A few days ago I started a new craft. It's not a far leap from my knitting obsession. Not even a stretch. More a supporting craft even. I began to learn to spin my own yarn. I can't even describe the exhilaration that came with taking a ball of fluff and turning it into a smooth (mostly) and usable piece of yarn.
I'd been wanting to learn for a long time now, but was nervous and held off thinking I needed proper equipment. Turns out it is very simple to make your own spindle. Flocknfiber from Ravelry gave me this link that shows you how to make a simple cd spindle out of a few easy to acquire, inexpensive items. Mine is a little wobbly. I need to try and glue the whorl in place with better glue (I used my glue gun, but it didn't hold).
Once you make your spindle, all you need is some fiber to spin. It comes in several different make ups (Roving, top, clouds, batts, and hankies to name a few). There are also umpteen different types to choose from. Wool from dozens of breeds of sheep, goats, alpaca and llama fleece, hemp, bamboo, silk. The list goes on and on. I had a bit of Corriedale (a type of sheep) roving left over from when I made some dryer balls a few months ago. So after watching hours of videos and reading many sites and guides, I jumped right in.
Here is my spindle with my very first attempt at spinning on it. On the right is a closeup of the orange yarn and my second attempt which was yellow of the same Corriedale fiber. The yellow one is much more consistent and smooth thanks to some drafting tips another friend on Ravelry shared (thanks again Bradymom29!).
After the 'singles' are spun, it was time to try plying. Again there are many different methods for this. I went for a simple 2 ply yarn by spinning my two samples together. It is definitely harder than it appeared in the videos, but for a first attempt I was happy with the result. Here it is freshly spun:
I then wound it up into a hank using the back of my chair, tied it in several places to prevent it from getting tangled, and dunked it in my bathroom sink filled with hot water. Right now it looks like this:
I can't wait until it is dry so I can see if it is balanced (doesn't twist into one big knot). If it is I can try knitting with it. So exciting!
For now I'm off to try and catch up on some knitting projects. Happy crafting!