Sunday, 10 January 2010

Spinning!

Some of the readers of this blog might be thinking "and about time too!" I've finally started learning to process my own wool and a New Year's Resolution is to start making proper use of my fleeces.

Today, I dragged my friend Diane along to the local Spinning Group to begin learning to turn my lovely fleeces into yarn.

There were plenty of spinners there with a range of experience and some different types of wheel and spindle to try.

We chatted about different types of fleece and had a go with blue faced leicester, alpaca, hebridean and shetland blended with BFL.

I was interested that the general concencous within the group of more experienced spinners was that the staple length of shetland was rather too short and that, although beautiful, required a more experienced hand to use! Food for thought if these are the folk that I would like to buy my rovings in the future.

I took a range of fleeces, with varying staple lengths, along for people to look at.

The great thing is that the group has a wheel and other equipment available for group members to borrow. So I've booked a week of having the wheel at home and can't wait to get practicing. Looking at this rather sorry first attempt; boy do I need the practice!

In a couple of weeks time I have my first felting group meeting so I'll be looking forward to that :o)

14 comments:

Denise said...

There is a great deal of debate within the SSS about staple length and micron counts etc. Something that the society is going to have to resolve.
Good luck with the spinning and despite how long you spin there is always something new to learn.
It's really relaxing

Michelle said...

Good for you for sticking to a New Year's resolution -- it's a good one, too! And your first yarn looks a lot better than mine did. :-) Here in North America, I would bet our average staple length is on the long side. But then again, I think our average micron count has risen, too.

Heidi said...

I too am just learning to spin, isn't it fun! I have been practising as much as I can and it does seem to slowly get easier. My problem now is I have piles of homespun (all bumpy and uneven) and need to learn to weave and knit so I can do something with it! :)

Claire said...

Well it's about time too! (tee hee hee) I think your first attempt looks excellent. As everybody will tell you, soon you will be very smooth and even and fine and then you will want to learn to make lumpy again and you will have to really work at it. I love spinning Shetland and I'm not that experienced. If I lived closer, I'd definitely buy your fleece!

Wipso said...

Oh how lovely. From being able to see the wool running around on your own sheep on the hills to processing it and making something really special with must be wonderful. Good luck.
A x

Rayna said...

Looks like nice enough yarn to me! I haven't even drug my wheel out yet! :)

thecrazysheeplady said...

Remember there is magic in your first spinning...and yours looks very good! Have fun. If you don't already have a wheel, I am really liking my new Ashford Joy.

Cait O'Connor said...

What a wonderful thing to do.

I have a friend who has just started felting and she made a coat of many colours which was fantastic.

CAMILLA said...

What a wonderful hobby to take up, sure you will be having a lot of fun, good luck with the Spinning.

Pondside said...

This looks like a lot of fun - especially with the group. I'd always thought of spinning as a rather solitary activity. I'll be interested to watch as you learn!

Amy said...

Welcome to the world of spinning! I hope you'll enjoy it for many years to come. Longer wool makes for great spinning, and treasured garments, so practice spinning it. You won't be disappointed with the results! Don't be fooled for a second that micron count is the top criteria. Shetland fleeces are way more than just a micron measurement taken in a brief moment of time. Let the fleece speak for itself in a finished garment, and you'll see what I mean. Good luck...and save that beautiful first yarn! :) Amy at Wheely Wooly Farm

Ali said...

Really glad you enjoyed what was only our 2nd meeting! Look forward to seeing how you get on with the group wheel - it's all about practice (honest) and once you've got the bug it's really relaxing :)

Maalie said...

Looks brilliant Jenny! Good luck with the project!

Estelle des Chevaliers said...

My poor little head is in a spin just reading this!