of these up in my spare room, the third wheel I have owned, and may well get back to it one day. I am tending to devote any time available to knitting, but love the process from sheep to finished product. Next thing you know, someone will talk you into joining a sheep to shawl competition 🙂

  6. Yee haw! Yeah, just try it. That’s the way it starts. And I had the exact same thought when I started–I was making crappy yarn (you’re not, by the way) and I didn’t care because I loved it so very much. It’s the love that matters–your yarn will be technically beautiful soon because you’re in the zone, in the groove.

    If the traddy gets you there, then you chose well. I haven’t actually used a traddy, and I know there are mixed reviews out there, but to quote Marcy the Master Enabler, it’s all individual. You got what matters. And don’t worry, you’ll wind up collecting antique wheels eventually. Mark my words.

  7. My spinning teachers said there is NO bad yarn. If it holds together it’s good and you can knit with it. There are people that will pay a fortune for thick and thin yarn. Good thing you aren’t going to Rhinebeck…you’d be doomed.

  8. *sigh* I feel like such a follower…I’m starting to get fascinated by spinning yet still frightened to death by it. Actually, I’m more frightened by the stash growth potential (SGP?) involved…

  9. Congratulations! You’re going to love spinning. I need to sit down and spin more often. I haven’t done much lately, and you’re making me miss it, which is a very good thing. (I’ve got an Ashford Traveller.)

  10. We’re contagious. No one warned you?

    Cate’s right, its not sucky yarn. I think spinning is magic. You’ll appreciate the drop spindles more later (either that or I’ll take them – shameless, I’m shameless).

    Best wishes for the journey. You’re going to enjoy it.

  11. That’s the kind of wheel I have. It’s perfect for a beginner (I think). And I also agree with you about the spindle. It was much easier for me to spin on the wheel than with a spindle.

    Your yarn looks great! Happy Spinning!

  12. Nice, nice work! You are SO gone. Isn’t it wonderful? It really IS the process. Now DON’T go trolling through the web looking for roving…just warning you. Hee!

  13. I’m not surprised that the wheel came home so soon. Everyone is right, that spinning isn’t crappy. I’d advise you to keep it. Someday you’ll wish that you can spin like that. I still have my early spinning efforts and will never get rid of them. It is the process indeed. Glad to have you with us. 🙂

  14. I was able to resist the force of sock-knitting for well over a year — even after winning sock yarn, being given sock yarn and actually buying sock yarn myself. What do you want to bet I bring home some sock yarn this weekend.

    So far, I’ve been able to resist the spinning bug, too. I have to admit, though, that I’ve been gazing upon the decorative spinning wheel that my mother has on her hearth and wondering what this part is or that, whether it has all its parts, hm, does it work? I’m getting dangerously close to “just trying” it and I know I wouldn’t even need anyone whispering in my ear…

    Have fun!

  15. okay here we go again I said it in person and I’ll say it online. Girlfriend I am soo jealous. congrats

  16. Good for you! Spinning is fun, too, and really, all the cool bloggers are doing it . . . glad you joined the party! Believe me, it gets better–you’re doing great so far!

  17. Ooooh, yes, it does suck you right into that Zone. I know; I remember it well. I sat down at a wheel (spinning angora of all things! ) and 10 minutes later, I’m signed up for a beginners spinning class and put a deposit down on an angora bunny.

    Yes, it gets you alright. 😉

  18. Love the wheel! Your yarn looks pretty damn good to me.
    Blogs are very enabling aren’t they? It’s hard to resist all the fabulous ideas you get from them.

  19. Yay, more things to add to my list of things to spoil you with!

    I finally mailed your package yesterday. 😀

  20. Honey, it looks great. In fact, it looks just like my first Bobbin, so you’re gonna be fine. I’m so excited for you. I have an Ashford Trad myself (with a jumbo flyer for plying) and it’s a nice wheel. There aren’t a lot of wheels to buy at SPA, so you made the right choice.

  21. Congratulations!!! And I can COMPLETELY get blaming it on blogging – I definitely have caught myself wondering if I would like it, should I try it??… I think I should definitely stay away.

  22. congrats on becoming a spinner! you’ll love it much more than spindle spinning—it is so relaxing and rewarding. and remember, your yarn has a design element to it. you should’ve seen my design elements when i started spinning!

  23. Oh, I agree about the slippery slope. Yup, fellow bloggers definitely influence my projects and purchases! So far, no spinning wheel. I have a kid going to college in just three years, ya know? Sigh.

  24. That Lucy….she’s a bad, bad woman. Oh sure, she SEEMS all sweet and helpful, and then she says “no really, just sit right here and see how easy it is”, which really translates as “pssst c’mon, first hit’s free, man.”

    Lovely wheel, that one. I bet she provides you many lovely hours of spinning. What’s her name?

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