Learning to Spin

first attempt with a drop spindle

As a knitter, I guess it’s natural to want to learn to spin fibre into yarn. I’ve seen those large fluffy bats of wool and alpaca and wondered how it was done. For some reason, I had always thought that spinning fibre involved a large investment in a wheel (you know the kind from the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty where the princess pricks her finger on the needle of a spindle). 

About a month ago, I was surprised to see that the One of a Kind Christmas Show was offering hands-on workshops for the first time this year. One of those classes was “Handspinning with Shawn O’Hagan“. Wow! What drew me to the class was that in an hour Shawn would teach me to spin my own fibre and provide me with a handmade drop spindle that I could keep. I was intrigued. I was planning to go to the show anyways (as I do every year for the past 10 years — yes, I have to admit I’m a craft show geek) and the workshop included the cost of admission, too. What a treat! 

I was surprised to learn how relatively simple it was and I can see how it could become very addictive. There’s something about mixing your own colours, textures and types of materials to create your own yarn that draws you in and drives you to keep exploring. 

I’m hopeful that I can keep practicing (at the moment it takes me a long time to get just two ounces of fibre spun) and maybe use my newly learnt skills for Project Zoo in the near future. 

Also, OOAK posted some photos from the class, including one of me and looking very pregnant indeed! Check it out!


2 thoughts on “Learning to Spin

  1. My mom’s a spinner and weaver (and a knitter and a rug hooker). She’s tried working with the drop spindle, but finds it a bit difficult. You must have a magic touch. Isn’t it amazing how the whole process comes together?

  2. Pingback: finally spun | FlowerPot Designs

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