You spin me right round….

I took a spinning class on Saturday and it was awesome! We started out by sitting at different wheels and treadling. After feeling the differences between a double and single treadle wheel, I decided to stick with the double. I forgot what type of wool we started spinning with. I know Corriedale was one of them, you can see some in my first skein:

 

I wish I could remember what the tan wool is. Maybe Romney? I was getting pretty used to drafting and adjusting the tension of the wheel so by the end of that little skein, it started  to somewhat resemble yarn. The instructor must have thought I had a decent handle on it because she let me spin some of the softest merino I’ve ever felt. Boy, was that a mistake. The merino was so fine, it kept pulling apart. Look how much I spun before I went back to the tan stuff:

One person in the class was amazing from the beginning. She normally spins using a drop spindle so she was already good at drafting and getting an evenly spun yarn:

The shot is in motion but you can get a pretty good idea of how even the yarn is. She was spinning alpaca by the end of the class. I think I understand the basic mechanics of it, now I just need to fine tune everything I learned. Luckily, I brought home of these:

You can rent wheels at Mocha’s Fiber Connection for $15/week so I went for it. I spun a little on Sunday and ended up with my 2nd skein of yarn. It’s definitely over spun in some spots but overall, I’m happy with it. 

So, what’s really annoying is that after finishing that skein, I tried to practice more but I could not get the yarn to wind onto the bobbin so I gave up and decided I’d try again later. I took yesterday off and tried to spin a bit today but the same thing kept happening. What am I doing wrong? It’s incredibly frustrating. The yarn just spins and coils up on me. I’m considering paying for a private lesson because I’ve wasted so much fiber at this point. The funny thing is, I picked up my drop spindle and was able to spin a nice thin yarn for for the first time. I guess I’m happy about that but still annoyed about not being able to spin on the wheel. After a bit more practice, I’m hoping to spin some usable yarn out of this:

Any spinners have tips for me?

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Babies everywhere!

I’ve been dying to make baby clothes but no one around me is anywhere near ready to have any babies…until now! My friend Sara and her husband, Eric, are expecting a baby girl in April. As soon as I heard it was girl, I knew I was going to make Helena. When the Fall issue of Knitty came out, I considered knitting Helena just to have as a back up. Eventually, everyone is going to start having babies. Maybe I should just have an arsenal of baby knits ready. Anyway, here’s the sweater:

Pattern: Helena from Knitty in the 12 month size

Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK

Needles: US 6 and US 2

Notes: Great, straightforward pattern. I didn’t do a gauge swatch because I figured at some point in the baby’s life it would fit her. It turns out my measurements were spot on for the 12 month size with the exception of the body being .5 inches longer. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do gauge swatches in general. I find them very helpful most of the time but if I’m going to be knitting something where gauge isn’t crital or if it’s something that is easy to modify as I go, I won’t do a swatch. Anyway, check out the buttons (they’re kind of a pain to get through the buttholes but I didn’t tell Sara that…shhh):

The baby shower was great. No silly games or over the top decorations but plenty of good food and drink. I ended up chatting with another knitter who made the cutest baby sweater and booties. I want to knit more baby things. Seriously folks, get to it!