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Topic: Wool  (Read 1217 times)
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Flowers and Lemons
« on: January 31, 2008 10:44:21 AM »

I've wanted to learn how to spin for some time now. I dived into my closet and found a starter-kit I got when my grandmother died. In the book it says you have to spin it first, and wash it afterwards. Is that true? It feels really fat and unclean.
And because it has been in the closet for quite a while it has gotten a real tight bunch of whool. Is this a bad thing? Can I still learn how to spin with a drop-spindle with this whool, or do you suggest I buy new roving? I'm a beginner, so I know nothing about it yet. Sorry if I ask dumb questions. I've tried to search for answers first. Embarrassed
I would be really thankfull if someone could help me out with this.
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ivycircle
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2008 12:26:59 PM »

If it feels icky to you, you might try removing the grease. (Check the FAQ for directions) I think you'd be okay trying to spin this, is the wool felted together or can you wiggle it apart? If you have time, post a picture of it and I can help you figure it out. Smiley
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Flowers and Lemons
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2008 02:17:28 AM »

I made some pictures of the starter-kit.
This is everything together;

The dropspindle (that's what it's called, right?) and instructions;

And two pictures of the wool;
   
The wool is felted together and greasy, but I tried to pull it apart a little, and I think it works. What do you do? Wash the wool first, or afterwards? Do you think I'll be able to spin with this wool, like this?
Thanks for helping. I appreciate it a lot  Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2008 02:31:45 AM »

It does look spinnable, although for a first attempt, im not sure that it is ideal.
I don't suppose you have some carders hidden in that closet?



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Flowers and Lemons
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2008 02:42:31 AM »

No, unfortunately not..  Sad Wish I had a closet endlessly filled with craft supplies.
I think I'll give it a shot, and buy some more spinnable rovings when this doesn't works..
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2008 03:16:23 AM »

You could always buy more to get started, and then try the old stuff when you are hopelessly addicted, and have carders Smiley
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pmpknpunk
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2008 05:18:59 AM »

I'm a beginner too but check out the DIY Hackle link...maybe that would be a cheap way to make roving from that wool. (the videos are WAY helpful!) Also as a beginner you might not want to be having to keep adding mini strips of fiber every 5 secs...long strips helped me learn on my drop spindle rather quickly.
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2008 07:39:39 AM »

Oh, man, that is one difficult spinning kit!! 
Looks like tough wool for your first spinning attempt.

If you don't have any other spinning materials, here's what I would do:

* WASH the wool in **very** hot water that has a dash of Dawn or other dish detergent in it.  This releases the lanolin from the wool.  Leave the wool in the water for no more than 15 minutes; otherwise, the water will cool and the lanolin will cling back onto the wool.  Do not agitate, and above all, do not rinse in cold or cool water...this will continue to felt the wool.

* Let dry completely. 

* "Pick" the heck out of the wool by pinching bits and pulling and separating the fibers.  You should now have a pile of non-greasy fluff.

* Do what pmpknpunk recommends and create a DIY hackle.  She's right, it is much easier for a beginner to use roving than just loose locks, and if you don't have carders, this is the easiest way to go about making roving. 

* If all the above fails and you get frustrated, just know that it is NOT YOU.  It's the old, greasy, felty wool that came in your kit!  Time to buy an ounce or two of a beginner's wool, such as Blue Faced Leicester.   Grin

P.S.  The drop spindle with your kit looks like a Turkish spindle, which means that you can wrap the yarn around the crossed wood at the bottom as you go.  When you're done spinning, if you pull the wood off the spindle and then remove it from the yarn, you should have a center pull ball...pretty nifty!  That's part of the reason it's important to wash this wool *before* spinning, so that you can work from the center-pull to ply or just knit with a single.  The spindle also looks kinda heavy.  The ball at the bottom is probably there so that you can support the spindle in a bowl or on the floor.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008 07:46:15 AM by nicolassa » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Flowers and Lemons
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2008 10:52:01 AM »

Wow! Thank you Nicolassa!! And everybody else! I'm definately going to follow your instructions. Thanks a lot. I think I'll buy some easier wool to use as well, just to try. You'll hear from me again in a few days, when I've tried it and got too frustrated. Cheesy Grin
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008 04:52:57 AM »

I don't know much about spinning, as I'm just starting out myself. However, my aunt has been spinning for years (I just found out the other day!) and she told me that if you spin before washing out the lanolin, it'll make your hands super soft Smiley I know that this bit of info doesn't really help you decide whether or not to wash it first, but I thought I might throw it out there. It just seemed like a nice little interesting tidbit.
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008 05:07:38 AM »

Nicolassa has already said it all, really, but I just wanted to say that I'd also recommend getting some nice, fresh roving to start out with - it will make it far easier to learn!
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Flowers and Lemons
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2008 06:12:49 AM »

I followed Nicolassa's instructions. It turned into something that looked a little like how it should look. I'm not sure wether I did it right. I improvised a little.
This was the wool after it had been washed, still a bit wet;

I picked it till it got all fluffy and nice. Then I constructed something to make it into easier to use roving. And then attempted to spin for the first time.
Pictures of it still on the spindle;
   
Then into a tiny ball;
   
Can somebody tell me wether I did it right or not? I'm not quite sure..  Embarrassed
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2008 07:15:55 AM »

You totally got it right!  Wink

Looks like it still had some lanolin in it, but that sometimes is the case unless you wash it like 3-4 times.  Some sheep (i.e. Merino, Rambouillet) have heavier lanolin in their fleeces.

Anyway, your finished product looks great!  I still have my first spinning attempt and it looks pretty much like that.  And you've now learned the process from the beginning...greasy, felty wool to supercool yarn.  Most of us learned with nice, clean, prepared roving, so feel proud!  Grin

You've got a couple of choices with the yarn that you've got.  You can either ply it with itself, ply it with thread, or just set the twist and keep this yarn a single. 
Here's a link for setting the twist:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=197379.msg2091793#msg2091793 

Sorry, sometimes I get longwinded.  But I get so excited when new spinners join the forums!  Welcome to the addiction!   Cheesy
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I have no idea what you're talking about, so here's me with some yarn on my head.

Etsyness:  http://WhirligigYarns.etsy.com

Bloggity:  http://whirligigyarns.blogspot.com
Flowers and Lemons
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2008 07:58:08 AM »

Don't say sorry! I'm really happy that you take the time to answer like that. Thank you! I'm not sure yet wether I want to keep it this way or what I want to do with it. I do know that I want to try more  Grin Thanks a lot for the help!   Cheesy
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