Thursday, 11 November 2010


A few posts ago, I made a passing reference to my attendance at a handspun spinning workshop with the intention of dedicating a proper post to my adventures later on. It seems some time has passed, and some not-unrelated bits and bobs are wanting to make their way into the blog, so here goes...

8th October
My somewhat-disappointing birthday has just passed and I am wondering how to treat myself. I've been toying with trying wheel spinning (yarn not exercise) for a while so I meander through the Web looking vaguely for some sort of class or workshop. Having found a few options at both extremes of the UK (if only I leaved in Fife), I finally stumble across handspun and send an email to enquire.

11th October
A few emails go back and forth - I book myself in for the 30th of October (my next free weekend) and try not to get too excited.

30th October
Up before 7am to walk to the railway station. Despite catching the wrong train and forgetting to bring Gwenda's mobile number (and a set of knitting needles for my train project), I find my way OK and am collected from the station. It's just me for this workshop and we immediately start with the wheel - trying a bit of treddle-ing without anything else, before moving on to feed some yarn through to get hands and feet working together. It's all feeling a bit clumsy but we move on to getting started with some unwashed fleece nonetheless... all of a sudden hands and feet come together and I'm actually producing something that looks kind of OK. I seem to have a tendency for spinning thinly and I go through a period of constant breaks until I can keep up with myself. Love it!

Break for a yummy lunch - mushroom soup, baked potato and salad.

Back to the wheel to spin a tiny bit more. I'd moved onto a second bobbin before lunch so there's just a bit more spinning to do to get it looking about the same as the first one, then... plying! Skein the finished yarn and put it aside ready for a bath when it gets home. Next step is to go back to the start and look at preparing fibres. Spent a bit of quiet time teasing the fibre before Gwenda got out the carders and showed me how to card the fibre and form a rolag - do one more before... all done. :( Time to go home and wash that yarn!

And here it is...

It's unevenly spun but it's mine! I feel a wheel coming on
(I may have resolved this already - you'll just have to wait and see...)

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