Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Spinning Wanties (no this is not a euphemism)

Last weekend I went west with a bunch of lovely knitters who despite being VERY serious about their knitting were also a lot of fun.  Our destination? WonderWool Wales!

Alli (Champagne and Qiviut, Rachel (Porpoise Fur) And Danni (Lioness Arts and who had the idea for Unwind Brighton and then made it happen).  We wandered we ooh'd and aah'd and stroked the yarn and then I saw it...

the Schacht Matchless.

 If you read this blog regularly you will know I knit and sew seriously but also dabble in other woolly activities.  I want to spin properly, I really do, I have grand ideas for big arty projects with my own hand spun, and a growing stash of spinning fibre.  I even show off with a drop spindle if given the opportunity.

But when I begin treading a real wheel, the reality is a little different.

My (practically antique) Lendrum is kind of special.  It was my mother's, she must have bought it 30 years ago.  But it is temperamental, like an old car that needs every action to be carried out just so or it will flood, stall and just sit with its brakes stuck on.  My Lendrum in expert hands (and foot?) is fine.  A lady in my knitting group even demonstrated the most amazing long draw with it, while I remain at the very short, thick and lumpy stage.

this is Rachel spinning, not me!

So when we saw the Matchless at WonderWool and Rachel (of Porpoise Fur) put it through its paces, I just thought it was down to her expertise, untill she and Alli made me have a go.  So I sat down, all the time protesting that i had given my wheel a good ignoring for more than six months.

And then I saw the light,  the Matchless and it's smoothly running double treadle turned me into a spinner

I'm in love and have begun to save my pennies.

Of course I didn't ignore  the other sweetie shops all around me, here is a sample

From fibre to finished object in the colours of the rainbow

and some of the generous creatures who grow the fibre for us

I did not neglect to augment my fibre stash

from the top and right, teesdale, BFL, alpaca and silk

Or  yarn

Whistlebear, Eden Cottage, Kettle and BaaRamEwe

Lots of treats but I'm very proud to say each skein of yarn is destined for an actual project, all the deets next week...



PS - lots of progress in the studio, it's my reason for being a little tardy in the blogging department at the moment.  The building work is done and it's over to me now to do the painting and (the fun bit) moving my entire stash out there!

coming along nicely (remember the before blog?) 


Valerie said...

Gorgeous, yarny loveliness! Isn't Wonderwool the best?!

Valerie said...

Gorgeous, yarny loveliness! Isn't Wonderwool the best?

Anita said...

Yummy yarns, they look gorgeous. I'm interested to know what crochet pattern is that used to make the stars? Do you know? I do basic crochet but would love to make that pattern.
Cheers, Anita.

Catherine said...

Thank you for your comment Anita. The Afghan is by the lady behind The Natural Dye Studio. This is her website.

Jennifer said...

What a wonderful event. I would love to go. I'd like to learn to spin too. My mother-in-law does it and is very good, but I'm nervous to learn. I love watching and maybe I'll get braver someday. :)

Minding My Own Stitches said...

Looks like an awesome festival. I think you should get the Schacht machine! Sounds like it was meant for you :)

adaliza said...

Wonderful yarns - I must put the Wonderwool into next year's diary. Looking forward to seeing your makes. I've had so little time over the past week for doing anything other than being stressed out - hopefully happier, calmer summer days will now follow. Your studio is coming on so well.

Catherine said...

Thank you AdaLiza - I have a few more painting days then it will be ready!

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

I was so miffed not to be able to make it to Wonderwool this year so I'm really appreciating visiting the event vicariously via other folk's blogs. Perhaps another year we'll bump into each other there :)