Saturday, January 13, 2007

Practice Makes Better

Notice how I didn't say "Practice makes perfect"? It's true, but I don't see my spinning as anything even remotely close to perfect. Enthusiastic, yes. Perfect? Not so much.

In the last few months since Andrew fixed my wheel and I rediscovered my love of spinning, I noticed that there were quite a few steps that improved my spinning.

The first was oiling my wheel. Oil is important to put in your car, and oiling your wheel makes it spin oh-so-much easier.

Fiber choice was second - my current favorite to spin is Superwash Merino, and I have some Blue Faced Leicester that is waiting to be spun, and some random stuff here and there.

Third was that grueling process of spinning until the yarn was more even. After that, it was realizing that 3-ply yarns look more like "real yarn" than 2-ply yarns. (Take a look at the archives, RESPECT was my first 3-ply, and everything has been 3-ply since. Before that, it's nice enough, but not as cool by comparison.)

The 3-ply revelation isn't mine; Judith Mackenzie taught it in a class that I had the privilege of sitting in on, but I wasn't sure my yarn was thin enough to do a 3-ply until I plied "Crazy Love" and it turned out laceweight.

(The reason for doing 3-ply yarns is because it makes a rounder yarn. It really does.)

This yarn may find a new home, since laceweight is really too thin for socks (which is what I had intended it for). Or maybe I'll make a crazy shawl out of it. Who knows?

I also found that the Schacht was not only easier to spin on than my Traveler, but a better made piece of equipment in general. I love my Schacht, and seeing two of them in my living room gives me a huge thrill. (I know one is Sandi's, but it still graces my living room.)

The downside of the Schacht? Freaking expensive bobbins. Ashford bobbins are like $8, Schacht bobbins are like $32. But, in their defense, the Schacht bobbins hold a little more than twice as much spinning. (The Ashford ones can comfortably hold about 2 oz, where the Schacht does 6 oz with room to spare.)

It's really incredible how a little bit of practice can reflect so much improvement.

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