Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spinning Yarns...

Sometime ago a seed was planted in my inner craft being. It grew and grew until now I feel almost ready to explode unless I harvest it (I told you it grew!). Something in me has magnetised and I am finding myself being pulled towards fanciful ideas of spinnning yarn into cosy items of knitting and crochet. Perhaps it was the friend up the road who talks about knitting clothes with her own wool..or the Yarn magazines I've been borrowing from the library lately filled with pictures of gorgeous homepun yarns..or ideas of keeping an animal..any kind of animal (a goat, rabbit..anything!), solely for the purpose of using their fibre. Crazy? Quite possibly!

How far will a person go who has no clue on anything to do with spinning?

She will buy 7 enormous bags of Alpaca fleece from her friend without even seeing it, not knowing that alpaca is one of the most trickiest fleeces to spin..and most definitely not for a beginner! tsk, tsk!

She will be up late, late at night when she should be tucked up cosily in bed, searching YouTube videos on primitive ways to spin because her heart is still palpatating since she discovered the price of spinning wheels.

She toys with the idea of using that alapca fleece..because that is what she has on hand. 7 bags full!

She stares into space and ponders deeply when loved ones ask "are you really going to spin on a chopstick?"

Homemade top whorl spindle, price - under $1.

" a matter of fact...Yeah!!" You know why? It works! It really does!!

Raw sheep wool, a crude attempt at two-ply.
Spin two long lengths of 'single' yarn together and suddenly we have 'plied' yarn. Just like from the shops! Well, in my case, not quite how it comes from the shops. But you get my drift...

A primitive yarn
See...up there.. the little twisties in my *ahem* alpaca yarn? Chopsticks really do work! Try it, if you too have been entertaining ideas of sitting by a sunny window, spinning away an afternoon with the gentle meditative motion that (apparently) spinning brings, but don't have a spinning wheel anywhere in sight.....


More info:
Types of drop spindles

Getting started:
Instructables - Make an Awesome Drop Spindle

What next:
How to spin on a drop spindle (YouTube)


  1. You are amazing. Wow! Love your yarn. You have spun a wonderful tale to go along with it. And yes, I have often thought of keeping animals for the fleece they produce. LOL! Have at times dreamt about a spinning wheel and a loom for making floor rugs and such. SIGH!

    Hope you are having a lovely week.
    Cheers, Deb

  2. your yarn did turn out and who said alpaca is hard to spin :0)
    I love knitting with alpaca and have a cardigan I made with wool my Aunt gave me and it is a favourite in winter.

  3. Welcome to the spinning world! It's so addictive.

    I thought the same thing about the price of spinning wheels, and you don't need one at all, although they are a tad faster ;).

    If you're still interested in one, check out garage sales, and ebay (although they are getting more expensive) - there's nothing wrong with second hand, as long as they're in good condition. Also there are guilds set up that often have a few going second hand, and they know how to fix anything wrong with them too!

    Your spinning is beautiful. I hope to see a lot more!

  4. You are too funny, Chris! I can see an incredibly expensive spinning wheel in your not too distant future. Your alpaca yarn is beautiful, and looks very soft too!

    I completely understand that lovely hyper-manic surge of new hobby interest! Pete refers to it as my "enthusiasms" - a reference from Wind in the Willows, where Toad starts hyping up, and Badger turns to Mole and says, "I fear, dear Mole, it's another enthusiasm".. :)

  5. You are a little crazy... but in a good way! Keep on spinning, follow your dreams!

    When I see Farmama's home grown, home dyed, home spun, home knitted wares, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside!!

  6. Well done! That yarn certainly looks impressive to me! And speaking as a person who has just begun combing the cashmere from her first two does, I ask - if we don't follow a crazy-seeming urge now and then, how will we ever experience magic? Also...what would we do with all our free time?

  7. That my dear girl is why I read your blog. Your 'enthusiasms' as Celia put it make me smile and give me an extra burst of energy of my own.
    I grew up listening to the gentle click, click of a spinning wheel. I think you should do it. Expensive...maybe. But you'll never need another and it's probably something you will use quite a lot. 7 bags full at least! Alpaca is gorgeous to use...
    Your drop spindle spinning is great.

  8. Perfect timing for me lol as I've been given a wheel this week! Thank you so much for all the groundbreaker you!


  9. It's such a good daydream to have, isn't it Deb :)

    I love how alpaca is so soft and snuggly, Debbie. I bet you just love wearing that cardigan :)

    Hello Pyslova!! Thanks for your comments..I managed to spin up 28 meters of yarn last night on the little chopstick, although I can imagine a wheel would be MUCH faster, lol! Will be keeping an eye out on ebay..thank you so much for the tips.

    Oh, YES, Celia!! I can hear that voice now, I just LOVE that phrase..."Enthusiams"!! I'm hearing you with that one!!

    Ooh, wow, thanks dixiebelle. I just jumped over and had a rivetting reading session..her creations are amazing!! And filled with such love!

    Exactly quinn! Lucky you, having some cashmere to play with ;)

    Hmmm, I'm thinking about one alright, Brydie. Just on the hunt for the 'right' one... How wonderful for you to have grown up with that sound..just lovely :)

    Oh, really Sue?? Wow! I'm am just the teensiest bit envious! I hope to see a picture sometime...can't wait to see your creations!


Hi there, it's so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Chris x