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Todays Spinning

May 3, 2010

I plan to knit myself a pair of socks in an Old Shale lace pattern.

Last night I plundered my 7 year olds stash (!) I took 150g of BFL fibre & dyed it up in this bright, spring time colourway –

My plan is to Navajo Ply this yarn to preserve the sections of colours, but I may well try out how it looks 3 plyed, barber pole style.

The view from my wheel today:

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My Spinning Wheel

May 3, 2010

Here is my wheel! Her name is Jesse & she is an Ashford Traditional

This wheel retails at around £250 – I bought mine from a gentleman on Ravelry. Good deals are to be found on second hand wheels – mine was £100 & this wheel has been well cared for.

If you are looking for a second hand wheel, they are to be found on Ebay – but be aware, the price tends to be higher. Good sources for a well priced wheel would include Ravelry, your local Weavers Spinners & Dyers Guild & have a look at the special offers to be had at Wingham Wool Work – they have for sale ex-display models, at reduced prices.

Hanging from my wheel I have the following:

A sock! This is my first knitted item, of which I am very proud. It belonged to my youngest daughter & now hangs from my wheel to collect odd scraps of fibre. (These are later used for wet or needle felting.)

An orifice hook. This hook goes through the orifice of the wheel to make an easy job of threading the leader or  yarn.

My spinning supplies bag. Isnt this bag sweet! It comes from Rose Knits & I have found it to be a very useful bag in size & shape.

Here you are able to see my spinning supplies:

Journal for quick notes on my spinning (I keep a larger Spinning Journal, in which I record my spinning experiments & my fleece studies) & project ideas (both spinning & knitting)

Pencil

The other sock! This keeps a nail clipper for cutting yarn, lip balm & hand cream – essential for smooth spinning!

Spare bobbins (the others live with my fibre supply)

Homemade beeswax polish for my wheel – made simply with beeswax, olive oil & essential oils, so the girls are able to use this on their wooden toys.

In the tin I keep the items from my Wheel maintenance kit

Finally you can see a cloth & wheel oil

I like to have these things handy with my wheel – saves me rummaging around for them when they are needed.

Happy Spinning!

How To Choose A Spinning Wheel

April 30, 2010

For anyone out there contemplating buying a wheel, there are important things to consider!

This excellent PDF covers it all!

Drying Fleece

April 21, 2010

In all its glory – our fleece from yesterday, drying in a gentle April breeze….

How To Sort & Wash Fleece To Spin

April 20, 2010

Last spring I was given two fine fleece from a local farm, which, against all better advice have sat in my attic awaiting some  TLC ; )

I have no idea as the the breed of the sheep that supplied these wonderful fleece, but they have a fabulous crimp & are a bright white (when clean!)

Today I dug out one of the fleece, to sort & wash ready for some spinning!

Here you can see the fleece, out on my cars bonnet, ready for skirting (Always useful to have the help of a good Dalmation!)

Sorting the fleece

A fleece is usually rolled by tucking each side into the middle and rolled from neck or tail end, as if  rolling a sleeping bag.

It may be best to unroll tips facing up.

Give the wool a good shake – all the ‘second cuts’ will fall out.  Second cuts in a fleece being processed for spinning will create nupps in the yarn.

Washing the fleece

Our fleece was washed in the bath tub.

It was filthy!


The fleece was given four very hot baths. I used fairy dish washing liquid for 3 of the baths – the last was purely a rinse.

Very hot water & soap = no aggitation!!!

After the final rinse, I allowed the water to cool enough for me to handle, but not enough for the fibre to react to the changes in temperature & took the whole thing out & spun in the washing machine (make sure your washing machine will not add water during the spin cycle)

Hopefully tomorrow will be a fine day, then I can get this beautiful fleece out into the fresh air to dry.

For those of you with fleece to process, here are two incredibly helpful podcasts:

Skirting a shetland fleece

Washing a fleece

both from Yarnspinners Tales Podcast – a mine of valuable information for the spinner.

Happy spinning!

Useful Spinning Tool…

April 19, 2010

I recently discovered this Spinning WPI Calculator at Persistent Knitter

Great for a quick calculation!

A Little Spinning

April 19, 2010

Back in February I dyed up this 50% Merino / 50% Silk top.

I spun it into singles on my Golding Spindle

Plied the singles on my IST Spindle

And now I have pretty yarn…

The next step is to decide what to knit with that pretty yarn!