Monday, 21 November 2011

spinning course - another LANT

I have completed another item for the Learn a New Technique challenge.  Remember ladies, the link is permanently open so if you've tried a new craft, or a new technique within a craft, come and link up, I want to encourage the craft world to stretch their boundaries!

Browsing online for craft classes in general, I came across a spinning class at Knit Nottingham, a shop I didn't even know existed!, and decided to sign up.  The class was held on a Sunday and was great fun.  There were just 5 of us, and two teachers so we got lots of attention.

At the start of the class we were given our supply bag.

(photo taken on a tea towel as the bench was wet) which contained our drop spindle and some examples of different fleeces.  We got started straight away.  I didn't take any photos at all as I'm rubbish at remembering to do that, but I can tell you it took some getting used to! 

We learned to draft the fleece, to pull it out to make it thinner, as we were spinning the drop spindle and feeding the twist up the yarn.  It was great fun.  I soon realised that I perhaps don't have the patience to spin lace weight, perfect yarn, I think art yarn (read - lumps, bumps, slub, uneven texture) is more my bag!

These are a couple of the fleeces that we got to work with though I didn't actually get to these two as loads of fleece was provided.

Here's my drop spindle complete with the art yarn I made.  What you can see on top, I actually carded myself.  They'd brought in a drum carder for us to have a go on.  Basically two big wheels with spikes.  I chose various kinds of fleece in different hues of blue and purples and kind of brushed them out until they made fleece that I could spin with.

And here's the finished article.  I was really impressed with the class as not only did we learn to spin with the drop spindle - which was the object of the class - we all got a go on the drum carder and with the spinning wheel that they'd brought in for us to try.  I was seriously crap at the wheel, apparently I can't pedal my feet and move my arm at the same time, no wonder I'm not an olympic cyclist.  Hang on, do cyclists need to move their arms?  Maybe I could be an olympic cyclist, if I wasn't so bloody lazy of course.

I've got some more fleece and I do intend to try and spin it up, but whether this will be a crafty "love" for me, I don't know.  It is enjoyable, but I don't know what I'll do with the yarn and that might put me off producing it.  If you are a knitter or crocheter and get a chance to have a go at this craft, do try it.  You might not decide it's something for you, but it's fascinating to learn how yarn is produced and interesting to try.


Ady said...

I love the colours you picked for your yarn. I've never tried spinning / carding etc before .... mind you, I don't do much crafting with yarn. It sounds like you had a really interesting day.

Sandra :) said...

WOW you are definitely a woman of many talents - that spun yarn is gorgeous! I myself would prefer "art yarn" with lumps and bumps and texture, to fancy thin lace yarn - I think it would be more fun!

Crochet with Raymond said...

it looks totally fantastic for a first try, much nicer than my first one he he!
Lace weight, hmmmmmm, I'm still aiming for fingering after 5 months of spinning, lace weight seems like a far off goal!
Have fun with you spindle XXX

Allie said...

My goodness that's pretty yarn - that's the type I prefer too! Wouldn't it look wonderful couched onto an art quilt. I really love this!

Katherine said...

Oh, that looks like fun! Well done, Wendy. Your yarn looks gorgeous!

Zed said...

Your hand spun yarn looks great :)

If you can't use it yourself, sell it. Seriously, just have a look what people charge for handspun art yarn :)