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Old 06-22-2011, 07:52 PM   #1
zengrenouille
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Is it worth it?
I'm a recent (and poor) college graduate who is trying to pay to take the GREs and submut grad school applications. Knitting keeps me sane, but it was a bloody expensive trade. I was thinking about starting to spin my own yarn in order to have my knits be truly homemade and save money. Upon scoping the internet, though, I find that fiber for spinning is almost just as expensive as pre-spun yarn. I want to be able to use the beautiful fibers that knitters with more spending cash me utilize.

Do you guys think it is worth it to try put the time and energy into learning to spin (drop spindle) and whether there are ways to procure fibers that are cheaper, even if they take a little more work and learning talents besides spinning and dying?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:32 PM   #2
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Looking around I've noticed the same thing. In some cases the roving is even more than finished yarn. Seems the sheep aren't the only ones being fleeced.

Raw fleece may save you in the long run. Hand cards are also expensive for what they are.

So far this seems to be the best prices I've found. http://www.halcyonyarns.com/fibers.html?category=Fiber
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:34 AM   #3
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I started learning to spin a few years ago, and a wise woman told me that I would have to choose between knitting and spinning, because I wouldn't have time for both. I set out to prove her wrong, but soon realized it to be true.

Spinning is a time-consuming, tedious process that requires a lot of concentration, time, and talent. If you want to be good at it, you have to set aside everything else for learning time. When you learn what you're doing, you don't have time to do much else.

I have a spinning wheel, carders, a flick carder, spindles, and several boxes of beautiful fiber I purchased on eBay. I also tried out working with raw fleece, but will never do that again. Filthy work. The prettier fiber (roving and top) is fun to work with, but takes FOREVER to make a full skein. And if you're learning (like me), the finished yarn is not consistent enough to knit a pretty garment.

I'm not giving up on spinning. I just never have time for it. I'm too busy knitting with the pretty yarns I buy in shops and craft stores. Maybe one day, I'll have time to sit and spin some more. The fiber isn't going anywhere.

But, spinning is fun to learn. If you want to do it, go for it. You might have a love for it.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Shandeh View Post
I started learning to spin a few years ago, and a wise woman told me that I would have to choose between knitting and spinning, because I wouldn't have time for both. I set out to prove her wrong, but soon realized it to be true.

Spinning is a time-consuming, tedious process that requires a lot of concentration, time, and talent. If you want to be good at it, you have to set aside everything else for learning time. When you learn what you're doing, you don't have time to do much else.

I have a spinning wheel, carders, a flick carder, spindles, and several boxes of beautiful fiber I purchased on eBay. I also tried out working with raw fleece, but will never do that again. Filthy work. The prettier fiber (roving and top) is fun to work with, but takes FOREVER to make a full skein. And if you're learning (like me), the finished yarn is not consistent enough to knit a pretty garment.

I'm not giving up on spinning. I just never have time for it. I'm too busy knitting with the pretty yarns I buy in shops and craft stores. Maybe one day, I'll have time to sit and spin some more. The fiber isn't going anywhere.

But, spinning is fun to learn. If you want to do it, go for it. You might have a love for it.
Thank you for this information. I was wondering how long it actually takes to spin and ply yarn, since the videos of the process make it look like a long process. I assumed that it wouldn't be so time consuming since there are so many people who spin, dye, and knit. I love knitting and wouldn't wan to trade it for spinning. I might buy a drop spindle set just to try it, but I've seen in various places that drop spindles are not very good unless they are a little more pricey.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:40 PM   #5
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Have you looked at the discount yarn sites? They sell excellent yarn (most of it the same as local yarn shops, but maybe discontinued colors). A couple are http://www.smileysyarns.com/ (but Smiley's has a $50 order minimum ) and http://www.bargainyarns.com/ .

HTH!

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Old 06-24-2011, 05:06 PM   #6
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You should be able to make a drop spindle pretty easily. If you can buy premade wooden toy wheels and a dowel that fits tight that would be all you need.

Even if cheap does make a difference it would at least get you to try it without putting a lot into it. Beware of people on the internet that act like money can buy expertise.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:58 PM   #7
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Spinning can be as expensive as you want to make it.

As Mike said, a wooden toy wheel, a dowel and small cup hook and you have a spindle.

Some folks say that you need a wheel if you want to spin a lot of yarn. I disagree. Some folks don't have long blocks of time to sit and spin on a wheel but they can take their spindle & fiber any where and spin a few minutes here and there.

Starting with a raw fleece takes time (and practice) and more time. It is very rewarding, but a time hog. You can get nice fiber for spinning inexpensively from Carol Lee at the The Sheep Shed Studio.

I find time to spin, knit, crochet & weave ... then again, I'm semi-retired.

Learning to spin can be frustrating, but don't give up! One day it just 'clicks'. Check out youtube videos of Abby Franquemont (author of Respect the Spindle)

Do I think it is worth it? A thousand times YES!!
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:25 PM   #8
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Spinning and Knitting are both time consuming. Which I why my mother spins, and I knit. Together we dye, but it's just a hobby. It's impossible for either of us to make any money off of our work. Too many artists, not enough eager buyers.
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