Spinning: A New Addiction…and zombie wool!

(This entry is a bit picture heavy…gallery at the end for the post)

Did I pull you in to read this post with the “Zombie Wool” comment?

I did, didnt I!

It’s an accurate reference…and is explained somewhere in this post ;).  I promise!

In November 2015, B and I went on a weekend trip to New York State to visit friends and their farm.  They were folks known to B but it was to be my first time meeting them. I knew that the wife of the couple was somewhat of a fibre freak like me so I was really looking forward to it.

I had no idea on our way there that she and I would become fast friends and that I would leave with a new impatient addiction to feed!

First off, I must set the stage by mentioning all the animals on the farm who shared our space that weekend.  They were all so freakin sweet…well maybe with one exception ;)…

Sweet and rambunctious ...I Just wanted to snuggle him and take him home with me!
Sweet and rambunctious …I Just wanted to snuggle him and take him home with me!

 

Spent much of the evenings snuggled up to next to  on the couch.  I have never had much of an opportunity to spend time with a pit bull and this was a good first time!  So sweet and quiet!
Spent much of the evenings snuggled up to next to on the couch. I have never had much of an opportunity to spend time with a pit bull and this was a good first time! So sweet and quiet!
Three cats on site...though only a picture of one.  Made me happy.  Love felines!
Three cats on site…though only a picture of one. Made me happy. Love felines!
  Beautiful yet sadly not too friendly with those she didn't now.  "LOOK AT ME!" "PAY ATTENTION TO ME!" "BUT DON'T TOUCH ME!!!!" So, yes....very pretty! ;)
Beautiful yet sadly not too friendly with those she didn’t know. “LOOK AT ME!” “PAY ATTENTION TO ME!” “BUT DON’T TOUCH ME!!!!”
So, yes….very pretty! 😉

And this brings us to their awesome, lovely Shetland sheep!

A couple of the regal looking males
A couple of the regal looking males
IMG_7920
Awww, loving the scritches!
A few of the females who ventured closer to me to check me out :)
A few of the females who ventured closer to me to check me out 🙂

 

So, now that the stage has been set…on to spinning!

When I arrived, I was introduced to  this lovely lady and told that she was mine for the weekend.  An Ashford Traditional spinning wheel from the early 1980s.  I fell in love!  Absolutely gorgeous….learning on this wheel was a pleasure! I couldn’t have asked for a better intro to spinning.

Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel from the early 1980s
Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel from the early 1980s

I had no idea I would enjoy spinning so much.

On a practical note, although crochet and knitting are awesome and I spend a lot of travel time and tv time working on projects, my wrists and arms tend to get irritated with the constant repetitive motion.  Spinning breaks up that repetition with something completely different that gives my arms a break.

But from a more spiritual and ancestral perspective, I found spinning incredibly grounding and meditative.  As I spun, it felt as though the yarn moved forward, from my hands, through the flyer and onto the bobbin, as well as stretched backwards, through my centre, through time, reaching back and connecting me to all the women over the centuries who have spun yarn for their families and communities.

It was an unexpected and moving experience.

Needless to say, most of my weekend was spent sitting at the wheel trying to multi-task….

Treadling while drafting the fibre using both hands isn’t necessarily as easy as it may look.  It was really hard to get my foot moving and then forget about it to focus on my hands.
(Now I have more of an appreciation for what drummers must go through as they learn the drums! 😉

The yarn already in process on various bobbins was beautiful! And so thin!

Top: Spun Shetland wool Bottom: Spun 100% silk
Top: Spun Shetland wool
Bottom: Spun 100% silk

 

Yeah, I’m not getting close to THAT for a while yet!
But I did manage to create a small skein over the weekend…which was made even more awesome by the fact that the wool I was using was from the sheep on the property!

In process: my very first handspun skein of yarn!
In process: my very first handspun skein of yarn!

Obviously it turned out uneven, bumpy and bulky/lace weight all-in-one but it was made by me and I was pretty darn proud!

Washed, weighted and left to dry!
Washed, weighted and left to dry!
My very first handspun skein!!
My very first handspun skein!!

Hooked from the moment I started, I knew when I left a spinning wheel would be making its way into my home very soon!

It didn’t help that, to encourage this new addition, I was sent home with a large bag of zombie wool from their sheep!

Shetland Wool, gifted to me to feed the addiction! ;)
Shetland Wool, gifted to me to feed the addiction! 😉

Yep…I did say Zombie Wool! 😉

The story is that initially there was an attempt to try shearing the sheep without the help of a proper sheep shearer…the person, not the shears 😉  (Say that sentence 10 times fast, I dare you!)

The initial attempt was made…on a dead sheep…which resulted in quite a bit of wool, including the bag I brought home.

So…

I have taken to calling it Zombie Wool and have decided that, once spun, I will have to use it for some type of suitable theme-matching project…

I just don’t know, yet, what that project will be!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Below are more pictures of our trip, the spinning wheel I used and the sheep!

 

 

 

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Spinning: A New Addiction…and zombie wool!”

  1. loved the blog with awesome pictures, wish I could be with you while you are learning .. something I always wanted to learn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s