Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What Do You Do With All of That Wool? Handspinning

If you read my blog then you know I am not a pro at Handspinning, and this will not be a tutorial on how to spin! Just sharing my experience, and what has helped me learn.

Mike bought me a Schacht Spinning Wheel, over 14 years ago. Most of those years it sat in a corner, while I was busy chasing around six children. It occasionally came out, long enough for me to get frustrated, and get  pushed back in the corner.

As we all know, those children grow up, and our twins (the babies) are now teenagers.
The Spinning Wheel has been moved out of the corner and has been getting quite a workout this past year.

Learning how to spin has been quite an adventure :) I have had to use several resources to get me going.

I took a handspinning lesson at a Fiber Festival which was a great start.
I would have loved to take weekly lessons, but that was not an option in my area. I have had to use other resources.

Books There are many books out there on spinning.
I purchased a book, that I am always pulling out for reference, Teach Yourself Visually-Handspinning by Judith MacKenzie McCuin

There is a series on Knit Picks that was very helpful

I also browse youtube and have found several helpful videos as well. Just yesterday, I found a video and while watching it, had an A-Ha, moment. Something that had not been shown, in all of the other videos before. Fiber Artist all have their own style, and watching and trying different things, help you find your own.

It has taken me a while to pick up this whole handspinning thing, but I am finally at a point, where I feel like I know what I am doing. I have spun, plied and finished handspun yarn.

I love the Romney Roving that we processed, and it has been enjoyable to spin.
I have more than enough roving, to make the yarn for a big knitting project, a sweater, perhaps. Might as well think big! :)

Happy Spinning!

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  1. Hi Sandra.. All I can say is ..... If only I had all that wool... smile..
    Lovely post and so informative.. I continue to love your sheep and all you do..
    I am just a wantabe...xo

  2. When you watch an experienced spinner they make it look oh so easy!! I am glad you didn't give up and are trying to learn everything you can. Someday maybe you will be the one giving lessons! Good luck!

  3. Wow a sweater that would be awesome I await your creativity. I am sure your spun wool is wonderful it sounds relaxing. Hug B

  4. Yay :-). A sweater is great fun to knit...and wear!

  5. Spinning is a hard thing to learn, especially if there is no one to watch or talk to. When we had sheep, I tried my hand at spinning. The only thing I had then was one book, there was no internet or online videos to watch. I never did get very good at it. When I first started out, my husband turned the wheel by hand for me so I could try to figure out how to feed the wool in. It was hard. All the yarn I made was very bumpy. I used to say it had character! Good for you, Sandra. Keep at it. The results will be very rewarding.


    1. Fern,
      Classes would have made it easier, but thank goodness for the internet. I don't know if I could have learned from just a book. I am a very visual learner!

  6. I would love to spin, but getting a wheel is impossible for me financially. Till the time comes I pull out my drop spindle and get frustrated, but definitely collect roving for when I do "get it", I love natural yarn, and it pleases me no end to buy from a person that raises their wooly sheep than a store, or even worse a CHAIN of stores :)

    1. I have never learned to spin on a drop spindle. I have seen videos tutorials for the drop spindle too.
      Some advice that helped me, was to spin for a small amount of time every day, even if it was just 10 minutes.
      That was a great help to me.

  7. How cool that you have learned to spin your own!

  8. I have been spinning up the wool of my Jacob sheep for about 2 decades now and now find it relaxing to spin up my wool, especially on the days the weather is nice and I can do it on the porch. There is so much satisfying about making yarn to make cloth ( I weave ) to make something else, all from the wool of the sheep I love and raise . I imagine it is the same for you, keep up the good work ! ( that's a beautiful spinning wheel )

    1. I bet you get some interesting colors from your Jacob Sheep :)
      Now that I feel I know what I am doing, I find spinning relaxing too.


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