I’ve been working on mastering my spinning these last few weeks, putting hours and hours into it. My original little drop spindle (which I am not entirely sure of the origins of, it may well have been from a kit bought when I very first had a go at drop spinning years ago at Butser Ancient Farm but has definitely been ‘improved’ by me screwing a cup hook into the top and then ‘fixed’ with duct tape more than once) has been semi retired with the arrival of a new bobbin and drop spindle kit handmade in Cornwall. The maker does not have a website but if you are interested then search for Treneyn Crafts, I highly recommend this kit, it is such a clever design and beautifully made, just the sort of purchase and small business I love to support. So I’ve been alternately carding the sheared fleece, spinning onto one bobbin, spinning onto another bobbin and then spinning the wool from both of those onto a third bobbin, removing the wool from the bobbin onto my arm to form a skein and then thrice washing to remove the lanolin and set the twist before pegging out on the washing line. It’s a lovely process, really calming and zen (aside from brief swearing bouts when I drop the drop spindle!), my hands are beautifully moisturised from the lanolin and I have a basket filled with balls of wool and even made my first thing – as requested a long time ago when we first got our sheep Ady now has a hat!
I’ve made a few test squares with it too – it’s nice to work with but quite heavy so I’ve been trying to decide what to make as a first big project with it while I carry on perfecting my spinning to create yarns of different weights. Very excitingly my Mum has bought some more pure wool in complimentary colours (purple and green, my favourites, which added to the white will create a lovely suffragette colour palette) which will arrive next week and I can start working on a blanket – wool from our sheep spun by me, added to wool from my Mum, made into a blanket with hours of my time crocheted into it to create a very special family heirloom. I can’t wait to get started, but in the meantime you’ll find me spinning….