Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to the Wheel

Now that the pin-up contest is buttoned up for this year, I can refocus my attention on my sheep.  The spring lambs have pritner doubled in size!  I promise to post photos of them soon, but I was itching to get back to my spinning wheel.  I spin on a castle wheel, handmade in Wisconsin by Jerry Jensen.  It is solid cherry and has beautifully turned legs and spokes.  It was a big investment, but it's the only wheel I ever plan to own (honestly).  It spins like a dream and travels with me everywhere!

Tabitha Twichit enjoys my spinning stool too (made by husband, Hank, to match the wheel), but I ousted her to work on Gingersnap's fleece.

Hank did the shearing a few months back; then I picked and washed the fleece.  Although I typically send out my fiber to be milled into rovings, I choose to spin from the lock in order to preserve the colors.  Ginger's fiber had about 2 inches of brown on the tips before it faded into a beautiful silver grey at the base.

Using a lock at a time, I separated the fibers, lengthened the lock and spun.  The resulting yarn had very distinct layers of brown and grey.  Had this been milled, the colors would have mixed evenly together.  Milling does make for a gorgeous heathered yarn, and I may send out some of  the fleece yet.  Spinning from the lock is a bit slower!

The finished yarn is a 2-ply worsted weight.   I have a few skeins done up, but no plans for a project yet.  I like to spin in the evenings when my mind is tired from the day.  And it seems that I can produce more yarn than my needles can keep up with!

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  1. Beautiful yarn! Do you go to the Sheep & Wool Festival in Jefferson? We have been showing sheep there for 3 years. It is so much fun!

  2. Spinning is a skill I would love to learn! I love the colors of the yarn and your wheel is stunning. Someday...of course, I probably should learn how to to knit first! :)

  3. Dicky Bird, yes, we've been to Jefferson. I don't sell or show there, but it sure is a mecca for fiber enthusiasts!

    Kim, I actually learned to spin first. After I had a pile of yarn, it seemed prudent to learn knitting and crochet. :)

  4. I have a wheel but haven't gotten the hang of spinning yet. I was able to do it at the yarn shop with the help of the salesperson, who is a spinning teacher, but it's an hour away. She said to spin from the fold, which was much easier. I'll dive back in this fall. Your wheel is beautiful!

  5. Oh gorgeous yarn. I can think of some things to do with it... :)

  6. The very first antique I ever bought was a wool spinning wheel. I cleaned out my bank account to buy it when I was in 3rd grade. Finally have a place to display it in my current old house. Years ago I took spinning lessons but it's been too long. Your wool is gorgeous (as is your blog - I stumbled upon it and am mesmerized) - and the cat/spinning wheel combo is irresistible.


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