Tuesday, February 9, 2010

They Got Me

And by "they" I don't mean the cold viruses that have invaded my body, though they also have gotten me. No, "they" are spinners.

For more than a year (close to two years actually) I have resisted the call of the spinning wheel. I have rebuffed attempts by those under its spell who attempted to seduce me. I've resolutely walked away from the most luscious of fibers. I have held strong in the face of temptation.

Well, I broke. I thought I could "try" spinning just for a weekend and then go back to my knitting ways, leaving spinning behind. I'm sure there are heroin addicts that would tell you the exact same thing, with exactly the same results. One go and I was hooked (well, after we got a small technical detail of the wheel not working right solved and out of the way).

This all took place this past weekend at the Newport Spin-In. I decided I needed a weekend away, and for once in the longest time I actually could afford it. One of the local spinners owns a cottage out at the coast with lots of sleeping spaces, and every year for the spin in she opens it up to other spinners and asks only $10 for the weekend, plus some help with food. The cost of the spin-in was $4. I caught a ride with someone who was going anyways (though I still want to give her some gas money) and Friday I was off. This said carpool friend owns two spinning wheels, and has said on numerous occasions that her Ashford Traditional is just sitting in a corner collecting dust. I asked her if I could borrow it for the weekend, and since she's been one of the prime culprits in wearing down my resistance, she jumped at the opportunity to drag me into the addiction.

Well, Saturday arrived, and after a walk around of the vendors and some careful consideration, I bought 5 ounces of Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) in a mixed naturals color.

Pretty, isn't it? Take a closer look:

I wish you could feel it through the computer monitor. It's deliciously soft. It's also shiny and silky and has a nice staple length to make a sturdy yarn.

I started spinning, but there was a problem with the drive band dragging on the wheel, which made spinning (especially for a beginner) nigh impossible. It took the better part of an hour to get it sorted out and a new drive band attached, but after that the spinning went remarkably well. According to many, I'm a natural. At the end of the day, I'd spun less than half of my original 5 oz and nearly filled my first bobbin. I loved it so much, I bought 8 more ounces.

I finished the first bobbin on Sunday morning.

Also at the show I helped our group win one of the trivia contests, so the group gifted me with part of the winnings. I got:

On the left is a cherry wood nostepin, which is used for winding center pull balls by hand. It's a little like a fat, stubby magic wand. To the right is what's left of 2 oz of baby camel roving (without a scale, I can't be sure of the exact amount, but several people took bits for playing with).

Yesterday I finished spinning the last of my original 5 oz of BFL, but I've been feeling too off from the cold to spin today, so the wheel has been sitting idle.

On it is my second bobbin, waiting for me to get to spinning on my next 8 ounces of fiber.

On the knitting front, my top secret project has been finished and mailed out. Pictures will come when it is received and revealed. I'm really rather glad it's done with. I've gotten back to my Hot Pink and Vintage cardigan. The right front is done, and I'm working on the armhole shaping for the back. It would have gotten a lot farther if not for the above described escapade into spinning.

Finally, using my new nostepin, I've wound my yarn for my next portable project: socks. Yes, I'm giving socks another go. They should go faster this time, as the yarn is sport weight and I'll be using US 4 needles.

*Whew* I think I'm finally out of things to update you on. I'm off to find something soft and warm to eat that doesn't require much dish washing (seeing as all my dishes are currently dirty). Hopefully it won't be so long till my next post, it will help that I'm not working on classified materials at the moment.

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