Monday, March 19, 2012

Come in spinner.

My appreciation for fine quality wool has grown alongside my love affair with knitting. Extra fine merino... baby alpaca... Shetland wool... All so lovely against the skin and far more inviting than the typical acrylic sold at my local Spotlight. While I move and loop the beautiful yarns in my hands, my mind traces over the journey these fibres have had before they reach my needles. The process of making wool into knitting yarn. This lead me to toy with the idea of spinning my own wool. 

I took action. On Saturday I became a member of my local Spinners and Weavers Guild!

After some googling and a few emails I found the group and was warming invited to attend their meeting (which also happened to be their Annual General Meeting!). When I arrived at the Community Hall I was greeted with the sound of treadling wooden wheels, chatter and laughter. Pikelets, an assortment of cakes, and cups of tea were spread out across the high table squeezed tightly into the hall kitchen. I watched as the ladies each took a turn at show and tell, and I learnt about a unique breed of New Zealand sheep that can be shorn every six months (the name of the breed escapes me at this very moment). 

The Guild ladies were all very welcoming and patiently answered my 1001 questions. I was supplied with a bag of fleece (fresh from the sheep!) for practicing purposes, a spinning wheel to borrow and a book on loan from the Guild library.

I am set up to spin!

~ My first fleece for practice ~

~ Combing the wool in preparation for spinning ~

~ A small amount of white wool I was also gifted. Preparing to be washed ~

After a few hours of practice I am beginning to see some progress. My treadling is beginning to become smooth and I am achieving a few meters at a time of well spun wool - in between these meters are quite a lot of mistakes ;-)

Sam xox


  1. Oh Sam, I just love your love of learning new to you things. Next I can see you raising a baby sheep as a pet to have your own ongoing supply of materials. be good cw

    1. My husband would tell you that the thought of owning a sheep DID cross my mind. I had the most perfect spot in the yarn picked out for it and everything... but as said husband refused to sheer it for me I had to decide on buying the fleece instead :-)

  2. what a fun new hobby! My aunty went to a spinning class at a little yarn store out in the country where she lives. It sounds like fun!

  3. due to your general awesomeness in the world of craft, i nominated you for the versatile blogger award! you don't have to do anything... or participate... but if you want to just check out my blog! also, if you already got one, oops and nevermind! xoxo!

  4. Hey just wanted to let you know I tagged you in a meme on my blog!

  5. I am sooo excited to find someone who quilts, sews, AND SPINS (plays with fiber)!!! Spinning is one of theee best hobbies and it seems to go unnoticed by so many needle/crafters. I find it so relaxing. I LUV the smell of a "spinner's" fleece (one that is kept clean on the sheep). I LUV handling the fleece as it's washed, etc

    I'll bet you have some wonderful fleeces sources near where you live =)


    1. I wouldn't quite call myself a spinner yet - but I think I'm getting close :-) I agree wholeheartedly with your comment, spinning is definitely a craft that goes unnoticed. It didn't even cross my mind until I started knitting, and considered how yarn was made. I am slowly working out what different fleeces are available in my area and which are best for beginner spinners to use (not too slippery). Your fibre blog is awesome by the way! xox

  6. Really interesting post, I have awarded you the Versatile blogger award on my post here :)