Monday, August 28, 2006

Giving up already?

Not quite yet...I'm speaking of course about the spindling. So far I've tried it three times, devoting about 4 or 5 hours of practice over three nights. My first attempt went fairly well and despite a lot of 'first-try' mistakes I was pleased with the almost immediate results. I was actually able to spin some yarn...lumpy and uneven yarn, but near the end there appeared to be hope. The second try (see pic) was more of the same except for the last 5 to 10 minutes when things seemed like they were starting to click...the drafting was feeling smooth and natural and the single I was working on looked pretty uniform. This had me excited for the third session which I was sure would go as well or even better, but didn't. In fact that only lasted about 15 minutes before I got too frustrated. It was like everything that had started to come together at the end of the second session was nowhere to be found for the third. At that point I decided to lay it all aside and work on some knitting instead. So I think it's time for me to seek some outside help! I was in touch with Cityside Yarn and they gave me the number of a local woman who gives lessons in spinning on a drop spindle. I'll give her a call soon and see if I can set something up. Until then I'm just going to concentrate on the knitting.

In fact that leads me to my plans for Labor Day. My big goal is to finish the bear skin rug. I've been dragging this project out forever and it's time for some closure. I'll have three days to do it which is much more than enough. And if I have some extra time, I'd also like to finish the last clog. That would then allow me to pick up the yarn I got a while ago and start the lace shawl! But I'm getting ahead of myself... if nothing else, I will finish the rug... I will finish the rug... I will finish the rug...

So Ruth-Anne has left me. Some of you may recognize that name as one belonging to my co-worker, friend and knitting accomplice. She has always said that after both of her kids were graduated from high school she'd do something for herself. And that apparently has to involve her moving to Colorado! Not that I blame her. She has the freedom to make the move and the help of a friend who already lives there. He's even invited her to stay with him while she settles in and and looks for work. Hell, I'd do the same thing if I were single and in her situation. Though I'll really miss her, I know that she's going to have a great time out there. And of course we'll keep in touch. After all she did promise to buy me stuff at Lush and mail it to me to save on their own super high shipping costs!

LISTENING TO: GENE LOVES JEZEBEL - "Immigrant" This is GLJ's second album which was in my opinion largely underrated. Granted, it was hard to top "Promise" but there were plenty of great songs here..."Stephen," "Shame," and "The Rhino Plasty" are all GLJ classics. If only the brothers Aston could have kept the momentum going and the group together!

10 comments:

kitkatknit said...

I seem to give up on spindling at least 2 to 3 times per month. Just hasn't clicked yet for me either. sigh

Paul said...

Good luck with the bear rug! And good luck to Ruth-Ann! What a wonderful, ballsy thing to do, and how terrific that she has a friend who will help her with her new adventure!

Sean said...

When I was taking a spinning class a couple months ago, I found using the drop spindle really frustrating at first. Once we moved to the spinning wheel, and I got better at drafting, I found going back to the spindle much easier. Do you know anyone who could loan you a wheel for a couple days? That might get you over the hump.

Are you planning to ply using the spindle? Now that looks challenging!

Matt said...

I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who "schedules" his knitting time. today was filled with "what am I going to knit this weekend" thoughts.

micah said...

Man. I don't know. If you want, I don't have much, but I could send you some yarn. It'll be OK man. Sometimes you just need to knit. ...I'm not sure about you guys scheduling it though, I get-it on the bus twice a day and sometimes at bed-time! I've got a routine!

Mel said...

Don't give up after your third try. At this stage of the game, you should be more process-oriented than outcome-oriented, anyway. It's just like any other skill - natural ability will only get you so far and eventually it comes down to practice. You know, at least, that you CAN do it. That means that at some point you're bound to be able to do it consistently.

Ruth said...

If in doubt get outside help. Why struggle to reinvent it when someone can show you how in 1 (or 5)easy steps. Hope the bearskin rug gets finished.

Sean said...

Ken, it's looking AWESOME! Just imagine the frustration you're feeling only with a very good teacher standing by you the whole time for hours on end and you still don't get it. That was me, so I am envious! I've read that 15-minute increments are best for learning to spindle... I haven't been able to limit myself though, but that's what they say, and if it makes you feel better, I too will go back to it after a productive and smooth spindling session the day before only to find I can't manage to join... for like 7 times, making the term drop spindle appropos... it just takes time, but you're doing great!!! i'm excited for you!!!

There's a couple of pointer videos here that I find really helpful in the middle of the night. ;) The big key for me was really focusing on pre-drafting and I have a tendency to clutch the fibers too tightly. Spinning from the fold was a trick Mike shared in 201 that was REALLY helpful. There's a good instructional at grafton fibers and some other great spindling tips too. I just recently discovered trying to relax a bit while spindling and go slowwwwww and it was marvelous.

Ok, I'm babbling. Do keep it up and be proud of what you've accomplished already! Remember, as the wise Mike told our class, you are training tiny little muscles in your hands to do things they haven't ever done, so that in itself is an obstacle. Practice is key, truly. Enjoy it!!! :)

Sean said...

hey ken! i knew all along you wouldn't be giving it up. too late for that, you've been reeled in already. ;) spinning seems to be the roach motel of fiber arts. (giggle) mike gave us an official warning of the effects it would have on our wallets, personal relationships, knitting time, etc., and I failed to do that for you, please forgive me. teehee. such fun though!

As for the tag, as far as I know you are correct... that is what I did anyway, I *think* it's right. :)

p.s. i preordered a wheel! SQUEEEE!

Jason said...

Wow! Your singles are looking great! Don't give up and don't rush yourself. It will become easier. And don't compare your yarn with commercial stuff!!!

Do you have a local spinning guild? My learning sped up after I made connections with other spinners. :-)