Friday, May 22, 2009

My spinning wheels are calling me

Now that I've finished the closet fiasco, (almost), I hear my spinning wheels calling me. All three of them. I never thought of spinning as something I would do. I'd see people at fairs spinning and didn't really give it much thought.
It all started with a white Pygora goat named Q-Tip. She looked more like a cotton ball. That was her name when I bought her. I have a friend who spins, so I'd give her Q-Tip's fleece. One day, Barbara told me I should learn to spin. I tried her wheel, and was hooked. I bought my first spinning wheel, an Ashford Traveler double drive, in 1993. I was really looking forward to being able to pick up my wheel. I bought it from one of "those" people that spin at fairs, no less. I was so disappointed when I first saw it. It came in a little box and had to be assembled and finished.
Once it was together, I was ready to go. It wasn't as easy as I thought. I had to get my hands and feet coordinated. Finally, it clicked, and I was spinning. It was lumpy and uneven, but I made yarn. Yipee!! I was so excited.
Then I used the handcards I bought at a spinning show. They turned my white wool orange. I thought that was weird, but maybe it worked that way. Seems the carders were rusty under the cloth where it couldn't be seen. After running some very greasy wool through them, the problem was solved.
Of course, I had to get my own angora goats so I could have an endless supply of fiber. Then it was dog hair and just about anything else with two ends. I'd send the kids out to brush the dog, and have them save the dog hair while they were brushing. I know they thought I was nuts.
I'd wash the mohair (the hair off of an angora goat) and spread it on towels on the dinning room table. It really didn't smell like a wet goat for long. Really it didn't. It wasn't as bad as dyeing. I'll leave that for another blog.
There's something about making something from animal to finished project. The first lumpy, orangish yarn turned into a bathroom rug and I crocheted a little lamb out of the yarn that wasn't as orange. I call it my recycled lamb. It's stuffed with the last of the orange yarn.
Anyway, I have a large stash (OK. A really, really, large stash) of fiber to spin. It's something to keep me busy with in the winter, since I'm not allowed outside in the winter anymore.
There is no comparison between hand spun yarn and store bought yarn. Hand spun feels warm and alive and has personality, unlike store bought yarn. I must admit, though, that I do have a lot of store bought yarn.
I've gone to schools, libraries and fairs to spin. Yes, I've become one of "those" people. I like to get other people interested in spinning.
I spin for the relaxation and the soothing, calming effect. All is well when I spin.


  1. See now you should publish this on AC

  2. Llama hair stinks. I liked that we were exposed to all this stuff growing up. Don't forget about the cotton picking and growing.