Monday, May 16, 2005

I'm getting a little dizzy here...

Sometimes you just have to brag about your friends. My friend Lynne is always hungry to learn more (where as I'm just always hungry). Last year she taught herself to knit; shortly thereafter she became a master felter, then she got a job at first one yarn store and then another, started a knitting group and this past Saturday, she learned how to spin.

I accompanied Lynne to a meeting of Spinners Flock--a monthly gathering of spinners of yarn. I've been to their big autumn sale which is where I bought the green kid mohair I used to edge my recent honey sweater but this was a meeting rather than a commerce opportunity.

In two short hours, Lynne learned how to spin.

Lynne at the wheel. That's a happy looking woman.
She tells the story far better than I could in her blog. I merely wanted to watch someone learn, but when I saw the goodies in an experienced spinner's knitting basket, I confess I was tempted.

Barbara's basket of handspun yarny goodness. That would be my toe in the corner and I am overly proud of the fact that I kept my drool in my mouth and didn't dribble all over her gorgeous stuff.
The first part of spinning looked pretty fun--pulling the wool out from the "roving" (big fuzzy ball of unspun, carded and usually dyed wool) and having it turn to rough thread on the bobbin.

A table full of roving.
But I quickly realized that I am not meant to be a spinner and here is why:
1) I get dizzy easily. Really easily. Even watching Lynne spin in my peripheral vision made me queasy. I get nauseated on a treadmill, use all my willpower to workout on the orbital trainer, can't go to movies with handheld camera (Breaking the Waves left me ready to hurl for days and I didn't make it through the whole movie) and let's not even talk about what fun I am on a sailboat.
2) I do not have the attention span for spinning. After spinning one bobbin full, you spin at least one more (for two ply yarn). Then you have to ply the two or three threads together which is sort of re-spinning in the opposite direction. Then you have something that looks a lot like usable yarn but it isn't yet and (this was the killer point that got me to decide that spinning is not for me) then you have to wash the yarn to "set" the twist. After washing it you have to untangle it (no small feat) and wind it. I really hate washing wool--the wet sheep smell is not my favorite odor and it takes all my stern inner voice scolding (I have to call myself a "lazy trollop") to get me to block a sweater. I often put off washing wool sweaters until the kids do something really gross, like smear it with their snot, or throw up on it. And I have been known to stick them in the washing machine on the gentle cycle (yes, I'd rather risk this with a sweater I spent a whole winter slaving over than preserve it and deal with handwashing.)
3) I don't see how it would be possible to spin and read at the same time. Yesterday I knit half of a bunny toy (my first attempt at knitted toys; I'll post a picture when it is done) and managed to simultaneously read 2 chapters of The Stone Diaries (which I am loving).
4) And finally, someone needs to buy the beautiful yarn that all the spinners make and I will happily do my duty in this department. Their big Fall Fleece Fair (where they sell all kinds of exquisite yarn like Barbara's pictured above) is scheduled for Sunday, September 18, at Beach Middle School in Chelsea from 10 am-4 pm. It is already in my calendar.


Anonymous said...

I love lists, and this one is hilarious. I don't think I'm cut out to be a spinner, either (for all the reasons you name!). And, does calling yourself a lazy trollop really work? Because I have a house full of unfinished projects.

Kate said...

Well, calling myself a lazy trollop at least means that I'm approaching the task at hand with a sense of humor! And it is probably better that I turn the insults on myself than inflict them on my too-nice-for-words husband...

Denise said...

I'm allergic to wool, so spinning would put me over the edge. Unless I figured out how to spin while wearing gloves. And of course, those helpful (enabling) spinner ladies have suggested there are many other things to spin besides wool...