I mentioned that I took a spinning class at Harvest Feast – I thought that I’d share some of my results here.
I had never used a spinning wheel before, and although I know I’ll have to practice more to get a more reliable result, I was quite happy with much of what I was able to produce. I even started looking to see about the cost of wheels… though while I’m unemployed, they’re definitely out of my price range. 😦
Thanks to Donna for teaching me how to #spin #wool on a spinning wheel today. This was my first time, and although I'm sure my technique could use some polishing…. I really enjoyed it! Thanks also to Björn for shooting a few seconds of video for me 🙂 #SCA #ThingsYouLearnInTheSCA #FibreArts #ArtsAndScience #spinning #spinningWheel #roving #handmade #DIY #yarn #yarnLove #artYarn #toughLifeOfAnAvacalChampion #Avacal #BitterEnd #HarvestFeast
Our instructor brought bags of natural white and natural light grey wool batting, and I sort of went back and forth between the two, trying out different things as well as trying a small bit of the ‘tops’ wool as well, which seemed to produce a smoother (worsted) wool.
Wool yarn from yesterday's spinning #class at #SCA #BitterEnd #HarvestFeast. I spun some natural white & some natural grey #fleece and used a borrowed #tabletWeaving #loom as a makeshift warping board to take it off the stick for washing…. it's hanging up to dry now as singles… possibly to #Nälbind with… or maybe I'll try to dye it first? @morriganclubfoot or @_bats_ … do either of you have a #dye pot going with some space in it for a skein? #spinning #spinningWheel #yarn #wool #artyarn #DIY #handmade
She taught that the combed wool bats could be produced to make woolen wool yarn, or ‘semi-worsted’ wool yarn – fluffy, with lots of air in it. She taught that the woolen yarn is good for the weft of woven fabrics, or for knitting (or naalbinding in my case!) warm garments like hats and mittens. The smoother ‘tops’ were carded instead, and could either be spun using the woolen technique for semi-worsted wool yarn, or could be spun using the worsted technique, for a smoother worsted wool yarn. Worsted yarns, she taught, were smooth and strong, and good for the warp of woven fabrics. It holds less air, so it’s less warm – though still has all the other properties of wool fibre.
The technique I used throughout was the worsted spinning technique, because I like the smoother yarn, and aimed for a fairly consistent diameter. (Aimed – I didn’t always succeed!) I’ve found that for naalbinding, a consistent diameter yarn creates a more desirable result, though it looks less “home made” which is sometimes desired in mundane crafts.
So.. I’m totally hooked on wheel spinning – if anyone has a wheel they’re not using that they’d be willing to loan me for a month or so, I’d love to give it a few more whirls… then once I can afford it I’m totally keen on getting my own!