I have made yarn out of wool for the first time in my life. I’ve been wanting to try spinning for a couple of years, and now finally I have!
I can’t believe I finally got the opportunity to try this – for free! And how much I want to try again, and again, and again!
I was invited for a Wool Day at my friend Marika’s house, and she let me try both her low-whorl spindle and her vintage spinning wheel, and even let me spin with some of her trial wool. the wool was a thick gray wool with a lot of grease left in it (all of it?) which made my hands nice and smooth while working with it. The grease is a fatty, pale yellow wax that coats the fibers of sheep’s wool and yields lanolin (also called wool fat) that is washed away when you use the yarn later. But the more the merrier when you are a beginner perhaps? It kind of makes the wool fiber to stick together a little better, so it was great for me!
First I tried the spindle. You hold the thread in one hand and the spin the spindle with the other. When you let more fiber down into the spinning wheel it creates a yarn. A very strange looking yarn, but still a thread that is made out of wool. The newly spun yarn thread gets longer the spindle gets closer to the floor, so every now and then you have to stop and wound it around the shaft just above the whorl. It is a magic that looks complicated but is rather fun. I had beginners luck or as Marika though; was a natural spinner! I had fun anyway, as I have previously suspected. A creative hunch? Intuition? I don’t know, I just know I have longed to spin and when I did it it was fun and I want to do it again!
I was creatively excited!
The spinning wheel is a device for spinning yarn from fibers, where spinning is the process of twisting fibers together to create yarn. It is much faster than the spindle – when you know how!
The spinning wheel was much more difficult, because you spin the wheel by pumping with your feet at the same time that you are feeding it more wool in, preferably, an even pace. But the wheel spun much quicker than I gave it wool and then it stopped and fell backwards so that I had to start it up again and try to find the rhythm. I got a tiny little ball of gray way to twisted yarn out of this thing too, but I need to practice a lot more.
Marika made purple yarn with a more practiced woman’s technique and I was fascinated:
Isn’t it cool? Here are some more images:
And Marika’s beautiful two cats:
And a link to Marikas blog where you can see images of me spinning away in wool heaven! Thank you Marika!
Now high up on my wish list is a spindle, a bag of wool, a room to work in and a week at S?tergl?ntan practicing! Well, you can dream, can’t you!
Winner of the giveaway (sorry it took so long to tell you all) is Caren McNee! Congratulations to Caren and thank you to everyone who visited me, sent me link love and opened their heart in this big giveaway! Thanks to Lisa too, who arranged it!
I’ve updated my etsy shop too today! Take a look!
Wow – i would love to learn how to do this!
Ooh, how exciting and fun! I love the way you explore all kinds of new creative territory!
Can you imagine what a magic machine that spinning wheel must look like to the kitties!? lol
That really does look like a lot of fun! Good for you for taking the opportunity to give it ‘whirl’ ;)
I tried spinning a bit on a hand spindle. I’d like to try more but I’d need to get the roving and I’ve lost my spindle sometime in the last several moves I’ve made. I brushed out my poodle-chihuahua mix and showed my husband how I could make a simple yarn by rolling the fibers with my fingers on my jeans. It really does work but a spindle is easier of course. At least indulge in a hand spindle if not a wheel and imagine yourself to be like the peasants of long ago who spun the wool as they walked around tending their sheep.
That looks like such fun. I’ve always wanted to spin wool.
Spinning is fun. I raise alpacas and spin,weave,dye,felt…etc with their wool.
Oh, very fun! I’ve heard that drop-spindle wool-making is very meditative and soothing! Thanks for the invite to see your fun time!
Congratulations, Caren! Happy creating!
It looks like a lot of fun! Well done, you.
Oh, I’m so, so, so looking forward to receive the jeans bag in the mail and take it with me where-ever I go! Woo-hoo!
I’ve always wanted to try spinning – it must be so relaxing and rewarding at the same time! And weaving – that’s also pretty high on my priority list of things I must still do!
How fantastic , lucky you !
I hope you find a way to keep spinning–I know you’d love making your own yarn!
I used to spin all the time! I still have my spinning wheel and a drop spindle, but I never seem to have the time. Reading about it makes me want to find the time because it’s such a relaxing hobby. Glad you had fun trying it for the first time!
[…] And I have tried the difficult but very fun task of spinning wool, which resulted in a tangly little ball of “yarn” and then had me running to buy a spindle – that I haven’t even tried yet. […]