Now that we are well into January, I am finally ready to share what I got for Christmas from my Dad...
Yes, that IS a spinning wheel. And before you even ask, yes, like Rumpelstiltskin and yes, like Sleeping Beauty. That is the first thing I have heard from almost everyone I tell. It's either that or "did you ask for that?". The answer to that is...well, sort of. I think it all started with this post. For some reason, the idea of dyeing yarn with something you grew seemed cool to me. Then, I thought it would be even cooler if you spun the yarn yourself too. Although I thought this was an amazing thought, I didn't really ever imagine making the effort or the investment (time or money) to learn this craft. But, nonetheless, I called my dad and asked him if he would raise me a sheep so I could have wool to spin. Of course, he laughed at me and told me he would get me some discarded wool from a nearby farm and asked incredulously if I even knew how to spin. I told him that I didn't, but of course I would figure that all out when I got the sheep. So we laughed and joked about this for several months...until he stumbled across a spinning wheel at an antique shop. He went to a nearby sheep farm and got me two fleeces for the price of the shearing ($5 a piece). So, I am now deep into a new craft. I have been researching on the internet, at local yarn shops, listening to podcasts, and mostly just trying it out. Here's what I've done so far:
Washing: Turns out when they shear sheep they don't give them a bath first. At least not when the wool isn't the reason they are raising sheep. This picture doesn't really do justice to the amount of sheep poop (or the smell) that was on the fleece.
This is after one round of washing 1/2 of the first fleece:
And round 2. Most of the dirt is gone, but still grass, sticks etc. You have to comb or brush that out essentially.
Here is my first attempt at spinning yarn. It was very uneven.
I made a little coaster/pot holder (crochet):
Then, I plied two of my spun yarns together:
Finally, knitted something. It didn't start out to be an iPod case, but that is what it ended up to be. I find it ironic that I got a spinning wheel (very primitive machine) and an iPod touch (pretty high tech) for Christmas and I am equally impressed with each for completely different reasons. This picture just makes me smile because it puts the two together!