Monday, September 22, 2014

As If I Don't Have Enough Hobbies...

Paper crafting, painting, drawing, cross stitch, knitting...

and now, spinning. Yep, spinning my own yarn.

A few weeks ago, daughter and I attended Manitoba's second annual Fiber Festival. For the first three hours of the day, we enrolled in a Turkish Spindle class. It was loads of fun and so informative! I am definitely hooked...

Daughter getting personalized instruction from Sandy our teacher
- there were only 4 of us in class so it was perfect for individual attention!

This was my meager first attempt during class using a beautiful micro-skein (called a "pig tail"!) of "American Diner" Merino fiber:

My new Turkish Spindle and first attempt - scary, no?

After class, we wandered around the Festival Market area to pick up some roving (natch). We received seven small samples of different wool varieties from the class to learn the differences in fiber length, softness, etc. (Teeswater, Romney/Lincoln, Merino, Polypay, Southdown and Alpaca), but we wanted to pick up larger ones to eventually work on and took advantage of having so many vendors in one area - with great prices too!

A view of the market area
(held inside a hockey arena in case the weather turned bad)

Fleece competition - afterward they were for sale!

Angora bunnies for sale too! Sooooo cute.

I picked up one large braid of Merino and a small bag of four 1 oz. Corridale roving in purple, blue, teal and cream colours to practice on. These were the first real attempts I worked with at home; spinning the cream and teal separately and then plying them together in a small skein. It was still pretty lumpy and thick, but it was fun to see the yarn develop!

This past weekend daughter and I went antiquing and I found this primitive carpenter's string level; perfect for displaying over the wool stash area of my Studio, so I wound the teal/cream yarn onto it.

The last two colours of Corridale single ounce roving I worked on this weekend - the blue and purple spun much thinner and more consistent; I was improving!

Here are the single plies before combining again on my spindle:

And the finished two-ply yarn.

To make a proper twisted skein, I needed a "niddy noddy" (yep, it's a whole new vocabulary...). Hubby cut some old wood I found and I glued and nailed it together. It works perfectly and I like that it looks old and fits in with the rest of my vintage tools.

The result today was thirty-six yards of my very own handspun yarn! I think this attempt may be good enough to actually knit with... the others will remain on my shelf as reminders of my journey.

My next attempts will be with this (the braid of Merino from the Festival):

And these two braids of a Merino/Silk blend I bought a few days ago (sooooo soft and squishy!):

Enough to actually make something significant from - I hope!


  1. This is so interesting!! I predict we will see some dyeing in your future, as well! 8+)

  2. Your first yarns are beautiful; you're a natural! If you ever get the urge to start with a raw fleece, you know where to get fine, coated Shetland. ;-)

  3. Is there anything you can't do??? That is some awesome first spinning!

  4. Add this to your list of things you decide to try and are good at. Still marvel at how quickly you figured out knitting... you have a good knack for this kind of stuff.

  5. Its looks as though you are having way too much fun Maureen. Good on you!! Like the crazysheeplady said is there anything you can't do?? The wool looks soooo soft. The last one reminds me of Mrs Doubtfires hair. Love it! Thanks for sharing. Karen.x

  6. Wow, this is a whole new world to me. Everything you've done so far looks perfect to me, love the beautiful colors. You and your daughter are going to have so much fun and will definitely be keeping busy knitting away. You do such a good job!

  7. Hello Maureen,
    I was wondering where you were and then I realized, your blog somehow wasn't showing up any more on my blog roll..
    Love what you have been doing with the wool and having your daughter as your trusty side kick is even better.
    Have a wonderful weekend my friend!


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