maandag 3 september 2012

A new spinning friend

For a couple of weeks now, a weird-shaped piece of wood is standing in my livingroom. For me it's a huge treasure, but a lot of people don't even know what it is at first sight. When taking a closer look, seeing a thread, a pedal and some kind of wheel...they might realise it's one of those old-fashioned things people used to spin wool with, probably imagining a grey-haired lady (with sheep in her backyard :P ) behind it.

Then what the heck is it doing in my livingroom? Well...I just like to spin :) It is só relaxing and fullfilling to see a new  yarn being born by using such a simple power as twist! And the colors, and fibers....endless possibilities to combine and play, aah! As you might have read earlier on this blog, I've been spinning with a drop spindle since about January this year. It's a perfect and easy way to learn how to spin and to get familiair with different kinds of fiber and their characteristics. I learned how to draft and pre-draft, how to ply, set the twist, and even how to dye roving using lemonades. I enjoyed every part of it, so it was time for me to take it to the next level.

New spinning wheels aren't cheap though...and living on my own now, I can't buy expensive things that aren't absolutely neccessary. Of course a spinningwheel was very neccessary in mý opinion, but my common sense didn't agree on that one :P Second hand wheels are cheaper, but who would assure me they're still working properly? What if something breaks? It's not like the spinningwheel technique is very common knowledge nowadays... Luckily I stumbled upon this Dutch firm called Low Lands Legacy. They take in old spinningwheels, repair and revise them, and sell them again for a very good price, including 2(!) years of guarantee. Wow, that was just what I needed!

Last month I visited them together with my dad, who was recovering from an ear surgery, and probably bored as hell, since he offered to drive and accompany me (not being very interested in spinningwheels...still sweet though!). Hans and Gerrie, the couple that owns Low Lands Legacy, welcomed us with a cup of coffee, and lots of spinningwheels to try. They sell Louëts (a Dutch brand), and just started selling Kromski's as well...a Polish brand of spinningwheels (they're beautiful, with a very nice price for good quality). I had spoken to Hans before on the phone, and he already reccommended a specific spinningwheel after listening to my experiences and wishes related to spinning. He thought the Louët S10 would be just what I needed, a good, basic and allround spinningwheel to spin meters and meters (and even more meters) of yarn on. 

So...guess who became my new best wooden friend? 

Best thing about a spinningwheel above a drop spindle, is the speed. It took me ages to complete a full skein of yarn on my spindle, but now I can finish it in two nights. Plus: my arms don't get sore and tired anymore! I can just pedal away, and the yarn rolls itself around the bobbin. I LOVE looking at how my new yarn baby develops this way :) This craft might be ancient and very outdated, I just can't help that it gives me so much pleasure. Way too many things are done by machines nowadays, it's such a shame that the old knowledge of doing things by hand slowly disappears. Yes, I know, yarns are made 100 times faster these days in fabrics. But it's okay to slow down and take the time to do something yourself (no matter what, cooking, gardening, crafting...whatever!), just to experience that feeling of satisfaction and relaxation afterwards!

Of course I've been spinning way too much the last weeks (instead of doing the things I shóuld do, like cleaning, work on my commissions, study, etc.). In the picture below you can see some of the results. Even did one with beads, I'm especially proud of that one! I've listed them in my shop, just to see if anyone would be interested. I've so many yarns already, I can't keep them al for myself (if I keep spinning at this speed my house would soon be crammed with balls of wool). Take a look if you like, I'd love to hear what you think! Also tips for improvement are welcome :)

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Great story! If the spinning wheel I will be bringing is not working properly, maybe someone can use it to light the fireplace :-). I might buy some of this yarn from you to give to my sister as a gift (the one that lives in the US). I am sure she would love to use this for knitting.

  2. Thank you Bernadette! I know someone who'd probably like to put it on fire...:P but let's take a good look at it first, who knows!
    It would be so awesome if your sister ends up knitting my homespun yarn btw!


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