nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘beginner

learning to spin

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All spring and summer, I have been dyeing wool roving with dyestuff collected from the roadside and garden.  I have always intended to use this wool in some of my weaving projects, but lately, I have decided to first spin the wool roving into yarn.  Everyone recommends learning first to spin with a drop spindle, later graduating to a spinning wheel.

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First, I went online to learn the basics and decide which drop spindle I should use.  Then I ordered my maple bottom whorl drop spindle on eBay for $7.95 ( $15.60, including shipping).

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drop spindle

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To spin, I first attach an end of the roving to the hook on the end of the spindle.  The method is to tease out a sparse bundle of fibres and spin the spindle, twisting the section of wool into a thread.  I spin the spindle counterclockwise, pinching the wool as I tease it out, holding the spindle still on my lap when I have to use both hands.  Eventually, I will get better and be able to hold the spindle in the air with one hand and spin the spindle with the other.  I do this a bit now, but I am plagued by breaking wool.  For an enjoyable beginner’s lesson in spinning, see Jennifer Beamer’s video at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtBLIg4JhNI .

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Spinning with a drop spindle is addictive!  I now spin the roving as soon as it is dry after dyeing.  My yarn is still very knobbly – a little like the yarn you use to knit those bulky sweaters!  My balls of yarn are getting better all the time, although I have trouble getting too much spin into the yarn, so it twists up on itself quite easily!

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070_crop

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So far I have eleven balls of wool: Tansy, Old-Man’s-Beard, Bugleweed, Alder bark, Lily of the Valley (2 balls), Beet roots, Beet leaves, Carrot leaves, Radish leaves, and Comfrey.

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plant-dyed wool, spun using a drop spindle

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This is so much fun!

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Comfrey-dyed spun wool

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

July 28, 2014 at 7:55 am

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