Friday saw the turn of craft number 3 being attempted – hand spinning!
I’d seen these lovely stalls at the knitting and Stitching show, and Festiwool selling these super colourful plaits, but hadn’t ever really know what to do with it… all I ever think of is Unicorn hair when I see it, and well, the pink one would absolutely love Unicorn hair.
The gorgeous colours are so amazing, and then seeing the ladies stood there, chatting and spinning – WOW.
My turn to have a go. I’d met Jane from GardeningWitch Designs a couple of years ago, and she too was stood there chatting to me while spinning, she also stood there chatting and knitting socks!
So we had a chat, and she’s come to The Makers’ Cabin and taught hand spinning twice before….. and twice before I haven’t been able to attend, but this one I could!
The workshop started with us having a lesson on fleece. Jane’s lucky enough to be delivered fleece on her doorstep from some local sheep called Maud and Martha (I think). She took us through cleaning it, washing out the lanolin, drying it, and storing it – should we be the “lucky” recipients of such a delivery. Then onto the prep of using these vicious looking tools to comb it.
Then we went onto different types of spindles, top and bottom spindles, and the importance of a groove, and to know which way you are spinning – because you need to know later for plying!
Lots of information in the first 30 minutes, then we got to have a go!
The most important decision of the whole morning – Pink for the pink one, or yellow for the blue one?
Now Jane just does this, while chatting and makes it look so easy, but it wasn’t!
I struggled to begin with – the “drafting” of the fibre was so tricky, big clumps of yarn trying to be very badly spun. I watched Jane again, trying to get my head around what she was doing – think the rubbing your tummy while patting your head – but then all of a sudden – it clicked!
This took a long time to spin, and is by no means perfect (see how lumpy it looks?), but I think practice is the key.
An hour and a half of spinning, gave me this! Not exactly a fast hobby I feel, but still one I’m glad I’ve tried!
Thanks Jane for a lovely workshop!