After I started knitting again, I also began listening to knitting podcasts and hanging out on Ravelry, and as a result became curious about the enthusiasm for hand-spinning. I decided that at the very least it would be a good way to understand yarn construction and become a better knitter, so when my LYS announced a “Spinning for Beginners” class, I immediately put my name down for it.
However as the weeks went by and the class date crept closer oh so slowly, I began to get impatient. I’d started listening to The Knitmore Girls podcast from the beginning, so when Jasmin added a section on spinning and began talking about Ravelry’s Tour de Fleece, there was no getting away from the idea that spinning was a fun hobby in its own right.
I started trawling the web for UK suppliers of spinning wheels and spindles, and eventually gave in to temptation. Because I will be travelling to the US during the first few days of the Tour de Fleece, I bought a small Turkish spindle which could be taken apart for easy packing. I chose this lovely little 34g model from Kerry Spindles in Yorkshire, made from European hardwoods (yew and walnut):
A spindle is no use without fibre to spin, though! I’d heard that undyed wool is best for beginners, as there’s less chance of being stuck with a duff felted batch, so I ordered a selection of tops (combed fleece) from John Arbon and P & M Woolcraft. This week I started spinning, with the aid of Abby Franquemont’s excellent YouTube videos (and a few others specifically about Turkish spindles), and I’m going to post my progress on this blog for posterity