Spinning a Yarn!

I picked up a 3-ounce handspindle at a flea market (summer of 1998) for seventy-five cents (hiding among the hammers, it was) and a friend got me started with some over-the-hill fleece. Once I got the hang of the basics, another friend (only a three-hour drive south) gave me some pointers on refining my technique, mostly how to do a long draw. Since then, I've tried various kinds of wool in various stages of treatment, a little camel down, a little silk, some dog down, and medicine bottle cotton (which is not). And I have made some lighter-weight spindles to handle fine threads, and then modified them to run smoother and longer... and then I cannibalized my computer CDs because they make decent whorls... running smooth and long, and delightfully flashy!

Linda spinning

With all that spinning, the members of the Woolgatherers Guild keep asking me what I'm going to make, so I have decided that I should actually do something with my yarn (novel concept!) -- I'm now learning to spin thick, so I can have a rug, sometime in the far distant future! I've taken a workshop on rug-weaving (on a table loom, mind you, so these are merely samples), so I have a better idea of what I'm heading for. And all that fine stuff? It will be used for embroidery for those medieval outfits that I cannot stop making!

By happenstance, I entered a number of articles in the 2001 Courtenay fall fair, some yarn being one entry.

Courtenay Fall Fair 2001

The bottle of mead at the top of the photo is a small metheglin: quickly made, low alcohol, spiced honey wine. It is intended to be consumed young. This batch wouldn't clear, which is unusual for me, but it has a light effervescence that comes of using champagne yeast. It took a third prize.

(Under the mead, read from left to right.)

The blackwork (Spanish work) sampler is truly that: if I'm bored of the pattern, or it doesn't suit my taste anymore, I pull out the stitches and put in something I like.

The black'n'white card-woven band is shown wrapped around the cards used to create it. The cards are made from glossy-2-sides display board from a liquour store. The fibre is crochet cotton.

The cross-stitched motto is bright pink DMC floss on dusty pink Aida cloth.

The yarn was required to be three skeins, with no indication of the size of skein. A spindle-full, for me, is just over 100 yards, so I made the skeins 100 yards: mohair, romney, merino. Because I like working with singles, I steam-pressed each skein, which gave the yarn a nice feel. The display included a description card for each skein, and the spindle they were spun on. The yarn got a first!

Purely Information... well, mostly....

Spindlitis! - Teri's main page, but you'll get there
Bullen's Wullens Workshops - for learning to Spin with a Drop Spindle; cool photos
Margaret Peel's Fibre Supplies - Online Information Sheets on fleece, mohair, quilting and more
Elann Fibre Co - Yarns and Knitting News; frames, but you might want to look anyway
Canadian Curly Horse Association