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#spin15in15 Spotlight Spinner: @keninmaine

This week’s spotlight is on Ken, @keninmaine

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Q. Favorite fiber to spin?
Ken: I’d have to say that you just can’t go wrong with BFL or Merino, or blends made with either of these fibers. They both draft so easily and smoothly. I am currently working on a BFL/Alpaca blend that drafts like butter! On the flilpside, I have discovered that I really dislike spinning anything with bamboo!

Q. Do you prefer worsted or woolen methods of spinning?
Ken: I started out on drop spindles, mostly Turkish. At the beginning of my spinning adventures I was concentrated on making my yarn as even and perfect as possible. It made for a nice yarn, but being so particular also made it very slow going! After discovering the spinning community on Instagram, I got interested in supported spinning and decided to give it a try. I was given fair warning that there was a steep learning curve and I definitely found it tricky to start. I had to learn a woolen long-draw and I had to give up some control in the process. For me, this was hard and took a lot of practice! I eventually found that things went much more smoothly if I just let the fiber become the yarn it wanted to be instead of me trying to make it what I wanted. Now that I’ve gotten the hang of it, I can say that I definitely prefer spinning woolen on supported spindles.  

Q. Who or what inspires you?
Ken: For spinning on a Turkish spindle, does it get any better than @mmbmeek? Her IG feed is amazing! If you aren’t familiar yet, do yourself a favor and check her out! When it comes to supported spinning, I was initially drawn in by three spinners in particular: @quiltotaku, @seastar63 and @sylphsdesign. The beautiful pictures of their spinning and spindles totally hooked me and I knew I needed to learn to spin supported. There are so many other spinners that inspire me everyday with their projects, too many to try to name individually. However, I must give a shout out to both @randomgwen and @asjknits who have quickly become my spinning besties! 

Q. Any future spinning goals?
Ken: Currently I’ve been playing around with the idea of making a spinning wheel. Actually I have made one already, a Dodec, which is a lot of fun to spin on! But since making that one, I’ve decided I’d like to try designing my own with a bobbin and flyer assembly. This may be a modification of the basic Dodec design or maybe something I design from scratch. Wish me luck!

Q. Do you knit, weave, or gift/sell your handspun?
Ken: I knit with mine. Or I should say that I WILL knit with mine, as I haven’t actually used any of my handspun yet. But I have some thoughts on what I want to make with it starting with a hat and some mittens!

Q. What has Instagram done for you in spinning?
Ken: I don’t have a local spinning group that I meet up with, so before joining Instagram, I was just spinning on my own. Since joining, it has become my virtual spinning group! The IG spinning community is such a wonderful, welcoming and creative group of people. It’s so nice to connect with others and be able to see what everyone is working on. I’m constantly blown away by how talented everyone is!

Q. Without spinning, what might your other passions be?
Ken: I think if I didn’t spin, I would definitely still knit. As of right now, I’m hardly knitting at all because I’m enjoying spinning so much! But if I wasn’t doing anything fiber related, I think that I would get more involved with woodworking.

If you haven’t seen much of Ken’s work, go take a look on Instagram,@keninmaine

I want to thank Ken for taking the time to answer these fiber-minded questions and for being part of the #spin15in15 movement on Instagram.

Until next time…

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