Oh it is so very relaxing. And utterly addictive. The key to spinned out bliss .. prepare a good many rolags in advance and then just set that wheel a-flying whilst you draw and twist a seemingly never ending supply of beautiful fleece.
I bought this fleece – a hand dyed Corriedale – from a quirky little store in Yarragon that sells spinning supplies. The lovely women there suggested Corriedale ’cause it’s nice and grippy – Merino is apparently super slippery – thus making Corriedale good and Merino not-so-good for beginning spinners. Like me! This yarn I’m making – yet to be plied – will one day soon be knitted into a hat. Abby doesn’t want the first effort – she’s waiting for when I spin Fu’s fur into wool. I’m happy to wear the first effort – lumps and skinny bits and all. Mind you, I’m relieved to report, they are becoming fewer and further between!
Courtesy, I must add, of Youtube. Yep. Right next to the basket of rolags is my laptop, with multiple internet windows open, all offering advice and demonstrations of how to spin. Oh, and the Ashcroft PDF on how to put my spinning wheel together. Well, yes, it is together but you wouldn’t believe what I did when I first got it home. Broke it.
Yep. I broke a wee joint getting it out the car – the bit that joins the long sticky bit to the pedal bit. You know. The bit that makes it GO. I thought about wailing but no one was home to hear, so I checked the wise world of web and saw that people use all kinds of things to replace that wee joint. I jumped back into the car and tore off to our local hardware with the offending stick in hand and one of the lovely chaps in the building section found me a replacement – a screw plug for brick walls – I now have 50. And they’re bright orange.
Isn’t it truly extraordinary how we can come home with a spinning wheel and bag of fleece and alongside the gentle and wise guidance of spinners from way across the seas in Scotland and Ireland slowly fumble our way through to learning a new skill. Just amazing.
So I sit by my fireplace – honestly, can you believe I have this lovely fireplace with a beautiful art deco mantlepiece – and its CLOSED UP. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve considered taking the sledgehammer to it whilst Julian is on one of his overseas trips. I’m sure the landlord wouldn’t mind ( ahem!). And once Julian is home and there’s a gloriously beautiful, warm fire, glowing away, he couldn’t possibly find a single objection (my teeth are gritted).
So I sit by my fireplace, a basket of rolags at my feet. With the flick of a spoke, I set the wheel a-turning, one stockinged foot pressing gently, up and down and up and down. There’s a lovely soft whoosh and and an ever so slight clackety-clack. The fleece slides through my fingertips and twirls its way into the orifice and onto the spindle. I still haven’t mastered the art … I really want to spin a long draw … as per my rolags … but my left hand is oh so bossy, sneaking in a short draw when I’m not watching. And so I softly recite, pull with my right, pull with my right, pull with my right …
Oh yes, there will be a lovely gillyweed green and bluebottle blue hat very soon.