Friday, 29 June 2012

It's spinning, but not as we know it...

I am not a naturally fine spinner, I have a default spinning style that produces a heavy fingering weight yarn. I'm pretty happy with this, you get lots of yardage from 100g, and you can do quite a lot with 300m of fingering weight. This yarn however, is rather thinner than this, I think you could safely call it frog hair. The lumps and bumps are because I'm spinning silk noil. 

I'm spinning frog hair because I was given one of these for my birthday. 

It's a Charkha, it's used commonly in India for spinning cotton. Ghandi used to spin on one for an hour each day. I'm not using it for spinning cotton, it's not a fibre or yarn I use very much. However it's great for spinning anything with a short staple, so far I've tried out camel and yak down. I'm off to FibreEast in a couple of weeks and plan on getting some cashmere to try as well. 
It's rather addictive, and is a very different style of spinning, the first attempts were very lumpy, but as I'm working out how to get the best out of it the results are getting more even. The silk noil is also helping, definitely hides any imperfections! 

Monday, 25 June 2012


I seem to be a bit jinxed with fibre festivals this year. Wonderwool was cold beyond belief, and I'm just back from Woolfest where it rained beyond belief.

I'm very lucky in that we have a camper van, the poor people in tents really suffered this weekend, either facing long drives the next morning due to having to go home, or having to sleep in the backs of vans. 

However, inside was dry (once I put a bucket in the corner to catch the drips), and filled with fluffy goodness of every variety. I got to speak to lots of existing customers, and enable lots of new spinners. 

This was my petite stall, filled with lots of fibre at the start of the show. I'm pleased to say that it was considerably emptier by the end of Saturday, as I'd bought 6 fleeces and was getting a bit worried about fitting them in the van.

I also needed space to bring home this lovely. I sold my Traveller at Wonderwool and this is her replacement, single treadle which suits me much better. This model of Traditional dates to around 1975 so is 10 years older than me, and spins beautifully still. 

Of course Woolfest wouldn't be Woolfest without saying hello to Bruno the Manx Loaghtan ram. Got any food?

I'm home now and busy unpacking, and updating the shop. It will take me a while to get everything done, but I'll get there eventually!