A few years ago my husband bought me a drop spindle kit from George Weil. I am not known for my patience and I got frustrated with it fairly quickly and it went back in the box and was left. However, this week I popped out to Glastonbury Country Market, where there is a lovely lady who spins her own yarn, using a beautiful spinning wheel, made for her by her husband – such a talented and creative couple. It’s mesmerizing, watching a spinning wheel in action and it inspired me to have another try with my drop spindle.
So I selected one of the coloured wool tops from my kit and found this YouTube tutorial, by MeganERiskTutorials, to help me get started. This tutorial is given in a relaxed manner and I found it very helpful and reassuring too (don’t panic if the yarn breaks or it’s not perfectly even).
I’ll be honest; it was a bit fiddly to begin with, but it doesn’t take very long to get the hang of it. I’m very much a stop and start spinner, but I’m already picking up a little bit of speed. As you can see, my yarn is a bit wibbly wobbly, and rather messy on the spindle, but I’m not worried as it’s my first proper go at it.
I am quite pleased with my first attempt at spinning, but my mind has already started wandering towards spinning wheels. If you’ve ever looked into this you’ll know they are not cheap. If I buy one, I will be making a commitment to spin my own yarn. I toyed with the idea of a second-hand wheel, to save a bit of money and because I love things with a bit of history, but given my novice status and the cost involved, I think I’d feel more comfortable with a new one which will come with full instructions. I’ve done a little bit of online research and, at the moment, I think the Ashford Traveller is the one for me – it’s the compact castle style with a traditional look.
My impatience got the better of me again and I only made a small ball of yarn in the green, because I wanted to use another colour. You can see that I’m winding the yarn much neater onto the spindle, but the yarn itself is still a bit uneven (part of the charm of hand-spun 😉 ). I’m planning to create a 2ply yarn using the green and purple together.
I’m really excited at the prospect of using my own hand-spun yarn for my crochet designs. It will be such a thrill to be involved in more of the overall process.
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