March 27, 2007

Spinning my wheels…

The latest chapter in my adventures with sheep is learning to spin. About a year ago acquirred a pair of hand carders and began to transform fiber into lofty, soft roving and rolags. The first to be carded was the white wool and then the black sheep’s wool. Next came Scotty the Border Collie whose soft, voluminous undercoat carded nicely. Then I phoned a neighbor who raises bison/buffalo. He dropped of a shopping bag of buffalo hair that had been shed in the spring. It washed up nice, but was quite matted. It had to be carefully torn apart and slowly carded a little at a time. But the end result was a gorgeous caramel colored, cloud soft roving.

The next step was spinning. A friend made a hand spindle for me and helped me get started. I found the process frustrating because it is so slow and not being coordinated didn’t help. I would concentrate on the fiber and forget to spin the spindle. I decided very soon in the spindle lessons that a spinning wheel was the answer.

I advertised on “Trading Post” in our local area but got no calls. Then out of the blue in November, about a month after the ad I received a phone call. He had an old spinning wheel that had belonged to his wife, who had recently passed away. It was a lovely little Saxony style wheel and at first glance I thought it might be a showpiece, as the woman didn’t use it but just had it in the living room as a quaint conversation item. But after checking it over, it had all the working parts. After bringing it home, and putting a new cotton drive string on, it spins a lovely, fine weight yarn.

About a month later, also from a previous inquiry I had made, I purchased a lovely little wheel called “Traveler” made by Ashford. It can make a heavier yarn, so between the two wheels, I’m well away. The top photo shows the first yarn I spun. The natural colored hot pad is a crocheted singles and the tea pot cozy is two ply knitted (both from my ewes wool). The bottom photo shows some roving that I have hand painted and predrafted in preparation for spinning.


Anonymous said...

Hello, I thought that was a hat, could have been Ive seen some of your quwarky hats. Keep up the interesting projects and photo's they make me smile. Love Daughter K:)

Leigh said...

I came across your blog while surfing The Spinning Wheel. You seem to have a natural talent for spinning! And your knitting is gorgeous too.