My current work in progress:

1. Ashburn, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Woolfolk Tynd in colorways 6, 7, and 8 on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Katarina

Oh my. She is lovely.

We unpacked her Friday night and Lucy investigated. (The Lazy Kate did not come with Katarina, but just happened to be there.)

katarina112104 Katarina

It took us less than an hour to assemble her — really no problems, although the instructions were a bit vague here and there. But we got her together, and Lucy introduced herself.

katarina112104a Katarina

I didn’t actually get a chance to try her out until this afternoon. I watched the video that came with her, which enlightened me as to threading the leader and adjusting the tension. Before long, we were humming along.

I had the tension a little wacky at first, but managed to produce this from my “practice” wool:

yarn112104 Katarina

As you can see, I figured out how to ply my singles.

I guess I must have known how to spin in a previous life. It seems very natural to me, and a lot of fun! Here are some singles I just spun from some more practice wool:

yarn112104a Katarina

I think Katarina and I are going to have years of fun together!

How Do You Spin From a Silk Cap?

Someone asked me that question last week, though I can’t remember who.

Each cap is made up of a number of layers. I believe each layer is a silkworm cocoon, which is stretched over a bell-shaped form.

You take the cap and peel off a layer which is one cocoon. I found it easiest to peel the layer from the middle of the cap and gently pull it out. Poke a hole in the middle of the layer and stretch it out into a large circle. It will reach a point where you can pull it apart to make a long rope of silk. You can then draft the silk into roving that is ready to spin.

Here is a layer next to one that I’ve drafted. Cool, huh?

silkcap112104 Katarina

How I Really Learned to Spin

This is one of the photos L-B took at the Knitters Review Retreat.

wendyspindrinkgravesmount2004 Katarina

I am spinning with my drop spindle, while leaning over to drink from my margarita. A learning method I highly recommend.

Comments

  1. Wow, that wood is gorgeous! Not only is it a cool tool, but it must look great in your house.

  2. Looks like Lucy’s given her seal of approval for bringing the new toy home. =) Hee hee!

  3. Spinning PORN, I tell you! That silk is beautiful, and your Kromski is GORGEOUS! My Traveller comes in the mail sometime this week. I can’t wait!

  4. maybe that is what my spinning technique is missing — margaritas!

  5. Enjoy your spinning wheel. You are a natural at it.

  6. Katarina is beautiful. The stain of the wood is lovely.

    Definitely looks like you were meant to be a Spinner.

  7. First of all, let me say how HAPPY I AM that you’re back…and secondly, congrats on the wheel.

    In my next life, I swear I’m going to spin. Right now it’s all I can do to knit.

    Tasha and Lily (resident felines here) wave their paws to Lucy.

  8. Wendy, you are a trip.

  9. Spinning always felt really natural to me too. Congratulations on the wheel, and continue to have fun with the spinning!

  10. Sounds like how I learned to knit. I love me some margaritas! Maybe that’s what happened my first attempt at spinning, too much blood in my alcohol stream! The wheel is loverly! I LOVE warm wood.

  11. Congrats on your spinning endeavor. Your wheel is beautiful! I spun on a Kromsky at SOAR last year in Michigan and loved it. Got a better deal on my Traveller. I just love the looks of a parlor wheel. I also have a Country Craftsman.I learned how to do core spinning yesterday at our spin group. What fun it was to make a chunky, funky yarn.
    Love your blog Wendy.

  12. oh my goodness, your entries never fail to leave me jealous. :-x

  13. Me too on the “feels natural” bit. I suggest you read Women’s Work, the First 20,000 Years – I suspect we were bred for being spinning naturals. My favorite insight from that book is the one about the Venus De Milo’s pose (hint: when *you’re* plying a long stretch, don’t you hold your arms up and arch your back, too?) – but that’s really just a nibble of it.

    …beautiful wheel, too. I wonder if wheels are as interesting to our feline associates as spindles are. Cisco, Mikey, and RedHat all seem to know that the spindle dangling from my right hand is DEFINITELY a menace and they should protect me from it at all costs. I wonder if that’s how the “drop” came into “drop spindle”…

  14. a natural :-)

  15. You are in for tons of fun. Enjoy!

  16. Oh! The odd-Kate-out reminds me, I need to send you the extra bobbin I promised! :-) Katarina is lovely!

  17. Diana & Orion says:

    AMazing.

    Katerina is incredible. I am glad Lucy seems to think so too.

    I so love learning to spin vicariously through your blog here *lol* So much fun.

    Good luck and much happiness in this “new ” craft … although I also am certain you have done this all before.

    The silk coccoon explanation has just blown my mind. Have to go. *lol* ENjoy the time off this week Wendy.

    Best, DIana & Ori

  18. Diana & Orion says:

    AMazing.

    Katerina is incredible. I am glad Lucy seems to think so too.

    I so love learning to spin vicariously through your blog here *lol* So much fun.

    Good luck and much happiness in this “new ” craft … although I also am certain you have done this all before.

    The silk coccoon explanation has just blown my mind. Have to go. *lol* ENjoy the time off this week Wendy.

    Best, DIana & Ori

  19. Diana & Orion says:

    AMazing.

    Katerina is incredible. I am glad Lucy seems to think so too.

    I so love learning to spin vicariously through your blog here *lol* So much fun.

    Good luck and much happiness in this “new ” craft … although I also am certain you have done this all before.

    The silk coccoon explanation has just blown my mind. Have to go. *lol* ENjoy the time off this week Wendy.

    Best, DIana & Ori

  20. Dare I say . . . loom, loom, looooooooommmmmm . . .

  21. That silk is gorgeous! And Katarina is so warm and lovely! Keep posting pictures of her so those of us who are without can enjoy your progress! I’m glad Lucy seems to like her, and hope she can keep her paws off the “spinning” part of the wheel! Don’t want any pinched kitty toes! Currently can’t do much knitting as am helping my daughter learn to crochet (can I say that word here?) an afghan for her bed, so am enjoying your projects!

  22. Margaritas and a fancy spinning wheel! Please excuse me while I die from envy.

  23. That’s a gorgeous spinning wheel! I love the colour of the wood (looks like Lucy likes it too)! I’m sure that you’ll get a great deal of enjoyment from Katarina for years to come – even just as a decorative accent in your house. I’m looking forward to seeing all the yarn that you create.

  24. Congrats on your new wheel, Wendy. I hope you enjoy the spinning — looks like fun!

  25. Enjoy your new wheel! Love her name also.

  26. Katarina is beautiful. I’d get one just for the beauty of it, except that someone would want me to spin something, and there I’d be, ignorant again!

    If Spirit Trail ever runs short of Black Welsh, they keep it at Fire Ant Farm too. http://www.fireantfarm.com
    MEM