Love the Lump

I took my new (newly acquired, that is) spinning wheel to Cambridge for a lesson at Mind’s Eye Yarns on Thursday night. The wheel seemed OK when I was practicing treadling it, but the drive belt kept jumping off the wheel as soon as Lucy tried spinning on it. She switched me to one of her wheels for the duration of the lesson. But before that, she took mine apart enough for me to see how to change the bobbin, how the bobbin should spin, and generally give me some confidence in my analysis of how it all worked.

I was surprised at how easily I was able to produce a yarn without its breaking all the time. My mother had a wheel when I was a kid, and I of course tried to use it once in a while, but I was never able to keep a yarn going for any length at all. This time it just seemed to work.

It’s going to be a while before I can produce yarn with any uniformity of thickness or twist. Mostly it’s very overtwisted, and it varies tremendously in thickness. Lucy says that as a beginning spinner you have to learn to love the lump, because your yarn is going to come out lumpy. So I’ll try to do that.

By the end of the spinning group, which meant about half an hour of spinning in the lesson and close to two hours in the group, I had a full bobbin.  Pretty soon I’ll have to learn to ply, and then I’ll have to do something with my yarn. Maybe a very lumpy hat?

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