Friday, October 4, 2013

the heck is that mess


That's my first and probably only attempt to spin my own yarn. I've been curious about spinning forever and thought I'd try it out. So I grabbed a little 1 ounce baggie of prepared wool when I was at the store the other day and spent some time trying out various home made contraptions for turning it into string. Some things I discovered are:

1. It takes more coordination than anything else. It isn't physically arduous, or complicated, but it reminded me of learning to pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time. Or rotate my arms in opposite directions.
2. There are some weird old men who like to do historical re-enactments having to do with spinning flax on youtube.
3. A drop spindle is about the most low tech thing you can get, but there are better ways to make them and worse ways. I found that a bent coathanger jammed into a rollerblade wheel was more effective than a thing made out of a CD and a chopstick. The important thing is weight. The rubber wheel had enough mass to keep the whole mess turning for a good while, whereas the CD was too flimsy and just stopped rotating.
4. Between the two iterations of drop spindle, I had the rollerblade wheel jammed under a belt that I operated with the treadle of one of my sewing machines. That was much faster, but was like learning to pat my head, rub my tummy, and rotate my arms in opposite directions all three at once.
5. One ounce of wool will not make enough yarn to make anything out of, at least not if you're a beginning spinner. I would knit a bunch of little aliens out of it, but it's so unevenly made that it would make some very misshapen creatures.

how it looks stretched out, before washing

At any rate, my curiosity is satisfied. I now know that making string is about as interesting as you'd expect it to be for about 2 hours, and then I'm pretty much done.

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