another year, another spinzilla

estimated 3 min read

Last week was Spinzilla. Once again I spun for Team Happy Fuzzy Yarn. I set a modest goal to try to spin a little differently than I normally do, with the intent of making a yarn that could stand up to abuse as winter mittens.

I started late on Tuesday night, due to Rosh Hashannah. It was hard to get into a rhythm when the entire week felt incredibly disjointed and compressed. On Wednesday I spun while Shadow helped me weave. That was a multi-tasking challenge that left me feeling frustrated. Multi-tasking is evil, I know that (but apparently forgot that). Shadow made out the best for that 15 minute session of trying to do all the needlearts at once!

Photo of Shadow, a sample loom, and my spinzilla progress on my wheel

My tiny turkish spindle went everywhere with me, such as to a planning session with coffee.

photo of mini turkish spindle with coffee and notebooks and laptop at Starbucks

As the week ended, Buddy helped me ply. He’s my lazy kate’s personal feline tension tamer.

photo of Buddy chewing a dpn/dowel on my lazy kate while I try to 3ply

My thoughts from Spinzilla 2016, my third year

photo of 2 bobbins and tiny turkish spindle with finished spinzilla spinningWhile optimism about all that you can spin in a week is nice, it’s also helpful to remember to prepare the fiber before the event. I located all the HappyFuzzy Yarn fiber that I wanted to spin, but then neglected to prepare it. That was an unpleasant realization Tuesday night!

I forgot how easy it was to find extra time when you’re determined. Instead of catching up on social media in the morning while E got ready for the office, I spun. Those few minutes added up over the week. I think that’s a much better use of my time and I’m going to try to keep it up.

While other spinning challenge events exist throughout the year, most conflict with my schedule in some way. This single week is manageable. I also like that my nominal registration fee goes to support the Needle Arts Mentoring Program.

I learned that I should not try to chain-ply during a political debate. While it kept me from throwing anything at the television as my hands were otherwise occupied, I made a slew of mistakes and large sections swing all over the place on the over or under spun chart.

How’d I do?

If you asked me on Sunday night when I posted my meager contribution, I’d say terribly! I only finished one partial braid and half of another.

I fell into my normal spinning groove and other than plying two strands of Happy Fuzzy Yarn Falkland against a strand of local wool project, it was my normal singles and plying. We’ll see how the yarn is when I finally finish it, I think I succeeded in spinning the type of yarn I want for hardworking winter mittens.

Now that I can reflect upon that I was also preparing the fiber as I spun, I’m impressed that I accomplished what I did.

When I calculated the yardage and took into account plying credits, I was surprised to discover my total is +7yards over what I spun last year! Not bad. Not bad at all.

Photo showing my 2016 Spinzilla spinning, a total of 1207

What’s next?

Tomorrow I’ll decide how I’ll finish the yarn and give everything a bath.

I neglected to give my wheel its annual tune-up before the event, so it’s now on my projects list. It would be a good idea to have a spare drive band on hand.

It’s now time for my traditional post-Spinzilla slow spin. I am very slowly spindling (and chain plying) my way through this beautiful spectrum braid of Rambouillet by Elemental Fiberworks. I started it months ago. Over the next few weeks I’m going to try to spin on this Akerworks mini spindle more regularly. Perhaps I’ll finish the red section by the end of this year, time will tell.

photo of my October 2016 post-Spinzilla slow spin. An akerworks spindle & Elemental Fiberworks Fiber