Saturday, February 21, 2009

Have you any wool?

There is a new baby at my house. And before you ask it is NOT another dog. Nor is it a cat, bunny, or even a hermit crab. It is a spinning wheel. I placed an ad for a used wheel on a Yahoo Spinning site and wa la! The Schacht Matchless II. Double treadle. Double Drive.

The woman who sold her to me treated her with tender loving care and it shows. The wheel is in beautiful condition and oiled to a lovely honey gold. After many hours of spinning for Margarete, the little Schacht is now going to teach me how. And, with the help of a couple of Romney sheep named Eve and Franklin, I've spun my first full bobbin of single ply yarn. The Romney is wonderful to work with and I am enjoying the spinning so much I could sit and do it all day. Well for while anyway, my legs do get tired, rather like riding a bike.

I draft. I spin. I read about sheep. Corriedale, Romney, Merino, Blue Faced Leichester, California Variegated Mutant... and of course there are all those other hairy things like angora rabbits, alpacas and llamas. And there are batts, tops, rovings, even entire fleeces!

On Ravelry, I put out a request for women in my area who were spinners, and might like to get together to spin and help each other learn. We are now meeting twice a month at the Highlands Ranch Library to spin.

While I certainly did not need another hobby, or something else to keep me busy, the thought of creating my own yarn and then knitting with it is incredibly exciting. Besides, I need all the help I can get with relaxing. If knitting is good for the heart and soul, spinning must be even more so. You find yourself just sinking into the rhythm of the wheel. Even the dogs find it hypnotic, and collapse around the wheel in a heap, watching the wheel turn or just sitting with their eyes closed listening to the hum and feeling the breeze created by my pedaling.

So I'm learning something new and expanding my horizons. I'm touching the past, reaching back even further than knitting, to the first time someone sheared a sheep, cleaned and carded the wool, and twisted it into fiber using a drop spindle....

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. -Tigerlily

1 comment:

Sanguiknity said...

Thanks for the comment on my Jayne hat! I was excited when I finished!

Pretty wheel! I want to get one soon, and nice comment about it being relaxing :) I was spindling the other day and my dog just stared at the spindle and watched it spin. It was funny because her head was moving in a circle too, following the movement of the spindle, at least in the beginning when I first flicked it. Then it got annoying because she tried biting it.