Research. A word that strikes fear into the hearts of students young and old. Me? I love research. I set about researching spinning with an open mind ready to learn. I was ready but it was like setting off to kindergarten. What if I didn’t like it? What if it didn’t like me? I had high hopes for this spinning thing. I had the newly acquired tools set before me like school supplies ready for the new school year.
Time to head off to school. Which way do I go? What turns do I take? How will I recognize my teacher when I get there? The internet is a marvelous thing. I started with the place everyone should start: YouTube. I started with Spinning Yarn on a Drop Spindle – Tutorial with Megan LaCore. I learned some good information here about the leader and drafting. Good stuff. But I was not convinced that this was my teacher.
I did a little research and saw one name mentioned above all others Annie Franquemont. It turns out, she has a video available on YouTube also. Great. I started watching Introduction to Spinning, Part 1. This video started at a much more basic level. Was this indeed my teacher? Perhaps, but I thought I would look at a few more options. (And, no, I have not yet looked for Part 2.)
Books? How about books? The problem with me and books is that I am an immediate gratification kind of person. So, off to Amazon I went to look for books that could be downloaded instantatiously to my Kindle app on my iPad. I found two that looked interesting and downloaded the first chapter of each. I ended up buying them both as they are each good for different reasons. The first is Spinning in the Old Way: How (and Why) To Make Your Own
Yarn With A High-Whorl Handspindle by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. The second is Teach Yourself VISUALLY Handspinning by Judith MacKenzie McCuin. Great books. These are going to be fabulous resources as I progress into spinning.
At this point my little brain is full of information. I have not done one single thing with my school supplies though. Even though I was uncertain that I had found my teacher, there I was, seated in a classroom with people who knew more than me instructing me on how to go about this thing called spinning. There was no better time than now. I picked up my supplies and tried to put together everything I had heard and read and seen. I put a leader of black wool on my spindle, I broke off a chunk of my purple wool, I pre-drafted. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.
Turns out, I had no idea what I was doing. But on I went. I spun, I back-spun (oops!), I made yarn and broke the yarn. After about an hour or so, I had a bunch of loose, tight, medium, over-twisted, under-twisted yarn. SUCCESS! I made a bit of purple yarn! See?
I obviously have a lot to learn. But this is kindergarten, right? I have a long time to go before I am expected to graduate! Next time, I will show more about my attempts and display more purple yarn. Real purple yarn.