I finally, FINALLY, got my hands on a drop spindle. I bought someone's destashed learn to spin kit that included a bottom whorl spindle and I'd say about two ounces of unknown quality wool. It came Thursday, and I found it waiting for me when I got home from taking Haytham to the airport. It definitely took a little of the edge off of sending my Bubby on his way again, but the problem was I couldn't spin a lick with it.
I tried everything. I tried spinning the whole big mess of fiber that came with it. I tried pulling it apart. I even tied the fiber to the leader yarn and just ran it across my leg. Nothing worked.
So, I took a trip to Spin a Yarn yesterday, and begged Christy to help me figure the darned thing out. She showed me how to pre-draft and draft the fiber. She also suggested putting a hook in the top (it didn't have one) to help guide and hold the yarn rather than relying on a half-hitch and groove. (I also got to try a wheel, though VERY unsuccessfully, but hopefully if I get to go to Fiber Folks on Wednesday I'll get another chance and do a little better.)
When I got home, I tried to put a cup hook in the end of the spindle. The wood (pine, I think) split. Luckily, the split wasn't too long, so I grabbed some duct tape and hallie-rigged it.
Worked like a charm. Inspired, I spun as much as I could before my arms got tired.
I got it out again this morning, and spun some more of the wool.
I put it down long enough to go visit my dad, and take a nice drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I got home about 6, and I've been spinning ever since. End result?
Forty one yards of single, now stretching out and drying in my bathroom. (It took about half of the fiber to spin that much, so I'm going to spin the rest of it up to make a second single, then ply them after I dye them.) It's too thick in some places, and nearly laceweight in others...
But I don't care. I love it.
The plied yarn will be pretty much useless as it will be too short and will have too many variations in weight (though I may turn it into a swatch, just to be contrary). Doesn't matter to me, though. I made it, and I like it. And, once I get a little better, I've got two ounces of gorgeous turquoise merino/silk blend calling out to be spun. Ha!