Friday, February 11, 2011

Emily's Lessons in Spinning, Knitting, & Fiber Preparation

In late January, one of our friends from Arkansas and her husband came to visit us. Lisa is an accomplished spinner and has been knitting for almost 40 years! During her stay, Lisa taught me many "lessons" on various fiber arts.
Lisa instructed me on her Louet Victoria spinning wheel. I observed for a while and then tried my hands and feet at spinning. It sure was a challenge to keep my feet treadling and my hands feeding wool at the same time! Before long I got the feel of it and made much nicer looking yarn.

These are the first two skeins that I made. The skein on the left is Caramel's wool, plyed with Corinna and Annie's wool. The skein on the right was made from Betsy's wool.

Lisa brought some special home-spun yarn from Uruguay for me to begin knitting. Before my knitting lessons started, she showed me how turn a skein of yarn into a ball of yarn. In this photo Lisa places the skein of yarn on the swift and unties the knots holding the skein together. 
I held onto the swift while Lisa demonstarted how to use a ball winder.

After the yarn was in a ball, Lisa taught me how to knit. She started by showing me how to cast on and then how to do the knit stitch.

After some practice, I started becoming more proficient in making the knit stitch. My scarf was off to a good start!

Before Lisa and her husband went back home, she helped me order a spinning wheel. We did some shopping online and decided on an Ashford wheel and drum carder.

Since my spinning wheel was on its way, I needed some prepared wool to spin. I selected some wool we had skirted off of Cathy's fleece and Lisa and I prepared the locks.

Lisa taught me how to wash wool in a manner which avoids felting. We used the kitchen sink as our washing basin and soon had Cathy's locks washed. We laid them out to dry near our woodstove.

Coming soon... Emily's spinning wheel and drum carder arrive!

1 comment:

stringplayer said...

Great job with your first spun yarns, Emily! I hope you enjoy working with wool from, literally, the beginning to the end. I would love toown a carder. I hope you'll keep on sharing about your experiences spinning and knitting.