Wednesday, May 15, 2013

You Spin Me Right 'Round (WIP Wednesday)

The yarn officially called "Hot Mess."

Most of the time I spend online, I spend looking at pictures of other people's projects. Their dyeing projects, knitting projects, crocheting, spinning, embroidery. You name it. The ones that always stop me and make me "oooh" and "aaahh" over are the spinning and dyeing ones, especially roving. I attempted to dye my own yarn a few years ago and I ended up with a mass of yarn that smelled like Black Cherry KoolAid but looked like raw hamburger. I haven't gotten the urge to attempt dyeing again but my fingers itch when ever I see someone's hand-spun yarn. I want to do that. I want to try that. So I did.

The main reason why it took so long for me to attempt to try spinning is the initial cost. Knitting and crocheting, you can spend $10 and get yarn and needles/a hook and start that day. I don't know if you've seen the prices of spinning wheels lately but they aren't exactly what I'd call cheap. More like "really effing expensive." My criteria for starting a new craft or hobby is "Can I try it for $10 or less?" If I can't, I don't want to put a bunch of money into something and then decide I don't like it. This is why I won't try scrapbooking.

Drop spindles were an option. But even then finding a cheap one and then roving. I just got discouraged.

Until one day I got a wild hair and decided I was going to learn to spin. Damn the cost, I was going to find a way to jerry rig the whole thing and I was going to do it on a budget! I watched videos online for hours about different drop spindles and how to make them and how to spin with one. The next day, I ventured to the Big Box Craft Store, got a wooden wheel intended for a toy I'm sure, some needle felting roving and that evening I was soaking my first hand-spun.

My drop spindle is made from an old knitting needle made from a dowel rod and wooden bead. Slap on a wooden wheel, I didn't even bother with glue because they fit like a dream, and you got yourself a makeshift drop spindle. The roving I got is intended for needle felting and there was a moment when I was afraid it wouldn't work at all, but it did. My layout for starting hand spinning: ~$8. Sure my hand-spun yarn looks like crap and feels like steel wool, but it's yarn and it's holding together and I am finally getting some consistency.

I don't know if you've seen it but there is a $7 make-your-own spinning wheel out there. (Ravelry link) It fits my criteria, although I am getting outside help because I don't want to mess up cutting something. And now that I feel I have the basics of spinning down, I think I might be able to actually use this thing once it's made. And I'm really excited.

In other news, I did a thing! Two great friends of mine have a literary magazine dedicated to Creative Non Fiction and I'm the featured writer for April! Go check it out! The rest of the magazine is really awesome too, so you should go check it out even if you don't like my writing.

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