The Craft Project

Spinning Would Seem Easier with Calluses

After studying my instructional YouTube videos I sat down on my living room floor and set out to create my first ever skein of handspun wool.

I started by splitting the wool (batt) apart into strips (called roving – I’m learning…slowly) and drafting it (applying tension to the fibre by pulling gently on the roving with both hands). Luckily I wanted my finished product to have a bit of an irregular thickness (I felt it suited the multi-colours, the sparkles, and my personality) so I didn’t mind that after drafting some of the roving was a bit thicker or thinner then other sections.

The starting point - batt and drop spindle

Dividing the batt into roving

Then I was all set to start spinning. It didn’t take too long to get the rhythm of the drop spindle and I was just starting to feel confident enough to start working a bit faster when the top popped off the spindle, causing the dowel to hit the ground and start to roll away. Luckily that was easily fixed and I was back on my way in no time. As I worked the twist from the spindle’s hook up through the roving I started to notice that the pads of my index finger and thumb were getting sore. It didn’t reach the point of a blister luckily, but I can certainly see the advantage to a few more calluses – especially if you were spinning a lot.

The start of the spinning process

My first completed spindle of handspun wool

Next I used the back of one of the dining room chairs (conveniently 36 inches or 1 yard around) to wind my freshly spun into a skein and measure it (25 yards of new wool for me). Then I soaked it in warm water, squeezed it out and hung it to dry weighted by some coat hangers to set the twist. Tomorrow I’ll have my first skein of handspun yarn ready to use.

Using my dining room chair to wrap the skein

Hanging the skein to dry

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