So, after all the talk about what sort of spinning tools I wanted and what I have space for, I have decided to get a wheel sooner rather than later. I have done some spinning on my drop spindle, and it’s okay (plying is a nightmare for me on the spindle), but I just prefer the wheel so much more. I’m also dumping the drum carder plan for now. Jamie, one of the owners of Urban Fauna Studio, was instrumental in this decision. She informed me that I could rent time on their carder. She also encouraged me to do research before making such a big investment. The store owners could have totally let me just spend gobs of money recklessly, but they actually seemed concerned about getting me what I really want, even if I didn’t know what it was yet.
Kathryn (the woman who organized the San Francisco Knit in Public Day event in Union Square, and another excited customer) turned me on to fiber combs. I think these are really what I want – they remove the little noils you find in some carded fiber. After spinning some fiber that had these little design features, I learned that I prefer to make smooth yarns. That’s not to say that I won’t ever want to spin art yarns like that, but for now, I have my preferences. I did some research on the combs online, and I think I have an idea of what I want, but I will ask Jamie for her professional advice when I get back to her shop.
I’ve made some great purchases already from Urban Fauna. I finally got a niddy noddy. I finished it with Danish oil, and I intend to finish my new wheel the same way so they match. I also acquired some more fiber. I got too excited and spun a bag of their mixed fiber without photographing it first, but I managed to get a picture of the Angelina (ooh, sparkly), the merino wool/tencel blend, and a tube of mixed fibers for blending (hopefully on soon-to-be purchased combs).
I have been attempting to make do with my spindle for the moment. The green fiber with the noils is on the spindle in the first picture. I plied the 3 yarns in the next picture to make the tiny bit of yarn on the spindle in the third picture.
I had plenty more fiber to make more of the plied yarn, but I was unable to complete the process due to an uncooperative ball of silk fiber. The tan ball is tussah silk. As I was plying the yarn, the other end of the ball of silk came free and tangled with the working end. I tried to untangle it, but it got caught in the yarn again as I was plying it and it became a total knot. This would have been a lot easier on a wheel (most particularly, on a bobbin). Lesson learned.