I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I just realized that I neglected to tell you about the spinning class I took a week ago Sunday, at the Spinning Room in the beautiful village of Altamont, NY, outside of Albany. The class ran from 10 am to 3 pm, we were 3 students, and had a wonderful teacher. Mary has been spinning for at least 25 years, and is very knowledgeable about everything spinning related. She used to raise her own sheep, but now runs the Spinning Room yarn shop full time.

At first, she had us treadling for while. We took turns on 3 different spinning wheels to get the feel for them. One was single treadle, one was double treadle, and one was "fake" double treadle, meaning you operate a single treadle with two feet.

After a while, we were knitting while treadling-- a great way to make us multitask and have the treadling become automatic. Just before lunch, we attached a length of single ply yarn to the flyer (gee I hope I am remembering all the parts of the wheel correctly...), and we pretend spun.
Then we attached some roving, which we had pre-drafted, and began to spin...well, or tried to.

At that point I was ready for a little break.

After lunch, we moved the wheels outside to the little porch and had a view of the village green (see below). While the other two students merrily spun away, I had a bit of difficulty with my really smooth red roving. It kept getting away from me and breaking. I must tell you I was ready to walk away and walk around that village green a few times, to regain my composure. But Mary of course kept her cool and stepped in and said that sometimes, the spinner and the roving don't agree...I was grateful for that excuse! She gave me something "stickier", and away I went. Much better. She put a felted basket of various rovings next to me and I just grabbed whatever was in there:

Hence the rather mixed appearance of my first skein! Very lumpy stuff indeed. But heck some would call this designer yarn and would actually pay good money for this!

At the end of the day, I couldn't get enough. I went home with a rented wheel, a Louet double treadle, ran to where the stash lives, and found a small ball of Jacob roving, turning it into this. I think it's starting to look like something!

(Village Green in Altamont, NY)

We go back in a couple of weeks for a follow-up class, and to learn how to ply. I can't wait. Meanwhile, I already ran back there for some more roving, so I can "practice". Nice word for getting your fiber fix.


Jody said...

I just have to tell you how much I enjoy your photographs!

Karin said...

Thank you, Jody!

AlisonH said...

When I learned how to spin, my teacher was adamant that we learn with Romney, which has a long staple, and not Merino, which is quite short-stapled. Romney can be somewhat harsh, but she kept some really good quality stuff around for her classes.

Congratulations on getting started spinning!

patw813 said...

I'm jealous - I also recently took a "learn to spin" class at another local shop, and your results look so much more knitting-ready than mine did! But, I really enjoyed it, and will be renting a wheel to practice some more and see if I can't get the hang of it...

elise said...

One of these days I will learn to spin, but first I had better learn to knit faster (stash acquisition being what it is...) Photos are lovely and thanks for letting me know that there is no knit night in June.

Vivian said...

Karin, I love the pictures on your blog. you really have an eye for colors. I tried spinning couple of times and never "got it". So nice to see you have result already.

I tagged you to write 7 random things. More on my blog.