[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?


This post has been made public so you can link your pals.

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 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 ;)


Jennifer Copeland

March 2005

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