Thursday, June 26, 2008
Sheep to Sweater Part II: Spinning My Wheels
My husband, Henry, bought me a spinning wheel this summer. I've wanted to learn to spin my own wool for some time now and finally had the chance to do this. We found this Louet 76 at Weaver's Web Gallery in New Bern, NC which is only a little over an hour from home. The owner of the shop, Marilyn Vandersea had two in her shop and I chose this one. I had my first lesson June 12, then we brought it home. Until today, I could not do a thing with it. I
I fretted over this wheel, tried, tried and tried again. I adjusted the tension, tried again. Nothing. I couldn't even get it going. I called my friend Charlotte, who managed an historic site here for a long time and can spin on the Great Wheel. We couldn't get it going. I schlepped it to my mother's house this week and we couldn't do anything. I was ready to see if I could get my money back.
Henry has been tremendously supportive and kept saying, "I know you can do it. Just go back for another lesson." I felt like I was carrying a weight that just wouldn't go away. Why did all the people on the videos on the web make it look like so much fun and like it was so easy? I'm usually good at most crafts I try and am fairly coordinated with my hands.
I went back to New Bern today. Marilyn took one look at the spinning wheel and said, "Oh, this tension (whatever it's called) is on wrong." I had removed it to adjust the tension during one of my trials and had put it on wrong. She readjusted it, showed me again and we were off!
I also noticed I was pulling too much with my left hand and in the wrong direction. I stayed awhile at her request and was soon spinning on my own. I do have a way to go before it's consistent on the bobbin, but at least I was able to bring it home and sit and spin on my own (after I asked Henry to go out of the room so I could relax).
I called him back in once I had it going again. Success!
I had come away from the shop, optimistically purchasing a large bag of gray wool roving and carrying the practice wool I started with plus a small bag Marilyn gave me which she said is a step between the practice wool and the "good stuff." Who knows? Maybe some day before too long, this series might just end with something to wear.