Monday, March 24, 2008

A NEW HOBBY hehehe

I have decided that the fiber arts are fabulous! So naturally I've been researching all things crafty that you can do with fibers of all sorts. I love yarn, and become mesmerized when I see beautifully dyed yarn especially if it looks soft and shiny. So I figured making my own yarn would be so cool! I was right! My spinning all began very innocently with some reading, and more reading online. Then I figured I could probably do it after reading so much about it for months! So I ordered some wool, and headed to the craft store to pick up some supplies to make my own home made drop spindle. I then started playing with the wool and spindle. It was fun, but I wasn't real good at keeping the spindle spinning while drifting out my wool. So I hatched a plan to get a spinning wheel because it seemed to be right up my alley. Then disappointment set in as I realized that spinning wheels cost a bit more than 5 bucks! Okay, a LOT more than that! Luckily I knew where to ask (craftster has a great fiber arts forum)! I discovered a place that makes spinning wheels out of PVC pipe and a wheelchair wheel. As much as I love asking my hubby to make things for me that neither of us knows how to make I really had no idea how this thing should work when it finally is done. So how would I know if there was a problem or how to fix it? Yeah I wouldn't. So I somehow talked him into letting me buy something I had no idea how to use! LOL!! Isn't that nuts!? But my hubby is a really nice guy, and he likes to keep me happy, and he knew that I'd figure out how to use it. After all I learned how to knit and spin and make a spindle online, why not figure out how to spin there too? So I ordered this wheel that I'd heard great things about and the agony began. I thought I was going to die before it arrived. Luckily I survived though. And I LOVE it! It's just sooooo cool! Watching the fiber be spun into yarn is almost hypnotic. Plus now I get to play with all these great fibers! I also ordered a variety of fibers to spin on my new wheel (alpaca, angora, Bamboo, cashmere, mohair, nylon, firestar, silk, soysilk, and wool), and if you have all this fiber you gotta have something to blend it with right? Of corse you do! So, I ordered a drum carder too! HEHEHE and hubby put up with all of this so well! Though in my defence I researched all of it for months and stuck to a budgeted amount before ordering anything so there! hehehe

So I bet that a lot of you are wondering what on earth a PVC spinning wheel looks like huh? Well it looks just like any other spinning wheel only it's made of PVC hehe. Oh yeah and I have a pic to share too. It's more like a modern wheel, and no it doesn't look like the one that Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on, though the 2 do the same thing.

Anyway, here's my wheel. Isn't it cool?

OH and if you're wondering what on earth a drum carder is. Well, it's a dangerous tool if you don't know how to use it right. It's used to combine fibers, or align fibers so that they're ready for spinning. They're also more than $5! Darn it! I ordered mine from and it came with 8oz of "free" silk (as in it wasn't extra, but I had to plunk down the $$ for the carder to get it, is that really free?? hehe). Oh silk is soooooooooo soft! I'm gonna have fun spinning it! So here's a picture of my Strauch "Petite" (it's not small) Drum carder.

Anyway, I ordered a kit rather than a pre-assembled drum carder. It saved me $15 and I got to learn how it was put together. That's how I know it can be dangerous! I was moving it, and poked my thumb on it, and made it bleed! See!

So a word to the wise, DON'T touch the spikes on your drum carder and you'll get along better with it!

So of course having these new toys gives good reason to USE them right!? So here are my latest projects.
This one is my first hand spun yarn.

Here's a picture of the first fibers I carded together, pulled into roving, and dyed. It's 25% nylon 75% wool. I'm hoping to spin it into sock yarn one day. Though I think I'd like a little more practice to get more even yarn first.

And this one is a 2oz batt of wool/silk that I carded together. It's about 1/3 silk 2/3 wool. The silk makes it shiny. I'm going to dye this one, but I'm not sure what colors yet, and I'm not sure what weight it'll be when spun. I'm waiting for it to tell me what it wants to be. Right now it's happy being a beautiful cloud of fiber.

Be sure to check back later. I've dyed up the handspun yarn, and I'm working on a hand knit headband (too bad it's getting warmer huh? did I just say that?! I hate the cold! But you don't wanna go running around in a wool headband in the middle of summer. oh well, one thing's for sure, winter always comes again around here!). Hopefully it'll be done soon! I can't wait to see it when it's done!
Have a great day!


annamhudson said...

OMGosh! You are the queen of pvc pipes!! I totally want to learn tot spin too! That has been on my list of things to learn! And I also want to make a pvc quilter like yours too! Any help would be great!! my email is annamhudson at yahoo dot com!

Amelia, belle of The Bellwether said...

The roving and batts both look terrific -- looks like you've jumped in the spinning pond with both feet!