Straw into Gold, Part 2

I have homework. Since in our second spinning class, we’ll be learning how to turn our newly-spun fibers into relaxed and ready yarn, I needed to finish spinning what I had, then wind it onto a niddy-noddy. Our teacher suggested making the niddy-noddy out of pvc pipe. This is a great idea, since I don’t know of anywhere in town to buy one, and I won’t have to wait to have one shipped. Also, this gives DH a reward for driving me to class.

So, after class, we drove to Lowe’s and got our pvc pipe and connectors. That evening, we measured and cut the pipe. This part was interesting. I’ve seen pictures, but since I’ve never seen a niddy-noddy in the wild, I had no idea how big it should be. Based on how big a store-bought skein of yarn usually is, we settled on about 15 inches. It does look very big, but we can always cut it shorter if we need to. Making it longer won’t really be a problem either, if we need to do that, since there is enough left over for another of 18″ or more. Taking a wild guess, we cut each cross piece about 3 inches.

niddy-noddy made of pvc pipe

diy niddy-noddy

I am using a wheel of Noro “Rainbow Roll” roving. (See picture on previous post.) This is great to start with, since a lot of the work has been done already. I still don’t know how to take a bag of roving and turn it into something spinnable. I hope that will be addressed this Saturday. (The class is only two Saturdays.)

It was so exciting to be making my first strand of yarn! I wanted to keep that thing going forever, but eventually had to admit that my spindle seemed to be full.

drop spindle is full

I think it’s done now.

So now I need to figure out how to wind it onto the niddy-noddy. I have never niddy-nodded before, so this could be entertaining.

Buttercup to the rescue

Never fear; the cat is here.

Buttercup came over to supervise, so all will be well. After all, who knows more about yarn than cats? (Except maybe sheep.)


Straw into Gold

Saturday is basically the only day I can knit. The rest of the week, I’m trying to get a lot of other things done, but on Saturday, I can carve out a large block of time, turn on the radio, and focus on the knitting project.

This is the main reason my cardigan project is going so slowly. Instead of spending 40 hours a week designing it, I’m spending six. The subheader of this blog isn’t “Plodding through the design process” for nothing.

And now, even that snail’s pace has ground to a halt, but for a Very Good Reason: This past Saturday, and next Saturday too, I am taking a spinning class!

No, not exercising, and not Sufi dancing. For the first time in my life, I have the opportunity to learn how to spin roving into yarn.



spindle & wool

Saturday spindle


I have wanted to learn how to spin all my life, and I am finally getting the chance!

So far, it’s been wonderful. My teacher is extremely good. She obviously knows what she’s doing, and has thought the process through so she can break it down into very easy-to-grasp steps. We in the class feel like super-talented spinners, but I believe that this is really just because she is teaching so well.

Last Saturday, we learned the park-and-draft method on a top-whorl drop spindle. Next Saturday, we’ll be turning our work into real yarn. I imagine that she’ll also be answering the questions that came up for us during the week, and maybe teaching some other drop-spindle techniques.

So, my Saxon Braid is on a two-week hiatus, and I couldn’t be happier.