Mondays are for spinning!


For the last couple of days, I’ve been playing with my new wheel.

Now I’m a stubborn old fool and decided that I didn’t need to read anything, do any research. I could just figure out what to do. On my own. Ha! Whatever!

I very nearly threw a massive fit when I just couldn’t get it right. I had roving, predrafted. I had a wheel. I’m assuming I have a fully functional brain. I just couldn’t put it all together and just spin.

I was defeated. By my arrogance! 😀

I decided that I had to do some research. I went on to Spindle and Wheel and read through the yarn preparation and then starting to spin and then plying the whole lot together.

I found that I’d gone wrong in so many places. 🙂 I was breaking off about a foot of the roving and then separating it enough to get a square, taking a corner and then trying to spin it diagonally. Wrong. I finally got it right, after reading. Yesterday, I spun about a quarter bobbins worth and today I spun about the same again on another bobbin. I then plied the two together.

It’s definitely over-plied in most areas. It’s under-plied in others. And together it’s completely over-plied and under-plied through-out. This is what it looks like:


The brown you see is my leader yarn from one of the bobbins. I thought I’d spun up the same amount on both bobbins, but I hadn’t. I’ll have to figure that one out for the next time! 🙂

The plying was definitely the best part. I have a few questions though which I’ll have to look into:

1. What do I do now?? How do I get it off the bobbin?
2. Am I supposed to wash it once it’s off the bobbin?
3. How do I get it thinner and less over-plied? And don’t say ‘practice’, smart alec in the back there. give me something more than that!

I definitely need to do some more of this. But I think some reading is needed first. I’m pleased so far! 🙂


5 thoughts on “Mondays are for spinning!

  1. I did loads of spinning over Christmas :o)

    Right, I am no expert (you should ask Diane!) but in the meantime:

    1) You can wind it off onto a niddy noddy if you have one, if you don’t, and you need to use the bobbins (as I bet you do) then wind it off onto a cardboard tube or something. Niddy’s mean you can wind it into skeins easily, I guess you could do this round a table edge or something just as well, but who can pass up the chance of buying another lovely wooden thing for doing fibrey stuff?

    2) Yes, it’s the best fun…! Skein it, then wash it as you would any wool, squish the wet out and then WHACK it against the shower wall or similar a few times. This balances it a bit more (I believe) as well as getting the last water out, it certainly did wonders for my yarn. Ollie will wonder what the hell you’re doing, but should be used to odd behaviour by now, you bought a spinning wheel after all ;o)

    3) Yes, practice! ‘fraid so. My yarn is much like yours but I quite like it as it is for now. However, I know there’s a lot to learn and I will want to be able to produce different stuff eventually e.g. there are different ways of drafting and what have you, and changing tension on the wheel. But I think I’m, like you, ‘a jumper into things’ and I haven’t read that far yet, I’m waiting for the library to tell me they’ve got the spinning book I ordered in for me.

    I was just really pleased I could make yarn in large-ish quantities reasonably speedily, much as I enjoy my spindling, I don’t have vast amounts of time to do it in.

  2. What Fi said 🙂

    Definitely wind it off around a chair or your thumbs held apart or whatever. And then wash it. You’ll be amazed how much the twist evens out.

    ‘Spinning in the Old Way’ is a good book even though it’s spindle-related, or, anything by Lee Raven, and get yourself some back issues of Spin-Off magazine 🙂 There’s a lot of back issue articles on their website too.

    Your yarn rocks!!

  3. great 1st yarn… you should have seen my first time spinning… I resorted to getting DH to reading out the steps…

    if you don’t want to buy a ‘proper’ niddy noddy just yet, I got DH to make me one from pvc pipe, cant remember the site at the moment… he made it so it’s a 2m skein…

    Not that I’m an expert by any means but as Fiona and Diane said practise…. and see if you can get some books from the library (not sure how feasible that is) the Lee Rven book is very good and so is the JMM teach yourself spinning visually also there’s lots of useful and helpful info and people on Ravery….

    one of the best bits advice I got from ravelry was try to spin for 20 mins a day every day rather than longer sessions once or twice a week if you can….

  4. I know you’ve already got the yarn off the bobbin and have washed it, etc., so obviously you followed the great advice from everyone else. 🙂

    For spinning thinner yarn, the only trick is to draft more. You can draft it really thin–I was surprised how much I needed to draft to get a thin yarn when I first started. I really thought I had drafted a lot, and yet my yarn was SO THICK! And then, yeah, practice is the key, of course…

    As far as spinning the same length on each bobbin….I haven’t gotten good enough for that yet. Mainly because I’m still not spinning a really even thickness–I’m doing better, but there are still thick and thin bits (they’re PRETTY close, but not 100% even, and over a whole bobbin those differences add up). I spun some roving from my aunt and plied it into a yarn to give to her, but I have quite a bit left on one bobbin. Grr!

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