Spinning Novice Thinking Process

So I told you I joined the Wool n’ Spinning Patreon sponsorship last month. 

I am gaining so much in knowledge through the workshop and conversation among the other supporters. I have found another tribe. For research resources, my normal resource the local library has only one very old book on spinning and weaving. Of course, there are plenty of YouTube videos of varying quality. Craftsy classes are definitely more thorough with great visuals. magazines. And my great enabler, Laura, has a full library for this deep dive of spinning books, and Ply magazines. 

I am in full on learning mode. 

Borrowed spinning books & magazines

The books by Judith McKenzie McCuin, Maggie Casey & others were wonderful background information on fleeces, fiber perpetration, and spinning techniques. Will have to refer to them again when I start playing with different sheep breeds.  Right now, I’m an still digging into the Color in Spinning book by Deb Menz and all the Ply magazines. 

The Craftsy classes I’ve been through are Know Your Wool by Deborah Robson and Spindling by Dru Pettibone. I am just now going through Ply To Knit by Jillian Merono. And must catch up on Yarn Substitution Made Easy by Kellie Nuss. 

The Wool n’ Spinning conversation has been wonderful and very interesting. At one point, we were discussing the ‘stages’ in our knitting journey. 

I assume spinning will follow similar stages as knitting. 

Stage 1: Try Everything

  • The first two projects were just to get use to the wheel and gain some control over my consistency. Really, they were just for the fun of spinning. I managed without difficulty to spin fine and medium singles. Still more to learn and develop that muscle memory. 

Stage 2: Souvenir Buying

  • At SSK this last summer, I went crazy and bought all the soft fibers, BFL, Polwarth and Polwarth-silk. Yep, just because they were soft or a bit shiny. I didn’t have a project in mind. Definitely souvenir buying. 

    Gale’s Arts and Ross Farms fibers from SSK market

  • And in Dallas, I bought some cotton. 
  • Understand, I bought all of these thinking I’d be spinning on a spindle…meaning smaller projects. I’m sure you noticed no colors. Definitely color dyeing play time. 

Stage 3: Reality & The Realistic 

  • Discovered an instant gratification project. Practiced 3 ply by plying 2 strands unraveling men’s merino thrift shop sweater sleeves with a Shoppel Wolle lace ball both from deep stash. (FYI, each men’s sleeve was about 800 meters.) Win Win with this. Using deep yarn stash, practice managing three strands and have new yarn I like a lot. 

    800 m merino 3 ply light fingering weight finished

  • 800 m merino 3 ply light fingering weight waiting for its bath

  • Breed studies is a topic in Wool n’ Spinning. I will watch & learn from the sidelines. 

The list below is still developing as there is so much still to learn. And some project supplies to get. 

Cardigan:

  • Need 8 more bobbins (600 yds each)
  • Fingering to Sport weight
  • 1800-2400 yards
  • Fiber: ? 24-28 oz
  • Deep Stash: Ply cobweb yarns
  • Woolen spun Singles at low twist:?
  • Plys:3 at balanced twist or 2 ply at high twist
  • Color: goes with everything 

Socks: 

  • Fingering
  • At least 350 yards
  • Fibers: 4 oz Cheviot or Suffolk
  • Singles at medium twist
  • 3-4 ply with a medium to high twist
  • Color: experimental 

Shawls

  • Fingering or sport weight
  • 600-800 yards
  • Fiber stash: 8 oz, Polwarth & Polwarth/silk
  • Deep Stash: Ply cobweb & lace weight yarns
  • Singles at medium-high twist
  • 2-3 ply with a low- medium twist
  • Color: gradients, semi-solids

Hats & cowl:

  • worsted to Aran weight
  • At least 400 yards
  • Fibers: 8-12 oz, soft against the neck
  • Fiber stash: silk hankies, Hedgehog fibers BFL
  • Singles at medium to low twist
  • 3 ply with medium twist 
  • Color: wild & crazy art yarns
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