Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Springtime Spinning and Winding Wool

It's sheep-shearing time here in the Bluegrass, and I am helping my friend Sarah to shear sheep, including our Shetlands, Lana and Nina.

Lana, Nina, and Liam at the hay rack,
late winter. Lana and Nina live with Liam
on my friend Sarah's farm and she took this photo.
The sheep in the background are her Soays. Liam is 
hers, too...and Lana and Liam are always together.

That put me into the wool spinning mood, so I've been using the old Eastern European supported spindle to spin more yarn for the years-long project to make blankets for the twins.

The Eastern European spindle,
which was hand-turned on a 
lathe who knows how long ago.

Given that to date the project has involved shearing the sheep, picking the fleece, scouring the fleece in warm soapy water, drum-carding the wool, and spinning the wool, I measure progress in years. A few years ago I sent several fleeces to two mills to be made into roving, so I could skip the cleaning process, but haven't spun more than a few yards of that.

Now I have several thousand yards, enough to weave a small blanket, and need that much again for the second one.

Here is the spindle-spun wool.

114 yards of hand-spun wool from the spindle

Here is a 185-yard skein spun on the Polish Kromski wheel. The wheel-spun wool is a little more consistent in feel, but not by much.

Comparison with my wheel-spun wool

Given that progress is in fits and starts, we have years ahead. :)

Here I am winding a spindle full of yarn onto the yarn swift my dad and I made years ago. One full revolution is 1 yard of yarn. 

Yarn swift from the top...

...and the side.

The swift comes apart into pieces to make storage easier.

Yarn swift in pieces.

Happy springtime, everyone!

I have a post about some transition stays almost ready...


Kleidung um 1800 said...

It's beautiful to see that Lana and Nina are still living their best life and enjoying spring together with their friend Liam! And it's a good feeling that some things haven't changed...
Your spinning looks so beautiful and even, I have never tried that as I'm not a knitter, but I can imagine how relaxing it is and how the hands start working in their own rhythm after a while...slow and steady...and quiet...not only spinning wool, but giving the mind the peace to spin it's own stories.
I still have that small ball of yarn, you've once send to me and cherish it very much!

Sending all the best across the pond,

ZipZip said...

Dear Sabine,
Good morning! You've captured the essence of spinning. It's meditative and calming and the mind can drift peacefully.

Tomorrow I visit Sarah and we shear Lana. It's quite late in the year for that, but there you are. It's mostly been cool, thank goodness. Doubt much of her fleece is usable, though, which is becoming normal as she ages. Ah well, I have mounds to spin and she is very happy, so we are all happy.
Hugs to you in springtime!