Better than salt money

Work like you were living in the early days of a better nation


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A color runs through it

A livejournal post, on progress in spinning was the spark to do more than just the recap of a really nice skein of yarn (which I will also do).  I’ve been spinning on the wheel for about a year (not quite, I got the wheel in mid-November).  According to my spinnenboek I’ve started 16 projects on the wheel in the past nine months, and 15 of them have come off of it.  That’s not too bad.  It’s not great, but it’s more than one a month, and as I’m spinning in the odd moments, or when we are sitting watching television, etc. it’s not too bad.  As a crafty-purchase it’s not sitting idle in the corner, so it’s a win.

I’ve still got my first skein of yarn, and as I was promised, I can’t do it again.  The slubby-mess it is (which is both a term of art, and a misnomer.  I don’t care for it much; though it’s got some charms; I know people who will pay good money for skeins of thick and thin.  I saw a shawl made from some just yesterday.  It was attractive, so what do I know, me with my aesthetic for more even yarns?), it no longer something I know how to make.  I have become a fine spinner.  I may not be a “good” spinner (by my lights), but the yarns I make are not thick, though I can still see the ghost of that first skein.

How has my spinning changed in the past nine months?  I’ve gotten more confident.  I don’t look at a hank of roving and say, “OMG… I’m going to screw it up!”.  I have taken to planning my yarns.  I’m also managing to get what I want (mostly) out of them.  I need more practice to have a solid sense of how the colors work out, but I’m getting there too.  I’m willing to take commissions.  I’m not looking to make a living at it.  I’m not even looking to make pin-money.  I’d like to make it pay for itself, so that I’m not pouring money into fiber, and in need of giving the yarn away to have room to make more.

So, for a basic commission (i.e. some sees a roving they like, and want’s to have some yarn from it), I’m happy to do that.  If they send me twice as much fiber as they want yarn.  It’s a pretty good deal actually, given what it takes me in terms of time, and what yarns cost on Etsy, etc.

So what does my present level of skill look like?

I started with a varigated roving, and split it down the middle, end to end.

Top in the Bowl

Then I spun it up.
Single on the wheel

You can see the banding.  It’s a bit more evident when the full bobbins are next to each other.

Ready to Reel

Once it’s been spun back, to make it more even on the bobbins, for more even plying, the striping isn’t really apparent.

Ready to ply

This is how they look, coming together off the lazy-kate, and into the wheel.

Twist

As you see, the two singles are from the same part of the roving, so they blend into a single color.  There are some differences in the way the two sides spun, so the transitions have some interference, which has its own charm. When done the bobbin was pretty full.

Plied

But it was balanced.  The yarn hung straight, and draped easily, before I set it. Afterwards it looked like this:

Drying

If you look you can see some of the interference zones.  This is all I had left

Remainder

So, all in all, I’m getting better. I’m not where I want to be, but with an average of about 3oz per project, I’ve only spun 45oz, or a bit less than 3lbs. It’s not that much, so I’ve really got no reason to think poorly of my work, in fact, when I look at it objectively, I’ve every reason to think I’m coming along fairly well.

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