Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lolita Hobbies: Spinning

There is nothing more luxurious than taking a bit of fiber, spinning it, and then making something out of the resulting yarn. It sounds boring and tedious, but it is strangely fulfilling to take the raw material and then end up with a scarf or hat or pair of fingerless mittens. Plus, when you spin your own yarn, you have complete control over what that yarn will look like and feel like.

Spinning isn't hard to do either. Anybody can do it as long as they have their hands, some sort of fiber, and a stick. You basically take some fluff, roll it between your fingers in one direction until you get a piece of string, pull it to get some more fluff, and see how long you can get that string to be. It is kinda like when you were a kid and were playing with playdough. You would take a ball and roll it out into a snake to see how long and how thin you could get it.

Of course, you can invest in better equipment to make spinning easier. Instead of a stick to wind your yarn you make with your fingers, you can get a spindle that helps you make that yarn faster and have someplace to store it. If you get really into it then you can invest in a wheel and then your yarn will start flying out as fast as you can pump the pedals.

Now, you might be thinking that this is all fine and dandy, but what does that have to do with the lolita fashion at all? It isn't like spinning is similar to embroidery or drinking copious amounts of tea. That is where you would be wrong. There are three reasons why spinning fit perfectly into a lolita lifestyle:

1. People who get seriously into lolita are all about the quality.

When you are able to control the process of making something all the way back to the raw material, then you are guaranteeing that you are making something that is high quality to your standards and specifications.

2. Spinning is luxurious and fits into a luxury hobby

There are so many different spinning fibers out there that it can be hard to choose. But if you want the biggest bang for your buck, you can get a ball of silk to spin into very fine yarn. What can be more luxurious than spinning silk? How about getting some baby alpaca, camel, bison, or cashmere? And for the extreme luxury, try saving up and getting some quivit. Ultra soft and ultra fine fiber that is harvested from the musk ox. Extreme luxury because of the extreme softness and rarity.

3. Spinning is elegant

Once you get the mechanics of spinning down, spinning is something that is seen as graceful, magical, and elegant. Especially if you opt for spinning with a light drop spindle. Spinning with a drop spindle without actually dropping it can be seen as graceful and you will amaze the non-spinners with your awesome hand-eye coordination.

My favorite learn how to spin book out there is one focused on drop spindle spinning. It is called Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont and she takes you from start to finish on a spindle. And once you get the hang of spinning, then you can make anything from big, bulky yarn that you can knit and crochet with to thread that you can embroider or tat with and everything in between.

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