Yesterday I had to pretend I was spinning, but today has a little more time in it, so there’s a start on my wheel. 

Pretty, pretty stuff, this batt.  It’s from Hanks in the Hood, and it’s a barely mixed combo of Merino, bamboo and sparkles.  It’s my favourite sort of batt to look at, and my least favourite to spin – when several different elements are barely mixed like that, it means that you hit a chunk of merino, then a chunk of bamboo, then merino, then sparkle, and the resulting yarn is very, very pretty indeed, but very tricky to spin – at least for me.  I get my groove on with the merino, and then wham. I’ll hit a different chunk of stuff and need a whole other set of techniques. It’s not the sort of thing where you check out and just zoom.  It takes attention, and I think the experience makes me a better spinner.  It’s a healthy degree of challenge. 

Mostly I spin my "default" yarn.  All spinners have one, I think.  There’s just the yarn your hands like making.  You treadle at a certain speed, draft the way you like, and the next thing you know, you’re making the same yarn. Every. Time. Even if I think I’m going to make a different yarn, if I zone out for a second, I’m making that default yarn, but this batt won’t let me do that. If I do the same thing for the merino pieces that I was for the bamboo, the yarn’s think and thin, clumpy and bumpy.  To get something I want,  I can’t default. The two materials are too different.  It’s a brilliant way to train, if a little trying.

Also challenging? Knowing I need to let go of perfection if I’m ever going to get better at this.  To my way of thinking, being a good spinner isn’t just being able to make all fluff into my default yarn.  It’s being able to make fluff of all kinds into all kinds of yarn – and in a perfect yarn, I would be able to decide what that yarn was ahead of time – rather than getting a surprise. 

This is all a way of saying that I’m not sure this yarn is going to be good – but I think the next batch will better.  I think I’m learning – and I think this batt is a good teacher. I’m learning more about my hands and wheel from these rapid fire changes than I have from any book.

What’s the thing that taught you the most about spinning?

(PS.  Stash toss not complete, but has not yet revealed any damage or the stuff of nightmares. Vigilance has paid off again.  I think.)