Lily's first bobbin of handspun.
I have been spending most of my extra moments sitting behind my wheel with some kind of fiber in my hand, making pretty yarn. I committed myself to practicing every day a couple of weeks ago, and it's truly amazing how fast I have improved in that little bit of time. I'm finally spinning a balanced yarn, and I'm finally mostly very pleased with the end product.
Most of what I've been spinning has been merino. However, I did pull out a bunch of rolags that I had made last fall from Inferno, one of our huacaya alpacas, and spun up a very fine bobbin full of that. (very first photo) The last time I spun my alpaca it was quite interesting. Very bumpy. Crazy. Really thick and then really thin. This time, however, I kept a mostly consistent diameter which I am very pleased with. I am going to ply this, but I need to card more of the fiber and spin that up before I can do so.
Lily has been begging me to teach her to spin for the last three or four months. I have been very hesitant because I myself just learned to spin last summer and was feeling very intimidated in teaching someone else. She asked me again last night, as she's been watching me faithfully spin everyday, and she has really gotten an extreme itch to learn. I succumbed to her pleadings, planning on just having her treadle for a bit. Then I thought, "What the heck! She's got to start sometime, so why not now!"
I had purchased two pounds of a 21 micron merino roving last month at a really great price and had put it back for the sole intention of using it to teach Lily, so I pulled it out of my studio closet yesterday and let her spin. Her first bobbin of yarn is pictured above, and let me tell you that my first attempt looked almost identical to that. It's challenging to teach the motion of spinning in a verbal manner. Just like knitting and crocheting, my hands just sort of follow their memorized motions without me really thinking about it at all.
I also remember that the motion just sort of clicked for me one day, out of the blue really, so I'm expecting the same will happen with Lily if she continues to practice. And I encouraged her to imagine how good she would be by the time she was even just thirteen (three years from now) if she kept it up. I am just really in love with teaching her these old, timeless crafts and skills.
And now I am yearning for some warm weather (consistently warm weather) so I can wash and dry more alpaca fiber to spin. I also have four bags of angora from our rabbits that I haven't played with yet.
Oh, I really am loving spinning.