So, What’s in the Box?

It has been a … less than stellar day, which means it is the perfect day to share something awesome.

A little while ago (during my B.A.D.D. period) I was at work when I received this picture from my Mom, Dad and husband….

What's in the Box?

What’s in the Box?

No one would tell me what was sitting in my living room – or what was in the box. I thought that it was a book Trevor and I had been trying to sell. Finding the right seller for rare books can be difficult and tedious, and we have a doozey we found at a garage sale.

Of course I got mandated at work that night, and after 16 hours all I could do was come home and crash. To be honest, I forgot all about the box. I even forgot doing the horrible impersonation of Brad Pitt from the movie Seven when he yells “what’s in the box?” (spoiler: it was a head). The terrible impression made from hours 4 through 11 in my shift were soon forgotten after that the sucky-ness of work caught up with us and well … we all forgot.

Trevor had been twitchy all week and all I thought his second job was catching up with him. With his Dad being sick and working all the time of course he couldn’t remain the Zen Master of the Universe. It’s still strange that I thought that though – because the only other time if our eleven year relationship where I have seen him twitch like that is before he proposed.

So when I came home one night, this is what I found sitting in my living room … no longer in the box …

My first spinning wheel!!!!!

My first spinning wheel!!!!!

My first spinning wheel! The present, from my family, was a (very) early 30th birthday present. As it turns out, everyone was waiting to see my response to the gift – so much so that I spent two hours on the phone before I could even sit down and look at my new toy. The wheel is an Ashford Spinning Wheel Kiwi 2 and unfinished – which is perfect. Everything about it is perfect – except my spinning 😉

Here goes nothing

Here goes nothing

So friends and neighbors, who are also spinners, I am begging for any tips/tricks/advice on how to make the perfect yarn for my perfect family!

No pressure 😉



14 thoughts on “So, What’s in the Box?

  1. lollyknits

    So I’ve only had my wheel for about two months now, and I was spindling for about ten months before that. I do have a few tips though!!
    1. Predraft, predraft, predraft. You can just pull the fibers apart a bit to loosen them so they’ll spin more easily, but what I like to do is pull off tiny little tufts from the end of the roving and layer them on top of each other to make a little fiber sandwich! That really helps me keep up with my wheel, because the fibers draft so smoothly.
    2. For your first wheel project, shoot for something fat and uneven. Maybe even spin a chunky single for a cowl or something. There will be imperfections and a learning curve, so make it a design feature. If you give yourself free rein to experiment and mess around with your first spin, your following projects will be much closer to what you want. Besides, chunky cowls are very trendy, I bet Gloria would love one 🙂
    3. Before you even start spinning, practice treading until it feels natural. It’ll get you spinning much faster if that part is automatic first!
    4. The tension thing on spinning wheels is weird! Mine is a scotch tension, which means that you basically have a brake made of fishing line. The tighter the brake, the faster it will pull the singles onto the bobbin, and the less twist they’ll have. For the project I’m working on right now (sock yarn) I’m using very low tension because then the singles will have a lot of twist and they’ll be more durable for socks! (but not as soft as something I’d want for a shawl or cowl.)
    I hope all that helps! You know my email if you have any more questions 🙂

  2. Curls & Q

    Q – My tip, practice 10 minutes every day. Watch YouTube spinning videos. And, look at my Wed post to see how you can use all of the crazy yarn that ALL new spinners spin. LOL! Congrats! What a wonderful family.

  3. vuchickens

    So exciting!!! I’ve been spinning for 4 months and I love it! I agree with all of the aforementioned advice, and only want to add that it’s a good idea NOT to try for perfection, that is bound to stress you out, and spinning should be relaxing and meditative. Just play and try out lot’s of different techniques and fibers. Hand-spun yarn is about uniqueness, not perfection… that you can buy in any store. I find that my most carefree spins have been my favorite so far, and they knit up just as well as my more carefully even spins.

  4. Sofia Leo

    Drum carded batts are often an easier way to learn because they aren’t as slippery as the combed top everyone seems to think is The Bomb in those first weeks. Also, they don’t require the same amount of drafting…

  5. pimla15

    Practice, practice, practice. I started with a drop spindle and had gotten pretty good. I could spin a consistent thickness yarn. Then I got a spinning wheel and felt like I was back in remedial kindergarten class! The yarn I produced was a hot mess! I agree that you need to just get used to pedaling, stop or slow the wheel, then learn to get it spinning again by just pedaling. Secondly, forget perfection. And when you watch spinning videos, remember that the spinner has mastered the craft or they wouldn’t be making videos. I just started spinning cotton that I grew last summer and it is sooooo different from wool that I’m back in remedial kindergarten class. Last piece of advice…whenever you feel frustrated…STEP AWAY FROM THE WHEEL! I swear the wheel can sense your frustration and goes out of its way to make things difficult. Just relax and enjoy the process of turning fluff into yarn. Truly miraculous!

  6. KerryCan

    This is such fun! Your family must really like you! 😉 I had a short stint as a spinner a long time ago and I hope you turn out to be better at it than I was–have fun!

  7. feelgoodknitting

    How exciting! When I got my wheel (after spindling for ages) the main adjustment for me was not expecting my yarn to look as nice or come as easily as it did on a spindle. It also took (is taking) me a while to get used to how much faster it spins up!

  8. dollworks2014

    Lucky, lucky you… I so want to get giving this a go but The Hubs says I can’t have one because next thing I will want all kinds of animals in the garden… I did say a couple of Angora rabbits would suffice but got a big fat NO…. xx


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