Among my many flaws is that I’m easily obsessed.
To my credit, my fiber fixation has been going strong – and growing steadily – for at least three years now. When it comes to laser-like focus on a subject, I can’t think of one that has lasted this long.* It’s branched out into more complex techniques, and made friends with its cousin crafts of crochet, dyeing, and now spinning (and eventually I do want to felt). But at the end of the day, I still enjoy the simple, basic process of knitting, of taking beautiful yarn and creating soft, pretty, usable objects.
But I do admit, I tend to latch onto new interests pretty hard. At least now it’s constructive and sensible (unlike, say, in middle school, where I went from a visceral hatred to an overwhelming crush on the same guy within a week). When it comes to spinning, when I opened my prize package, I figured I’d spin up the fiber, maybe use it to make a hat, and forget about it.
Then I started reading spinning forums.
Then I started joining spinning groups on Rav.
Then I started watching videos (including the one that finally made it click.)
Then I started eyeing my pathetic batch of beginner yarn, wondering what I could do now that I really had a grasp on the whole drafting thing. But I didn’t really want to crack into that pretty pink-tinted top, just in case it turned out I didn’t have a grasp on it.
Then I remembered that I have an allowance, and a free shipping coupon code from Paradise Fibers. So I put in an order for 12 oz of white Norwegian top. (Whatever the hell that means. I’m still getting familiar with the spinning world’s glossary.)
Then I decided I needed to make a proper spindle, so I busted out the tools and carefully drilled a small hole in an 1/4″ oak dowel, and secured the beginner square pressboard whorl onto it with rubber bands, and proceeded to spin that entire 59 gram top in spite of the arm pain. I did all this between midnight and 5 am, in spite of my fatigue and the pain in my left arm. The whorl was still pretty wobbly, so I resolved to get something else to make a whorl out of. I had tried Lowes, and their wooden wheels were pretty small (and came in 4-packs). When I got up today, I went to Michaels, Tuesday Morning, Home Depot, and even Garden Ridge before accepted defeat and went to Hobby Lobby. (Or, as I like to call it, Heaven’s Gift Shop.)
They had what I needed, but again, in a 4-pack. I debated paying $4 for something I was only going to use 25% of, and actually was about give up and order online, when I decided to do another lap around the wood department and I saw a round wooden appliqué with a floral motif.
Easy enough to drill into, a good size (about 3″ across) and light enough to make fairly fine yarns, which is mostly what I’m interested in (especially once I learn how to ply). Back to Home Depot for a couple 1/4″ rubber grommets, a few more minutes with the drill and some sandpaper, and now I have this:
Now all I have to do is wait for my lovely package from Paradise. I think I’m more excited about this than the shipment of Regia Extra Twist Merino I’ve got coming. December is definitely an exciting time for mail.
*I was a pretty serious hardcore couponer once upon a time, but that only lasted about a year. Come to think of it, I pretty much stopped with that nonsense when I started with the knitting. It’s hard to say if the bargain-stalking would have tapered off if I hadn’t picked up the needles, but I do know that it’s gotten a lot tougher out there, what with stores tightening policies and manufacturers lowering face values. It’s the free-rider problem in action: too many people try to ride for free, and everyone loses out.