I barely know where to begin talking about our Florida trip. The days just flew by; I’m still trying to sort it out in my brain 😛
But the first – most exciting – thing I JUST COULDN’T WAIT to share, is this:
I’m no longer just a knitter.
Or a knitter-crocheter-crossstitcher-quilter-sewer-whateverer.
I’m now also a (currently very bad) spinner.
Me. Spinning. With a drop spindle and fiber. And making yarn (sort of). And having a heckuva good time doing it.
It’s all Diana‘s fault, you see. We met up in Sarasota on rainydrizzlychilly Friday, for thrifting and yarn shopping. I can’t speak for her, but *I* had a fantastic time getting to chat with her, chat about lives and jobs and significant others, make fun of polyester pantsuits, learn about her amazing thrifting skills (I felt like I should be taking notes!), and just have an all-around great time. She’s every bit as sweet and funny and awesome in person as she is on her blog; it was really wonderful getting to meet a blogfriend in person 🙂 (If you want to see my thrifting finds, click on over to Two Closets. Diana’s take is on her posts here, and here.)
Diana gifted me with a *gorgeous* skein of her handspun:
(pictured with one of her Moo cards – so cool! I may need to order some for my blog(s) :-))
After I got done jabbering thanks and drooling over the yarn, I almost cried. She made this! For me! Do you have ANY idea how much work goes into that? A whole skein! Of yarn! Handmade! For me! It’s so pretty I can’t stand it. It’s going to have to live with that tussah silk on my nightstand for a while, methinks. And I will fall asleep at night with one in each hand. And it will be good.
So it should come as no surprise that when we stepped into Picasso’s Moon, I was quickly overcome by yarn and fiber fumes. I mean, could you resist?
And with encouragement from my shopping partner and Debra (ooh I hope I remembered her name right) at the yarn store, I soon found myself in possession of 4 oz of BFL merino and a simple little drop spindle. I’m still not sure how it happened.
(see the sparkles? 😀 I figured that I should start out with something really pretty and soft and nice, so I’ll be more inclined to stick with it :-))
After leaving the shop, we raced through the pouring rain (stupid me, leaving my umbrella in the car) back to Starbucks where Jeff was studying and waiting while we gallavanted. And there commenced an impromptu spinning lesson:
Nothing like a spinning lesson at the front of a Starbucks in an unknown city while you’re soaking wet; that’s what I always say.
And WHOA, Diana is a good spinner. She makes it look SO easy. Flick, pinch, pull. Flick, pinch, pull.
In no time at all (or, like, 15 minutes) I’d made yarn!
(WOW do I ever look psychotic and bedraggled, or what?)
See that huge bumpy bit? I made that! And everything from the bumpy bit on up. The nice even stuff at the bottom was *not* me. Ahem. 😀
I kept at it, with Diana giving me pointers and reassurance and just being an all-around awesome and supportive teacher:
At the end of the lesson, I’d completed a couple-few yards of REAL (real bad) YARN! Can you believe it? I can’t!
I had such a fantastic time getting to meet Diana, hang out with her for a few hours, and get her help starting on a new crafting endeavor!
Thank you, Diana, for a fun afternoon in Sarasota! I’d love to do it again next time I’m down there 🙂
Of course, I didn’t stop spinning after the lesson. Quite the opposite – it occupied a good portion of my free time for the next two days. And Jeff’s free time was occupied by me saying “Jeff! Jeff! Look at this piece! Will you take a picture?”
I spun at my in-laws’ house that night:
Look, Ma! Real yarn!
My pretty little spindle. Diana said it was good for a beginner because it’s really light:
Look at this piece! See how nice and even it is?
I Now I just need to figure out how to do that all the time.
Another good piece!
I like the stripyness 🙂
I don’t know when I should consider the bobbin “full”, so I decided this is it:
Look again, Ma! More real yarn!
After I transferred the contents of that spindle to a toilet paper tube, I started over again. Here’s the first row:
Not completely horrible, is it?
I love spinning. It’s my new favorite. Because now I can MAKE stuff to KNIT! WOW. Crazy. Crazy AWESOME.
My next goal (after I use up this pink stuff on just practice) is to figure out how to spin without grabbing the spindle between my knees with each bit. I have some pencil roving that I got for free ages ago (or at least…I *think* I still have it. May have donated it…) that will be ideal for the purpose – I can just do the pinch and flick parts and not the pull part.
Then I want to learn how to control tension or thickness or whatever, so that the yarn is all one width (or at least, moreso than it is currently).
Then I want to make a niddy-noddy (here are some good instructions I found) so I can prepare the just-spun yarn and actually knit with it (will be a brainsplosion!).
But first, I’m going to buy a book on spinning, so I can learn the “whys” and more of the “hows”. Any recommendations?
I feel like a new world of fiber love is open to me! I love yarn. Everything about it.
PS>THANK YOU DIANA.