5 June 2014

Back On The Wheel

Back On The Wheel

It took me a wee while to get back to spinning. After such a big move it's taken me a bit to find my rhythm and actually, I'm still working that out. Initially, spinning just wasn't fitting into my day to day life. Then, like with most things, one day I started. No planning, no forcing myself to sit down, just boom! I just grabbed my fibre and got going. 

I'm not sure why I operate like that. At least these days I recognise that's "how I roll" (as my kids would say) so I try not to stress out too much that I'm not getting around to stuff. I'll know I'll get there eventually and when I do I'll be swept away and go like the wind. But can I tell when it might happen? No. All I know is that eventually it will happen. 

Back On The Wheel

I decided to start on this greeny/blue merino because it wasn't my favourite and I was happy to sacrifice it to a "getting back on the wheel" sort of spin.

Needless to say, it started out a bit thick then thin and over-spun then under-spun, but as I spun a little at a time over quite a few weeks, I slowly got back into my groove. So much so that now I'm finding it very tempting to ignore other things I should be doing and instead have a little sit at my wheel and enjoy some relaxed spinning.

Back On The Wheel

Funnily enough, even though I wasn't really in love with the fibre, I am liking the end yarn. Well, I'm liking the bits that haven't gotten muddy brown as the colours merge into one another. I'm plying two singles together to make a two ply and I'm happy with the barber-poling and the patches where the colours have stayed fairly vibrant but the gunky colours are a bit frustrating. 

Last year I bought and really enjoyed Felicia Lo's (SweetGeorgia yarns) Craftsy class on spinning dyed fibres but I haven't really put anything I learnt there into practice for this first spin back on my wheel. She talks about different ways to combine colours, create colours, get different colour effects and of course, how not to make muddy brown yarn. If you're a keen spinner but want to broaden your horizons a little, you might enjoy this class too. I think it might be on sale at the moment?

Anyway, for my next spinning project I'm planning on trying navajo plying or chain plying my singles instead of plying two (or three) together. Chain plying is a way to make a three ply yarn from just one single yarn. I am slightly nervous about the whole thing as it seems to involve some crazy tricky hand coordination but I'm determined to give it a go. I think it is sort of like crocheting a chain with your hand? I'll report back after I figure it out. Are any of you fluent in Navajo plying? Do you have any tips for me?

My first challenge will be to work out if I am a left hand or right hand "plyer" and then interpret the instructions to suit me. It turns out I spin left handed - did you know there was a difference? I hold the fibre out to my left, feed the fibre in with my right hand and hold the twist from rushing away into my fibre with my left hand. You might have to close your eyes and pretend to spin to work out which you are. Or if you're like me, you might have to go sit at your wheel to see!


I'm chuffed that so many of you have followed me over to Instagram - it is a fun community over there, very inspirational! I thought you might like to know I've just joined Pippit - it's a new social media site that seems to combine photos, blog posts and pins. I'm just figuring my way around but it looks interesting. I'm over there as TrulyMyrtle. See you there? 


9 comments:

  1. I got halfway through that spinning class and then got sidetracked by learning to weave so I'm now watching the floor loom class! I am loving your spinning; not sure when I'll get time for a bit, too much on!

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  2. Once you master N-plying, you will be enamored. It is my go to nearly every single time.

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  3. I *loved* that spinning class! It's a wonderful resource.

    I guess I am a left-handed spinner too :-) Never thought of that. I learned from the internet with no one local to show me what to do, so it's very possible I watched a bunch of YouTube drop-spindling videos and mirrored what they did.

    Chain plying looks finicky but it's actually pretty simple once you get the hang of it. The only problem I've found is that I don't want to stop mid-way! Good luck, and enjoy! Your singles look great :-)

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  4. it was so cool catching up the other day ! loved your enthusiasm for my favourite hobby. Great to see that your spinning

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  5. I am in awe of anyone who can spin so all I see is gorgeous hand spun yarn :)

    Thank you for the link to Pippit ... interesting.

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  6. I really like that yarn, even the muddy brown bits. It kinda reminds me of a pond or stream, with the blues, greens, and browns.

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  7. Your yarn looks beautiful, and I'm super interested in your neck warmer idea!! Can't wait.

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  8. Oh, funny, I apparently spin right-handed, but am actually a lefty.
    As for navajo plying, watch a couple videos, and then just try it. Trying to reason through what's going to happen is way more confusing than just doing it and seeing how it works. Good luck!

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  9. the best thing you can do to learn navajo plying is not to give up...watch a couple of videos before and even while plying. I sort of cobbled a couple of different techniques together and do it my own way.
    because I am a leftie who adjusts to live in a right handed world my spinning technique might look a little odd but it works and is comfortable for me.
    the one problem with navajo plying is since I learned it all my finished yarn is 3 ply because i love it so much.

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