handspunOne of the places I visited while on holiday was ‘Twist Fibre Crafts’ in Newburgh. The guy who was running the shop that day very kindly ran through the basics on spinning. When I got home, I pulled out the wads of lopi roving I’ve had sitting for well over a year and gave it a try.

Prior to this, the only other time I’ve tried spinning successfully was as part of a museum demonstration. Under supervision, I’d managed to spin reasonably even fine  long thread, from fleece that I’d just carded, using a ‘replica’ spindle. The spindle was a flat stone with a hole drilled at the balance point and a short pointed dowel wedged into the hole. At the end of the day, the folks running the activities gave me one of the replica spindles to take away. . I tried again at home with lopi roving, only to find that I couldn’t spin as finely nor could I get more than 6 inches of thread going before it broke or the spindle fell apart…

The little ball of lumpy yarn pictured here is the result of my latest attempts. It’s slubby, about 14grams and bulky weight or thereabouts.  This was the maximum I could get on the ‘stick’ of the same replica spindle I’d previously given up on.  If I try spinning again, I think I’m gonna cheat and glue the stick into the stone. Ok, not ideal, but it’ll save my poor toes!  🙂

I’m wondering, apart from forgetting how, could the different experiences I’ve had be anything to do with the different fibres I’ve tried?
The museum fleece was straight from the sheep, stuck in the freezer for a month and combed/carded. All the natural oils/lanolin were still in it.
The lopi roving I used after that was a gift from a friend who’d just come back from Iceland. It looks like it’s been treated to within an inch of its life by comparison – washed, combed/carded, dyed – no lanolin left.


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