Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ALL I NEED NOW IS AN ALPACA


Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to learn how to spin. When I was about 7 my school took a class trip to this pioneer camp, possibly Murphy's Landing, and it was the first time I experienced the world of spinners. I knew instantly that I wanted to be one of those ladies dressed in period garb completely engrossed in their fiber. It looked relaxing and fun at the same time. It wasn't until years later that I learned what those women were actually doing.

So as the story goes, I had big dreams of spinning but no dream of learning to knit or crochet. Mom taught me the basics of crochet when I was around 8 more as a way to keep me from bugging her while she was knitting or crocheting and not because of my desire to learn. As for knitting, that came much later. I broke down and took a class last year; still haven't finished a complete project. Knitting is NOT for perfectionists. It is quite painful to find flaws that can't be corrected without a complete tear out :(

Anyhow, now that I've learned the basics of knitting I decided it was time to spin. I chose the drop spindle as my introduction into the world of fiber and spinning. I wanted to jump right into the wheel but they are expensive and I needed to be sure I enjoyed spinning first. Well, it turns out that I love love love it! It wasn't easy and I'm still fine tuning my skills but I enjoy how relaxing it is. I'm also finding I have a new appreciation for all the fibers I can work with. The only negative is and always will be is the product I waste learning. I've not been happy with my first bunches of yarn and therefore tore it all apart. I keep hoping the perfectionist side of me creates something fantastic and hopefully I'll even knit it into something awesome :) for now it is all practice, practice, practice.

For anyone contemplating learning to spin I say go for it. The spindle is great cuz it can be taken anywhere and I only paid $19 for mine. I like spinning when I go to my sisters house or when I'm waiting in the car to pick up my kids at school; couldn't do any of that with a wheel.

All I need to learn now is how to set the yarn and how in heck I go about incorporating my rabbits fur. Who knows, maybe I'll buy a herd of alpaca some day. So much to experience and so little time. *sigh NOTE: Teresa, we're still going to have that alpaca farm ;)

8 comments:

Epicure68 said...

How cool is that? I can't begin to imagine how much work spinning would be, but the rewards must be worth the effort.

Teresa'll definitely want to visit you if you get to spin some alpaca wool.

Under the Willow said...

Agree with Monica- so cool! I never knew spinning to could be done without a wheel. What a wonderful trade to learn.

Funny how things from our past really have an impact on what we want to learn and keep learning.


Do any of your daughters have an interest in learning this?

Michelle said...

Monica,

I really love it. I hope T gives it a try. It will be fun to eventually create something 100% my own :)

Carrie,

I first learned about the spindle last yr at the fiber festival. When I saw it I kinda baulked at the idea because I thought it was some new creation and I wanted to learn the "old" way on the wheel. Turns out the spindle is the old way. The wheel was invented long after. I still would like to learn on the wheel. Apparently learning the wheel is somewhat easier, depending on who you ask. I'm not sure.

Michelle said...

Oh, forgot to answer your question. My youngest is obsessed with helping flick the spindle. I read that kids in the Andes start to spin as young as 2 so I thought I'd get our little one a spindle and fiber to play with. Hopefully she continues to love it. Maya's going to take a crochet class so maybe later she will be interested in spinning :)

TeresaR said...

M, I am getting a loom!!!! =) I'm going to learn to weave first, but I know that once I start weaving lots of stuff, I'll want to spin my own yarn. We have folks at the farmers market who sell roving, or I can get my own wool one day if I keep angora rabbits, alpacas, sheep, or use my own hair when all of it falls off during menopause. :P

Congrats on learning how to spin!

Michelle said...

T,

LOL! I've heard that people are making all kinds of art now with cat hair so human hair leaves endless possibilities :P

You'll have to tell me all about the loom. I've done beading on a tiny loom and I really like it, I've never weaved fiber though. That sounds fun!

TeresaR said...

Oh that reminds me, I should take a photo or two of my loom in the living room and do a blog post. :} By the way, trying to get this loom back in working shape is freaking me out even more than the thought of keeping bees. :(

Michelle said...

Is the loom one you recently purchased? Yes, please blog about it! I know nothing about weaving on a loom and would love to learn.