Sunday, May 1, 2011

I can do it!

It's been a while since my last blog post, for many reasons. On of them is that I have been busy learning new skills, and now I have come out the other end of the tunnel and I can call myself a spinner! Today I made my first three ply yarn. It is also the first time I have worked with raw fleece that I have washed and hand carded. It is also my first effect yarn with added goodies. Finally it is the first yarn I make on a spinning wheel, if I don't count the three samples that I will never be able to use.

Let's go back a few steps... In November last year I got my first spinning wheel. It was very old, green and didn't work very well. I then took care of two more old wheels in need of care, but none of them are in order yet. I think that will be a summer project so I can take them apart, clean, grease and straighten them up outdoors. Meanwhile I stumbled across a local girl who had bought a Kromski Prelude last year and decided to sell it again. I got it at a good price and finally had something that worked. I soon realized that my preferences lie towards thin yarns and I fond a dealer, Den Gamla Skolan, who had a faster flyer and extra bobbins. She also had the clever idea to use inexpensive raw fleece to fill the parcel up, and that is how I ended up with 600g of very smelly Gotland wool. This is what it looked like after washing:

After a couple of days of hand carding and spinning I finally had my three bobbins of thread, but before I could ply it I had to figure out where to place the third bobbin since the Prelude only holds two. I asked MrP for suggestions and he said flower support sticks. I actually found one that was just right and then put it between my knees, and it worked perfectly!

When I got my first, green spinning wheel the owner tried to make me take a lot of other stuff, and I came home with a skein winder that I didn't know anything about. I later learned that it is a 'knäpphärvel' and it is just brilliant. It is supposed to make a snapping sound after a certain number of turns, but mine only has a clock-like hand that turns slowly and I still have to count the number of threads in the skein and them multiply that with the circumference of 1.5 m.

Did you see the lamb that just happened to be in the in the background? My son got it at his christening and it is actually a Gotland sheep!

Finally the yarn! I still have some wool left, but so far it is 280g and actually about 280m. I think I have almost 200g for next session. To the wool I have added hand dyed Tencel from Ullaffären (The Wool Business) that I visited last Wednesday. All about that visit can be found in the group Långbacken on Ravelry, so I won't write that here (but the lambs are gorgeous...).