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Wonderwool Wales Tales

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I was at Wonderwool Wales on Sunday, and it was such a treat! Living in the Welsh countryside I’m surrounded by sheep, but I have yet to find a yarn shop close by that stocks anything inspiring. I spend ages looking at yarn (longingly) online, but to actually be able to see and TOUCH it all was simply overwhelming. Seeing all the Ravelry badges, the smiling faces, and finally meeting some of the lovely people I follow on the internet was also very exciting, and I even spotted Sasha Kagan holding a workshop! I’d love to share my small purchases, but most of them are intended as gifts, and I must be a little secretive. I did get some Faery Lace from Fyberspates though, which is all my own.

my first handspun!

I have known for a long time that if I ever tried spinning, I would be hooked, and I really didn’t want anything else taking away from my knitting time (and fund!). Well, all such prudence vanished from my mind when I spotted a lovely spinning starter kit at the Blueberry Angoras stand. Angora! Having grown up in Ankara, I decided it was fate that I should start spinning with angora mohair. I could hardly wait to get home to try it out, but on sunday evening the only winding I managed was to wind myself up. I could spin about 2 inches of yarn which just grew kinkier and kinkier. But knitting hasn’t taught me anything if it hasn’t taught me patience, so I calmly put the spindle aside.

I spun all night, metre after metre flying through my dreams. On Monday I watched all the Youtube videos on the subject again, and realised my problem was with the elusive term, ‘drafting’. Spinners throw this word out with much abandon, but it took me a while to understand it, and even now I’m not sure I’ve fully grokked it. I do know that I was trying to spin a thin yarn with way too much fiber though, and separating the roving out into thinner strips helped a lot. I still do a lot of stopping and frantic drafting, but I managed a vaguely consistent yarn. It’s magic watching the spindle spin and spin and spin, the twist shoot like electric up the fiber, and the way the spinning thread will pull everything (fiber, hair) into it, like a small tornado. Having spun all my fiber I tried to ‘set the twist’, but the twist has no intention of settling just yet. The yarn writhes with energy, too full of my novice over-enthusiasm, and its own life. The angora is gorgeous, so soft and nice-smelling, and I would love to travel over every inch of yarn again with my knitting needles, but I think perhaps my first handspun is fated for a small hank, to mark the beginning of another journey.

Participating in Fiber Arts Friday.

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28th April, 2009  // Life, Spinning, Yarn // tags: , , , .

4 Comments

  1. Kate says:

    Hi! I just started following your blog for the lovely knitting- now you’re definitely my new favorite for using ‘grok’. <3

  2. Pre-drafting proved to be absolutely essential for me when I was learning to spin (I also didn’t really know what drafting meant). If you search “pre-drafting” on my blog, there is a sort of photo tutorial. Good luck with the new adventure!

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  4. Tutleymutley says:

    Oh but you CAN knit it, this, your first hank: you could love it and pet it and think it’s all yours but if you KNIT it (combine it with other things from your stash if necessary?) – you can wear it and love it all the more! I knit a tychus with my very first skein.
    I didn’t say must, or should as you will do what you will, but happy spinning! what fun awaits you!


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