Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hand Spinning Yarn

Another back to basics trend is hand spinning your own yarn. Usually farms sell their wool, fleece, fur to factories for the spinning to be done by machines. Nowadays, hobbyists buy raw materials from farms online and do the spinning into yarn themselves. It's time-consuming and quality is not assured but you get the satisfaction of making an item from scratch and wearing or gifting something made with love.

Before actual spinning is done, the raw material needs to be prepared, mainly cleaned. Dyeing can be done before or after spinning.

Hand Carding, is when raw fleece is brushed between 2 paddles to separate the fleece from its original form to create soft, fluffy, almost felt like mats.

Drum Carding is an easier way of carding than by hand. Just crank that handle and run the fleece a few times through this machine for beautifully fine wool.

Now you are ready to start spinning yarn and most hobbyist use a drop spindle. It's a compact and handheld device that you can carry anywhere to work with.

Once you take to this new hobby, you can invest in a spinning wheel. It's supposed to be faster and easier to work with as you just need to manipulate the wool being fed into the wheel.

Artisans that spin their own yarn for sale usually offer gorgeous novelty yarns - multi-texture, thick & thin, charms. Either that or its customized colouring that you can't get anywhere else. 

One tool I have to mention is the Hair Braider often sold at toy sections for little girls. You can use it to spin the final yarn for a 2 ply strand or to weave in other colours.

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