02 April 2007

Sporadic Spinning

Last month when I walked to the Shepherdess and back before trekking down to The Bonita Knitting Store, the point of the exercise was to pay for the class I took on Saturday the 31st.

For a long time I've described myself as an ex-spinner. There are people who say that's impossible because spinning is addictive and once you start down that path you can never stop -- twaddle. I start, I stop, I start, stop and start again in somewhat random cycles.

The spin cycle had been dormant a very long time when, several years ago, I took a workshop on hand spinning -- more precisely finger spinning silk hankies. In that workshop I found that I could spin very fine silk but that finger spinning rally ripped up my fingers.

Shortly after I was seduced by a couple of beautiful spindles from New Mexico (Rod Stevens's Woodchuck Spindles). My actual spinning success was not so great. Sometimes I spun very fine and sometimes I just dropped and then I just dropped the effort.


But this time I have been Tylered and so this time the spin cycle may just take.

So what, you may ask is being Tylered? It's Margaret Tyler and there's a fairly good chance that if you learned to spin in San Diego County you may well have learned from Margaret. Her classes at Grossmont Adult School (like the knitting ones from Charlie Hada & Athena) are a wonderful bargain and a real delight if you can fit them into your schedule. I can't so I was quite happy to pay a bit more and spend the day in the classroom of the Shepherdess trying to get my spin on with a spindle.

The spindle, a bottom whorl (which just happens to weight 1.25 oz) was part of a spinning kit packaged up by the folks of Louet.

The other spindles in the picture are my two Woodchucks (the also 1.25oz Laurel and the support sans bowl). The stuff that looks like a tangled mass is actually my (and Auntie PITA aka Margie's) last effort at making yarn with the Laurel.

If you missed it, can't do the Grossmont bargain option, then listen up and take heart, Margaret's going to be part of the Shepherdess class line up and Louet spinning wheels will be in stock at the Shepherdess by the end of the week.

Central San Diego spinning sources -- see the Shepherdess and get inspired.

Saturday, I was a spinner, not a great spinner, but a spinner. By Sunday, not so much but I was inspired to haul out my small stash of roving and at least try to get a lead going on my Laurel. Today, I'm convinced that the cotton I've used for the lead needs more of its own twist to be really responsive but I'm back to spinning fairly fine yarn on my non-support. I can't quite decide whether I'm better drafting with my left or my right hand so I just alternate.

I'm not inspired enough to haul out the silk hankies and fire up the short support spindle and I'm a long way from being a walkabout spinner but I think I'll keep the spindles loaded and keep at least poking at it from time to time.

Shepherdess has, in recent years, been returning more and more to its initial fibre focus but it is still a formidable source for another dangerous hobby -- beading.

Worse still it is next door to Lost Cities which is where I spent quality time and legal tender on Saturday after class. Between Lost Cities, Shepherdess and Amonite I'm pretty locked into beading triangle.

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