Spinzilla 2015

Spinzilla ended at midnight on Sunday, and the photo above shows all the yarn I spun by hand during the week of the event. I’m a little surprised by how much I accomplished, to be honest. The yarns are arranged in the order I spun them, and if you look closely, I think you can see how much my spinning improved over the course of the week. The first one I spun is the green singles in the top-left, then on from there clockwise around. With the watermelon-coloured skeins in the bottom-right, I started feeling like I’d actually like to use the yarn to make things.

This one right here (below) was the first that made me really feel like I was starting to know what I was doing. That I spun it on a grey autumn day, looking out the window to a landscape that matched the wool entirely, made it that much more enjoyable.

wool handspun yarn

After spinning up a merino/tencel blend (the blue/green skein sandwiched between the purple and watermelon skeins in the top photo) and not enjoying it very much, I was curious and a bit wary about spinning up the first of the three braids of fibre I bought in New Mexico last spring in anticipation of Spinzilla – it’s a merino/silk blend. Turns out that though I found the tencel to be, I don’t know, tough and unpleasant, the merino/silk was a dream. The feel of this grey fibre was the most delicious of everything I spun during the week. I’m very excited to have one more merino/silk blend left from my New Mexico purchases – that’ll be my celebration spin.

merino/silk handspun yarn

Below is the last braid I spun. It’s 100% merino, the second of my New Mexico wools, and the most saturated sections of colour were all felted. So instead of ending on a high note, I ended Spinzilla with a day of cursing and ripping and tugging. I still managed to make some good yarn out of it, which actually made me feel even more capable and triumphant. But still. I’ll be inspecting my purchases more closely moving forward.

merino handspun yarn

When I decided to participate in Spinzilla, I thought it would be a good excuse to get my spinning wheel out and to maybe up my game a little. Instead, I feel like I learned a ton and upped my game a lot. I developed a more intuitive feel for drafting (that’s the part where you feed the fibre into the wheel), and for tensioning. I discovered I have a good feel for splitting my fibre in half so I end up with two nearly equal bobbins for plying (I could weigh it, of course, but that’s not nearly as exciting). And most importantly, I feel confident that I’ve moved on from the very beginner stage into a more advanced beginner stage that involves making useable yarn and feeling curious about more advanced techniques.

Yay!

All the handspun from Spinzilla 2015