Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Spinning Yarn

Fiber Fest North was a great opportunity for me to learn about spinning first hand. Saturday morning I watched Ted give Mona some introductory lessons in the art. I was amazed to watch him take a lock of merino from a bag of fleece and turn it into finest laceweight right before my eyes.

The handspun yarn is brown, and the blue yarn is commercially spun laceweight. Ted's got magic fingers (get yer mind out of the gutter over there!)

Touring the Lindenhof Wool Mill on Saturday afternoon was a real treat. This is Angelika who explained the whole process to us in great detail.

Her website has a great breakdown of the process, including how to skirt a fleece and why. Angelika has only run this mill for 3 years, but she gives tours like a pro. She answered questions readily, and ignored the camera flash gracefully. Every time some new fiber passed by, I had to chuckle at all the hands that would sneak out to touch it.

I even took a video for you of the carding machine.

And here's another of the drawing machine in which three rovings are pulled together into one to even out the lumps and to align the fibers.

And here's the finished yarn, swatched, blocked and making Ted very happy.

More pictures of the tour are available on Flickr here. I've learned that while the tools may change, from spindle, to wheel, to potentially dangerous machinery, the process remains the same. It all starts with a fleece and the end product relies on the art of the spinner. I have a new respect for my yarn.


  1. And where, oh where, is the pic of you spinning?

  2. For a moment there I thought you might succumb to the lure of spinning.

    Ted is amazing. We are so fortunate to have in in our generation.

  3. Ooo, cool! I've never seen a pic of the big machines before. I, too, was waiting for the picture of you turning fleece into yarn =)

  4. Thank you for taking videos, my kids and I really enjoyed them!