For Christmas this year I asked for, and received, a spindle -- I got 2 in fact! The one pictured above was from my mom. It is a medium-weight, high- or low-whorl one that I think will make a good multi-purpose spindle. My oldest sister got me a low-whorl, comparatively heavy, rim-weighted spindle that I think will be perfect for making worsted to chunky yarn.
When I got them I knew very little about spinning and spindles. I ordered and have read most of Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont, and published by Interweave. This book was very helpful. I had watched a few videos on youtube that helped me figure out the gist of it, but reading this book gave me the confidence to go forward. I felt reassured that even though my yarn seemed extremely twisty, this was probably okay. I learned about what to do once my spindle was full and many other tips and background information.
Once my spindle was full I used my swift to make a skein. I tied it in four places, washed it, and hung it over a hanger in my shower with a weighted bag hung from the bottom to block some of that curliness out of it.
Here is my finished skein! I have made a lot of things, but really, of everything I have made I got a sense of satisfaction out of this that really surpassed other experiences. There was something very special to me about taking the fiber and turning it into yarn, which I can use. I am not sure how many yards of yarn I made, but I started with 4oz of combed Merino wool top. In the top picture you can see a small unwashed, unblocked skein that was my very first, not very successful attempt. There is also still a little on my spindle that I had to spin separately because I couldn't get anymore on my spindle. So, I made a little more than this finished skein out of that 4oz.
It is time-consuming, but very satisfying. I will do more. For now, I am excited to think about what I will make with this! I've been perusing fiber on Etsy and also at Bijou Basin. I can't wait to get more!
Have you made handspun yarn? How did you feel about your experience? Feel free to share pictures of your favorite or first handspun yarn on my facebook page!
Happy spinning and stitching!