Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I Made Yarn!

FirstHandSpun3I didn't believe that I could ever have the spinner's mindset, but maybe I do?

I bought this roving a couple weeks ago at Rainbow Fleece Farm. I don't know exactly what breed of sheep it came from. It's very soft. At first I had problems with it sliding apart when I tried to draft it and the spindle fell to the floor a few times. But, I think the whole process is starting to make sense to me. This is the first time I've actually produced a length of something I would call yarn without feeling that I was stretching the definition. handspunCloseupOf course, this isn't enough to be useful for much other than as an accent in something else. I plan to continue spinning up the ball of roving, and maybe I can make a hat. Or part of a hat.

It's mind-boggling to me to think about how many hours it took to make a garment 1000 years ago! Imagine, all spinning done on drop spindles and how long it would take to make enough thread to weave into cloth, or yarn for a sweater? and then the time making it. OnTheSpindleEven a lower-middle class American enjoys such a standard of living compared to what all but the most pampered royalty endured back then.

The bottom photo shows it after I plied, but still on the spindle.

Now, tell me I do not need to think about a spinning wheel. Right? That would be trouble. I do not need a wheel.

11 comments:

Carla said...

Wow, your spinning looks fab for a drop spindle! I had a horrible time spinning RFF wool with the drop spindle, but it seemed to do better on my wheel. And no, I cannot steer you from a wheel. I just finally got mine after window shopping, longing, hoping, for one for well over 18months. I'm LOVING it honestly.

zib said...

OH COOL!! Great color and looks like a fine job to me! With your fab deal finding I wouldn't be surprised if we see a 'I got a wheel!' post here soon (:

Terby said...

Marengo, Illinois is home of The Fold. I hear they sell a lot of wheels there, and have several different kinds you can try. Not that I'm suggesting a field trip out there or anything. I certainly wouldn't be volunteering to help you load a wheel into your car. Nope. Not me. I'm not an enabler.

Elizabeth said...

Terby, we could do a ROAD TRIP!

I was actually thinking of Susan's Fiber Shop in Columbus WI. A little closer to home. And also thinking about scanning the classifieds and of course, keeping an eye on FreeCycle.

Carla, next time you're down Ithaca-way, pop in at Knitting Machines Etc and say Hi to Shelley!

Jerry & Maxy said...

Simply because you said so, I'll repeat: you do not need a wheel ;).

Yeah!!! Elizabeth's an official spinner - a good one at that!

Pretty color too.

YarnThrower said...

Elizabeth,

I found your site tonight, and thought it was so cool that you have a listing of Madison knitters on it! I just really enjoy reading about what other knitters in the area are up to, and so far you are only the third local knitting blog I've located, so thank you for your list!

Laura (aka YarnThrower)

spaazlicious said...

And Spin-Sales and the Spinning Weaving Housekeeping pages have good deals too...

I'd love to go to Susan's Fiber Shop--bit too long a trip for me from California, but I quite liked her when I bought a set of combs last year.

EvaLux said...

You sure you don't want a wheel??? I know a shop who has a 30% off sale through till sunday on all wheels even special order ones :)

The yarn you made looks gorgeous... I really love the color. I've got some spindles too, but I just can't get the hang of the whole spindling thing :)

Cheers Eva

carla said...

Elizabeth, I used to go there all the time when I lived in Cortland. They recently changed ownership though. Is Shelley the old longtime owner? Now its called Knitting Etc and from what I hear, they've REALLY expanded. The woman I bought my wheel from stocks handspun and hand dyed yarns there.

Oh and fwiw, Patty at RFF sells Ashford Wheels, at least she did the last time I was there. There was bunches of them, still in boxes up on the very very top shelf in the barn. But yeah, Susan's I think has a better variety for you to try out before you choose. And The Fold is a great choice too, they have even more choices (AND they stock Socks That Rock in what seems every imaginable colorway. I would just want to swim in that stuff!)

jpknits said...

Looms. Wheels. Furniture.
That's what I tell myself.
Can't commit to something which requires more furniture.

Jenny said...

Oooooo, that's lovely. Nice job. Think of all the wonderful things you could make if you had a wheel...