Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Joey's Rainbow Capelet!

I am SO excited about this project!  Sheep to Shawl, seriously.

I got 8 ounces of raw fleece from a rescued cormo ewe that had not been shorn for over two years. The fiber had been even longer, but they’d had to cut off a few inches at the outside. The staple length was still incredibly long (9-11”) for cormo! I washed it, huge lock by huge lock.

I dyed it with food coloring and vinegar in the microwave.
I spun lock by lock, flick combing the ends with a cat brush and picking out bits of VM. It was an interesting spin! The long staple made it a bit of a strain on my fingers. Here’s a spinning progress shot.
I finished spinning and navajo-plied it. Here’s the finished yarn.

 After months of trying to find the right project, I knitted the yarn into this Capelet for my daughter! She LOVES it. :)

A day after it was finished, I couldn't help myself...

Monday, November 12, 2012

How did I learn to spin?

In a Facebook Group, someone posted the question, "How did you learn to spin?" This is/was my answer.

I encountered a skein of handspun angora yarn at a craft fair where I was selling jewelry.  I touched it and it ignited something in me.  Not remembering learning how to crochet (and, actually, not remembering ever having done it before), but knowing I knew how, I asked the spinner what size hook she would recommend.  She told me, and I bought the 12oz skein of yarn.  It was a single, grey.  That week I went to a yarn store and bought a hook, and then I went home and crocheted a sweater for my daughter (no pattern, just intuition, and I ran out of yarn just before the end and put in a stripe of dark pink store-bought yarn).  That sweater has been worn by all 4 of my kids (I dyed it cobalt blue when my daughter was done with it).

I was attracted to handspun yarn from the beginning of my remembered crochet, and then I learned to knit.  I joined Etsy (and set up a jewelry shop there) so I could trade for handspun yarn.  I did hundreds of trades.  I was crocheting and knitting all the time, and I loved it.  I tried spinning here and there, but it didn't click until it did.  And I have never looked back.  Now I spin every day - on spindles, on wheels, with my fingers.  I have never loved any vocation as much as I love spinning.  It feeds something primal in me.