I rarely enter contests with the expectation of winning a prize, so if I do, the prize is a secondary concern. It’s why I don’t play the lottery: there’s no other factor than the prize. At least with a KAL, I push myself to finish a project and I get a nice FO out of the deal. I will admit that I did pledge to the United Way after seeing the email that said I could enter to win one of the hot new gaming consoles, but it was more like “oh yeah, it is that time of year” than “hell yeah, mama needs a new XBone!” (Interestingly enough, the only other time I remember winning something, was from a UW pledge drive. It was about 10 years ago, and I didn’t even know there were prizes until HR called me to pick up a Laura Ashley bedding set, which I still have.)

So my entry into the SKA Naughty or Nice KAL was done more in the spirit of finishing a project that a) I wasn’t terribly keen on to begin with, b) was a pain in the ass from the get-go, and c) was fairly ambitious (for me – stranded colorwork) and I wanted to get some eyeballs on. After I posted it, I pretty much forgot about it, so imagine my surprise when I was earburned to the thread and notified that I’d be receiving a prize.

I had my choice of an item from Chinchillas1957’s Etsy shop, but there wasn’t much there I could use, as it was mostly fiber, and I had never tried spinning. (I believe she’s moved most of her stock over to Zibbet.) Other than some mawata (which I already have some that I haven’t gotten into yet), the only thing I would be able to use was the Learn to Spin kit, so I chose that. She was nice enough to include a batt of fiber in addition to the “starter” fiber, a pretty pink/white/green mixture that is something called Aussie 54. (I don’t really know all the lingo yet. I should really finish reading The Knitter’s Book of Wool.)

As soon as my package came, I assembled the spindle and watched some videos. What I ended up with was… well, it’s yarn, technically.

I was aiming for a kind of sport weight, but what I ended up with was more of a sampler, running the gamut from lace to aran weight. I think my eagerness was part of the problem: I watched a video and jumped right in. Then I joined some beginning spinners groups, and looked at some pictures and read some threads, and found some very instructive terms and videos.

Once I watched a few videos, I realized that I wouldn’t “ruin” the batt if I tried spinning it, and that using the “park and draft” method was perfectly acceptable. So far, I’ve ended up with a much nicer yarn, and while it varies in thickness, it’s a far more acceptable range (lace to sport). If I have enough, I’d like to use it in something like a Handspun Shawlette.

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