Saturday, September 15, 2007

WSWF, part 2

Dear Alene, hope you've had a good week. We have been slowly settling into the back to school groove with the distractions of harvest time: 1st frost last night, goodbye mosquitoes, 80's in a few days :o

Last Saturday I took a 6-hour class called Spinning For Mittens taught by Carol Rhoades (you may have seen her stuff in Spin-Off). It was a great class. My Louet (the solid disk of wood behind the orange chair at left) and I and about 11 other students covered a lot of interesting material. I was accustomed to spinning with a short backward draw almost always. Carol got us started on spinning woolen (with a long draw) and wow, was that fun. I need to practice of course, but that'll be fun too because she also taught us how to use handcards with a light touch to get lovely lofty rolags and lofty yarn too!

After lunch we briefly covered spinning worsted (most of us had previously been doing that) and then spent some time experimenting with different wools and fibers (camel, silk, etc.) to see which properties of a mitten we could achieve (softness, durability, etc). We also learned about spinning yarn of different thicknesses; all of this I can apply beyond mittens as you can see.

One thing I was delighted to discover was that my Louet has a bigger range of capability than I had anticipated. I could spin quite thin, my typical medium, and wonderfully thick by adjusting my spinning technique and my wheel. You can see some of Carol's example mittens and fingerless mitts at the top of the post. Hand warmers of all types will be good small projects to play with, since I love them anyway, and hats too. Someday perhaps (gulp) a whole sweater of handspun.

I had read online that Louet bobbins fit in Schacht's tensioned lazy kate and confirmed this on a classmate's equipment. More recently I saw in the plying article in the Fall knitty that there's a cheap way to make one myself and I think I have most of the parts already. This is good, more $ saved to spend later on fiber :D Have you seen the fall Knitty yet? What's your fave thing? Cindy

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