During Knitting and Crochet Blog Week I said that the skill I’d most like to learn would be to spin yarn using a drop spindle. It seems such a natural thing to me, to want to be involved in the process of making yarn in some way, or to at least have knowledge of the processes involved. Only a short while after posting I had a message alerting me to a comment left by Saff of Saff’s Daily Dribble, saying she had a spare spindle I could have.
Just amazing, amazing kindness. I swapped with her a copy of Ann Budd’s Book of Handy Knitting Patterns which I have always found to be a fantastic reseource, posted it off and looked forward to seeing my first ever drop spindle.
Now, let me remind you of the picture of the spindle that I pictured in the blog post in question – it is perfectly nice, plain unfinished wood. Nothing fancy, just simple and plain. Let me show you what actually arrived in the mail a couple of days later.
It is green. It is covered in tiny, beautiful hand-painted sheep and goats. It is wonderful and I love it.
Now, Saff was also kind enough to include a a few grams of fibre, and of course I had to have a go right away. Here is my first ever handspun yarn.
It weighs just 8g and is only about 20m long, but my-oh-my do I love it. It isn’t even. It isn’t refined, but I made it from fluff. OK, beautiful green merino fluff, but fluff. Obviously there are some inconsistencies in my technique which i hope to get ironed out in time, and I have been warned not to be a perfectionist about it (which is difficult because I am a terrible perfectionist when it comes to such things) as perfectionists tend to get frustrated that they are not masters at this new skill right from the outset, so I am going to make a real effort to relax and just enjoy spinning and its hypnotic and soothing effects.
My second attempt is perhaps a little more consistent on the whole, but I felt quite at ease when spinning this and just let the fibre do it’s thing whilst I watched a bit of TV. This is only seven grams, and about 16m in length, but I am really pleased with it.
Now, I need to find miniature projects for such small amounts of (roughly) fingering weight yarn, or shall I keep my first attempts un-knit, for posterity? I’m not sure.