Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Ball of Roving and a Spinning Wheel



A long time ago, in a land not too far away - Indiana to be exact - I learned how to spin on a large walking wheel. Within the depths of Conner Prairie, they taught me that valuable historical skill of spinning, then set me to work in the historical village, Prairietown. Dressed in an 1830s work dress, with sloping shoulders and only slightly puffed sleeves, I stood at the window and spun. The wool stretched and pulled, running its soft fibers slipping across my fingers as it wound itself sinuously around the spindle in uneven clumps and threads. While I wasn't that good, it was relaxing work and I liked gazing out the windows at passerby on the dirt road as I paced back and forth, spinning, spinning...

I haven't spun again since then - until today! Today I finally put off all pathetic excuses, pulled out my friend Mairi's borrowed spinning wheel and started spinning. Well, in reality I didn't start out quite that easily. First, I had to research how to make my big bundle of wool into roving for easier spinning. (Beautiful wool which I got from Mairi's generous fiber expert sister, Heather. Oh, and their sheep. Thank you!) I found a lovely instructive video on youtube. Then, after a half-dozen frustrating failures at starting I figured out the darn tension on the wheel and then I started spinning! Aaah, all the memories came flooding back with the wool running through my fingers. It's good to be spinning again. Now, all I need is a good audio book.




What do you think? Quite imperfect, but not too bad for starting again!
I need to learn how to ply this stuff too. Plying scares the heck out of me!

P.S. Check this story out. It's about a Sheep to Shawl contest and it sounds really intense! I think I'd go to pieces under pressure like that!

2 comments:

Holly said...

Go Sarah! That is way cool. I am excited to see what becomes of this lovely yarn...

BusyMomof7~Julie said...

Lovely, Sarah. I have never used a spinning wheel...I have used a drop spindle successfully, but one day perhaps I will have a chance to spin on a wheel. Lord willing, I would greatly enjoy raising fiber animals on our homestead.

Thank you for sharing this.

~Julie~

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