Spinning wheels

“That” time of year is starting to get me. The time of year when I resist the fact that August is half over, when I want to go back to June and try to be more productive than what I have managed to scrape by with so far, when teaching anxiety dreams start to creep in (the sort featuring me in front of a room full of petulant and waiting students, with no lecture or lesson plan whatsoever), and I generally want to just dig a hole in my yarn stash and sit there and make the rest of the world go away.

Failing this, however, I am trying to remind myself that all the miscellaneous tasks and necessaries swirling around in my head still benefit from small progress as long as it is consistently done, and I am trying to take these small victories where I can get them. It is on the one hand, very nice to be surrounded by new yarns, but very dangerous to be distracted by them.


Intriguingly enough, spinning is proving to work well with this state of mind. Over the last week or so I have been applying my efforts to 20-30 minutes of daily spinning and putting trust in this that I will, as a result, get better. (Admittedly, I also don’t want to do more than this much at a time as I am reluctant to add new forms of fiberly RSI to my list of stressors at this particular time). I like the fact that spinning forces me to concentrate on it and it alone. Unlike with knitting, I can’t watch TV at the same time (though I can listen), for example, so I like to think that this is also helping my brain a little bit.

I’ve barely dusted off my new Little Gem since it arrived, but I started out on it with the remainder of some white wooly roving that Kim lent me when she was letting me borrow her wheel as a try-out. I can tell that I am getting a little more consistent. My ambition in goal-setting terms is to be able to spin sock yarn (or fingering weight, at least…because, well, why wouldn’t a person want to be able to spin their own sock yarn?), though Kim keeps trying to apply sense and logic and has said things like “Glenna, maybe you should first try to just get to a third skein.”


So, fine, Kim. Here’s my third skein. I hope you like it. I do. It’s about 100 yards weighing in around 90g. I spun the singles on the middle/third whorl groove and then plied it up into a 2-ply. It hasn’t had its bath yet, but even still I like the way it looks. It’s not balanced but it’s less over-spun than my first attempt, so score one for progress.

I’ve also got Skein #4 in the works, as I’ve started to work with some lovely merino/seacell pencil roving of Kim‘s that she gifted me with at the end of July. She very generously gave me a packet of her purple/pink (‘Brains belong inside your head’) and one of the bright green (‘Pond with the wind’), and at first blush I was starting to think she gave me two packets so that in case I royally screwed up the first one I would have a backup to fall on. It’s beautiful, soft, shiny, but really got away from me at first and it took me a couple of tries to get the hang of it.


Happily, last night I finished up the first half of it and tonight or tomorrow will start up on the second half. I’m trying this on the second-smallest whorl and am curious to see how it plies up and if I can keep my skills going in the forward direction here.

Forward motion, it’s a good thing. On that note, I’m going to try to apply this to some more non-knitting tasks. Fingers crossed.


  1. Looking pretty proficient if you ask me….

    I’m sure you’ll be at sock yarn in no time.

  2. Looking good. And 20 minutes of spinning a day is probably a good meditation practice. Call it self-care/stress relief and keep it in the calendar.

    Also, if it helps, remember how annoying it is when most of the students haven’t read the assigned reading? Well the flip side of that is that if you just talk about the assigned reading, only about 20% of the students will notice. Not that you’d do that every week, but every once in a while it’s nice to know you have it as a backup.

    Or a twist on something a former colleague used to say, if about 1/3 of the students don’t show up or are unprepared every week, then maybe it’s acceptable for you to be unprepared about 1/3 of the time. Which is way more often than you actually ever would be but puts one lecture that you wing on the spot into a different sort of perspective.

  3. barefootrooster · ·

    yay yay yay! this looks awesome! can’t wait to see more. and yes — the whole spinning while listening, spinning as a way to ease your mind, etc etc etc is magic. i’m so glad you’re spinning.

  4. Wow. It looks great! I’m also focusing on forward motion in many areas of my life. Knitting included!

  5. AFter retirement, the pre-school opening dreams stop. Eventually.

  6. You’re doing much better than I did when I started. My third skein still looked like yarn barf 😉

    Hang in there – you’ll be down to laceweight in no time!

  7. I’m thinking you’re a natural born spinner, that’s good looking yarn, Very Good-looking yarn for your 3rd spinning!

  8. Looks amazing!

    And I think I’m going to borrow your attitude, I need to get moving on the same … baby steps…

  9. looks like you are off to a great start! I’ve always thought that one day, when I too take up spinning like so many knitters before me, would over spin a bit in the beginning. but that white skein looks so soft and lovely! I wonder if your normal stash will begin to get jealous of your handspun stash….

  10. Skein #4 is indeed very pretty. Shiny!

  11. You know I secretly hate you for being this good this fast, right? 😉

    Still love you…but, you know…

  12. Oh, sounds fun!

    I haven’t tried spinning, but it looks like you are doing a professional job!


  13. Your spinning is so even. Many years ago, I tried spinning and could never seem to get an even yarn. Maybe this winter I’ll buy some roving and try again. Good luck with your spinning.

  14. Pretty! I’ve been offered lessons on a drop spindle. I’m going to have to find mutual time with the offerer to learn.

    Your yarn looks beautiful — soft and squishy off-white skein, what looks like really *fine* purpley pinky bluish (??) on bobbin. Can’t wait to see that plied up! 🙂 Have you plans for the resulting yarn, or will it just be a “pet me” skein?

  15. Count me among your other friends, who are jealous of you getting so good so fast.

    My objective was to be able to knit Christmas presents from my own handspun. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, but depleting my stash wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

    My handspun is still overspun. I think the consistent practice would be a huge step in the right direction, however. It worked with completing knitting projects and a few other tasks—-why not try?

  16. Oh wow, I completely missed you getting a Little Gem. Congratulations on joining the Majacraft club 🙂

    You’re spinning looks nearly sock-weight already. It won’t take you long to get there.

  17. Gorgeous spinning! That brainy roving is fun to spin eh? I’m working on mine too.

    And we can get through the sock yarn thing together–that’s one of my spinning goals too.

%d bloggers like this: