Do you use a spinning wheel? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 03-25-2010, 02:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok so i've been learning to knit, since January and now all I want to do is knit. I went to a really cool yarn store and they had ****GASP**** spinning wheels and looms!!! I'm intrigued and now it's all I think about. I'm dying to learn to spin and weave. I'm signing up to take a couple of classes, first on spinning and then later, weaving.

So if you have a spinning wheel tell me all about it because I am so blown away by this incredible art form.

And please don't tell my DH, but I have been thinking about buying a spinning wheel after I've taken a couple of classes.

I am totally convinced I am going to love it. All the different yarns and fibers enthrall me and I could spend HOURS just running my hands through all the yummy kinds there are.

Can you tell I am a possessed mad woman?

 

 

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#2 of 21 Old 03-26-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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i have an ashford kiwi and i LOVE it! it has taken a lil bit of practice, but now i can spin anything from bulky to lace weight. and i love love love spinning. i never took a class, just alot of online youtube vids, and i joined the "spinners" thread on diaper swappers

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#3 of 21 Old 03-26-2010, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So you taught yourself? Was that hard?

 

 

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#4 of 21 Old 03-27-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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hard is relative. for me knitting is hard, but crochet is easy. sculpting is hard, but painting is easy. lol.
it takes some practice, so start with fibers you dont mind turning into your first slubby bulky yarn, cause it WILL be bulky.
i LOVE spinning.
i did find out the hard way that i am allergic to sheeps wool. i can crochet with it just fine, and have no problems. i can use lanolin just fine. but when i spin or card wool, i need to take benadryl or my throat closes up and my face gets puffy, and it is just... not fun.
so... it is my favorite thing to do, other than hang with my kids, and crochet, but i have to be careful.
in fact, i am thinking of spinning today, if this migraine ever stops.

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#5 of 21 Old 03-27-2010, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's an interesting point. One that I have never really thought about. There is something knitting has taught me about myself is exactly how tenacious I can be. I've never really immersed myself into anything the way I am doing with knitting and no matter how tricky something is, no matter how many times I have to start over, I'm still going to do it....it's a passion that I've never had before.

So now the whole spinning thing has me completely captivated....I'm dying (no pun intended ) to start.

 

 

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#6 of 21 Old 03-27-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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Oh do keep us updated on your progress, please. I'm just learning to knit (took out a book 3 weeks ago and have knit wool hats for both my boys so far). The whole reason I jumped into knitting was so someday I can spin, so someday I can keep sheep for wool and meat. A piece of advice from my various experiences though, make sure it's a craft that you'll stick with before buying pricey equipment.
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#7 of 21 Old 03-29-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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I'm just learning to spin on a wheel! I definitely want one of my own but that will have to wait for a while. I use the loaner wheels at my class. I love it! The women who run the class made us all learn on a drop spindle first so we would have a better understanding of drafting the fibers from our hands, but I definitely prefer the wheel to the spindle.

My class is at a city farm, and we use the wool that's been shorn from the sheep, goats, and alpaca that live there. Sometimes they come and watch us through the classroom window as we spin. There's a dye garden at the farm, too, so after we spin up our yarn we can dye it with madder and indigo.

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#8 of 21 Old 03-29-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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I would love to get a spinning wheel but I don't think it will be in my budget for quite awhile. So I use a drop spindle. I love it. I take it with me everywhere especially to the library when my little one has storytime or to the park.

Shianne
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#9 of 21 Old 03-29-2010, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The place where I want to take lessons also uses drop spindles at first too. Is it hard to get the hang of using the drop spindle? How is the coordination thing work for you? I am not very coordinated but I did learn to knit so if I can do that I know I can learn just about anything..

 

 

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#10 of 21 Old 03-30-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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i personally am NOT co-ordinated enough for a drop spindle. but the wheel for me, is a breeze.
Jamie, my dream is to someday have sheep of my own too.
for now i will have to settle for our bunny we are getting this week. a Jersey Wooly, like a miniature angora
Knittinanny, the city farm sounds AMAZING!

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#11 of 21 Old 03-30-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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It wasn't too hard to learn to use the drop spindle. It took a few tries to spin evenly and consistently though.

Shianne
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#12 of 21 Old 03-31-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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I learned how to spin in about 10 minutes at a craft fair roughly 15 years ago. I've been a long time knitter (since the age of 8!) and at the time I learned how to spin, I was a university student with almost no budget for yarn. I figured that learning how to spin would get me relatively low cost yarn. Boy was I wrong...

It started out with a $8 drop spindle and a handful of free roving from the seller. I wasn't very good and to this day I'm still rubbish with a drop spindle.: However, I saved up, got a Babe's fiber starter wheel, spun on that like a dream and later on my BF at the time (now Dh) got me an Ashford Joy single treddle. I spent more in those years buying up different types of fiber and trying them out than I could ever have spent on yarn alone!

Then I branched out to dyeing my own yarn and finally taking up weaving. Weaving is an even bigger financial commitment, so I'm sticking to Card weaving on an Inkle loom till the kids are bigger and need less of my time.

Its such a slippery slope...:

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#13 of 21 Old 04-03-2010, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So tell me about weaving. So you spin and weave your own cloth? That is really awsome!

I've been to a really neat spinning and weaving store..they have samples from their students of the most AMAZING work. I am so intrigued by all of it. I never knew how much knitting would pull me in and how much more I would want to do. I am really impatient to learn all of this stuff and I hate that I can't learn it all at once.

 

 

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#14 of 21 Old 04-13-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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How much slower is it to spin on a drop spindle than a wheel? How long does it take you to spin each oz of a given weight once you know what you're doing? How long on a good wheel?
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#15 of 21 Old 04-13-2010, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post
Oh do keep us updated on your progress, please. I'm just learning to knit (took out a book 3 weeks ago and have knit wool hats for both my boys so far). The whole reason I jumped into knitting was so someday I can spin, so someday I can keep sheep for wool and meat. A piece of advice from my various experiences though, make sure it's a craft that you'll stick with before buying pricey equipment.

I have two projects (actually 3..but the third is a piece I am doing when I don't have anything else to do...an on going project) one is a baby blanket for a friend that has variegated cotton yarn worked with a basket weave. The second is a sweater for my own baby....also worked on cotton yarn...it has color changes in it....very cute I think. I have done two hats with a cable worked into it...that one was hard...the first took a while for me to catch on but I knit up a second one in just a day. Here is the pattern for that: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/libr...es-ski-chapeau

 

 

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#16 of 21 Old 04-14-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post
How much slower is it to spin on a drop spindle than a wheel? How long does it take you to spin each oz of a given weight once you know what you're doing? How long on a good wheel?
i can spin an oz of roving in under an hour on my wheel. on a spindle, i was NEVER very good at it. and never spun a full oz. not even after many many hours. but on another diaper swapping forum that must not be named there is a spinners thread in the craft area. and one of the mamas there spins everything with her top whorl drop spindle and she is AMAZINGLY good!

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Originally Posted by momo7 View Post
I have two projects (actually 3..but the third is a piece I am doing when I don't have anything else to do...an on going project) one is a baby blanket for a friend that has variegated cotton yarn worked with a basket weave. The second is a sweater for my own baby....also worked on cotton yarn...it has color changes in it....very cute I think. I have done two hats with a cable worked into it...that one was hard...the first took a while for me to catch on but I knit up a second one in just a day. Here is the pattern for that: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/libr...es-ski-chapeau
oooh that is a cute hat!

i have all but stopped crocheting lately. my wheel is my love, and my hooks have become sad and neglected. time to hook up something with this yarn!
my newest yarn can be found on my flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mamabro...796391/detail/

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#17 of 21 Old 04-14-2010, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh my gosh...you did a great job....the yarn is AMAZING!! Do you sell it? (hint hint nudge nudge).

Did you dye it or is that it's natural color?

I love your work....you should be VERY proud of it.

 

 

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#18 of 21 Old 04-15-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momo7 View Post
Oh my gosh...you did a great job....the yarn is AMAZING!! Do you sell it? (hint hint nudge nudge).

Did you dye it or is that it's natural color?

I love your work....you should be VERY proud of it.
they are all natural. the brown/red is called Moorit. and the other is a mix of latte and white, from two different colored sheep.
and i might be willing to sell some but i am still learning, and cannot yet guarantee a fabulous product just yet. however i will spin up the animal fiber of your choice if you pay shipping to and from me, for a small small small fee.

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#19 of 21 Old 04-16-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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Nice work! I am patiently waiting for the time when my kids are old enough to leave the spinning wheel alone so I can do some spinning. I have an Ashford wheel and I've spun very little on it. I'm a total beginner. I took a class at the Manning Studios in Pennsylvania. There is a guy there named Tom who makes spinning look like such a breeze. He's a great teacher and I had a blast. He has us spin on a few different styles of drop spindles and wheels. I would suggest anyone looking to get a wheel, take the opportunity to try out as many different ones as you can fo find what seems to be the right fit for you. Also, see if there is a hand spinning/hand weaving guild in your area. I have found that fiber folks are some of the nicest people and readily willing to share their hobby with newbies.

If you are anywhere near Maryland, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is the first weekend in May every year. I have been told that it is the largest fiber event in the country. It's a lot of fun and it's so nice to see and touch all the fiber and "stuff". It's also a sheep show so you will see a huge array of sheep breeds on display and in the ring. Google it for more info.

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#20 of 21 Old 04-17-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post
How much slower is it to spin on a drop spindle than a wheel? How long does it take you to spin each oz of a given weight once you know what you're doing? How long on a good wheel?
It depends on the thickness of the yarn you want.

For instance, since I'm rubbish at the drop spindle, all I can spin on it is stuff that is fingering to thread weight. An oz. takes me FOREVER.

On a wheel, I can spin everything from chunky to thread weight. Something like 2.5oz of sheeps wool, Dk-worsted weight (once plied), will take me roughly 2 hours to spin. The singles spinning will take 1.5hr of that time and the plying will take about a 1/2hr.

Understandibly, chunky stuff takes less time to spin than stuff that is lace weight.

On average, I can spin enough yarn for a man's long sleeve sweater in about a week. When you don't factor in my time and the cost of the wheel, that man's sweater will cost me roughly $40 in wool (Blue Faced Leicester).

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#21 of 21 Old 04-18-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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I spin (well, that's a bit of a stretch, since I haven't spun in a year, yay toddlers) on an old ashford traditional, a Little Gem II, and a drop spindle. I like all three for different purposes. I also love to dye fiber and yarn, and used to sell all my stuff on etsy. But...with babies, it just was getting stressful, and I wanted to preserve my love of my hobby so I gave it up.

Now that my youngest guy is potty trained and I am a sahm again, (lost my job last week!) maybe I can get back into it!

Shelley, mom to dd 5/19/01, ds 9/06/02, and ds 4/01/07.  Lost babe 4/09

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