Over the weekend, I went to a yarn spinning class along with two of my BFFs. We mused about learning how to do it when we visited Yarndale in Skipton together last September (also known as ‘the weekend I abandoned my husband on our first wedding anniversary and he drove across the country to surprise me’ <3), where we saw a few wheels in motion. To be honest, I didn’t give it a lot of thought afterwards, mostly because I was so overwhelmed by everything else that happened at the event!
I’ve recently been going to a lovely knit and natter group at my local pub, The Jubilee (every other Wednesday, Norwich folk – come join us, next one is this Weds 26th!), which is also attended by Rebecca from Norfolk Yarn (my fave local yarn shop) who mentioned that she runs yarn spinning classes. Well, you should have seen the look my friend Tilly and I gave each other – kids in a sweet shop! So, after many emails back and forth between us and our friend Raine, we booked to go. And it was so. much. fun.
Our weapons for the day:
My attempt at carding the fleece was OK. I liked brushing it but coordinating my hands to remove the brushed wool off of the brush did not go so smoothly!
Turns out that spinning yarn is hard. To start with, I couldn’t even get the wheel to spin in the right direction..! Then I couldn’t master the correct gripping tension on my left hand, or pulling the fleece apart with my right hand, let alone all three things together. I felt sorry for the poor Jacob Sheep whose fleece I was destroying, but I kind of almost got there eventually…
Wheel in motion:
After about five hours, lots of frustration and an embarrassing amount of help, I have my own hank of home made, rather uneven, brand new never seen before all-sorts-of-ply yarn!
I haven’t decided what I am going to make with it. My friend Raine came up with the brilliant idea of knitting/crocheting something to frame and display, which I think I might join her in. Ideas very welcome though, and I will be sure to post about whatever I create with it.
I would really, really recommend trying yarn spinning to anyone interested in knitting, crocheting or any yarn-based activity, and am already itching to give it another spin (har har). Whilst we were there, our associated men-folk went to see the Robocop re-make; I’m pretty sure we had the better time! Although they were helpfully (in an ale-fuelled manner…) trying to imagine ways of making us spinning wheels out of bicycles, which was kind of sweet.
I’d love to see other people’s hand-spun creations – let me know if you’ve ever given it a go!