I have been spinning fiber for about 4 years now, starting with a drop spindle and switching to a wheel a couple of years ago. My first wheel was a restored Ashford Traditional that I bought from a friend who had restored it and learned on it and then won a new wheel. I learned on it, using it for a bit more than a year, sold it to mutual friend who is a fellow knitter that wants to learn to spin. When I sold it, I bought an Ashford Kiwi 2 as I wanted a double treadle wheel and used it for nearly a year and sold it to get a wheel that travels better for going to spinning group and for taking when I go to spend a week babysitting with a grand. My new wheel which I have only had for a few weeks is a brand new Kromski Sonata. Getting the new wheel inspired me to work through some of the fiber I had collected and have made undyed Shetland wool yarn that is for sale at Greenberry House (www.greenberryhouse.com) in Meadows of Dan. Then I finished 3 ounces of Merino, spun for a friend.
As spinning is going well, I decided that I was ready to start expanding the yarn making process and wanted to mix some of the Alpaca fleece that I have with some wool that I have, so I bought a set of hand carders from Strauch Fiber Equipment Co. (http://www.strauchfiber.com/) as she is a spinner in the group to which I belong. I have started blending the Caramel colored Alpaca with a light and dark Blue Faced Leicester wool.
Today Jim and I took off for a drive and ended up at Olde Liberty Fiber Faire (http://www.olfibrefaire.com/). From that I came home with a big red cloud of hand carded Tunis wool and a bag of dark colored Finn X Jacob to spin and a small pot of garnet red dye to try my hand at dyeing my own yarn.
Once I feel that I have a good handle on these skills, my goal is to buy a whole raw fleece, wash it and hand card the locks for spinning into yarn to dye.
I’m sure Jim would have rather spent the day wandering around the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Fest that we passed and watched literally hundreds of motorcyclist headed in that direction, but he spent the day with me.
Tomorrow, my wheel, hand carders, a suitcase packed with clothing, yarn and fiber are headed off for a week of babysitting in Northern Virginia while he stays home and critter sits the 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 20 chickens. I am leaving him with homemade stew, chili, and goulash so he doesn’t have to eat out each night.
Life is an adventure on our mountain farm, and off of it when we take a day trip.