Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Might Just Be Addicted...

I cannot remember when I first wanted to have my own sheep and angora rabbits and to spin my own wool.  It was always part of my plan.  Chalk it up to those feisty, independent pioneer genes, maybe but whatever it is, I have wanted to do this since I was a child.

It will be 5 years now since I have had my Icelandic sheep and 4 years since I have had my angora rabbits.  I've learned a lot about them both and harvested a lot of fibre.  And I've hired someone to spin it for me.  Actually spinning sounded like it would take patience and a lot of time to learn to do. But it was still there on my list of things I want to learn.  Its actually a long list.

Last spring, my angora rabbit mentor, Sue of Daisy Hill, gave me a drop spindle and some roving and showed me how to do it when I went down to her Washington farm to get some new angoras.  After I got home, I faithfully spun all the roving.  And my dreaming got a little more close to the surface, a little more urgent.  Occasionally I would watch YouTube videos about how to spin angora and about different spinning wheels.  I contacted the Spinners and Weavers Guild about how to join and learn how to take my raw sheep fleeces from raw to yarn.  I talked to my spinning friend.  I percolated. And I was inspired by Amanda Soule on SouleMama who got some Shetland sheep (very similar to Icelandic) last year and learned how to spin and then made herself a shawl.  Look she was doing it!  I wanted to do it!

Then, I came across this video, suggested to me by YouTube because of other videos I had saved to my playlists.  Its one of a 4 part series by Knitpicks.  I watched them all.  I couldn't help myself.  I ordered that drop spindle from knitpicks.  It arrived today.

Then I found this video and then I just couldn't stop myself.  I grabbed a paper bag of wool.  It happened to be Blackberry's - my black tort Satin Angora buck's first (and only so far) harvest.  I made rolags and listened to all the spinning videos over and over again.

Can you see the rolags there on the bed?  My first pile of rolags!

And then... I did it!  I hooked up the fibre from those rolags and I started to spin with that turkish spindle.  And it worked!
I went very slow.  I took my time.  I pinched, I spun to the right, I parked, I let the twist up, I wound and I did it over and over again.

I cannot describe with words the joy, the deep happiness and excitement and sense of serenity that came over me as I did this thing that I have wanted to do since I knew that one could do such a thing - since I was younger than Rhiannon.

Here is my Turkish spindle and my growing cop of yarn.  Its all I can do to tell you about it here and force myself to go to bed and not stay up all night doing more of it...

In my mind while I was doing it, I just kept thinking... "Oh my God!  I am doing it!  I'm doing it!"  Why yes, I am!