Wednesday, April 23, 2008

trying out my new spinning wheel

Last night I set up my new spinning wheel and used it for the first time. Well, ok, I tried it in the store, but I don't count that because I wasn't really trying to make anything then (except a decision).

I'm really astonished at how huge it is--I guess I got used to the size of the Little Gem. I don't have a picture of it from the same perspective--it's so small you almost couldn't see it from that perspective!--but here it is with the same chair.

Anyway, I got it all set up, which won't be any big deal the second time I do it but took a while this time because I kept stopping to read the directions. Then I decided to finish off the last of the cheap wool while I got a feel for it. Apparently I didn't learn anything from being frustrated with the Little Gem while spinning this wool--the wool didn't suddenly get smooth and lose all its fuzzes and lumps in the past week, and I didn't magically become a better spinner. I spent a fairly frustrating evening with it and ended up wondering if I shouldn't have just bought the Little Gem. It's so discouraging to spend all this money on something and then have it not seem all that great after all. And the Little Gem was so smooth and so tiny, and I really made friends with it by the end of the two weeks. Oh yeah, and I was spinning gorgeous long-staple well-prepared fiber. Wake up, self! Start spinning nice fiber, and in a few days you'll be just as much in love with this wheel. (I hope so!)
Anyway, here's the yarn I made. It's natural mystery wool plied with gray mystery wool (also natural, just naturally gray).

Hopefully tonight will be better. Meanwhile, something incredible happened: one of my high school friends sent me wool! Apparently she had tried spinning but didn't take to it, so with unbelievable generosity, she sent me this:

For the past two weeks, every day I've eagerly checked the mailbox for it, and every day I've been disappointed. When the mailbox was empty again yesterday, I thought it must have gotten lost and I'd have to go on some hopeless quest to try to have the post office locate it. But when I went in the house, there it was! Beyond all expectations, it was way too big to fit even in our industrial-size rural mailbox, so the mail lady had delivered it and my husband carried it inside. That is a whole lot of wool, and better yet, it's colors and fibers I wouldn't have picked. That is so awesome. A lot of it is shetland, which I don't think I've seen around here (she lives in Pennsylvania). I'm really excited to try it out, especially the big bag of red blend. Also, the orangeish bundle must be a batt, which I've never worked with. All kinds of new adventures await.

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