Thursday, May 22, 2014

Spinning in Circles

I got my first 4-H lamb when I was 10, and I've been raising sheep ever since (except for a short 3 year break in my 20's), and I started knitting (sporadically) when I was in college.  For some reason I never quite combined the two and did any spinning or knitting with wool produced by my own sheep.  I guess this is mostly because for a while I raised meat sheep, and while they grow wool it's not as nice quality wool as that from breeds specifically raised for their wool.

I've had Romneys, and now I have Romney crossbred ewes, so I have been saving fleeces for a while now, planning on learning to spin "one day".   I decided that day has come, so I got one of my drop spindles and found some roving and decided to jump right in and try!

I have spun before, just briefly, during our first annual MLK (Must Love Knitting) Weekend.  That was several years ago, so I watched a few ton of Youtube videos on spinning with a drop spindle.  Then I tried it...and it was much harder than it looks in videos!   I tried to not get discouraged, and I kept practicing.

I picked a really pretty color roving, so it would make the learning process more interesting and fun.  Isn't it pretty?  I'm not sure what kind of wool it is.

Here's a picture of the 3 spindles I have.  I first tried with the metal spindle with the hook, but I just wasn't loving it.

Then I switched to the wooden bottom-whorl spindle, and it felt better to me.  The picture above was a picture of my first attempts at spinning.  The picture below is a picture I took last night.  I can see major improvement!

There are some discrepancies in thickness still, but over all it's much more even.  And now that I'm getting better at drafting (pulling the fibers from the roving out so I can spin them), it's going quicker!  Now I'm ready to wind this yarn into a ball off of the spindle, and start a new strand of yarn.

Hopefully soon I'll have some yarn I can use for a project!  Maybe a hat?  And soon I'll start trying to spin a fleece from my own sheep!


Becky said...

Yay!! Great job! It's looking really nice. It would be really cool to spin and knit wool that you "grew"! :)

Linda said...

Looks good. I'll send you home with more fiber if you'd like.

Kim said...

So glad you are giving it a try. The yarn looks great!

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