So I had my first lesson this week one on one for about 5 hours. We used wool and I got on really well. I said to the teacher that I didn't mind using wool while I was there if it was easier for her to teach me with wool. I am now at home with lots of non animal fibres and trying to spin and doing absolutely horribly!
I have bamboo, recycled bottles that is quite short staple length and crimped like wool? Nylon - looks horrid not tried that yet and soya bean fibre.
My 'yarn' is thick and thin and there is no twist in the fat bits and twisting spin knots in the thin stuff. I am starting to despair a bit. Is this just going to happen suddenly? Life would be so much easier if I used wool!
It seems a real waste as well, the drafting is the problem it is either too many fibres or too few - is this normal for newbies? Is it worth trying to get the drafting sorted without actually spinning the fibres or will that just not work?
You sound like a perfectly NORMAL Newbie. As another columnist says on a totally other subject: it gets better. I would suggest concentrating on wool for now, it may be easier. Do what I have heard is called Park and draft: twist up your wool, stop the wheel, draft it out and then draw it in and do it again. It isn't a waste: someday you will spin much more smooth wool and other fiber and wish you could spin such interesting textures as your beginner stuff! Just relax, we have ALL been where you are.
Ah ok thank you Barb - I am vegan I don't use animal products - hence no wool. Feel better now tho! :)
Hi Margy and welcome.
I have a question of curiosity, and is not by any means a challenge or judgement, so please, don't feel defensive.
I understand the vegan viewpoint on food, my niece is a vegan and a great cook with her lifestyle.
I am wondering about your avoidance to using animal fibers as this causes no harm to the animal and the shearing is necessary. Its something i never thought about before and has never come up with my niece.
Again, please don't think my question hostile, rude or disrespectful, just curious.
The ONLY difference between an accomplished spinner and a new one who feels they don't have "the touch for it", is practice and not quitting.
Hello Richard - vegans don't use any animal products at all. There are lots of debates about it - why can you not take honey from bees - if a chicken you have rescued lays eggs is it not wasteful to leave them to rot etc.
A vegan is someone who tries to live without exploiting animals, for the benefit of animals, people and the planet. Vegans eat a plant-based diet, with nothing coming from animals - no meat, milk, eggs or honey, for example. A vegan lifestyle also avoids leather, wool, silk and other animal products for clothing or any other purpose.
Choosing to live a life free from animal products means choosing a path that is kinder to people, animals and the environment. In fact, there are so many good reasons to reject meat, eggs and dairy products and so many delicious animal free alternatives that the real question is not ‘why vegan?’ but ‘why not?’.
both of the above are from the vegan society. Being vegan is not just about what you eat although some people who choose to eat a vegan diet choose to call themselves vegan but still use animal products for clothing etc. as you can see fom the above people that choose a vegan diet only are not true vegans.
To be honest I care not about being the vegan police. I live my life with compassion for my fellow creatures and try my hardest each day not to harm them. Quite simple really. Thank you for your question - thoughtful. :)
By the way of an update my spinning is doing very well! It is perfectly true - practice really does make perfect! :) I am very pleased with myself!
Thank you for accepting the inquiry in the manner is was meant. It may not be my lifestyle, but I can certainly appreciate and respect it.
A thought, have you ever considered going to places like the Goodwill, Salvation Army and Amvets, getting sweaters of man made materials, shredding them and then re-spinning the fibers? Not sure of how much work it would entail, but I have heard of people pulling apart cashmere and other types of sweaters and re-using it.
I have thought about it but I would still be wearing animal derived fibres if I did that. I bought some banana silk recently that is so tightly 'spun' it feels like string so I will definitely be taking that back to its original fibres and re-spinning that. :)
I was at our local spinning guild get together and saw something that made me think of you right away.
One of the ladies was spinning with banana fibers. The feel was different, I'm not sure how to describe it actually, but the colors...WOW.
I'm actually thinking of giving it a try, if no other no other reason than for the uniqueness and colors (I'll let Wendy figure out what to do with it).
OOO! Sounds interesting - I have some banana silk from saris but I would much prefer actual fibres. Is it silky to the touch Richard? :)
Yes, it was really different, I have to admit, I liked it. Very smooth. You do have to give it a lot more twist, like you would with cotton, it's also pretty strong when your done. She didn't have a lot of information on it as she was doing it for the first time herself. What got her attention to it was the same thing that caught my eye, the colors.
Of course we joked about wearing it near the monkey cage at the zoo and whether you could eat is if you were in a survival situation. If you do try it, let me know what you thought about it, I need to reduce my stash here before I look at adding more to it.
Absolutely! Thanks for letting me know