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A New Learning Curve

First attempt at spinning on a kick spindle. Could have been worse.

First attempt at spinning on a kick spindle. Could have been worse.

The title of this post covers two different things: the kick spindle and school. As I mentioned last time, the replacement kick spindle arrived, and it has a helluva spin when I spin it by hand. The problem is, it’s a kick spindle, which means I’m supposed to use my foot. All well and good, but it’s not like treadling my wheel, so it’s a matter of really learning to keep the spin going at a good clip without kicking over the spindle itself, which I’ve already done once. Ideally, in hindsight, I should have just practiced kicking it before I ever tried to spin on it, but I’m an Aries, which translates as “impatient”. I had to try.

I did manage to spin a few yards of yarn on it, but it was difficult to keep the spin going. This is definitely no fault of the spindle, but my own. It’s truly a cross between a drop spindle, a supported spindle, and a wheel. It has a hook like a drop spindle, sits in a bearing the way a supported spindle sits in a bowl, and you use your foot like you do with a wheel. You have to figure out how to make the three work together to get the results you want. One of my problems, other than the whole foot thing, is keeping tension without pulling the spindle out of the bearing, which I have done repeatedly while spinning the little bit of yardage I did today.

It’s amazing to me that these three types of spinning are all so different from each other, yet produce the same thing: yarn. By far, the easiest for me is the wheel. Because Anansi is a double treadle wheel, it’s like pedaling a bicycle to me. Keep him oiled, and the treadles are easy as pie. I didn’t have to practice that for long before I was spinning decent yarn. Learning the drop spindle took a lot longer, but I’m getting better at it. I’m almost done with the merino-tussah blend now. The supported spindles didn’t take as long as I expected to get the hang of, I think because they are still spun manually, by essentially “flicking” the spindles, and I was already used to that with the drop spindles. The kick spindle is going to take some practice, but hubby told me the other night that one of the things he loves about me is that I always keep trying. Honestly, I hadn’t realized that about myself. Who knew?

Yesterday, I went and visited a floor loom for sale, a beautiful Schacht Mighty Wolf. It’s fifteen years old and in beautiful shape. It’s had two owners, neither of whom used it often. The first owner, I’m told, used it maybe four times. The second owner, maybe twice in fifteen years. And, I’m told, I would be better off with the older looms, as the wood then was a better quality than wood now. The loom certainly looked fantastic. And the lady that owns her is willing to take payments on her. Money is tight right now, so I don’t know if I can even manage it, but I had to go look. Yeah, I know, masochistic of me. But it has a 36″ weaving width and is four shafts, with seven treadles, and it folds to a depth footprint of 18″ when not in use, even with a warp on it, which means it would only take up a huge amount of space when I’m using it. At this point, I’m hoping for a miracle!

School starts up again on Monday. I passed everything but Introduction to Veterinary Technology, which I got a D in. Technically, in any other school, that would still be a pass, but not at CAVT, so I repeat the class this quarter. I managed an A in English, a B in algebra, and a C in both biology and chemistry. So while I wasn’t a stellar student, I do get to move forward. Yay! So I went out and bought school supplies the other night, and was stunned when a college-ruled, 5 subject spiral notebook rang up at $10!!!! Holy @#$%!! When did notebooks become so expensive?! The cashier told me that they have other Mead notebooks, roughly the same size, that are priced at $15! Wow!! You need your degree so you can get that great job just to pay for a notebook to continue your education! Unbelievable! Hey, Mead, that is highway robbery!

This next quarter, in addition to repeating Intro, I’ll also be taking anatomy and physiology, medical math, and medical terminology. Our terminology teacher has informed us that whatever life we had last quarter is now over. That terrifies me a bit (okay, maybe more than just a bit)! Previous students of hers said they were studying 150 – 400 medical terms per week. That’s a lot!! I’m hoping the fact that I usually excel in English, spelling, and languages will help me out here. Fingers crossed. But I’ll be heading over to WalMart to buy a ton of index cards to make myself some flash cards, yes, indeedy-indeed!!

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