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Monday, April 09, 2007

Spinning and a Woo Hoo!

I finished up the sock yarn this weekend! I ended up with 396 yards of two ply - this is the GCNI/mohair I showed singles of at the end of last week. I love the way the colors came together - I know this is going to make a pretty pair of socks.

I got some big news this weekend. When I got my MDS$W book this year, I decided that it would be really great to take a class there this year - specifically Comprehensive Spinning with Judith MacKenzie McCuin. It's a 3 day class (yes, you read that right) and the best part is that it runs Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so I won't miss out on any of the Festival shopping! My wonderful husband was able to get the time off from work so he can get Caleb to school and hold down the fort around here so he said to go ahead and try to sign up. Well, I emailed the people in charge of workshops to find out how we would be notified if we got in or not, and apparently there is a postcard in the mail but they also went ahead and told me - I got in!

I have never taken a spinning class before. I learned to spin with a drop spindle, some Coopworth roving, and a downloaded video on spindle spinning. (I'd link, but I think the domain name just changed. I'll double check and get a link up later this week.) Once I had figured out the spindle spinning, it wasn't any trouble at all to switch to a wheel. I'm pretty comfortable with my wheels, going around changing ratios, tightening and loosening the take up, and messing around with them until it feels right. I really feel like figuring it out on my own gave me the freedom to make mistakes, but also to do some things that any sensible person would be scared of as a beginner. When I started spinning, I was spinning just to spin. I love the feel of the fiber, the soft whisper of the wheel, and it's just fun to make your own yarn. Now that I'm almost 3 years into it, I find myself starting to take a more technical approach to spinning. I want to be able to spin different types of yarn. I want to understand why a highly twisted singles balances faster as a 3 ply than as a two ply. I want to be able to repeat my successes and understand why things don't work out as well as they should have (in my head at least). There is a huge amount of information and techniques with spinning that I just don't know. (I have two different draws* in my spinning. We will learn six in this class. I didn't even know there were six draws.) I just feel like there's so much that I don't know about spinning, even though I can spin a respectable looking yarn that doesn't fall apart. I am so excited about this class I'm hopping around the house chanting, "I got in, I got in, I got in!" I can't wait for May to get here!

*A draw is the way you pull the fiber out to draft it either before the twist enters it or as the twist is entering it. Once you've got the twist in your fiber, you've got yarn. If anyone who is a more experienced spinner would like to clarify this definition in the comments, that would be great!

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Blogger Holly said...

There's six different draws?!? Hmmm...hoping this class comes to my area one day.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so Jealous! I just finished reading the description of that very class. I so would like to do that, but Maryland is just a bit far from Texas. Maybe some day... But I'm so happy you got in and I know you're going to have a blast. Be sure to take good notes and tell us about the 6 (SIX?) different types of draws.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Rosa said...

Congrats on the class. Please let us know what you learn in May. I would love to know if it is worth a trip to Maryland next year. Lovely spinning.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Sereknitty said...

Yes, the yarn is lovely! Now I'm jealous...
I do know exactly how you feel about spinning....as you have, I've had success learning it on my own but dearly need something like your 3 day seminar to refine things. Looking forward to your updates.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Congrats on getting in to the class, and major fiberly thanks to your husband for taking time off so you could go! Make sure to give us some great tips when you get back.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Ina said...

Lovely yarn! SIX draws?!? Wow. Have fun in class!

7:48 PM  

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