About The Country Wife Blog

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Fiber Spinning Group

Several weeks ago the Listserv in our town published an email inquiring if there was interest in starting up  a fiber spinning group in town.  IMMEDIATELY I responded in the affirmative.  After much back-and-forthing we made a plan and now have had our first get-together.

It was so enjoyable to meet at our local library for a couple of hours one evening.  It was a particularly hot and humid day.  The group met in the basement of the library which was quite cool.  Five of us brought our spinning wheels and fiber that we were working on.

As it happens, I had NOT been working on any fiber.  In fact, I needed to invest a fair amount of time removing dust from my Ashford Traveller spinning wheel.  Like most of the other spinners, I too, have more than one spinning wheel.  My other wheel is probably a Canadian production wheel.  It looks like a traditional wheel but is quite heavy and is a double drive wheel.

Ashford Traveller wheel

This lovely little wheel was a gift from a very dear friend who has since crossed the veil. Every time I use this wheel I am filled with love and gratitude to this lady for her great kindnesses to me and especially for the many hours we spent knitting together with others  as well as spinning together on a Thursday afternoon from time to time.

In recent years I have wished that the wheel had a double treadle so I could use my feet and legs equally.  I have just sent a note to Ashford in New Zealand to inquire.  Wouldn't it be nice if there was such a thing available and at a price that I could afford!!

You will notice that there are two bobbins of singles yarn ready to ply as well as a hank of two-plied yarn that I previously spun and is now ready to roll into a center-pull ball to start knitting.  This will probably be a mitten project.

The white fiber hanging down is a small bit of merino lamb's wool that was shorn off a lamb at the Hancock Shaker Village in western Massachusetts.  I have spent a good deal of time carding the wool to make the rolag to spin.  It still is not very clean wool.  There is a LOT of vegetable matter still in it.  It was also shorn from a lamb so the fibers are pretty short.  Somewhat difficult to spin, but worth the effort, I think...

At the spinning group one of the ladies--all of whom were strangers to me on that night--told me that to clean an un-skirted fleece I should put it in a tub of water for two weeks or more.  She said that much of the filth would dissolve and the vegetable matter would disappear.  I hope this is true because I took her at her word...More about that later.

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