November 22, 2008

An Exercise in Futility

This post is a bit late after the event, but better late than never, right? In October and November, I went to a spinning class with my knitting group. In case, like my husband, you assumed we were taking up a new form of exercise, I will clarify that we were spinning yarn.

You start with this--some nice sheepswool, cleaned, processed, and drafted into a chunk of fleece.

You then try to put it on a spinning wheel. This is the wheel I had the best luck with, an Ashford Traditional. Hopefully, you're thinking of Sleeping Beauty now, although it is a bit different. What you can't see is my right foot, trying to smoothly pump the treadle to maintain a continuous speed, without any speed-ups or slow-downs.

I wasn't great at spinning. What you see above is my best tiny little ball of yarn--and it isn't great. My yarn is uneven, either just barely spun or overspun. I'm not a natural, and I don't know if our instructor knew quite what to do with me. My biggest struggle involved getting the yarn to feed in and wrap around the bobbin, which apparently means my problem was tension. No one ever showed my how to adjust the tension on my wheel, so that made it hard.

Still, it was fun to try. I need to figure out some way to display my "beautiful" balls of yarn. Mr. Cool is relieved that he doesn't have to drop a chunk of change on a new wheel. Maybe I'll have to try with a spindle . . .

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