Doubts on Handspinning

I spin in the worsted manner. Mainly because I don’t know how to spin in the woolen manner. I’m not even sure I understand the difference.

My latest handspun:

The specs:
Spun from Shetland pencil roving
Spun on my Jenkins Turkish spindle
Singles spun in lace weight (though not at first – I got better as I went along) and plied together
Each yarn cake weighs 1 ounce
Left cake is 35 yards
Right cake is 66 yards (This is the yarn I am happiest with).

By the way, does anybody have any advice on how I can label the yarn I spin up? Right now, I am using Ravelry’s stash tool in order to remember the yardage on each skein and what it was spun from. I would love to pick up a skein of yarn and know instantly what it is.

Back to my spinning rant: I spin slowly, inching my way along. Though I was starting to pick up speed with the Shetland pencil roving, I’m back at the starting line with the alpaca locks I am currently working on.

I do little to no preparation work on the alpaca locks. All I do is tease the locks open and lay them neatly in a row on a table next to my spinning chair. I haven’t even washed the locks, but I plan to next time around. My hands get so filthy during the spinning process.

The gorgeous green mohair roving is from WhorlingTides. I am using her hand-dyed mohair as a set of training wheels, so to speak, in my attempt to learn how to spin alpaca from the locks. I tried spinning the locks on their own, but I became so frustrated. They were slippery and had more desire to fly away than be spun into yarn. The mohair is acting as a sticky tape, for lack of a better analogy.

I read a lot of forums and emails from other spinners about how quickly they can chew through 4 ounces of roving. I have been working slowly and steadily on my mohair/alpaca yarn for about two weeks now and I think I am going to be lucky to get 5 yards out of it. I must be doing something wrong.

I’ve tried to follow the common advice of “Just Relax and Let Go”, but then I don’t get the consistent weight that I want. Right now, it is more important to me that I am consistent and that I enjoy what I am doing. (I often catch myself smiling down at my spindle full of yarn). I can only hope that the speed will come.

I am determined to get better. My wonderful MIL called me yesterday to tell me about the fabulous birthday present she found for me: fleece. Not just any fleece: llama. OMG, I can’t wait to touch it, smell it, bury my face in it, and then eventualy spin it.

Jake has been a wonderful support to me during my hours of spinning, especially when I become frustrated.

He lays right in front of my spinning chair.

PS. Poor Jake woke up sick this morning. He spent a good hour spitting up all over the green carpet. (I knew there was a reason I hadn’t pulled up the green carpet yet.) I have no idea what was wrong. Thankfully, he’s feeling better now, but sleepy.