I’m always swamped by creative ideas in the winter! In the lead up to Christmas, I’m inspired by the opportunity to make handmade gifts of all sorts. And I’m filled with the desire to get new things started as I think forward to the coming new year.
My latest obsession is a desire to get back to spinning. When I first embarked upon my fibre obsession, back in 2008, I learned how to spin using a drop spindle, and then on my mom’s old Ashford, and made a few pretty yarns. Since then I’ve felt that spinning was too impractical, time consuming, and took to much time away from the knitting and designing side of things, so I’d laid it aside.
But for some unknown reason, this strange need to spin has bubbled back up, and the desire simply wouldn’t be quieted, despite my logical self still having the same reservations! I think my closet dream the truth is that I really want to spin myself enough yarn to knit myself a sweater.
So what did I do? I ordered ALL the fibres from John Arbon. Then every day that passed, I woke up and wondered… when will my lovely box of fibre arrive? I started researching second-hand spinning wheels on Ebay. I started thinking about ideal designs for handspun. I essentially danced around the house in a state of anxious excited energy!
Then, not very much longer, the fuzzy stuff arrived!
I told my hubby John I needed to go out for milk (so could he please bathe and bedtime the babies), then I ran out of the house, and walked around the block a couple of times while googling how to make a DIY spindle. It was 7pm, and I simply could not wait till the next day, when I could buy a spindle at my LYS. I got home, cleverly having wasted enough time that I had only to kiss the little darlings and shut their door, and then I ransacked the house for suitable supplies. 20 minutes later I was spindling (albeit on a less-than-ideal tool!).
30 minutes after that I had fully remembered why I thought spindle spinning entirely impractical… and had cast on a … something. I thought perhaps a baby hat, since there were 60 sts on the needle. But then the tube got longer and longer, and I decided that in fact it was going to be a Christmas stocking! No pattern, I just sort of winged it.
So as much as I don’t love spindling (well, I do, but I feel it’s just too slow for my needs), I remembered how much I DO love spinning. So I’ve now ordered an Electric Eel Wheel… but I have to wait till May for it to ship! So anybody in the UK with a second-hand wheel they’d like to lend or sell me at an affordable price for the interminable interim period?! I’m serious! Email me – firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s something really special about handspun, and about knitting with handspun… I think it adds another layer of excitement into knitting, above and beyond the adoration I have for the sport at present!
Are you a spinner? Do you have any tips for great fibre dyers that I should order from in the UK?
I did a little search of the Ravelry archives for Tin Can Knits designs knit up in handspun, and some of the results are below… Very Very pretty stuff!
TCK patterns to make your handspun yarn shine: