welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Monday, April 13, 2009

learning a new skill

On Saturday morning, I learned the basics of how to spin yarn using what's called a drop spindle. My motivation for learning this skill was to eventually be able to spin a bit of wool from Rose to be used as a decorative accent to the hat and hand warmers made from Jack's wool. Now normally even though I truly enjoy looking at and fondling beautiful fibers such as wool, actually knitting or sewing makes me pretty tense. And so while it was a skill I wanted to learn, I wasn't real excited about it. But happily it was quite a bit more fun than expected. Rather than being stressful, it's meditative and relaxing. Who'd have thought?

Anyway, in the photo above is my brand new "learners" spindle with my first-ever yarn wound around it. Behind it are some wool roving samples for me to practice with. Love, love, love that green!

I also learned a bit about carding as well as winding yarn into skeins and balls - all by hand using simple, beautifully crafted wooden tools. Just taking this one class took the mystery and intimidation out of creating yarn from the wool of my sheep. Which is kind of funny when you think about it - I've been using serious power tools for years, but twisting a bit of wool into string was beyond me. I suppose it's all what you're used to seeing in use. Which again, is kind of funny. Power tools such as table saws and belt sanders are a new invention compared to drop spindles, carders, and niddy-noddies (see, I'm learning the lingo!).

So if any of this sounds interesting or intrigues you, find someone to help you get started - you just might enjoy it more than you think. 


Jennifer and Steve said...

Congratulations! You're yarn looks great! jennifer

Sheltie Owner said...

You wild woman! How exciting. Love that green fiber. Any chance I'll get to work with (knit) any of your yarn?? (hint hint) My needles are ever at the ready.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Hurray for you! Now that I spin and knit, I think I'd become frantic if someone threatened to take those things away from me. Haven't learned to drop spindle, though.