Spinning

I have always been interested in spinning.  Turning fluff or plant fiber into yarn or thread?  Magical!  No wonder it features in fairy tales…Sleeping Beauty or Rumpelstiltskin, anyone?

As I child I would sometimes take a cotton ball, tease out a few fibers and twist them into a “yarn” only to have it become a strand of fibers once I let go.  Then I learned that when you let it twist back on itself, a short length of yarn resulted.  But it was a short length, and you couldn’t really do anything with it.

Foxfire books fascinated me with the tales and stories of how to make a living from the land in the Appalachians.  This was a part of my heritage! (one branch of the family traces their lineage back a few hundred years in that area of the country)  Spinning and weaving were important skills to provide warm clothing for the family from your sheep.

But I lived in the era of polyester double knit and acrylic yarn.  Grandmother crocheted exquisite cotton thread lace tablecloths.  The other grandmother passed away when I was quite small, but I still have a warm crochet hat trimmed in ribbon she made for me.  She also knitted, sewed, and cooked with artistry.

I had crochet right in front of me so I was more interested in making things with the hook.  Different eras of life I picked up and put down various hobbies or interests.  Most recently crochet, and I joined a Knitting Group  as a crocheter.  The other women offered to teach me to knit and I took to it like a duck to water!  It is not dull and there is always something new to learn, or a technique to perfect.

In sneaks spinning.  Several knitters writing blogs I read are also spinners.  Some even have their own pet sheep, or farming operations.  Did you know they put jackets on their sheep to keep the wool a bit cleaner?   wow!

Can you see where this is going?  I learned an interesting factoid from the blogs, that the wool from Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) sheep is good for learning…a woman I met knitting is also a spinner and she encouraged me to learn drop spindle (less $$ investment) spinning.

A drop spindle can be made from a dowl and a wodden wheel for a toy.  Hmmm.

Ebay.  I bet they sell wool roving.  And wouldn’t you know, I also found some BFL at what looked to be a good price.  Checking around some websites confirmed that it was a GREAT price (yeah, yeah, I know, buyer beware).  The seller had good ratings and their own website too.  I leaped and bought some.  It came today.

Guess what I did…opened the package and pulled out a small wisp of BLF wool.  Then gently pulled it, twisted and made…YARN!

My time this weekend is pretty well filled through Sunday, so will be looking up some DIY websites to see what instructions I can find.

These look interesting:

http://www.joyofhandspinning.com/HowToDropspin.shtml

http://www.handspinning.com/lollipops/spininst.htm

If any of my readers have spinning or knitting sites to recommend, don’t be shy!

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