Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Learning to Spin Wool

We spun wool into yarn.

At a local historical festival we were mesmerized watching the spinners and asked them how we could learn. It turned out there was a lady in our neighborhood willing to give us lessons. When my oldest was 7 years old she learned how to spin wool into yarn. Now my six year old is learning.

The fibers are strengthened and held together by twisting alone. This can be done entirely by hand, but the spindle enables the spinner to add a lot of twist to the yarn at a rapid rate.

The spinner alternates between spinning the spindle to add twist to the fibers and pulling the raw fibers to thin them out and exact the amount of fiber to be turned into yarn.

A spinning wheel works the same way, but the feet power the spinning. So instead of alternating between spinning the fibers and pulling them, everything is done simultaneously. Both my older daughter and I learned how to spin on a spindle before trying out a spinning wheel. We practiced a minimum of 5 minutes per day for about a month before we were ready to try. Then, once we knew what to do with our hands we could add our feet.


To try out this craft a hand-held spindle and some fiber are all that's required. Since I haven't found a fiber store in Germany yet, I have purchased many items on-line from Mielke's Fiber Arts, LLC. I would recommend a Fiber Sampler which is a bag with small amounts of fiber of many different colors and a basic spindle. I bought the one with the sheep on it and it works great. If money is tight a spindle can be constructed from a wooden dowel, old CD and a hook.




This post is linked to
Trivium Tuesdays
Yarn Along

3 comments:

  1. We learned this in England I used to do it around the Viking wic on public days it is quite therapeutic in some ways:)

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  2. I have tried to learn it. It is hard! I have never made enough to do anything with.

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  3. What a neat project for your daughter! This is one of those things that I've obviously read about and see pictures of, but I never really knew how the process actually worked. That's a great hands-on project to enrich a history lesson! Thanks for sharing!

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