Sunday, 7 August 2011


What's this all about then, Snoops posting photos of fibre? Yes...... really, truly, I've officially begun! At last I have a wheel and can begin my new journey. I knew I would have to sooner or later when I spent the day with my pal josiekitten during the Easter hols. She initiated me into the wonderfully relaxing,soothing and satsfying world of spinning. Well, it wasn't quite like that, as my fingers, hands and foot didn't really know what had hit them. It was tricky, but within half an hour I knew this would be a new addiction. So, after taking some weeks to mull over the situation and decide whether or not I could possibly manage to cram in time for a little spinning each week as well as knitting, I decided to take the plunge. Of course, this extra time I need to find takes absolutely no account of time needed for housey stuff (horrid but necessary!) or school stuff (also very necessary, to provide the pennies for the fun stuff!)

I was so excited when the large box arrived on Wednesday morning. So excited that I didn't even open the box! I know that sounds slightly strange, but I just wanted to savour knowing it was ther for a little while. I planned to do the setting up that evening. So, armed with a screwdriver, a hammer, a pair of scissors, a candle - yes, that's right, and a large glass of Merlot, I began construction.

It was surprisingly straightforward! It's been a long time since the days when Mr Snoops and I bought those horrible flat pack furniture bundles. Nine times out of ten you would get almost to end , only to find one vital part was missing!! I was anxious, I have to admit, but the instructions were clear, the candlewax had done its job of lubricating the ends of bits that needed to be squeezed inside other bits, Snoops remained calm (aided by the Merlot!) and before very long............ voila!

Isn't she BEAUTIFUL! She's an Ashford Traditional and is looking very lovely.

As luck would have it, Thursday turned out to be one of the rainiest and gloomiest days of the summer so far. Just perfect for closing the doors, staying in and learning to spin. Oscar kept me company and learnt the hard way, that sticking his nose too close to the wheel or the spindle would only end in tears.

I bought the Asford Book of Hand Spinning to help me along, but actually found that I used the simple little pamhlet that came with the wheel.

I bought 500g of BFL tops to get me going. I had done my homework and found out that it has a long staple (the fibre length) and is the easiest fibre to work with. It was unbelievably soft!

I managed to spin two singles....

Please don't pay too much attention to the underspun and massively overspun lengths! Remember, I am at the beginning of my journey!

These were then plied......

...... and wound onto my new niddynoddy. See, I'm learning all the technical words too! Next, it had to be soaked and dried.

Not bad for a beginner, eh!

This morning I couldn't leave it alone. After much stroking, fondling, cheek brushing etc. etc. etc. I decided it had to be dyed! I bought some Helen Deighan dyes at Knit Nation. They are very easy to use and just require making up with water, pouring onto the yarn (in a microwaveable container) and then microwaving to set the dye. Once you have rinsed the yarn until the water runs clear and dried it, you're done. I used a 10g pot of SLATE and a 10g pot of PLUM. This is the result!

I LOVE it!

What do you think? I know there are loads of bad bits, but hopefully each time I spin it will look a little bit better. I know I have a tendency to overspin. Also, I need to stop the wheel straight away when I get in a muddle. So, there's two things to sort out next time!

Can't wait to spin this one!

Just before I go, Oscar has asked me to lat you know that he's been in the 'wars' again! A cut leg from his morning run at the water park last Sunday, resulted in a general anaesthetic and stitches!!!!

He's on the mend.

I need to show you what's on the needles at the moment. You'll love it! I'm knitting the gorgeous 'Woolen Rabbit' yarn that I showed you last time.


Kat Jorgensen said...

Wow, that's an amazing first spin! No one will ever see mine. Love the dye job, too. I have an Ashford Traveller and she's a beauty too. So glad you're spinning and enjoying it.

Hope Oscar feels better soon!

honeysuckleblue said...

Love the spinning - what fantastic results! I'm trying a spindle and saving money for a wheel. How did you decide which to buy?

Wyatt said...

What a wonderful passion. Even though I don't knit, I just love your pictures and the beautiful things you make! Hi Oscar, get well soon :)

Wyatt and Mom

Kathy said...

Wow, that's going to be a new passion! I'm very impressed with the whole process .... right down to the dyeing. Your going to have fun all holiday!
Poor Oscar ... he look's very sad. Will it interfere with his 'walkies'?

josiekitten said...

Your spinning looks amazing! And I love the way the dyeing turned out too! I'm so happy to have played a small part in your new addiction! Have fun!

Teje said...

Hi Ros and Oscar! I hope Oscar's foot is soon well!
Good luck to your new passion! It looks so exiting and your first yarn is just amazing! What a lovely colour but also in white it has been beautiful!
xxx Teje

Sarah said...

I know it is completely beside the point but you have very elegant feet!
Your first go at spinning is amazing! Is plying where you twist it around? It looks most professional and the colours are beautiful. The wheel looks like a lovely one. It is so exciting starting a new venture-and just the sort of thing for the summer holidays too when there is lots of time! Can't wait to see what you knit from your new yarn.
Hope Oscar recovers soon too!
PS-Thursday was the day I drove to Yorkshire-it rained almost constantly and I had to have my lights on all day-not the best driving conditions-much better to stay indoors and spin!

Ozzy Blackbeard said...

What a great wheel, and your spinning is lovely. I do like the colour you've dyed it. Can't beat purple! Have you any plans for what you're going to make with it?

Poor Oscar! Hope he's feeling better soon. :)

Scented Sweetpeas said...

Gorgeous spinnning wheel. Hope your Oscar gets better soon, he does have a hard life with all those trips to the vets. x

Maggie and Mitch said...

Your new spinning wheel is just gorgeous and look at the job you're doing with her! Beautiful work!
Feel better soon, Oscar!

Tracy said...

VERY exciting, Ros! I've been intrigued with spinning, but have yet to try. I think I would love they dying part best--playing with all the colors! LOVE the plum-berry shade of your dye there--gorgeous result! Can't wait for more of your new spinning adventures! Poor Oscar...aaawww... Glad he is OK, though. He is sooo sweet! Happy Days ((HUGS))

Country Girl said...

That looks like so much fun and I am very impressed with your results! Love the pupley dye too.
Hope Oscar feels better soon.

Jacqueline said...

Well done, that looks amazing!

...Miss...Maddie's... said...

The skies the limit now!!!
The yarn looks great.
Hope Oscar is on the mend... you'll be able to spin his fur into some yarn too!
Susan x

kate said...

Wow - you're amazing!!

Hope Oscar's well-mended.

Helsie said...

Now that's very clever. I think your resulting yarn looks terrific.

Lyn said...

well done!!! I amd VERY impressed really I am! I had a tiny go last July when we took the class to Styal Mill, but it kept breaking (the children were much better than I was at it!) Poor Oscar, give him a cuddle from me!

Teje said...

Hi Ros! Thank you for your sweet comment! I had some difficulties with my post and I think you read only the half. If you have time you are welcome to read the end of my post.
Hugs from Nero

Stadtwaldvogel said...

Congratulations to your new and pretty spinning wheel! Your yarn is gorgeous for a beginning spinner! You will have a great future as a spinner!
Yours, Julia

melissa said...

oh my goodness!! you are completely amazing!!

i love your purple yarn! you did a fabulous job! can't wait to see what else comes spinning of your wheel!