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 Just Getting Started - Beginning to Spin
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knittingnancy
Chatty Knitter

USA
153 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2004 :  5:09:33 PM  Show Profile Send knittingnancy a Private Message
Hi!

I've been spinning on a drop spindle for about a month now and have been lurking around the spinning section of KR during this time. I've loved seeing the results of other new spinners work (and I especially liked Mike's "ah-ha" moment the other day, which helped me enormously!).

Anyhoo, in reading all of these posts I've come across terms that I'm not entirely sure of. For instance, what's the difference between roving and top? And, Mike mentioned carding roving into rolags? But, I'm not sure what rolags are.

I've been intending to purchase a spinning reference book, which I'm sure would be a huge help in answering my questions. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks!
Nancy

PS - I can't believe how addicting spinning is! It's worse than my addiction to knitting (which is pretty bad). I just can't wait until I can finally get a wheel!

megknits
Sustaining Member

USA
729 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2004 :  6:31:43 PM  Show Profile Send megknits a Private Message
OK, here goes...

In a roving, the fibers are aligned every which way. It is usually fluffy and is made by "carding" the wool, either with a large drum carding machine or with hand cards. You can spin fluffy yarn "woolen style" yarn with roving. Carding means that the washed (usually) fiber is further processed by pulling the fibers apart from each other so they make a uniform fluffy mass, which can be stretched out (drafted) and spun.

Top, on the other hand, has fibers which are all aligned in the same direction, and generally are around the same length. It is made by pulling the wool (or other fiber) through combs. Yarn made with top is generally smoother and sleeker "worsted style". (However, the way which you hold the yarn while spinning also has a lot of effect on whether your yarn turns out woolen or worsted.)

Rolags are made with hand cards, and are like short bits of roving, maybe six inches long. Roving made by a drum carder is often many feet long.

A great place to learn a lot about spinning is from Spin Off magazine, which comes out four times a year. The publisher's web site is www.interweave.com

If you want an encylopedic book about spinning, try Alden Amos' Big Book of Spinning, available at many spinning supply houses or from Amazon, etc. He covers a huge amount of material, although in many places it reads like a textbook. (I just skip over the parts that I don't find interesting.)

Meg
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knittingnancy
Chatty Knitter

USA
153 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2004 :  6:41:48 PM  Show Profile Send knittingnancy a Private Message
Thanks Meg! I'm realizing that there is still a LOT I need to learn. I may have to look into the Big Book of Spinning.

Thanks again!
Nancy
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Phaedra28
Gabber Extraordinaire

485 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2004 :  6:55:24 PM  Show Profile Send Phaedra28 a Private Message
Two other good starter books, which are cheaper if it matters, are Spin It! or Hands On Spinning by Lee Raven. Spin It! is actually a sort of updated version of Hands On, and is the less expensive of the two. Depending on whether you're looking for a $10 quick reference until you are ready to invest $40 on the Big Book, or a $20 reference with most of the basic definitions and examples, they're both good bets.

Yes, spinning is addictive. The problem is, while I'm working on one project, I find I'm hurrying through to get to the next one. Still, it means that, as I spin the yarn, I can dream of the finished object. And I can plan the next spinning project while I knit the last.

Higgledy Piggledy, my white hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen.
You cannot persuade her, with gun or lariat,
To come across for the proletariat.
--Dorothy Parker
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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2004 :  4:38:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message
I should mention that Alden Amos has some very **strong opinions** about how things should be done.....and seems to be rather averse to even the remotest possibility that there may be more than one way to do it....and that some of the teeny-tiny details that he goes through may not matter to many spinners.

Just so that you know.

Kelley

Everywhere you go, there you are! Imagine that....
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2004 :  02:58:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Don't miss out on good spinning videos. Mable Ross, Patsy Zawistowski (sp?) and Melba Montgomery all have good ones out there. I actually learned more in the beginning, from the videos than from the books.

Bess
http://likethequeen.blogspot.com
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blr2449
Permanent Resident

USA
1378 Posts

Posted - 02/29/2004 :  5:24:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit blr2449's Homepage  Send blr2449 a Yahoo! Message Send blr2449 a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by BessH

Don't miss out on good spinning videos. Mable Ross, Patsy Zawistowski (sp?) and Melba Montgomery all have good ones out there. I actually learned more in the beginning, from the videos than from the books.
Bess



I'm glad to hear you say this, Bess. I have both videos on order and can't wait to get them, watch them and figure out what I'm doing wrong.
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