04 January 2012
Knitting and spinning goals for 2012, part 1
My main goal for 2012 is to learn how to spin better. I only took up spinning partway through last year, just before the Tour de France so I was able to participate in the Tour de Fleece organised through Ravelry. Luckily I had done some spindle spinning many many years ago, so I didn't seem to go through the 'lumpy art yarn' stage that many people experience. However, although I love spindles, I find them a bit slow to use and I never found the spinning process very relaxing. (I know, I just need to practice more...)
Luckily, I had a friend with a wheel she wasn't using, and she was happy to lend it to me to try out. It was a Tarra, made in Victoria, single treadle, double drive:
But I really wanted a wheel of my very own. I looked at pictures and prices and reviews, and finally decided on a Schacht Ladybug. I was lucky enough to be able to try one out, put in my order immediately, and a week or so before Christmas a big box arrived via courier!
Although I haven't had a great deal of time between then and now to spin, I have managed to do one bump of singles. The choice of which fibre to use to christen my wheel was hard - it had to be something that was fairly easy to spin, something that I liked but that I wouldn't be devastated if it didn't turn out exactly how I planned. I settled on some Icelandic fleece dyed by the lovely Charly, aka Ixchelbunny. I love spinning long wool, and I made a real effort not to over-spin and to try and get some consistency in both thickness and twist. The results so far:
I still haven't really noticed the difference in feel between ST and DD (I've been using ST), but I'm sure I will as I spin more different types of yarns. I want to really work out the look and feel of yarns with different amount of twist, and try to quantify this in terms of the ratio and pedalling speed. A long-term goal I think, but I will work on it slowly.
My next goal, left over from last year, is to knit more socks. I love knitting socks, there are so many beautiful patterns out there. I wanted to knit lots of socks last year but I got somewhat distracted by other things. I have, however, started 2012 with some socks:
Jeannie's Magic Mirror socks, my first socks knit with hand-spun yarn. The yarn is made from BFL from Moseley Park, actually the first yarn I spun after the anonymous fluff that came with my first spindle. Luckily, even though I didn't really know what I was doing in terms of dividing up the fibre for spinning or plying, the colour gradient seems to have turned out well so far.
I have quite a few single bumps of fibre, which I can see destined for socks. As I spin, I'd like to experiment with different colour effects, always fun with small projects like socks if you don't mind different colours and stripes on the two socks.
I have a couple more goals for 2012, but I will save those for part 2.