I REALLY did unfollow spinning and fiber people from my social media feeds.
I did NOT go to any fiber festivals with my friends.
But I can’t stay away from knit night or stop listening to all my favorite podcasts, The Knitgirllls, Woolful, and others. Or not have lunch with my knitting friends.
Alas, exposure to spinning is unavoidable.
Last weekend, I decided to use an opposite strategy. I decided to do a deep dive into both spinning and weaving. Oops, did I not mention that I have a long-long-long aspiration to be a weaver? Yep, that woke up last week at lunch. Someone wants to go deeper into quilting. But she must first find homes for her two floor looms. OMG!
Floor loom?!? Floor loom or spinning wheel?!!?
Hubby was no help. He thinks both are wonderful. ‘That sounds great! And the perfect spot for the loom would be the breakfast room. It has great light and plenty of space.’ He has NO IDEA what he could have unleashed in my crafty takeover of yet another room.
I didn’t know enough to ask specifics about looms my friend had. I think she mentioned 8 heddles?? So I spent the weekend deep diving into YouTube videos and Ravelry forums on moving a floor loom, beginners setup for weaving, etc. Amazing.
One woman, Elizabeth Wagner, did 19 videos for a beginner, taking you through the whole process. I watched every one. Setup was tedious but looked interesting. Weaving doesn’t happen until the 17th video. My first thought, ‘Finally! ‘My second thought, ‘Oh no. Please, not 30 minutes of weaving.’ Fortunately, she only showed 10-15 passes of the process. Mind numbing boring. Third thought, ‘If I think this is boring now, what about when I weave?’
I already knew a few other major negatives about weaving.
It’s a solitary process. Every hobby I’ve fallen in love with and abandoned was solitary. Yes, I already checked. The local weaving guild doesn’t meet until August.
Japanese Ikat book image from Discovery Books
What would I weave? There is nothing I am really longing to have woven. Japanese ikat
is the ONLY thing that interests me. But knowing me, my interest is not enough to go through the HUGE process to create it. Japanese ikat is handdyed warp and wefts BEFORE weaving. Wrap your brain around that.
Weft dyed ikat cotton
Besides, I already have FABLE (fabric acquisition beyond life expectancy) and am trying to use it up. Really messed up there with Hancock Fabrics Going-Out-of-Business sale this week.
I don’t want to do production weaving and sell it.
I don’t want to make garments or household items.
I could use up ALL the thrift shop sweater yarns. That’s the only plus so far.
Sigh. Ok, enough. Reality of who I am has sunk in. I no longer have a longing for a loom. I suppose the old aspiration came from when I did need/want stuff. Or some weird romantic idea of a person happily humming with the rythum of the loom.
Will this thought process work for a spinning wheel? Hmmm…..yeah….no….maybe….
Back to Google. This time the topics were chosing a wheel (Abby Franquemont, The Woolery), wheel maintenance, and finally examples of spun yarns from specific wheels (Instagram tagging the makers).
At least I figured out what criteria to base a decision.
- Compact for travel, especially to weekly knit night
- Lower orifice for ergonomics
- Easy maintenance
- Best for lighter weight yarns (lace, fingering, DK)
- With a 3 spool lazy Kate & extra bobbins
So far that narrows my choices to a Louet Victoria, Shacht Matchless or Ashford Joy.
Gulp, sticker shock ($800-$1,200) and patience (6-9 months).
The cost of one wheel would be the equivalent of several years worth of really nice indie yarns. None of which I need.
And apparently you don’t stop at just one wheel. You’ll want a different one for different purposes (1 for travel, 1 for home, 1 for plying, 1 for fine yarns, etc). Wow, bigger deeper rabbit hole than I expected. Ok, I am backing away from the hole.
Back to google. What do I knit with handspun yarns? Hats, mittens, scarves, shawls. I currently have enough of all. And already given plenty as gifts. I’m not willing to spin lots of plain solid colored fiber for a sweater.
This is fortifying my position to stay away.
Maybe instead, I’ll just get two more larger spindles.
Maybe I should get back upstairs to the sewing.