Why I won’t be getting a spinning wheel (yet)

For ages I’ve had a hankering to learn to spin – not the exercise bike kinda spin, but spin yarn from sheep fleece. Last July I joined in Tour de Fleece and taught myself how to use a drop spindle. I had more or less decided to buy a wheel and learn that too.

My enquiries led me to Pam Austin’s Spinning School, and I was persuaded to try the beginner’s package rather than jump straight in and buy a wheel. For £80 you get a ‘how to spin’ lesson; then the loan of a wheel for a month, complete with plenty of fleece, carders and other necessary bits and bobs; then a second ‘how to ply’ lesson. After this you can continue to rent a wheel until you find the right one for you; or you can buy. Or not.

I had my first lesson with Pam a few weeks ago, and got photographed for her website too – thanks to Julie Walker for the picture:

Pam teaching me to spin

Pam teaching me to spin

So, the idea is that I spin up at least 2 bobbins, then return on 28th March for part 2. I’m so pleased I took up the beginner’s package because I’ve decided that this really isn’t for me at this point in my life. I like spinning, I’m not bad at it. But I do find myself saying ‘just 15 minutes, then you can pick up your knitting’. And a lot of the yarn that spinners seem to produce is of the variegated variety – lost of colour blending and pretty yarn. Now I’m not very arty (much more mathsy, if there is such a thing!), and I do like the pretty yarn. BUT I don’t like the finished objects it turns into – they’re all just a bit too hippy knit-your-own-yoghurt for my taste. And I am a product knitter – it’s the finished object that I covert and that’s why I do it.

Now I could spin plain coloured yarns (then combine them as I knit, using stranded colourwork techniques) – but I can buy these yarns. In fact, with a bit of care I can get local, or at least British, yarns quite easily – dyed or undyed. So I’ve decided not to buy a wheel right now. The time is better spent improving my knitting and sewing skills. And the money I’ll save can always be spent elsewhere (like the garden for example). I think there is a spinning wheel in my future – I’ll put it on my retirement list. So I’ll spin my 2 bobbin, and have my second lessons – then I can say ‘I can spin, but I don’t’.

Pam runs Woolly Days every month – I hope I’ll still be welcome, without being a spinner. Last month the focus was on knitted socks:

A collection of knitted socks

A collection of knitted socks

About Home on the Hill

Organic gardening, chook keeping, permaculture, knitting, sewing, cooking, in lovely Warwickshire in the English midlands.
This entry was posted in Crafts, Permaculture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why I won’t be getting a spinning wheel (yet)

  1. I really enjoyed this!

  2. Dee Luntley says:

    All sounds very well thought through . I can knit ( just ) but don’t as there is not time for all and would rather paint / cook / garden and learn to sew . I will let my friend Nicola know re spinning incase she is interested as she belongs to a knitting group in Leamington See you tomorrow night Dee x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s