Blog, Current Projects, Daily Life, Spinning

So.. I have a spindle and fiber.. How do you actually SPIN yarn?

There’s plenty of things in life that we know what they should look like in process, but just can’t quite execute ourselves. Have you ever tried to cut your own hair like the hairdresser when you were a kid? Exactly. You know what it looks like to get your hair cut, but you can’t do it.  Spinning isn’t like that. North American culture (for the most part) doesn’t use spinning, or even know about it beyond sleeping beauty pricking her finger – and even that’s on a wheel, not a drop spindle!

I got a comment on this post I wrote about making my own drop spindle, which for some reason didn’t show up on the site, so i’m not able to respond to it there. I’m sorry Katie, whoever you are, I hope you see this post!

-Katie asked: What did you do after you made it?  I mean to spin it and all.  I have never attempted this or even thought I could do it.

-Answer: I’m a super beginner when it comes to drop spindling, so I can’t necessarily tell you how i’ve perfected my technique, what to do, what not to do, all that. BUT! I can show you where i’m learning from!

The internet is fantastic, and i’ve found a number of excellent spinning videos, and i’d like to share a couple of them with you (and what i’ve learned from them).

Absolute favorite tutorial: Abby Franquemont, hands down. This video will help you with drafting, basic spinning, and understanding what in the world people are talking about in other videos when they explain spinning.

You have to be able to draft the fiber before you spin it

The Paradise Fibers Intro Tutorial – I really like this one for its details, and not making you feel silly!

Megan La Core – She also has an entire series on spinning

This isn’t so much a tutorial, as a fascinating video of a very experienced Navajo spinner/weaver. I find it extremely helpful to watch

people who are skilled at what i’m trying to learn, and to listen to their advice, because it stays in my head when i’m attempting to spin.

 

So here’s what i’ve learned so far:

-Spinning (at least the basics) isn’t the difficult part – consistent drafting is.

-Consistency takes practice – your first spinning isn’t actually going to come out looking like machine spun yarn.. because it’s not machine spun. Did you miss what my spinning looks like right now?

Image It looks like twisty wool. (I’ll post better pictures soon. Promise.)

-Watching experienced spinners (even when they’re not doing tutorials) is an awesome way to learn what spinning should look like.

 

Katie, I hope this helps, and that you saw this!

 

Anyone else have good spinning tips? Like I said, i’m still a super beginner! I can use all the help I can get!!

 

 

 

Daily Life, Designing, HPKCHC, Spinning

In Which Ruth’s Fiber Addiction Reaches the Next Level!

It’s finally happened!

I knew the day would come…

I can finally spin my own yarn!! {because I made my own spindle!! you can too – keep reading!}

 

I’ve dabbled in spinning before, but without having done much research and, it seems, without having a decent spindle, most of what I produced was super super super bulky weight yarn, which doesn’t do anyone much good.

I know i’ve mentioned before that I participate in something on Ravelry called (don’t judge my nerdiness) Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup (henceforth referred to as HPKCHC). I love this group because i’m forever learning new crafting techniques and being challenged to try new ideas! This month, the Room of Requirement challenge is to make your own spindle! There were a couple tutorials but, being me, I wanted to figure it out on my own.

I went digging through my craft drawer and found the following:

A dowel (don’t ask me the size, I don’t know), and a wooden wheel of some kind

Spindle and Wheel

So My first problem is that the hole in the wheel wasn’t big enough. Thankfully, I have a lovely husband who knows how to use power tools, loves to help me make things, and fully supports my fiber related endeavors!

First we matched the drill bit size to the size of the dowel:

Matching Sizes  Matching Sizes 2

 

Next, I got to play with the power tools and drill a hole in the wheel

Drilling Hole Making Ruth's Spindle 011 Making Ruth's Spindle 012

 

 

Clint had to help me put the wheel on the spindle, because it was a super close fit and I didn’t want to use any wood glue to keep the pieces attached:

Making Ruth's Spindle 013

 

Since I didn’t have a hook to put at the top like normal people have, we used a screw.

Clint says to tell you that if you’re going to do this, you must drill a hole in the dowel first, or else you could crack the wood. I’m also supposed to tell you to use a small-ish bit, because you still want the screw threads to catch the wood, not just be all loose and rattly in the top hole.

Making Ruth's Spindle 016 Making Ruth's Spindle 018

 

Making Ruth's Spindle 019 Making Ruth's Spindle 022

 

I left the screw a pretty good bit out of the dowel, and Clint cut a notch in the side of the screw for me.

I tried to use just the screw to secure the fiber (silly me!) but alas.. it didn’t work. The notch in the screw works REALLY well, though!

Want to see what happened when I started spinning?!

Making Ruth's Spindle 024

BAM! I’m so pleased!

Better pictures will come soon, but I just couldn’t wait to share this!!

 

Have you ever made a spindle? What materials did you use, and how did it work out?

 

Crochet, Current Projects, Reviews

Chevron Phone Case- Pattern Review and Adaptations

One of my favorite things about knitting and crocheting is that there’s an abundance of things you can make with just one pattern. For example, the Chevron Cuff  by Tamara Kelly from Mooglyblog.com. This is an awesome pattern for a cuff bracelet, but as I was looking for a phone case pattern, I decided to make it into one because I love the chevrons so much!

SSW1

Here’s what I did-

Using Lily Sugar’n Cream and a D hook (4.25mm), I followed the pattern exactly until except for these mods:

  • . How To 1On the last white stripe: on the first row, instead of doing the 3 sc in the middle st, chained 3, skipped the stitch you would normally work the 3sc in, and then continued on as normal
  •   How To 2NEXT ROW when I got to the ch 3 spot, I worked 5 sc in it, then kept going as per pattern.
  • I then worked a slip stitch border around the entire piece in blue How To 3
  • When I got to the end of the round, instead of doing a slip stitch join, I did an invisible join as per Moogly teachings and DID NOT FINISH OFF, but rather cut the yarn with a long enough tail that I could sew up one side of the case How To 4
  • I then folded the piece, right sides together, until the bottom two points just reached the lowest points of the last blue stripe How To 5
  • Sewed up both sides. If you are going to do this, always turn your work right side out and make sure your seam looks good before you cut your yarn and weave in the ends! There’s nothing uglier than a sloppy whipstitch seam!
  • Sew in ends, turn right side out, add button to appropriate spot, viola! Phone case!

This fits my HTC Inspire very snuggly, and my brother-in-law’s iPhone 4s loosely- Check it out:

SSW5 SSW4

Overall pattern rating: 5/5

Changes I would make: none! I loved this!

Recommended? Absolutely! This is a very easy pattern (the Moogly one, not just my adaptation), and it’s a great way to get into making chevrons. This is essentially a chevron swatch!

Thank you again to Tamara for an awesome pattern!

This phone case is also for sale here, at my Etsy store!