Mastering my spindle

Spinna1My hands have been working non stop with something fiber related since the last post, and I been so busy knitting that I had no time for blogging. I want to write in order to keep a diary of my crafting but also as a way to review my work and once again enjoy the process and reflect upon the result and new skills. But the moment when I have cast off the last stitch of a project I’m so eager to cast on the next!

During december I received a beginners kit from Hilltop Cloud, containing a drop spindle and North Ronaldsay fiber, I also ordered a beautifully dyed Shetland/Mohair roving. One of the things I really like about the craft so far is that it have made me think more about yarn, how it is made and how it gets different qualities depending on how it is spun. I also enjoy reading about different types of sheep and the characteristics of fibre depending on staple length, crimp and softness.

The North Ronaldsay sheep for example, the fibre I received with the kit I bought, is a sheep that is living in Scotland on the northern parts of the Orkney Islands where they are bread mainly for their wool (which is very soft and nice to work with). This area, called North Ronaldsay (of course), have very limited grazing so the sheep are confined to living on the shoreline where they eat mainly seaweed. Their diet have caused them to change their behavior, opposed to other sheep that graze during the day and sleep during the night, North Ronaldsay sheep eat and sleep two times every day in order to adjust after the tide.  The adaptability of sheep are amazing!

With You Tube as my teacher I started spinning using the park and draft method. The North Ronaldsay was pre-drafted when I got it and easy to work with. I was able to make some kind of yarn from it, an unevenly thick single-ply that is soft and squishy to the touch. I’m not sure what to make from it yet, but I’m thinking of some kind of wrist/hand warmers.

Spinna3

Spinna2

During Christmas I started working with the hand-dyed Shetland/Mohair roving. The color is a beautiful mix of blues, purple, black and undyed grey. The yarn have subtle color changes and a slight sheen to it (thanks to the mohair I guess). At first I was surprised how compact and difficult the fiber was to draft, and so I once again asked You Tube for help and I realized I had to pre-draft before spinning. It would be wonderful to do a drop spindle course to learn things I don’t get from You Tube, like the amount of twist I should add to the yarn.

I am definitely hooked on spinning and thinking of joining Voolenvine’s D-SPAKAL

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