Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Latent Skill

I can spin!! It's in me and look out world! now it's out. It wasn't me, it was the tool; I wasn't meant for a drop spindle, that's all.
I went to see Kathy and we chit-chatted while her Ashford wheel got used to a new presence in the room. I didn't make any overt, startling moves toward it and it didn't make faces at me (yes they can!) or start spinning it's wheel menacingly. Once we had gotten used to the idea of ea
ch other, Kathy showed me how it's done. "You sort of loosen up the fleece like this." uh-huh "And just feed it in like this, holding it sort of like so." Yup. Got it.
You know how it is when someone is really good at something and they just sort of do it and tell you how easy it is? I mean, it's like riding a bike. "Hop on and just pedal." But there are like, what, eleventy-hundred and one other things to do & think about & coordinate in order to ride the bike as opposed to just not falling off of it.
It looked
very easy and there didn't seem to be any real pitfalls (or maybe Kathy just didn't want to scare me) so there was nothing else but to give it the old college try.
Amanda had to be dragged away from her good times with Elizabeth & Kathryn so her focus is a little off, but you get the idea.
I spent hours spinning and plying. I will definitely have to work on consistency & loosening up a bit. (No Kyle, this is not proof that I'm uptight.)
Then Kathy wound the yarn onto a kniddy-knoddy that her husband had made out of plastic pipe. I know, he made it for her - not just thought about it. Apparently the skein is a bit long, but he made her a kniddy-knoddy!! We steamed the skeins to "set the twist". I was totally unprepared for the magic of this - it's like high-speed blocking. When you block a sweater or shawl you see the wrinkled, uneven stitches then after considerable time & effort you have wonderfully even & smooth stitches. As the yarn was passed over the steam,
I watched it scrinch up and straighten out!! I giggled out loud - it was amazing!
I used some fleece that I had in my stash - for thrumming & for felting over soap , the coloured one was Fleece Artist.
The yarn is nice; the smaller skein feels nicer as it isn't spun or plied so tightly.
I might just have to get a wheel. Definitely maybe ...

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