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Confessions of a Yarn Addict

The long dark descent into the world of wool.

I might as well come clean. A close friend has already outed me at a party. I've crossed the line.

I have become full-fledged fiber fanatic.  

I bought a spinning wheel. Yes. There is a spinning wheel in my living room. I spin yarn. As if I didn't already have enough yarn in my stash (a word which here means large amounts of yarn purchased for no reason but for the intention of making something with it someday). But it's okay because I have not yet reached SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy). No need for an intervention yet. Besides, as long as I keep my family and friends in woolly socks and hats, they'll allow me this dysfunction.

Anyway. These are the kinds of basic skills we're going to need after the zombies come.

A couple of months ago I went to Stitches West in Santa Clara.  It's a big fiber convention for knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners, and crochet and knitwear designers. It's fabulous! I met one of my favorite designers, Ysolda Teague, and had her sign my books! This was my second time there.

I went for the first time two years ago and that's when I first saw the spinning wheels. I was fascinated by them, but I wasn't yet brave enough to try one out. They stayed in my head. I knew that I wanted to do it someday. I wanted to learn but I don't know anyone who does it. So I just kept thinking about it. Looking at them online and wondering how they work.  

This year I was determined to try one out. I watched many people sit down and start spinning. Some were newbies like me, some were trying out different models to compare with the wheel they had at home. Finally, the shop owner looked at me and asked if I wanted to try it. I told her I had never done it before but wanted to learn. She spent the next 45 minutes with me, giving me the basics and letting me practice on the wheel.

It felt natural.

I loved it right away. It was meditative. I watched more first-timers try out other wheels. They seemed to be having trouble with it. They thought I was more experienced than I was. It felt good.

And then I knew it was time to walk away. I told the shop owner that I had to think it over before committing such a large amount of money to this new hobby. She understood. I walked away because I wanted it. I wanted it bad. I also wanted to make sure it wouldn't be just an impulse buy.  

I slept on it but it was all I could think about. I knew if I went back the next day, I would be coming home with a spinning wheel. So I had to think long and hard about whether I would go back or not. And I guess you already know that I did. I went back and bought myself a spinning wheel. 

I've spun up quite a bit of yarn. The first skein I knit is very thick and bumpy, but it's getting finer as I get better. Consistency is my next goal. Last week, I knit a hat out of my hand-spun yarn. It's not a pretty color but its a nice warm hat.

I bought some more wool that has been dyed a beautiful heathered mix of colors called Merlot. I can't wait to spin it up and knit something lovely out of it.

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Mayra Flores de Marcotte April 24, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Love this! Thanks for sharing, Sandy. I, too, am an addict, though mine is more in the forms of beads and chain. I make jewelry on my spare time and love, love, love shopping for great looking beads and interesting chain. I've got a whole studio set up for this in my former garage (see what I mean!). :) Can't wait what you create with this spinning wheel!
Sandy Richards April 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Oh my gosh, Mayra! How do you possibly have 'spare' time? I guess we can always find the time to do the things we love. Who needs sleep?
cyndietodd April 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Awesome.
Mayra Flores de Marcotte April 25, 2012 at 04:16 AM
I rather do living than sleeping ;)

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