[personal profile] habibekindheart
Do I only have one spinner on my friends list? I'd post this to the comm but I don't want to sound like a n00b...



Okay, so I'm looking into spinning fibers into yarns and threads. I'm actually getting ready to start trying...but I have a few questions.

First, what kind of fibers can I use for working on my skills? Can I use fiberfill? Cotton batting? Or do I have to go with 'natural' fibers? If so...where the f*ck do I get them? I haven't seen a single sheep around here, nor any alpaca or blah blah blah. I don't want to have to order online. What can I spin and where can I find it? For practice.

Secondly, what the hell? I see all this spun and dyed fiber and it looks like chunky umbilical cords. What would someone DO with yarn that fat? Why do people do that? It doesn't seem very useful to me. Why aren't they spinning something more useful? Then they dye it? What's the point? So they can show off colorful umbilical balls and say 'I made that!'? Am I just being too picky here? When I work with yarn or thread I expect an almost universal texture unless I'm going for a strange look...why would I make something that isn't uniform on purpose? Then DYE IT? I'm not seeing them make anything out of their umbilical balls. What are they doing with them?

Edit: I've now seen what they're doing with them and it has absolutely no appeal to me whatsoever. Perhaps I'm just not 'hip' enough. I just want to spin wool yarns for cloth diapers (that don't have to be 'hip') and mostly threads for embroidery purposes.

Okay, so once I find out where to get fiber to spin, I'm making a drop spindle and embarking on my new quest. I know that I should expect to make yarn first, but I'd like to get to thread at some point so that I can start making specialized embroidery flosses. Does ANYONE spin thread anymore, or is it all about chunky umbilical cords now?

Help?

This post has been made public so you can link your pals.
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Date: 2005-03-19 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mizzy.livejournal.com
I have a spinner on my list [livejournal.com profile] tigrrgrr she would love it if you asked her. She posts mostly all public, just send her a note on one of her etries and she would love to help you :)

Date: 2005-03-19 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] phaenix-ash.livejournal.com
omg. i so thought you meant something else by "spinner"...

Date: 2005-03-19 03:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] habibekindheart.livejournal.com
oh do tell...lol

Date: 2005-03-19 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bafleyanne.livejournal.com
My girlfriend <lj user="natalieann" is a spinner, too. You could make this post public and I could direct her to it. :)

Date: 2005-03-19 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] habibekindheart.livejournal.com
am I supposed to finish that sentence somehow? You people are posting some really cryptic answers...

Date: 2005-03-19 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cerulean-me.livejournal.com
I also thought that you meant something else... I thought that you were refering to a spinning class at a gym... it usually involves a cruel dominatrix with a whip... errr gym instructor with a sweat towel.

Date: 2005-03-19 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] habibekindheart.livejournal.com
OH, the lj code stuff and anything after it didn't come through, I'll check it for making it public :)

Date: 2005-03-19 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pushmearound.livejournal.com
I have a spinner that would love to talk about it as well. [livejournal.com profile] coyotemama.

Date: 2005-03-19 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bafleyanne.livejournal.com
yeah, I'm dumb and didn't close my tag. :) It was just her username, [livejournal.com profile] natalieann ;)

Date: 2005-03-19 03:07 pm (UTC)

Date: 2005-03-19 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] habibekindheart.livejournal.com
public now :)

Date: 2005-03-19 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] habibekindheart.livejournal.com
public post now, care to link her?

Date: 2005-03-19 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bafleyanne.livejournal.com
Oh, and what Natalie spins is very very fine stuff, so it's totally possible to spin thread.

Date: 2005-03-19 03:19 pm (UTC)
ext_26933: (la fileuse - the spinning girl)
From: [identity profile] apis-mellifera.livejournal.com
Depending on where you live, you may have no choice but to purchase your fibers online. There's nowhere near me that sells unspun fiber, so I get most of mine online.

When you start, you're probably going to get the bulky/chunky stuff. It takes practice. There are videos at http://www.icanspin.com and http://www.joyofhandspinning.com The lighter your spindle, the finer the thread you can spin. I have a teensy tiny toy wheel spindle that I can get thread as fine as one strand of embroidery floss on--when I ply it, it'll probably be around the size of #8 perle cotton, if not a bit finer.

Interweave puts out a spinning magazine quarterly, Spin-Off (http://www.interweave.com/spin/). They have a link to guilds across the US there, so that may be something you want to check out, too. Local people can let you know where to go locally to get fiber and provide you with hands-on help. It's definitely a learning process.

Finally, there's a pretty good community on LJ, [livejournal.com profile] spinningfiber, but I'll warn you that most of what gets posted, picture-wise, is the chunky umbilical cord type stuff (which I also have a dislike for; I am much more interested in making yarns to actually, you kow, make things from).

And I have a fiber arts blog: Bellwether (http://bellwether.eilatan.net/), if you want to see the sorts of yarns I've been making on drop spindles.

Hope this helps. :)

Date: 2005-03-19 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yummiesprite.livejournal.com
I'm a new spinner with several drop spindles and more wool than I know what to do with. We need to get together sometime. :)

Let me find my links for cheap wool, you pretty much have to order it off the internet round here,unless you can get to the fiber festivals. My source is $7/pound which is a whole lot of wool.

I'm still trying to get my yarn to look like actual yarn, not a chunky umbilical cord with a bit of yarn attached, LOL.

Date: 2005-03-19 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tigrrgrr.livejournal.com
Hiya New Spinner!!

We fiber people are nothing if not enabling. First I'd point you to a couple of communities that are GREAT! [livejournal.com profile] handspinning or [livejournal.com profile] spinningfiber

What can you use to spin? The possiblities are endless. You can buy rovings which is wool that is prepared and ready to spin, you can use the cotton from the inside of a medicine bottle, if you have some hand carders you can spin dog hair! The only limits are your imagination.

That said, I'd suggest starting with a wool roving. I'm assuming you don't have much in the way of supplies.

Where to find it. Well, online is certainly a good resource. I can't give you any recommendations for local places to go since you don't list your location. eBay is a good place to find rovings. As to a brick and motar store that I would suggest generically I'd say www.woodlandwoolworks.com, you could call up and talk to them and tell them you are a new spinner and I know for a fact they could recommend something to you.

I would also suggest that you check for a guild in your area. A starting point for locating one is at Interweave (http://interweave.com/spin/resources/spinning_guilds.asp), they are also the printer of a great magazine called Spin Off.

About the chunky yarns. Some people like them, some don't. I'm of the don't variety. I spin what I need. Just finished up 8 ounces of superwash merino for hubby's socks. Spun very fine.

As to the dying. You can dye before you spin or after. The results will vary greatly, but you are going to be learning all about drafting and I won't overload you on that right now.

There is a great yahoo group called Spindlers, mostly for people who use drop spindles but also wheel users on there. Drop spindles are too slow for me but they are a great way to start out. For one you can make a drop spindle from a cd and a dowel and find out if you even like spinning long before you look at purchasing a wheel.

Another hint for you. Remember that when you are spinning yarn you are essentially making thread. Your yarn has to be plyed so depending on how many plies you have (for sock I do a 3 ply) you need to spin that much smaller. Its much easier to think of not spinning yarn but spinning singles. You can certainly get down to spinning thread and if that is your ulitimate goal then you will be very happy with a spindle. MMMM...silk thread. There's a gal in one of the spinning communities I mentioned earlier that spins it and it is nummy to behold.

Please feel free to holler at me anytime. I'm not an expert but I do love spinning and I'm always happy to help bring a new spinner into the flock. *snicker*

Date: 2005-03-19 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tigrrgrr.livejournal.com
Doh! I should have thought to point her to icanspin!

Glad someone had their brain turned on today!!

Date: 2005-03-19 03:41 pm (UTC)
ext_26933: (Default)
From: [identity profile] apis-mellifera.livejournal.com
Well, mostly turned on. I think between us we got pretty much everything covered. :)

Date: 2005-03-19 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] custard-kisses.livejournal.com
If it's not against the postal laws or anything I can send you some raw sheep wool that our sheep have left attached to the fence...some of it's covered in daggs (sheep shit) but you could work that into the pattern ;-)

Date: 2005-03-19 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] habibekindheart.livejournal.com
lol email me and we can try to make plans to get together...you know...if we're not too busy being wives/moms/slaves ;)

Date: 2005-03-19 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] habibekindheart.livejournal.com
Thank you for your information! I'm a member of 2 spinning groups on LJ, but just now decided it's time to take the plunge. There's just so much to learn about preparation and spindle types, etc.

I did check out the sites you recommended and bookmarked them. I'm sure they'll be helpful to someone who self-teaches like I do.

LOVE your blog, fantastic work :)

Thank you so much for visiting and helping me out!

Date: 2005-03-19 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] habibekindheart.livejournal.com
Thank you for the info! I'm a member of the 2 groups you mentioned, which is what finally pushed me over the edge into trying it myself.

On the supply end, I have NONE. I'm not sure which type of spindle to even get at this point. At the moment, they look like sticks with a wheel on the top or on the bottom. Still researching it all, when I have the time with the littles around.

As for your hint, makes perfect sense. While I hadn't thought of it that way directly, it nailed what I was thinking subconsciously ;)

Now to make a spindle and crack open this bottle of fenugreek for the cotton ;)

Date: 2005-03-19 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] habibekindheart.livejournal.com
ROFL! You know...I might actually take you up on that. Think I could get it out? I get it out of cloth diapers...

Date: 2005-03-19 11:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyofthelog.livejournal.com
You probably want to start with some wool, probably Romney. I highly recommend Copper Moose.

Would comment more, but husband wants to go to sleep and I'm in the boonies of Tennessee on a 28.8k dialup connection... o_O

Date: 2005-03-20 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pushmearound.livejournal.com
Would you still like me to? I see you've gotten answers...I think ;)
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