Recently, I have not felt the urge to spin. Remember the feeling when you just learned to spin? The manic need to spin? To see the next color emerge from the top? To see them on the bobbin, to just stare at the colors, all lined up, in perfect harmony? To see the bobbin full, and then to ply and then block the yarn and then merely to admire the finished yarn? That was gone for a long, long time. (Reason for this? See last post.)
But then, I drove 250 miles southeast to meet other spinners. Some of them had spinning wheels with them.
That's seven (7!) Schacht wheels in one picture, three Ladybugs and four Matchless wheels. I don't think I've ever seen so many Schacht wheels in one gathering! There were about 30 of us, and of them 20 had their spinning wheels with them.
But a few spinners had chosen to bring their spindles instead. Sure, portable and pretty little tools they are, but I've never really been comfortable around one. There are issues with twist being uneven, and slight wobbling (both the spinner and the spindle wobble, sadly). In short, spindles were not my thing. Not until I tried the trindle. And the Golding spider spindle. And saw them being used to navajo-ply on the fly.
(Not pointing any fingers here but this whole business is ritvis's fault. Check out her blog - she is a true spindle master. I stood in awe just watching her spin.)
So when I got home, I dug out some BFL top from Woolgatherings and my trusty teaching spindle. And with trial and error I managed to spin and navajo-ply my single as I progressed.
I take no credit for the yarn for when the fiber is so pretty, how can the end result be anything but gorgeous? And it was a joy to spin, smooth and easy to draft. That is, when the fiber was not caught accidentally by the single :D The best bit by far were the colors, though.
I felt I had spun at least a pound of fiber onto my 1.2 oz (35 g) spindle. Turns out it was only 0.8 oz (or 23 grams) and rather pathetic 90 yards (or 81 m) of finished yarn. And it only took me four days! (sigh) And the skein did not look all that pretty.
But when wound into a ball, the true colors emerge once more.
The best bit was to be able to feel that urge to spin. I've missed it, the need to spin just a little bit more. The need to spin which overcomes the need to eat, sleep or powder one's nose. Re-discovering it was truly wonderful, and it makes me want to spin even more. And dye for spinning. And knit with hand-spun yarn. And then spin some more!
Happily I had some odd singles I had spun without much thought, so I plied them. It's a start anyway.
Besides, I still have some 3.2 oz of that lovely BFL left. I think I will spin just a little before going to bed.