Spinning Tuesdays: Kate’s Spinning Goals

I have a confession to make: I haven’t been practicing.


After an initial, energizing success at spindle-spinning, I got distracted.  I picked up the spindle only a couple of times in the fall, and when all we got together in Waterloo a couple of weeks ago, I proudly got my spindle out, rakishly drafted a bit off the braid of BFL Jillian gave me, and started to spin.

So much potential... as yet, unfulfilled...

And it was an unmitigated disaster.  I dropped the spindle. I had lumps the size of grapes. I couldn’t draft. I kept breaking the roving. I couldn’t control the twist. It was a mess.


The worst part was that, naturally, I was surrounded by expert spinners at the time – goddess of all things fibre Denny, Amy, Jillian, our host Sue, and Tabi the spinning teacher from Shall We Knit.  At first, they were all smiles, but as it became quickly clear how badly I was doing, they averted their eyes. I think I might have heard a snicker.  (I kid, they were all very encouraging.)


Denny, sitting beside me on the couch, was very polite: she gave me a few pointers (including, most helpfully, to remember to spin the spindle in the same direction all the time… ), and refrained from laughing.


We all agreed that you don’t get better at spinning by keeping the spindle in a box, so I’ve made a plan. I need to practice every week. I teach a class on Thursdays evenings at Lettuce Knit, and Denny works a shift there Thursday afternoons.  My plan is to go to the shop early so that she can watch over me while I fumble my way through this, and hopefully expand my skills.


Once I’ve mastered the basics with the BFL, I’m keen to get started into a little sampler project that the lovely Sue put together for me.  I’ve got a collection of little bags of rovings from various breeds – each is enough to try it  out, get familiar with the fiber, and experiment.


So much to explore!

And then – THEN! – I am desperate to try this mittens-from-silk-hankies thing that all the cool kids are doing.


I figure that’s enough for a year.  Wish me luck!


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9 thoughts on “Spinning Tuesdays: Kate’s Spinning Goals

  1. Sherri

    I took me 6 months of constant spinning yarn barf to be comfortable on the spindle. Even know after 3 years I’m not a great spindler – I’m much better on the wheel.

    But keep at it – it’s a new muscle memory you have to build. And just remember – you have to pay a lot of money to buy yarn exactly like you’re spinning.

  2. LaurieM

    You really need to do a little bit every day for your body to build up the muscle memory. I don’t know if once a week will be enough to give you the success you’re hoping for.

  3. Deborah

    I agree with LaurieM. Try to spin every day, even for just 15 minutes. Having an in-person session with a spinner every week is a fabulous idea. But if you want to get better, try to spin every day.

  4. Purplepenguin

    Yes, 10 minutes a day. That will help your muscles learn the movement, and it will help your mind remember it, too.

    Just 10 minutes, that’s all. You can do it!!!

  5. Alicia

    You could also try the corriedale first as it’s a much grabbier yarn. I learned on that before I moved on to BFL.
    Good luck!

  6. Grammiesknits

    Hi Kate, I thought I remembered the Yarn Harlot stating that you do not even need to spin the silk hankies in order to knit with them. Regardless, good luck with your goal, I received a drop spindle from my daughter for Christmas (I’ve never used one) – so maybe I’ll try to practice a bit each week also. Thanks for the blog!

  7. Seanna Lea

    You too. I need to practice. I have only practiced once or twice since I took a class with Denny at Squam last June. I have some matawa to play with. I was going to dye some for my own mittens. It looked like a ton of fun!

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