Sunday, June 17, 2007

Spun Out and Dyed

Today I succumbed. My Ashford Traveller (the old single treadle style) and I went to our local LYS and took a Beginning Spinning workshop.

We started with a top whirl drop spindle then progressed to the wheel. I caught on fairly quickly until we got to the wheel. Treadling single is kind of tricky. It's such a one-sided rhythm that it kept stalling out and broke the flow.

There were some other wheels available in case participants didn't have one of their own, so I was invited to try a Louet S51 with a double treadle.

Ahhhhh. Even rhythm.

It still took time to get the hang of it. I didn't quite have it when the workshop ended. But I did rent the Louet for a few days to work on it and decide whether or not to buy a new wheel.

Then I discovered Ashford offers a double treadle conversion kit for the Traveller. They are built with DTs standard now. I'll get the conversion kit (more cost efficient) and see if that changes things and makes it more user-friendly.

This evening, I dug out some 12-year-old roving that I'd purchased when I got the wheel (yep, only took a dozen years) and sat on the deck with the Louet and practiced. Pretty soon I began to develop a rhythm. I stopped over twisting so much, and the consistency improved. When the skeeters started biting and it was too dark to see, I went in. I'd been out there an hour and a half, in the zone. Very cool.

I don't think I'm ready yet to spin up the handpainted rovings I bought back in March, but I'm really psyched about this.

On Saturday, Fiberworks had a Dye Your Own Sock Yarn workshop. You KNOW I couldn't miss that. We used Lanaset and Kool Aid dyes (yay, I've been wanting to play with Kool Aid). Using roving for practice, we did handpainting, vat dyeing, microwave versus electric skillet (crock pot/stove) versus sunshine, then we did self-patterning YARN on our choice of Gems Pearl fingering or sport (I went with sport). Wayne, the LYS owner and our instructor, came up with a brilliant method of separating the sections out. I won't reveal it here without his permission, but I've never seen it done anywhere else. He should publish the technique.

One of these days when I'm not so lazy, I'll post photos of all my recent endeavors. Until then, Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there.

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