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spinning wheel progress report

My lovely Louet and I are definitely starting to get to know each other better. My attempts over the last few days have been gradually improving, and I’m starting to feel a bit more comfortable. Many thanks to all of my wonderful readers for your encouragement and advice!!! Most notably, the advice from Empress Fibers to practice treadling without fiber until I feel more comfortable stopping and starting has been VERY helpful. While I was doing this, I realized something about my wheel that I’m not sure was intentional (probably), but the big hole in it helps me to quickly see which foot to use to start up again in a clockwise direction. If it’s on the right when I stop, I use my right foot, and on the left, my left foot. Clever. And the advice from ilikecolors has been invaluable as well. She recommended drafting backwards at first… as far as my hands will go while gradually letting in twist before allowing the wheel to take up that length. This feels more like using my spindle, and I can more easily see what kind of twist I’m putting in. I also found two really great books at the library that have been very helpful, as well as fun to look at:Β The Complete Guide to Spinning Yarn by Brenda Gibson andΒ Spin Control by Amy King. These are full of knowledge about fiber and different spinning techniques, and I learned from them that the easiest way for me to draft right now is from the fold, tearing off a chunk of fiber, wrapping it around my left index finger, teasing out a tiny bit (the amount I want to draft) from one side, and going from there.

spinning from the fold

I feel more control over how much I’m drafting this way, and it will produce a semi-worsted yarn… not quite so heavy in tightly knitted garments. I also hear this is a great way to spin fine slippery fibers… which I plan to do a lot of. πŸ˜‰

So, all of this is starting to result in better looking singles… I think. Once I feel a little more comfortable, and fill up 2 bobbins, I will try plying it.

spinning wheel single learning

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13 thoughts on “spinning wheel progress report

  1. Great to see how well you are getting on. I’m glad I managed to help a little. I found that really worked for me when I first started using a wheel. What fibre are you spinning at the moment? It looks really nice πŸ™‚ So addictive, isn’t it? :p Can’t wait to see what your wool is like once it has been plyed together πŸ˜€

    • I’m still using the wool that was sent with the wheel… swalsdale, I think? It looks nice, but it doesn’t feel very nice. 😦 I’m ready to be done with it! I have a little less than half left, and I’m hoping I feel comfortable enough by the time I’m through it to work with something nicer. But yes… quite addictive, regardless. πŸ™‚

      • I’ve found that some wool has been pretty rough to spin with. My way round it (after it has been spun sadly) is to skein it up, and immerse it slowly into a sink full of hot water with a blob of hair conditioner in it. Just squeeze gently so all yarn is immersed, then do a warm rinse in clean water. This will make it smell lovely, and hopefully soften the wool a little. BUT! Don’t rub it or it will felt πŸ™‚ I then wrap the yarn in a towel, stand on the towel to squeeze water out, then hang it up to dry. I sometimes weight it down with something to make sure there are no kinks or anything.
        It sometimes works, it sometimes doesn’t but hey, worth a try? Hope you don’t get too fed up with it! πŸ˜€

      • Thanks! That’s a great idea! If it doesn’t work, I will probably just make dryer balls out of it… or find another project that doesn’t require soft yarn… maybe a doormat? πŸ˜‰

  2. Your spinning looks like it’s coming on very well! Glad you’re having fun on your wheel! I like the photographs in ‘Spin Control’ by Amy King. I don’t have it myself but I like books with pictures hehe πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I’m glad I’m having fun now too. πŸ˜‰ The photographs in Spin Control are indeed gorgeous, and she has a lot of great ideas for creating interesting and unique yarns.

    • Thank you! It’s definitely fun to see how practice can pay off. I also want to get very consistent with all types of thicknesses, and then go back to purposeful, playful inconsistency sometimes. πŸ˜‰

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