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Old 11-07-2006, 03:50 AM   #1
jess_hawk
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Interested in learning to spin
I've been knitting for several years now (my grandma taught me when I was in second grade, and I really started working on it a couple years ago in high school); and I am completely fascinated by spinning. There is one catch: I'm a college student. This = I have very little money and no space. A spinning wheel just doesn't sound like it would fit in my dorm, even if I could find a cheap one. How about drop spinning? That doesn't require any majorly large equipment, right? how much does a drop spindle cost? I can get a beginner's lesson for free from a local yarn shop, besides which if I have an object in my hands and a purpose in mind, I can pretty much figure out how to use it, and then practice until I get it right. and if my technique is different from everyone else's, oh well...
Second question: I don't know anyone who has sheep, but my uncle has several llamas. How hard is llama wool to spin? Could I learn on it?
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:02 AM   #2
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never mind the questions about drop spinning, I found the info I needed. lol I'm an idiot.
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:16 AM   #3
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No such thing jess

I dunno about llama's and drop spindles. Never tried it. Spinning wheel it's okay though. If you have trouble with the spindle then try silk hankies. Very easy spin.
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Old 11-07-2006, 12:31 PM   #4
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llama, alpaca, angora & other hair fleeces are a bit more slippery than wool. My fingers are too rough for spinning silk!!

PM your shipping address and I can send you some wool to get started with
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Old 11-07-2006, 02:30 PM   #5
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Thanks SO much for the offer, I'll keep it in mind but I rarely get my mail at the moment (I'm at college and my classes run over the time when our post office is open), and I'm not very comfortable giving out my address to people online. We'll see if I can find something around here first.

Curious about other fibers, once I get the hang of it... can feathers be spun? I'm going to have a whole bunch of those soon, and if I learn to spin, I'd like to try removing the shafts from the feathers and spinning some yarn from that. I have a feeling that its totally impractical/impossible but I thought I'd ask anyway.
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Old 11-07-2006, 02:52 PM   #6
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Understand completely Jess. If you'd like to know a bit more about me, click on the link in my siggie. I like helping new spinners out and heaven knows I have way too much fiber begging to be spun!

Are you wanting to spin just feathers or add feathers in what you spin? I've had some success with stripping peacock feathers and carding it into the wool before I spin & I've thought about adding feathers when I ply but it seems like a tedious process and not guaranteed the feathers would stay.
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Old 11-07-2006, 03:06 PM   #7
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Jess, spindling is a GREAT way to start if you don't want to drop a lot of money. Spinning is sooo cool in that you can spend what you want to -- a little or a lot -- and still get great results and develop an awesome skill!

If you think you'll be spindling for a while, I would recommend starting with a good spindle vs. a kit spindle -- after a few weeks on the kit one you'll more than likely want to graduate to a different one! There are several that are good but still very affordable -- the Schacht Hi-Lo spindles are $16 and come in three weights; Cascade has a great little spindle that's $20 (the Little Si) and Greensleeves has a "bare bones" spindle that's supposed to be really nice, only $15.

Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:44 PM   #8
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I was thinking just spinning feathers themselves, but I like the idea of carding them into wool - seems much more feasible and wouldn't take nearly as many feathers. Thanks for the advice!
Julie, thanx for the information on spindles. I might try making one first, because its cheaper and I love to make things, but I'll probably ask for an actual spindle for christmas so that helps a ton!

Anyone know anything about (I think its called) Navajo spinning? Where you use a longer shaft on a spindle and just roll it down your thigh to create the spin?
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