A New Obsession

I think I may have a little problem. A problem that anyone not involve in the knitting and fiber-related scene will probably not understand. I’m liking this spinning thing maybe a little too much.

The last we saw my new spindle and ball of wool roving it looked like this:

I have to admit that I struggled with the first few tries. I got some crazy-lumpy stuff that really qualifies as yarn under only the loosest of definitions. Then I went back and read my book again and figured out that I needed to fluff up the roving and maybe even pre-draft it before I tried to spin it. And I had an ah-ha! moment. But let me just explain a bit more for those who, like me till just a couple days ago, read the word “pre-draft” on blogs that talk about spinning and either kind of glossed over it or tried to figure out what the heck it meant by context.

The roving is already prepared fiber – clean, combed, ready to spin. But it’s been wrapped up in that ball for a while and the fibers have gotten all cozy with each other. They’re tight, they’re buddies, those little individual pieces of sheep hair. So it really helps if you simply grab a length of the roving and give it a (fairly gentle) whip-like shake or two. It loosens it up and makes it easier to pull apart just enough to get the right thickness of yarn. And on top of that, you can split the roving length-wise to get it even closer to the right amount. I started splitting my roving in half and then in half again and OMG suddenly it was working out much easier!

I spent a little free time while the girls were playing yesterday spinning it up. I kept saying “just one more strand of fluff” to myself. And then one more and one more. And I noticed that my arm was hurting a little bit and yet I still couldn’t stop myself. I am not getting glorious, lovely yarn just yet, but I am getting better and most importantly I am having fun. Here’s what it looked like when I took a picture a few minutes ago…

And then, even though my arm is sore today, I picked that spindle up and said “Just one string of fluff” And I spun it, and I wanted to do more even though I have a million other things I need to try to do during nap time today. But I found a scrap of self-control and banished the whole mess up to the top shelf out of sight till my arm is recovered a bit.

I think I have a project in mind for the finished yarn – it is something frivolous and small, something that will be fine knit in crazy thick-and-thin yarn. Something that I will tell you about when the time comes. You’ll never guess, so don’t even try.

In the mean time, I’m still working away on those purple diamond sleeves. I was sitting in my usual place on the couch watching a DVD and right in the middle of the row the other night when Joe emerged from his office. He’s been playing the latest version of Grand Theft Auto, which I find quite horrifying. But we all pick our poisons and he does put up with my fiber obsession and other craziness, so I suppose I can look the other way when he chooses to play murderously violent games that spew language that makes even my potty-mouth face blush. He only plays it when the girls are asleep in their beds.

But he came out and looked over my shoulder to see what I was up to, and when I held it up for him to see, he stepped back in shock and uttered some choice expletives. I guess my choice of hobby is just as wild and crazy as his sometimes is.

It is a little scary looking.

But it’s beautiful on the right side, and that mess of tails will eventually go away. I’m so glad I’m knitting these both at once, because knitting one knowing that I would have to go through the whole business a second time would be too daunting.

I’m still on hold for the moment with the Sock Wars business, but I have identified my next target – Emily in Wyoming. I’m waiting for her assasin to be killed off and send me her socks in progress to work on. It might be a few days. Maybe I can squeeze in a bit more spinning in the mean time – and I have to decide whether I want to try plying these wild singles or not.

Oh! and one other tidbit. I was thinking about my wedding anniversary that’s coming up next month. It’ll be seven years. Joe and I usually try to follow the traditional gift themes at least on some metaphorical level each year. I went and checked out the 7-year gifts, and it’s copper or – you’re not going to believe this – WOOL! Buwhahahaha.

11 Responses to “A New Obsession”

  1. Shannon says:

    I can’t wait until my 7th anniversary ;) I am a new spinner as well and I totally understand the new addiction. I forced my self the other day to finish my CPH and my wheel cried for me. :)

  2. cath says:

    Oooww, I somehow missed the Wool anniversary!! We tend to make up our own anyway. Last November, our 8th anniversary was the Popcorn anniversary.

    I see that it is very easy to get sucking into spinning–I must resist.

  3. cmtigger says:

    Hmmm, a spinning wheel with something to spin on it maybe? I actually just bought my second. If you keep your eyes open you can find good condition used ones for under $200.

    Your arms will get used to it and hurt less as you go along, but I do understand the “one more piece…” I actually learned to knit in order to have a more portable (and versitile) way to use up the yarn I was spinning. (I’ve been weaving and crocheting since I was a kid)

  4. Nina says:

    Some of my favorite roving comes from a place called Copper Moon. Just sayin’ ;)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just remember what I said about spindles at Shepherd’s Harvest – if you leave them along, they breed and before you know it you have 6, then 12…..

    Dianne in western WI

  6. Anonymous says:

    whoops – I meant “leave them alone”

    I guess you need to proof before you publish!

    Dianne in Western WI

  7. beth says:

    Check out Marnie MacLean’s site; she has some info on handspinning too:http://www.marniemaclean.com/words/tutorial/
    Welcome to the Dark Side, we have cookies!

  8. Dianne says:

    Ah, the spinners have a new member in the club! Welcome! I love to spin, even though I don’t produce much “usable” yarn. There is just something so soothing about it. I see a spinning wheel in your future. I have a Majacraft and love it. Just sayin’…

  9. soxanne says:

    For our 7th we each – independently of each other but asking the same friend’s advice for where to find one – got the other a back scratcher.

    Get it? Seven year itch?

    (Never mind. Go for the wool!)

  10. AlanaMarie says:

    ive wanted to try spinning for almost a year now but have been put off by the fear that it would be too difficult, i think you have inspired me to actually try it, i am excited, where did you get your supplies? to start out? i am living in Japan so i have to do all of my ordering online.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Never mind the 7 year itch – I barely survived our 7th (in hospital with massive pelvic bleeding) but I definitely had the ITCH, it is called an anaphylactic reaction to penicillin.

    Thirty five years down the track it is a bit of a joke, but it wasn’t funny at the time – our two were 6 and 4 yo. Death did not (and does not)particularly frighten me, but the thought of leaving them did.

    Gae in Callala Bay

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