Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Of all the hobbies and crafts I enjoy, spinning fiber is probably my favorite. There's something so relaxing and ethereal about the feel of natural fibers against the skin. My favorite is mohair with its soft silky texture. Alpaca and merino wool are also favorites, but not as soft. In working with fibers, a spinning wheel is commonly used. I found out about this craft while visiting a Fiber festival. I had been wanting to buy some hand dyed artisan yarns, and knew this would be the place for good selection. There were a myriad of booths and demos, and I became fascinated with how they turned wool rovings into beautiful yarn. At once I also realized I too could spin my own yarn with the simple use of a drop spindle. It took some practice, but once I learned, I had so much fun! My drop spindles were cheap too, under $15, so for me, that was the way to go. Of course, I long for a spinning wheel, but at around $500, I think I'll wait and save my pennies until I can afford it.
Now, with spinning comes the need for other items, such as a niddy noddy. Although the name sounds strange and rather comical, it is simply a frame you need for placing your yarn from the the spinning wheel or the drop spindle. It forms the initial skein, after which you can wash and prep your raw yarn. Another item you might find useful is a swift which is used for winding your finished yarn into a skein. Of course, it is also expensive, so instead I use an empty paper towel roll, and proceed to wind my yarn into a nicely shaped ball. You could also use a nostepinne but to me they are still rather costly. The paper towel roll works just fine, you just have to rotate your wrist whilst winding. Spinning, as Ms. Martha says, "It's a good thing!"