Monday, May 19, 2014

What I've been up to--spinning a new hobby

Hi Everyone! 
It feels like forever since I've written a real post. We've had a great couple of weeks of guest posts for our Little One series. We saw all sorts of things from animal towels, nursery decor, sippy cup labels, you name it. It's always fun to see others' creativity.
And despite our lack of blogging, it sure was a busy month for Emily and I! Between a sick parent, a brand new sweet baby girl, husbands gone, and the usual business of life, it seems to have flown by. 

And, I must say I haven't been particularly productive because I've been learning a new hobby. :)
My husband and girls knew my love of yarn (what's the deal with me and yarn? I just love it. Love to touch it, see it, use it, stockpile it....) and so they bought me some alpaca roving and a drop spindle! yay!

As you can see, I'm not super great...yet. It's really fun though! The drop spindle is how people have been spinning fibers for thousands of years--it is so simple and I think maybe it's the simplicity of it that makes is strangely satisfying and addictive. 

It was fun to have all sorts of natural alpaca fleece colors so I could make a colorful variety of little balls of yarn.


Not long after I'd been playing with it, maybe a week, I commented to my husband one night that I just wasn't sure if I wanted to wait the pre-determined year or two for a spinning wheel. 
He and I have been looking into spinning wheels for months by now--reading about them, shopping for them, just wondering about them. I wasn't certain that spinning would be part of my future or not, but I couldn't get it out of my head. I was always thinking about it, which made me think that I would enjoy it and for sure do it someday, but it also seemed like quite a lot of work. I mean, I can just go to the store and by my yarn pretty easy sneazy. But making it? That's just a lot of work! But if I like the work....? But even if I like it, would I rather be knitting....? 
Oh such a debate.
In the end we decided to wait a few years.

Well, anyway, I mentioned that I was really enjoying my drop spindle, and that I didn't know if I wanted to wait that long. He just happened to pull up CraigsList for a look (which we had been doing quite a bit in the months prior) and to our surprise a spinning wheel had just been posted 4 hours before that!

And not just a spinning wheel, but THE spinning wheel I was pretty sure was the one I wanted. 
And not just the spinning wheel I wanted, but man was it a good deal! For about 1/3 of what buying a new one would cost, I got the gently-used spinning wheel, fantastic hand carders, a maintenance kit, a travel case, a whole fleece, a niddy-noddy, how-to books, etc. etc. So I called her up, stopped by an ATM and was the proud owner of an Ashford Joy not long after. :)


My first spindle was about the same quality as my drop spindle work had been (aka pretty shabby). 

My second spindle worth was beautiful! You can see it below. It's so even and thin and you can see all the natural variations in the wool. 

And then I had quite a break before I could pick it up again and my third spindle full was not so great. But, I'm trying to be patient. 

As my husband and I thought, even as much as I enjoy spinning, I'm not quite sure that I'm in the phase of life that allows for much time for spinning--since I have little kiddos running around and lots of other stuff I like to do. Now that I've tasted it though, I'll still do it for sure, it just seems like I only get to it once a week, if that. I know a lot of people who live the kind of life style it seems we are phasing into have weekly rhythms: Monday baking day, Tuesday spinning day or whatever. I suppose I could do that, but I'm not sure I like the sound of scheduling my activities like that. Maybe though. We'll see. To a certain extent, life just works out that way--seems like every Monday I'm at town grocery shopping and since I plan a week ahead of time, I only go that one time a week. Then with the kids' scheduled activities...

ANYWAY, I do love the gentle noise of the spinning wheel, the quite repetitiveness and rhythm of spinning. I think the whole process of having the wool, spinning, dying, all of it sounds wonderful.  I'm feeling lucky everything worked out as it did. 

Now maybe I'll stop blabbing about it, and go get some spinning in.


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