For somebody that watches waaaay too much tv, I actually prefer turning on the radio or listening to music when I spin. Which isn't to say I haven't watched a movie at the same time... that's just usually my knittin' time! I like to listen to NPR/MPR mostly, in fact, I was spinning when our local interstate hiway bridge fell, last week.....I can sit and spin to Marketplace, ATC or sometimes there are good operas on the classical station, on Saturdays. I also like the local college /volunteer radio shows, on the weekends- ska or country music, anyone?
I heartily second the Alden Amos book- tons of information that I didn't even think of as a new spinner, and it is wicked funny, in some respects. : ) I guess I knew spinners have a sense of humor, but it's always good to be reminded of that fact if you're concentrating really hard on getting everything just "perfect".
I have been watching this space, a little bit lately, since I don't nearly get enough crafty-group time so I'm racking my brain trying to think of a good spot to meet! : ) There are tons of good coffee shops but when it gets cold the space needed for crafting may be at a premium. Have you thought about a more "open " indoor space such as the Midtown Global Market? There are tons of little shops but maybe it's possible to corral an open space for a meeting.(There's big chunks of space in between the market stalls, and lots of tables and chairs.) Cons: parking, and also there's not a lot going on after 8 pm(no late night stuff).But I know there has been an interest in making the market area more interactive, and less food-court like. I am also a little bit biased, I live close enough to bike there most days- many groups I would love to be a part of, but I would need to car pool with someone. My only other suggestion would be the Seward Pizza Luce- but that would totally be dependent on time of day,and if you like pizza!Well, anyway, much luck and I'll continue to lurk.
I just bought an Ashford Traditional-(maybe 3 months ago?) I really like it, considering I'm sort of a self taught newbie of a spinner...the real reason I bought this wheel is because you're supposed to be able to modify the parts as you go along.(I'd like to work up to laceweight yarn). It isn't exactly cheap as an item, but I like the idea of it being convertible. There are still things I am figuring out but I must say that I don't believe a single treadle is as formidable as I'd imagined....I also liked that it was easy to put together(I got a kit)and for me that is saying something.I am a lefty, too, and I was worried that this would be a big deal- no worries! I do wish that the bobbins were bigger sometimes though.(I'd like to do beaucoup yardage.)Sometimes I think about getting a portable wheel like a Hitchhiker but I don't know that I'd have the time and space to spin, on traveling.
Definitely keep your first attempts at spinning- it may not be what you're wanting to do artistically at first but you'll never duplicate it... I am all for knitting a hat out of the yardage you've made, it's easy,doesn't take much yarn, and you can make it any way that you like. If you're experimenting and learning what the fibers will do,a hat is the perfect test pattern because you can do lots of different patterns or designs without using more than a bobbin's worth of wool.I have been practicing Navajo plying and using the resulting yarns to make hats and see what the yarn will do-or not do .Also, I did this with my first attempts at spinning on a spindle, and the results were pretty good- even if it's not your own style, maybe a friend or relative will like it? I gave mine to my Mother, thinking that even if she doesn't favor wearing the hat, she will keep it for posterity at least...
Yes, totally terrific spinning,recyclemicol, and congrats, raynbow,nice blue ribbon! Let us know how the state fair goes if you enter your stuff!! I am drooling over your last Friday's pictures and it's Tuesday already.this is very inspiring. : )
I am kind of experimenting with yarn blocking,myself- I like a lot of twist and thin yarn singles but then I have been wetting the singles down and drying them on a chair-back so they're "straight". I don't mind that the fibers don't have a lot of bounce in them but they do curl up a bit in the skein(it looks like a big loopy 'twist").However, when I knit stuff up or ply it,I get a lot more elasticity. I thought that this is because the fibers can bulk up a bit after washing, according to what kind you're using, so maybe blocking or washing won't make the yarn as flat as you'd think.
I am still sort of mystified with the spinning-balance part, though- I am getting pretty good singles out of the largest whorl(and obviously this is the speed I've practiced the most on)but using a faster ratio/smaller whorl is still frustrating- I get hyper-twisty yarn this way so I was wondering if more predrafting may be the ticket?
ps- I will have to try the "towel-snap"method for de-energizing singles soon- I am still trying to get over how durable wool is!
Ah. Okay. I am trying to practice myself into about sock weight/ fingering since I like to use the yarn for lacy projects, but I also don't have a lace flyer kit or anything....Now i can't wait until I get my 2lbs. of fiber goodies! : )
Okay, all, this probably gets asked a lot but how much yarn do you usually get out of, say, a pound of wool, on average? I know this isn't a cut and dried answer since everyone spins differently and they use different fibers/weights. I was curious since I just ordered a couple of pounds of merino and I'm guessing/ hoping each pound will make a LOT of lighter weight yarn....though I don't know yet, it is shorter fiber than I'm used to.I also think it's a good idea to do research on this so I can better order by the ounce, if I have to. What's your personal best?