I am researching right now. And scared.
One of my Christmas presents this year was a drop spindle. A very pretty drop spindle. And a nice little 2 ounce ball of roving. So I have everything I need to try my hand at spinning. I want to. I'm DYING to. But I'm so scared because I know that first attempt is NOT going to be pretty!
I've been reading almost nonstop about spinning and fibers and plying (which scares me almost more than spinning the single does) and I've found that YouTube has an almost endless supply of videos on spinning. I'm ALMOST ready to try it...but I can't. I know I will, I just have to work up the courage.
For those who don't know, a drop spindle is a straight piece of wood with a round piece of wood on one end:
Using combed wool or cotton or fiber of choice, you spin the spindle to twist the fiber, then wind it around the lower portion of the spindle until it is full and you can ball it. That makes a single. You can knit with a single, or you can take two or three singles and ply them together to make a stronger yarn. Plying is actually very similar to spinning the single, you just take 2 strands (for example) and twist them together in the opposite direction of your single's twist. There are so many techniques for plying though!
Once the yarn is plyed, you set the twist by soaking and hanging the yarn...but I haven't read much about this yet, as I really need to at least try step one and two before I worry about that.
In other fun news, through my research I found the NC Fiber Festival, held each October near Asheville, NC. Road trip? I've already hinted around to dear hubby that I sure would like to pet all those rovings and yarn. I'm sure I have the self control to not buy too much. Pretty sure, anyway. I've never been to a yarn festival of any sort and the thought of all that fiber in one place is pretty heady. Hubby has already been assured that he does not have to attend and I will owe him one if he takes me out to Asheville for the weekend :) Hubby is receptive to the idea...I think that's 10 brownie points for him.
Anyway. On the needles now is...nothing, actually! I am crocheting a baby blanket...and remembering why I definitely prefer knitting. It's over half done and very pretty, but I really love my faster projects. I'll post pics when I'm done.