Spinning fibre is a quiet art; totally relaxing and meditative.
The sound of the rhythm of the wheel is quite hypnotic. Spinning Fibre is one of the few things I can do while
chatting and still be productive!
Even though the act of spinning fibre is essentially a simple one, the first steps to spinning
fibre are a bit complicated. The key is co-ordination of feet and hands. It takes practice, and the more you
practice, the better you become at spinning fibre.
Spinning fibre, especially wool, "in the grease" works wonders on dry winter hands. It also assists
the actual process by allowing the fibres to slip past each other easily. If working with a white or light colored
fibre, however, preparing the fibre by washing is recommended. This removes the dirt and excess lanolin and avoids the problem of dirt being trapped in the twist.
You’d think that spinning fibre is fitting for the winter months, but logically,
winter is when you want to wear your garment. Spinning fibre is a pleasing task to do all year round! Summer is
hot, you say. Yes, but the breeze created by an actively spinning wheel is very refreshing! The best time to spin
is whenever you can, so your yarn is ready to knit before winter.
Many kinds of fibre are available all requiring different degrees of skill and expertise. And
although spinning wool is fairly common, working with – say - yak down - is not. Neither is camel, angora rabbit, Samoyed, Wolf, and Husky, to name
only a few. Quiviut (Arctic Musk Ox) is a very rare and specialized fibre. I spin sheep, alpaca, poodle, silk
and the occasional pet fur. Always willing to try something new, my latest experiment included Carbon
Then there are all the cellulose fibres…..
Hand spinning fibre is an art totally captivating.