I’ve always wanted to spin my own wool. A childhood friend’s mother used to spin and I could watch her for hours – it seemed so magical the way she teased a seemingly endless thread from a mass of fairy-floss. Her hands were always soft, too, she said it was from the lanolin. When my aunt introduced me to/got me hooked on weaving, in March, I was reminded of this long lost desire because, it seems, the spinning and weaving go together – at least, they often share both a guild and the craftsmen who make the looms and wheels.
Though I’m saving up for a large rigid heddle loom, spinning wheels are readily available second hand and a few weeks ago I took a plunge and bought one fir $60 (as against $650 new) It needed a few parts and a spruce but I believe in getting to know your tools, and repairing them is a great way to do that.
My spinning wheel maintenance kit arrived from Ashford Australia today so I got to know my new-used traditional wheel as I made it whole. I then spent time just learning to make the wheel turn the way I wanted, then about an hour practicing getting already spun yarn onto the bobbin. Finally I opened my little packet of Ashford Corriedale and tried to draft. After just over an hour, this is the result of about 15gm of my corruedale natural top (I’m learning new jargon!)
Oof! Learning to spin is like learning to drive! Getting good at this will be soooo satisfying… in a decade or so!