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Monday, 27 February 2012

The Fickle Spindle of Fate

There was a "Spinning Day" at the local woolstore;
"A Fine Yarn" in Skinnergate in Darlington. Christine provided space and scones and copious cuppas and we sat surrounded by gorgeous yarns.

It was for beginners. Having had a spinning wheel for forty years, I probably cannot claim to be a beginner but I often still feel like one because I'm mainly self taught and not well taught. So I signed up.

I took my Ashford and basket of gear and greeted a shopful of jolly women.

We started by learning how to use a drop spindle. I've had one for years and it has never been successfully used. The diagrams in the books I have make it look simple but don't tell you how many times you will drop it before you develop some sort of rhythm.

So after decades of trying....success at last.

The next sucess was learning to use a pair of hand carders to make a rolag. This process turns raw fleece into lofty(air-filled) rolls of spinnable fleece very quickly. I have previously used a dog comb or a flick carder and these only do small swatches at a time. The hand carders do much larger amounts.

And here I am spinning some I made earlier.

Veronica, the teacher for the day ( did a comprehensive coverage of getting started. It would have been a bit better if there had been more wheels to go round. I had a go on mine while she watched and showed me where I had been going wrong with the tension for absolutely ages and then I lent mine out to the real beginners. An Ashford is a good starting wheel but spinning is not as easy as it looks and you need to make sure you want to go on before you invest in a wheel.

Of course the trouble is that this has awoken the butterfly in me and I fear I shall now need to spin for a while and foresake the painting!

Tigger has been a bit slack about going out in the bad weather, but the mild patch must have brought on a hunting urge and she laid the trophy out neatly by her food bowl this moring. A very large rodent! probably starting with R.

Cheers Gillian


chillsider stitching and opinions said...

Hmmmm. poo in the bath v rodent beginning with R. What to choose.

carol said...

It all looks so colourful - and you look very professional. Spinning alway looks soothing to me, sort of meditative.