Return to hand-spinning

Although I teach in knitted textiles, this is the first year I have taught spinning as part of a module, so in a fit or inspiration I asked my son to climb into the loft and retrieve my Ashford wheel that had been up there for 15-20 years. 

I used to have two wheels, and spin on both at one time. However a succession of small children  couldn’t resist fiddling with them, and. I didn’t have time to use them. First of all one went in the loft, and then I reluctantly sold the other as there wasn’t space for it and I couldn’t bear to see it being damaged. Now child-free, but sadder for it, I have resurrected the Ashford.

A year or two ago I had prematurely acquired a fleece thinking my time had come, only to myself busier than ever.  By the time I got there, apart from the smallish amount I had had time to scour I had to throw the rest away as it was infested with moth. So I am starting to spin with the small amount of Kent wool mixed with Merino tops I had bought in for felting. It’s not a problem as I need LOTS of practise, so odd colour mixes rule at the moment. 

Of course the wheel seems to have shed bits during its vacation in the loft, and a refurb was necessary. I have purchased a flexible drive belt because the one on the Kiwi wheel we have at University does seem to give a nice drive to the wheel, plus the old one is a little brittle. The tension knob and spring has disappeared, so they needed replacing, and I wanted a drop in to make the bobbin easier to swap. Finally one of the Lazy Kate spikes and a bobbin have gone walkabout, so new ones of those were required. 

This photo is of the first hand-spun yarn I have made for years, so apologies for its unevenness and it’s mish mash of colours. I just needed to celebrate my enjoyment.

 

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