A book review: Spin Control

by Amy King, 2009

a review/summary
I borrowed this book from the library along with many others to evaluate what books to add to my spinning library. This one will be joining my library at the end of the week, making an Amazon order for Christmas. Amy challenges the readers to play with the wheel. It’s nothing I couldn’t have figured out on my own but to see it written down, permission to play with the wheel whether it seems conventional or not, somehow makes it ok to set about doing. She tells us to change a specific setting one way then spin, then make another change and see what happens. Then change another setting and asks how it changed from the previous ones. (scientific method anyone?)

After the introductory chapters she gets to the business of explaining many of the questions I had in a blog draft like how to know how much twist to put in the yarn. She shows us how to evaluate previously spun or purchased yarn in an effort to reproduce it and encourages us to keep a spinning notebook. She shows us how to spin a variety to novelty yarns and even shows several knitted swatches of different prep and spinning techniques on the same base fiber. I feel like cover to cover gets me a spinning class. Can’t wait to get my hands on the book permanently. I’m off to browse the rest of the books, stay tuned for more reviews.

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In which we stay home and spin

I had hoped to go to White Cloud today and join in the spinning fun that occurs most Monday afternoons. Unfortunately, we were not able to, so we stayed home and had some spinning practice. Here is the bobbin yesterday and today:

As you can see, it’s a little more even and a little more full. I’m spinning rather fine yarn, so it will take me a while to fill two bobbins. I’ve decided to drop down one gear and spin a tad slower. My wheel was sucking the fiber in quite quickly and as a result, I lost hold a few times and had to fish it out again.

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In which I spin on my Ashford Traveller

I’m addicted. This is as much as I was able to accomplish. I completed the wheel early this morning, 1:30AM and then went to bed. I was able to spin two partial bobbins and then ply them this evening. I was a bit concerned that a double drive would be too difficult to begin with but it wasn’t. The flyer and bobbin do spin very, very, very fast but I was only frustrated a time or two because of speed. The furbaby helping me is Zorro. Boo needed mommy snuggles, so the yarn is on a third bobbin waiting. I need to get it off the bobbin and either wash it or just let it rest. so the twist is set.

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A Chronicle of my spinning wheel assembly

It’s a bit before midnight and since I’m blogging every day in November, I must interrupt my process and post now. (Wouldn’t want to miss a day just because I have a new tool.) I’m enjoying putting it together and I’m nearly finished. I only found one mistake in the instructions, which is funny considering it’s pictures. Luckily, it looked a bit off to me so I checked subsequent pictures to be clear. Sure enough, the one image is not correct. This goes without saying, so I’ll say it anyway, click images below for a larger uncropped picture.

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In which I sit down at a spinning wheel

Today we went for a drive to White Cloud to visit a store we found a few weeks ago when we were driving around looking at the fall colors. The Old Farm Girl is a knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning and fiber store. According to the website, the owner of the shop had several wheels to look at and could order all the models I was considering purchasing. We were the only customers in the store for a good while, so I was able to sit at a wheel and start learning to spin. Evelyn started some farm wool on the wheel and then sat with me to show me how to long draw. I sat for about 20 minutes at a Louet S51 DT. It was more fun than I expected it to be and not nearly as difficult. It took me several tries to understand how my hands were supposed to work. Once I did, I was spinning a mostly fine single. I would just like to say, “FUN!!”

While she did not have all the wheels I was interested in trying, Evelyn had a Kromski Minstrel at home and let me know it was not very portable. Even though the Schact Ladybug and Matchless were on my list, deep down I fet the Ladybug didn’t seem like enough and the Matchless was too much. Evelyn seemed to understand my thoughts on the matter, so that left me with the Ashford Traveller. I’m going back tomorrow to pay for it, purchase some wool, and two weeks of patience.

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