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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2396 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2005 :  7:50:31 PM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message
I'm getting a wheel for Christmas (Lendrum folding double treadle) ... it was my husband's idea cause he knows how much I enjoy knitting...I DO have a wonderful husband!

Soooo....what fiber do I order? Where's the best place to get it? Help, please! I know absolutely nothing about this except that it's going to be great fun.

Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2005 :  8:40:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
Several KR people, including Martheme and Bluestocking, sell sampler packs. They're a good way to test out different fibers.

Lissa

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell


Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2396 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2005 :  8:43:36 PM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message
Thanks, Lissa. Should have looked through this thread before posting my question as I see others have asked the same question. I just popped in quickly and wrote my question. I was going to delete it if no one had posted to it :) but glad you did.
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jaymeKnits
Permanent Resident

USA
1353 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2005 :  08:07:15 AM  Show Profile  Send jaymeKnits a Yahoo! Message Send jaymeKnits a Private Message
I recommend getting your hands on anything and everything you can find. Get different breeds, different preperations (roving, top, batts...), get a bit of alpaca, mohair, and some mixes with silk, tencel etc.

Buy a few ounces of each and play with it all until you decide what you like and what you don't. If you absolutely hate something set it aside and try it again in a few months when you have more experience. If you still hate it give it to someone else.

Jayme
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jae
Warming Up

72 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2005 :  08:36:09 AM  Show Profile  Send jae a Yahoo! Message Send jae a Private Message
My first fiber was inexpensive, but soft enough to make a scarf. It is my favorite scarf and I get many compliments. The yarn is crazy...thick, thin, over spun. Perfection!! I believe it was coopworth. I suggest a corriedale it is usually a good price, and soft. Order more than you think you need, it can spin up fast. Also, ebay is a good place to look for fiber. I bought all of my first fiber at ebay. Stores like Copper Moose have a great variety of fiber. What ever you choose have a great time. My wheel is the absolute best gift my husband has ever given me. I wish him luck topping this one!!

Happy Christmas
Jae

http://stores.ebay.com/Wooly-Treasures
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RobA
Permanent Resident

2373 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2005 :  09:40:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit RobA's Homepage Send RobA a Private Message
When I started spinning -- oh, back about 3 weeks ago ;> -- I bought lots of inexpensive roving. I bought via ebay from Annie May (1/2 lb "bumps"), I bought 4 oz "skeins" from Warm Threads, and I have since indulged in some space dyed roving. I finished the first 1/2 lb bump very quickly, but the only way I am going to use the results is by knitting it into a bag and felting it! The fibers in these batches were pretty standard -- whatever it is when they call it "colonial" yarn, very smoothly combed. It also felt really cheap compared to the cost of yarn! I am now also using some clean roving "rolags" that a friend made for me --= a very different, much more "rustic" feel, and very different drafting experience. Next, the space dyed roving! I need more bobbins!!! Guess I am going to be using the niddy noddy this evening to free up a couple.

Rob http://roberta.typepad.com/robknits/
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Susan T-O
Permanent Resident

USA
2481 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2005 :  7:04:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Susan T-O's Homepage Send Susan T-O a Private Message
Actually, I hang on to fiber I hate, unless I absolutely must get rid of SOMETHING to make room for newly-acquired stash. One never knows when it'll come in handy. I've used matted-beyond-belief unspun roving to crochet a cat bed. Last Halloween, that horrible, nasty, I'm-never-going-to-spin-this-crap flax made perfect hair for the prop head in the guillotine.

That being said, I do agree that you should spin anything you can get your hands on. Everyone has their own preferences, and what's perfect for me might be so-so to Rob, hideous to Jayme, "pretty good, but not my favorite" to Lissa, and "hated it at first, but after some practice I like it!" to you.

--Susan T-O in Long Beach CA

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the
most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny.'" --Isaac Asimov
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Valk_scot
Permanent Resident

United Kingdom
1281 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  02:04:07 AM  Show Profile Send Valk_scot a Private Message
Everything from pre-prepared to raw fleece, assuming you have hand cards. In the beginning you`re spinning to learn, not to make yarn for a specific purpose. Just have fun. And don`t hesitate to buy a small amount of some exotic fibres like silk, alpaca and angora to try once you get confident with wool.

One suggestion is to keep a small notebook and pencil in your spinning bag and make notes on what you`ve tried, if you liked it, where you got it from etc etc. Useful learning tool. Wish I`d done it!

Val.

[img]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/26/26_9_21.gif[/img]
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Linda513
Chatty Knitter

USA
125 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  06:07:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit Linda513's Homepage Send Linda513 a Private Message
Woodland Woolworks sells sample packs of fibers. That might be a good way to go.


Linda
my blog: http://furryterrier.com
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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2396 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  07:02:32 AM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message
Thanks for the great suggestions. Linda, I went to Woodland Woolworks but found their site to be really hard to navigate. Where do you find the sample packs of fibers? Thanks!
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  07:14:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
I have a hard time with their site too. I even tried calling, and three times in a row they were out of stock of what I wanted, so I don't use them anymore.



"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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Linda513
Chatty Knitter

USA
125 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  2:01:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Linda513's Homepage Send Linda513 a Private Message
I downloaded their catalog which is in pdf form, and then you can go to their order page and enter the information. I agree, its not the best system.


Linda
my blog: http://furryterrier.com
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  4:23:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
Someone else asked something similar elsewhere on the forum (I can't remember a freaking thing...), and I suggest that she pick up 2 or 4-oz lots of all kinds of fiber in Ebay.

Lissa

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell


Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2396 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  08:53:20 AM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message
How much fiber is enough to spin? I've noticed that some sample packs contain yarns in 4 oz. lots and some are in 1/2 oz. lots. Would 1/2 oz. be enough? When I buy fiber in individual amounts, how much should I get?

And how much do you spin when you have projects in mind? For instance, for a pair of socks? for a sweater? for a hat, scarf or gloves? I came across a post that gave some in-depth instructions about spinning a sample, making a swatch out of it, figuring out how many square inches your project would be, then multiplying to find out how many yards you would need - is this what you do every time you want to make something or do you have an guesstimate for different projects?

Geez, and another thing - I've read that you should wash the fiber before you spin it and then I've read that you should wash it after you've spun it and it's in a skein.

If you want to dye it, at what point do you do that?

I'm definitely going down to B&N this afternoon and look for a good book. Any recommendations? :) (CAN I make a move without posting the question here first???? Before this is over, I may need KRA!)
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Susan T-O
Permanent Resident

USA
2481 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  09:58:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Susan T-O's Homepage Send Susan T-O a Private Message
How much is enough to spin? Interesting question. Technically speaking, a cotton ball has enough fiber to spin, but you can't make much with it :-). I like at least 1/2-oz of a new fiber to play with so I can decide if I like it or not. I used to buy 8 ounces at a time with new stuff, but after some horrifying experiences with superwash wool, nylon & flax I don't do that anymore.

Also, how much to spin for a project has many variables. For example, how thin are you spinning? The thinner the yarn, the more yardage per ounce you will get. How big is that sweater--is it for a 6' tall man, or a toddler? What pattern are you using? Some patterns take more yarn than others--bobbles, for example, use more yarn than plain stockinette.

As for washing, I usually wash mine after it's spun, but then I always buy clean, prepared rovings rather than raw fiber. You can dye either before or after spinning, depending on the effect you want. If you are dying multi-colors on a single roving/skein, and want to keep your colors as "clean" as possible, then I suggest doing it after spinning. The colors in a space-dyed roving will "muddy" a bit when you spin (that is to say, color number 2 will get pulled into the twist when you are still on color number 1, since there will be individual fibers that have both colors on them), which isn't always a bad thing. You can get some really interesting yarns that way.

My advice is: play with it, have fun, try different methods, and see what works for you.

--Susan T-O etc.

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the
most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny.'" --Isaac Asimov
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jaymeKnits
Permanent Resident

USA
1353 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  12:30:18 PM  Show Profile  Send jaymeKnits a Yahoo! Message Send jaymeKnits a Private Message
As far as how much to but I have no experience with this but here is what I have been told by other spinners:

Socks: 4 oz
Sweater: 1.5-2 lbs
Vest: 1 lb

This of course is a very in accurate estimate because of all of the things that Susan said, weight of fiber (cotton is heavier than wool for an example), thickness of yarn, stitch patterns, size of person... But I think it can be a good starting point.

Jayme
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bartlett
Warming Up

57 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2005 :  8:47:28 PM  Show Profile Send bartlett a Private Message
i too am getting a wheel for christmas so this is all very interesting to me although i only understand about 10% of it but i assume that it is easier to buy something called rolag which is all ready to spin is this correct i also have a bunch of fiber that i use for needle felting can i spin this thanks laura

wabi sabi
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Valk_scot
Permanent Resident

United Kingdom
1281 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2005 :  07:21:59 AM  Show Profile Send Valk_scot a Private Message
Rolags are fibre preparations you make yourself using hand carders. If you`re starting out you often use combed top, roving or sliver...there are technical differences in the preparation of these but in practical terms for a beginner it doesn`t make much odds as to what you choose.

Actually the difference between the UK and the USA is quite marked, because here we almost always learn to spin from the basic raw fleece upwards, not using pre-prepared fibres as much. This could be because there are less availible, of course! But I`m considerably more comfortable spinning from rolags than roving, and when we got the traditional batch of newbies in September at our spinning Guild, the first thing they got shown was a raw fleece and how to grade it. (We don`t show them the scoured fleece until the second meeting....ain`t we cruel?)

So Laura, buy some plain roving and try that first.

Val.

[img]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/26/26_9_21.gif[/img]
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bartlett
Warming Up

57 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2005 :  10:47:12 AM  Show Profile Send bartlett a Private Message
thanks for the suggestion i will try the roving for my first try i am happy that i asked and now have an idea laura

wabi sabi
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