My knitting hasn't seen much progress this week but I have exciting news. I bought a spinning wheel!
Once I thought I'd never spin fiber into yarn. I thought I didn't need another hobby with another set of supplies. However I admired the handspun yarn made by Kat, Sarah, and Eileen and followed spinning conversations in podcasts. Then the Covid Pandemic kept us close to home. One day when I couldn't plan trips to see my kids, I searched the internet for how-to videos on spindle spinning. I ordered a turkish spindle and BFL fiber from Webs and made some very clunky yarn that looked like rope. I ordered a book about spindle spinning. I discovered fine craftsmanship in handmade spindles.
I enjoyed spinning singles but struggled with plying. Spindle plying has more than one drawback, not the least is that it takes an extraordinary amount of time to prep the singles. Keeping them from tangling while plying is hard. When you set a spindle in motion and release it, it gradually slows so spinning yarn with consistent twist is another challenge.
I started reading about spinning wheels but wondered if I was too old to invest in a wheel. I'm seventy years old and realistically how much time do I left? Then my daughter quietly suggested, "I'd say your time is valuable." She is very wise. Well yes, I am seventy and that is exactly why I should not be spending hours winding plying balls. (I can rationalize with the best.) I have always held that my time is valuable so I'm not sure why I didn't apply that to spinning. My shoulder joint is also worth preserving.
This spring and summer I took two lessons, read about wheels, and tried wheels by several different makers. Two weeks ago, my husband and I drove to Lawrence, Kansas and The Yarn Barn. I was in that shop during my graduate school days (1976 - 1977) in KU so it was rather fitting to return. They carry all kinds of wheels and willingly spent a good amount of time with me. I settled on a Lendstrom Double Treadle Wheel. We bought it late in the afternoon. She's a beauty.
I spun one batch of fiber on the wheel and threw it away. I know they say to keep it as a record but I have my first wheel spun yarn from earlier in the summer. Sunday I started on a commercial braid I bought in Lawrence. I'm working on the first bobbin and it's going well. I still enjoy spinning a single with a spindle but the ease of a wheel is wonderful.
I wanted to share my news, so even though this isn't my usual post, I'm linking with Kat and crew. As far as reading, we listened to the abridged version of Hamilton by Ron Chernow both on the Minnesota road trip and the much shorter drive to Lawrence. I rarely choose an abridged version but this one was thirteen hours instead of thirty. It was enough time to get the gist of Chernow's biography. It's interesting to me, that today's political issues are similar to those during Hamilton's life. Perhaps the biggest difference is the men in power aren't settling grudges with duels. The biography is well researched and reflects a traditional historical view of the time of Hamilton's life.
Take care. Keep cool and enjoy the making and reading. In case you need a reminder, your time is valuable.