Meeting Linda at the Yew Tree Barn in theLake Districtand buying home spun Jacob’s wool from her sparked my interest in Spinning yarn myself. I looked around for places to find out about it and put up a message on the forum board on Ravelry, I got a message back suggesting I went along the Southend branch of the Dyers Spinners & Weaver Guild. There I met many very interesting Ladies and men only too willing to share their skills, one lady showed me how to spin with a drop spindle and James, just about to go to Uni showed me all the fleece he had prepared and dye ready for spinning. I was now getting the bug. I was invited to a spinning meeting at a house near to where I live and continued with my lessons on the drop spindle.
A friend came back from holiday and said she had a present for me a gift from her friend yes you have guessed it a RAW fleece covered in what sheep do and stinking to high heaven! Back to Ravelry for some help, this time a guy from New York gave me very simple and straight forward instructions on how to clean and prepare it. Now the fun begins no point in doing the whole lot in one go and wrecking the lot, so each bit I do seems to come out a little cleaner and a little softer. The ladies of the Guild had shown me how to card the fleece ready to spin and they very kindly lent me a spinning wheel to learn on. Well again I was hooked, even though the yarn was coming out a bit lumpy and bumpy it was still useable and looked quite good.
So now to eBay and to look for a wheel for myself, I knew I wanted an Ashford Standard and there were lots to choose from, well after a bit of research I finally won one, but it is located some way away but fear not the Gray Nomads do not sit around and mope, we are off in that general direction to a party in September will take a little holiday in Devon and collect the wheel on the way back.
One of the members of the Guild invited us to her house where we had a community dyeing day I used the commercial dyes and reasonably pleased with the results but I particularly liked the natural dyes the colours came out very subtle and earthy just what I like, the lady supervising this has a book out on the subject which of course I bought and am now studying.
So! Have I bitten off more than I can chew? we will see! Watch this space and see if I produce home spun yarn or put the wheel back on eBay!