Saturday, March 7, 2009


I've thought how cool it would be to own sheep or an alpaca and raise them for their wool and have off and on thought of spinning my own yarn, inspired by the artisan yarns spun by local spinners you can find at local yarn stores. They just have so much more depth to them than more processed yarn & have this magical air around them that seems to whisper to you stories as if they are glass slippers. You know someone picked these colors and worked on their technique of spinning worked with the fiber maybe hand painting it and then after choosing the weight of yarn spun up one unique skein of yarn available to you if you could only afford it. Well I'm not in the boat of people who will spend over $100 for 400 yds of yarn. I love finding yarn for under $10 probably from my background of Michaels, Hob Lob & Wal-Mart. For a very special skein though I've spent up to "cough" $21 "cough".

So a couple of weeks ago after visiting the Austin yarn stores for a week I felt the urge one day that I wanted to spin. I'd eyed the wool but just in passing. I was there for the yarn. It looked interesting some of the fiber braided some of it wrapped into what looked like woolen watermelons some in bags. There were lots of colors, mesh bins and drawers full. (I'm refering to Hill country Weavers) Different types and of course prices. And little ol' me not quite knowing how much an oz of wool roving would be bought 4oz of turmeric, white and brown in basic sliver wool. Ok, so that is a lot of wool. The ladies at the yarn store warned me 2oz is enough to start out with of each color. But that is ok; I plan on spinning it all. I also got a basic small wooden drop spindle and after searching you tube I learned the basics from Megan and started spinning. I spun and spun deciding I liked the top whorl method and rolling it down my right leg (twisting the fibers clockwise) while sitting and while spinning in the car (in the passenger seat) I spun the dowel part with my fingers.

So far all I have to show are my first two days work. I don't seem to be a very fast spinner, but that is ok. I love how the first two came out. After I had spun them I wrapped them around a chair back and tied some extra string around the yarn in 2 places making a hank. Then I boiled the hank. I didn't realize it was going to smell like sheep. After removing it from the pot I extracted the extra water with a towel and shimmied it back around the chair back (this part was hard) and if I couldn't I untied it and wrapped it around anew. A mostly let it air dry using a hair dryer some because I was ancy to hold it and say it was finished. Now I can say I'm a spinner, yay. It is exhilarating learning something new related to something you really love, knitting.

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