Today I've got a special interview with Katie Best! Katie was the featured yarnie from December's Club Yumi kit & is the spinner and owner behind NerdSpun Yarns. This interview took place on January 27th in the Club Yumi VIP Lounge. It was the first of our live Q&A's with club members & while we didn't have any outside questions, it was still a really fun chat. I hope that you enjoy reading it and getting to know one of my favorite fiber friends.
From Katie's Etsy Shop, NerdSpun:
"Just a girl and her wheel! I've been knitting since my New Year's resolution of 2014, and took up spinning shortly afterwards. I have a fiber addiction and want to share the love of the craft of yarn and yarn creation. There's always something new to learn!"
YumiYarns: Hello and welcome to the live Q&A with Katie Best!Feel free to post your questions or just say hello. We'll be here for the next hour answering your questions and just chatting in general. How is everyone?
Katie: I'm doing well!! I've just cast on and knit the first few rows of a shrug! :D
YumiYarns: Woot! What yarn are you using?
Katie: My Madeline Tosh Spectrum :3 It's delightful.
YumiYarns: Oh, sounds amazing! What pattern?
Katie: It's the Something Lacy Shrug by Vera Sanon. I had put in my favorites on Ravelry ages ago.
YumiYarns: Nice! It looks really cute & should be really pretty in that colorway.For anyone interested, it's This Pattern.
So, do you have any spinning projects in the works?
Katie: Two at the moment! One is a purple merino/bamboo/silk braid I've been spinning on my tiny Turkish spindle, and one is a commission I'm spinning on Rosie, my Ashford Joy.
YumiYarns: Nice! What weights/styles are you spinning them in?
Katie: The purple merino is kind of whatever weight I happen to feel like at the time. The spindle is about four inches tall, and I just take a chunk of braid with me when I'm out and about and need some travel spinning. This particular project has been in the works for a couple years, actually. It's been with me to South Carolina, Vermont, Minnesota, Colorado...I've got a bag of tiny Turkish turtles that I've finished. I'm about 3/4 done with the braid. I may try to connect all the turtles to spin one skein, but I'm more likely to do a bunch of mini skeins.
YumiYarns: Haha, I think I know that braid. ^_^For anyone who doesn't know, what do you mean by "tiny Turkish turtles"?
Katie: A Turkish turtle is the flat, oblong ball of spun yarn that remains after the arms and shaft of the spindle have been removed. It's not the technical term, of course. :P
YumiYarns: Lol, ok. I just wanted to clarify for anyone who hasn't seen one of your tiny Turkish spindles.
What got you into spinning in the first place? Did you start on one of those little spindles?
Katie: I did start on a spindle. It was actually a student spindle I picked up from Sioux Falls's local yarn shop, Athena Fibers. This one was full size, though.
YumiYarns: Ah, what's the difference between a student spindle and the tiny one? (Aside from just the size.) Is one better for spinning than the other?
Katie: No, it's primarily a difference of design. The Student Spindle is a simpler design, where you wind the spun yarn around a central shaft. The Turkish spindle has four arms that you wind the yarn round in a pattern to maximize the storage. Most of the spinning process is the same across the different types of spindles--at its core, any spindle is a tool to add twist into fiber.
Here's a photo of my first spindle (and my first handspun!)
YumiYarns: Aw, it looks so pretty and soft!! Have you made anything with your first handspun?
Katie: My first handspun is more of a keepsake than anything...that, and the kind of crazy thick-and-thin going on would make it hard to knit with!!
YumiYarns: That yarn would make for a great keepsake, though I kind of love thick & thin yarns so I would be tempted to knit it up into something, myself, lol. ^_^
(Getting back to wheels and spindles...) So the same is true for the different types of spinning wheels? Why did you decide on an Ashford Joy for your wheel? (There are so many different options out there!)
Katie: That's mostly true for spinning wheels as well, though the different types specialize in different types of yarn. Some were designed specifically for plant fiber, some for wool, some for lace spinning...So a wheel does require more research (and more investment!)
I decided on an Ashford Joy because a lot of the local spinners I knew really liked it, and it was a portable(ish) wheel I could bring to events. It's also a pretty versatile wheel with the capability to proc