Musings on Spinning Wheels and Low Tech Processing

A knitty friend of mine once told me that, “Spinning is a slippery slope which, if you’re not careful, ends in a flock of sheep”.

I began spinning, as many people do, with a drop spindle.

Then, when my Dad tipped me off about a wheel in a local charity shop, I bought a 1970s Ashford Traditional, which I tested with a bit of string and carried home on the bus. That was an interesting journey, with great conversations.

Then I saw a sweet little flax wheel and spinning stool, and bought that, meaning I had a wheel at home and a wheel at the studio.

After losing the studio I have been trying to find a way to store 2 spinning wheels and assorted gubbins at home.

No sheep, yet.

Natural dye books

Whether it was the weather, or enthusiasm, or losing the studio, I’m not sure, but last year I spent quite a bit of time at the allotment.

The salads I brought home were amazing Рpacked full of young kale, nasturtium flowers, and leaves, many different kinds of salad leaf and spinach.  Everything was freshly picked, and delicious.

Moving on from slippery commercially prepared wool, I began cleaning fleece in rainwater at the allotment, and drying in the sun – clean fibre for me, fertiliser for the plants.

It was very enjoyable.

There’s something wonderful about the process – cleaning gently and naturally, using natural dyes (like the elderberry I showed last year), and basic tools to make yarn. This is something I want to explore and share with you this year.

Actually, the colours¬†available from nature might have influenced my seed shopping just a little. Plus I’m saving daffodil heads and onion skins already.

I intend to teach crochet classes again this year, and I’m considering¬†different venues. I do feel it needs to be consistent and I’m looking for a long-term solution where we can really be comfortable. I’ll have more information about that soon.