Spinning

On patience, on persistence

Lace singles on the bobbin
Lace singles on the bobbin, both Merino Cashmere Silk and Merino Bamboo Silk

I’ve been working through my stash of spinning fibre… methodically and ever so slowly. I’ve been trying to stick to just one spinning project at a time and I don’t know why it took me so long to realize why I’m so slow… it’s because I spin everything so fine! I must have fallen into a dimension where I believe everything needs to start off being spun fine, so that if it gets plied, it will make it knitable. I think of plying fine lace singles into a balanced 2-ply lace yarn, or plying it navajo-style to make a three ply for socks, or even plying three bobbins of lace singles together to make a strong sock yarn. I don’t think fat, floopy yarns wear very well and it just negates making your own yarn… but the way I am just means that everything takes super long.

Merino Bamboo Silk
Fibre, split vertically and predrafted

I’m about 1/4 of the way through spinning this Merino Bamboo Silk fibre… I checked the blog and it’s from way back in August 2010! I’ve taken the pound of fibre, split it vertically and spinning both halves very thinly. At the end, I’ll have two bobbins of lace singles that can be plied together. The colour chunks should roughly line back up and I’ll get broad stripes of colour when I finally knit this up.

Merino Bamboo Silk - Lace Singles
Portrait shot of the lace bobbin

Let’s see if I can get to the end… there is much spinning to do. And of course, I spin short-forward draw worsted-style, meaning it takes even longer. I hope good things come to those who wait.

The Principles of Knitting
Good things CAN come to those who wait

Patience saved me upwards of $350! When “The Principles of Knitting” book was out of print, I was sorely tempted to buy it off E-bay but I just couldn’t afford or justify trying to afford to pay the $350 the book was going for at the time. Miraculously, June Hemmons Hiatt was convinced to come out with a revised edition of her book. Of course, editing the nearly 700-page tome took a long time as the entire book had to be re-typed by hand and all the 900 illustrations had to be re-created by her son. Now, it’s available for $30-something and it will forever live in my library as the most comprehensive book on knitting ever written.

When I heard June Hemmons Hiatt speak about the book at Vogue Knitting Live earlier last year, I had already pre-ordered and was waiting for delivery before Christmas. But she spoke up in her live interview with VK editor, Trisha Malcolm, and said it’s unlikely the book would be ready by Christmas. So, I would have to be patient.

I need to constantly remind myself to be patient, to be persistent. Small things done consistently to produce big results. Just keep at it. Maybe I’ll have all this spun up by next Christmas.

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About Felicia Lo

founder + creative director of SweetGeorgia // designer + dreamer // wife + mama // dyer, knitter, spinner, weaver, youtuber + author // been writing this blog about colour and craft since 2004 // see what I am making @lomeetsloom and @sweetgeorgia.

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12 thoughts on “On patience, on persistence

  1. Julianna says:

    I am totally with you on the spinning thing.  The yarn I have on my wheel right now is taking FOREVER.  But I know that when I spin fine singles like that I will be able to ply it (I prefer 3-ply to 2-ply) into a weight of yarn I will be more interested in knitting. 

    I love the pics of your spinning fibre and singles!  The blues and greens are definitely my colours :)

    1. SweetGeorgia says:

      Do you listen to music or watch tv while you spin? I’m trying to see if watching tv at the same time will keep me going… but honestly there is NOTHING to watch on tv. Suggestions?! :)

  2. Julianna says:

    I am totally with you on the spinning thing.  The yarn I have on my wheel right now is taking FOREVER.  But I know that when I spin fine singles like that I will be able to ply it (I prefer 3-ply to 2-ply) into a weight of yarn I will be more interested in knitting. 

    I love the pics of your spinning fibre and singles!  The blues and greens are definitely my colours :)

    1. SweetGeorgia says:

      Do you listen to music or watch tv while you spin? I’m trying to see if watching tv at the same time will keep me going… but honestly there is NOTHING to watch on tv. Suggestions?! :)

  3. GinkgoKnits says:

    I don’t spin but I totally understand the using tiny things from the knitting perspective. I seem to only want to knit sport weight or lighter yarn. I’ve just finished a worsted weight sweater and I can’t believe how quickly it went. I almost felt like I was cheating (just like knitting lace in fingering weight seemed somehow too easy). Is this some masochist personality trait or is it really that I think finer is gauge is better? I don’t know but it’s more important to like what I make than to speed through things.

    1. SweetGeorgia says:

      Oh I know! Or knitting a sweater out of lace weight yarn?! Like you, I enjoy the feel of the finer gauge knits too. Just takes some time to get there :)

  4. GinkgoKnits says:

    I don’t spin but I totally understand the using tiny things from the knitting perspective. I seem to only want to knit sport weight or lighter yarn. I’ve just finished a worsted weight sweater and I can’t believe how quickly it went. I almost felt like I was cheating (just like knitting lace in fingering weight seemed somehow too easy). Is this some masochist personality trait or is it really that I think finer is gauge is better? I don’t know but it’s more important to like what I make than to speed through things.

    1. SweetGeorgia says:

      Oh I know! Or knitting a sweater out of lace weight yarn?! Like you, I enjoy the feel of the finer gauge knits too. Just takes some time to get there :)

  5. June Oshiro says:

    Congratulations on your expanding space! That must be so exciting.

    I’m with you on the spin-so-fine continuum. It’s hard to maintain interest on my current project, a dark brown Merino. You might try an audio book? Recently, I have been enjoying TED talks via utube. 

    1. Arachne646 says:

      Public libraries lend out audiobooks on CD’s and in BC, you can also download some in various formats. Libraries and yarn rock.

  6. June says:

    Congratulations on your expanding space! That must be so exciting.

    I’m with you on the spin-so-fine continuum. It’s hard to maintain interest on my current project, a dark brown Merino. You might try an audio book? Recently, I have been enjoying TED talks via utube. 

    1. Arachne646 says:

      Public libraries lend out audiobooks on CD’s and in BC, you can also download some in various formats. Libraries and yarn rock.

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