Monday, June 16, 2008

A new member of the family.

She doesn't have a name yet, but she's definitely a she. She was a super-score on Craigslist a few months ago -- a nearly unused Ashford Traditional single drive. All that was missing were two bobbins, and the instruction manual.

It started, well, this past summer. I'd been smitten with spinning for awhile, and finally felt free enough to take it up once grad school was over. I visited The Yarn Tree in Brooklyn while I was home -- a lovely shop, and I got to meet Linda LaBelle, the owner and author of The Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing. She was very sweet and very helpful. Along with some sale Koigu, I picked up 2 oz. of butter-soft, pure white Targhee top, and my Schacht spindle.

Get it? Clouds? Targhee? Do I really need to push this comparison? A few months later (that move got in the way), I had this:

Once I settled in Corvallis, I signed up for a two-day spinning class at the Oregon State Craft Center, one of my favorite things I've discovered in my new town. While the class was... not perfect, I did get to get some time on a wheel, and I learned to prepare a fleece.

Here's my first handspun on a wheel:

This is not cloud-like. It is dense, scratchy stuff. It was difficult to spin, lots of stops and starts as I learned what the wheel and the wool needed. But the last 10 yards just flew, and I was hooked. That 2 ounces (I think) took me hours. This ounce, bought from Steam Valley Fibers at the Tioga County Fair, took me about 15 minutes:

And I was hooked.

More to come, hopefully in less than a month, on how my wheel and I have been getting along...

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