Monday, October 10, 2016

Spinning again

The change of season always triggers a need to change artforms.  Or rather to add in seasonal ones to what is already happening in the studio. 

Spring into summer is about plein air drawing and painting, and papermaking. Fall is more about indoors and different textures. Winter might bring more book making.  Or possibly knitting my spun yarn.

So I decided to pick up my spindle again today and see if my shoulder and wrist are recovered enough to work with the spindle and the roving, and all the sustained and continuous movements they need.  And the other goal is to improve the fineness and consistency of my yarn, an ongoing push.



I found that I was able to spin for quite a while, see the output on the spindle, ready to be added to before moving it to the niddynoddy for twist setting.  I was so grateful that I was able to just do this without thinking about anything that might hurt, and think only about creating the yarn and improving my skills. And I see that my yarn is definitely improving over the last time I worked with it. But I stopped before overdoing it, thereby improving my skill in doing that, too.

Spinning is meditative and wonderful, grounds you in the universe as you create your spiral, the unit of the universe, in your hands. And it's a great antidote to anxious times, political and otherwise.

It's also great to wander about YouTube in search of videos about spinning using early spindles and other methods of working with roving other than tossing it over the back of your hand! Some wonderful yarn comes from extremely simple tools, such as a stone for a spindle.  But they rely on terrific skill in the spinner, far in the future for this one. 

And some videos show a spinner so skilled that you can't really see what she's doing, so it's good to see, but hard to learn from.  This is one time when a less skilled, but still good, spinner is the best teacher, at least on video where you can't get different views and ask questions in real time. When I did the residency last spring, one session I demonstrated spindle spinning, not too badly, and my consolation was that at least I knew more than my audience, who were thrilled and amazed to see how it happened.

I like to spin in a neutral color because I can go on to dye it later. Well, dyeing is really a spring and summer activity, but I expect I could do it with the dyes I have already in the freezer from last spring.

And here's where I ask blogistas who know about these things, what roving do you suggest I try next? I'm using Spanish Merino, pretty good for spinning, but not as lofty and fluffy as some.  I have been given little quantities of alpaca roving, and that's very good to work with.  I think I can get that locally, too.  But does anyone have any good notions about this?  all suggestions happily received.

1 comment:

margaret said...

so good to read you are able to spin again, sorry I cannot help with roving as I have never spun but I am sure there are followers who can advise