Hope restored

Lot’s of progress here at Black Sheep Central…..I love progress.

Yesterday around lunchtime I arrived at my new friend Ellen’s house for an afternoon of spinning. Her little farm is beautiful and is home to 5 horses, 3 llamas, a variety of chickens, 3 dogs and 4 cats. It is situated with a phenomenal view of the rocky plain and front range, and I would move there in a New York minute. After a bite to eat we had a bit of of fiber tour, like anybody obsessed with a new hobby, Ellen had baskets, bags, boxes stuffed with yummy fibers; from buffalo and yak, to silk and merino, it was a veritable feast for the senses. Ellen showed me some of her handspun and since I knew she had only been spinning since the beginning of the year, I felt a small glimmer of hope that I might “get it” after all.

We sat down at the wheels–hers is a beautiful Kromski–and began to spin. She gave me a bit of brown “mystery fiber” while she played with some fluffy yak down. She was spinning the most beautiful, thin, even, consistent yarn, I was almost afraid to try. After a couple false starts I began to spin…..and what I spun was thin, beautiful, almost even and consistent yarn.

I. Was. Stunned.

Completely gobsmacked.


When I went to bed Saturday night, I was not at all pleased with the yarn I was spinning, and had very little hope of doing better. Yesterday, with Ellen saying “look at you! Look what your making!” I had my first real thought that I could indeed be a spinner AND spin something worth knitting. We played with a variety of fibers, “mystery wool,” merino, and even silk. Ellen was making the prettiest thread from the silk and while mine was not as pretty, I still was able to spin it.

I think what made the difference was the fiber. The roving I had been practicing with was somewhat “sticky,” making it difficult to draft, while the fiber I played with yesterday drafted easily, allowing me to make a thin ply of yarn. Each time I picked up my roving, I spun ‘crap;’
each time I used ‘better’ roving I spun something worth looking at.

I made a small amount of single ply on two different bobbins and then Ellen helped me ply them. Here’s what I came up with:

Not bad huh? Almost pretty? Ah, progress.

Last night I finished up the front of the red sweater, after making a really stupid mistake while binding off the left front….that we will not be discussing. Now on to the sleeves and whatever tweeking I’ll need to do in order to get them to fit properly and not hang over my knuckles. The sweater calls for garter stitch button bands….I’m thinking seed stitch might look better, maybe even 1×1 rib. Does anybody have on opinion they’d like to share?

Finally today, I would like to share two treats that came to me via email. Both are very funny, the second, particularly if you are a mother of sons. (thing 1) (thing 2)

Enjoy.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Hope restored

  1. Your spinning is good already…darn!

  2. WTG, Lisa! Your spinning is looking wonderful.

    The roving can make a *huge* difference, especially when you are newer to spinning. With your roving try predrafting it even further and you might have a bit better luck with it. At least that is what I do with “sticky” roving.

  3. Oooops – was this not what you wanted to discover – the spinning addiction?

  4. Congrats on the spinning “leap” – very cool discovery!

    Hmm, I’m thinking the simpler the buttonband the better with the patterned sweater… maybe 1×1 rib, because that might look like the pattern of the checks?

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