Monday, December 03, 2007

I have a new obsession: SPINNING!

I blame it on the knitting blogospere - all that enthusiasm from you lot for spinning just could not go ignored. After the Spin-A-Yarn workshop (which I actually managed to blog about back a while) I bought a fleece - a naturally coloured Ryeland fleece which is gorgeously soft - this is a pic of a Ryeland sheep: isn't she amazing? Cost me all of £6 which I'm told is expensive??? Seemed very cheap to me. I tried to sort the fleece, but apart from the skirt - it ALL seemed really soft and luscious, if a bit mucky.




Now - times that £6 by 10 and you get what my Mum paid for this spinning wheel for my birthday present - courtesy of Susan from the Devon Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers - an Ashford Traditional - isn't it also gorgeous? Tilly looks suitably impressed - NOT (Can you eat it? no. Can you play with it. NO!).

Well I can. Play with it I mean. Tough knitty, dog. And this was my first attempt at spinning on my very own wheel with the roving that WyeSue gave me for my birthday (thank you Sue! HUGS!)
Lumpy, bumpy, thick and thin. What fun! Think I'll try and dye this.
Here's the bag of stash I was presented with at Get Knitted by the incredibly generous WyeSue, a few weeks back. I bought just a few other items too - well you just got to make that long drive worthwhile, don't you? I said DON'T YOU!?

Not sure how to deal with my fleece - I read various tomes and followed various instructions found on the web:




Following Yarn Harlot's instructions - I laid out all the locks in line, inside a ripped apart pillowcase and then laid in a roasting tin. Then I made a neat little parcel of it all. I soaked it once in hot water. Then I put the pan, hot water and a dash of fairy liquid on the cooker and steamed the lot for an hour! Then I rinsed it and rinsed it again. I got lovely clean soft locks all ready for spinning. I've been carding them as well, but the experienced spinners I met at the Guild meeting (my first) on December 8th assured me I could spin it as is...





This next picture is of the fleece drying. I've got fed up with all this sorting out - so next I tried sticking a larger amount in the bathtub and washing it that way - result? Slightly felted and therefore harder to card, but just as clean. I was told that this fleece is easy for beginners to spin up - I'm going to spin enough chunky yarn to knit Sonnet methinks. Probably over ambitious, but WTH I'm sure I'll learn heaps. I've already spun and plied about 8oz of lumpy bumpy chunky which I beat up on the pretext of 'setting the twist' (these spinners are a kinky lot). I've also tried spinning more tops from the pile that WyeSue gave me - coloured stuff (you can see it peeking through the plastic in the picture above) - I didn't know about predrafting when I did it - but now I do. The chunky green result will be a green stripe in the Sonnet.

9 comments:

Wye Sue said...

Glad to be of service - and so glad to see you have got the twist right !!

I've just started a 'my dear stalker' by Wormhead in some of my handspun.. doesn't take much yarn.. 100m ...

Looking forward to seeing what adventures you and your wheel get up to ;-)

Midsummer night's knitter said...

The spinning bug has finally caught you ;0)
India

Riggwelter said...

Oh wonderful, I'm dying to try out spinning too. really looking forward to seeing what happens with it all. I love the sheep, she's so....squishy!

Dan said...

We took delivery of 3 Ryelands recently and the other half wants to explore spinning - so thanks for the timely post, will watch your progress with interest!

maylin said...

Yippee, great to have you with us. Lots more fibrey goodness to get involved with. You paid a really good price for that lovely wheel. Email me on maylin(dot)tan(at)tiscali(dot)fr with your snailmail address and I will send you some mohair from my goats and some alpaca from the ones down the road. I can also send you some Koolaid and samples of acid dyes if you want. I love sonnet too maybe we should spin and knitalong?

Artis-Anne said...

Congratulations on your new addiction , erm I meant addition .....no, I was right the first time . I totally love spinning and it sounds as if you are well on the way to also .
Have fun:)

Jo said...

i don't think £6 was expensive for a fleece, welcome to the dark side!

Helen said...

The whole spinning thing is just sooooo tempting. And you are not helping! ;)

Piglottie said...

Wow what a gorgeous spinning wheel! Tis a work of art. Glad you are enjoying it :)