Sunday, January 31, 2010

My First Handspun!

I initially thought it would take me forever to get through those 4 oz. of beautiful fiber that I blogged about yesterday.  But then the obsessive side of me came out and I had it all spun by the end of the night last night!

Before I got too far in, I decided to search on YouTube for a tutorial on drop spinning.  There were several choices, but the one I found most helpful was from Megan LaCore, from The Art of Megan.  I watched it once all the way through (it's about 10 minutes long) and then once more as I was learning how to do everything.  

And that's all it took to get me rolling.  I was so excited to see the yarn taking shape.  I was even more excited that I could do it as I was sitting watching tv.  (I get a little stir crazy when I have to do things without any distractions in the background. Blame it on my ADD.)

I was just spinning along, not paying attention to how much fiber I had used.  When I went to reach for another piece, I couldn't find any.  I didn't even realize I had gone through the entire amount!

I then unwound the yarn from the spindle onto the back of a chair (following the instructions from another one of Megan's videos) and then soaked it to set the twist.  Then I hung it up to dry overnight.

This morning I was so excited to wake up and see how it turned out.  (Not as excited as a child on Christmas morning, but almost...)  I was a little bit disappointed to see that I had waaayyyy overspun it.  It was crimpy and I knew that I would not be able to use it.

So, I set out to see if I could salvage it.  I went through the entire skein and pulled out the extra twist.  I just went along and spread the twist down the yarn.  Luckily, there were some parts that I had underspun, so it worked itself out.  The yarn was still slightly damp, so that helped out a lot too.  I did have to cut the yarn once, as it had become so twisted upon itself that it had gotten really tangled.  But I just tied it together and continued on my merry way.  

After a couple hours, I had gotten all the kinks out and the yarn looked much better.  I was going to soak it again, but the yarn was laying flat on its own with no crimps, so I'm going to forgo that extra step.  It doesn't have to be perfect!  I'll have plenty more chances to get it right.

Okay, enough chit chat.  You're here to see the yarn, right?  Well, here are a couple photos of the finished product.  I couldn't get the light just right, so the color is slightly off, but it's the best I can do with the daylight I'm working with right now.

I stupidly forgot to measure out about how much yardage I had produced, so I have no idea how much is there.  But I love it!  It reminds me a lot of Noro Iro, with the same twist and bulky weight.  Of course, there are sections where it got too thin and other sections where it's too bulky, but overall I think I did fairly well for a first try.  

I think I'll be making a hat for myself out of it.  I hope there'll be enough...otherwise, some lucky person with a smaller noggin than my own will be gifted with a very special FO.

I'm off to get my Maplewing Shawl in order for the Adventures in Lace KAL that begins tomorrow!


  1. Thanks for the link to the video! I'm definitely going to watch it and see if it helps me out at all. Plus, your yarn looks lovely; you should be proud!
    So excited to start the KAL tomorrow! Good luck to you!

  2. What a beautiful first yarn! You must be so proud!

  3. Congrats! I thought I was going to be able to avoid this whole crazy spinning thing...but this post is making it even HARDER to keep that resolve :)

    I cast on my AIL KAL today (because I know I will have VERY limited time tomorrow.) It only took me 3 cast-ons, but I'm on my way! I'm so excited.

  4. Wow, it's beautiful! When I first looked in to spinning I found those videos by Megan too. Did you find the music in the background distracting? hehe

  5. Beautiful Yarn! I can't believe you spun that up so quick! You must have taken to it like a duck to water. :)
    Awesome work, keep it up.

  6. What a pretty yarn! This really inspired me to pick up my spindle again, too bad I'm at work :( I got mine just before CChristmas, but I feel like I haven't had the time to get some real practise, so it's just been lying forlornly in its box. But now I think I'll try it again!

    / Jenny

  7. Beautiful yarn, beautiful blog. So glad I found it!

  8. Come on, that's your FIRST yarn?? Fantastic! No turning back now!

  9. Your yarn looks fantastic! I'd have never guessed that it was your first attempt.

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