Spinning 101

Yesterday, Anneli and I went to the first of two spinning classes at Boda Backe fårgård (spinning yarn, obviously, NOT the exercise kind of spinning).

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Upon arrival, we were greeted by these two gentlemen. Very curious creatures! The day then started with an introduction to different kinds of sheep, how to handle fleece and wool, and some other tips and tricks. Then it was time to start practising! We did some carding, both on a drum and on hand cards, and then got acquainted with the wheels.

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Focus, focus….

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Look ma, no hands!

Turns out it’s quite tricky to learn which rhythm to keep to keep the wheel from stopping, but still not going so fast that you don’t have time to keep up with the drafting (hence the above pictures, where I’m just practising using the pedal). I made a loooooooot of twisted telephone cord/lumpy umbilical cord unspun stuff, but at the end of the day I had some kind of eureka moments when it suddenly just worked. Hurrah!

I also got to try out spinning with a spindle, which was fun since I actually own one. The one I tried was much better than the one I have, which I bought on Etsy for pocket change, but when I tried it earlier today I had much more success than I did when I first bought it. (Of course, it came with some really weird fibre… the unwashed stuff we carded yesterday is MUCH “stickier” and easy to learn with.)

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Some of my first yarn. Perfect example of my umbilical cord style! The instructor told us that she can tell right away when people just won’t be able to learn, as they lack the coordination, and for a while there with nothing but tangled phone cord yarn coming out I was worried I would fall in this category (I’m RUBBISH at exercises like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time), but she assured me I didn’t, and the breakthrough at the end did boost my confidence a bit.

The next class is a week from today, and we both got to borrow a wheel for the week inbetween, so this is officially spinning week. Let’s see how it goes!

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