country-enterprise.co.uk - click here for home page

The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

Wool
>..Spinning
...Weaving
...Selling products

Before you spin you generally use items called carders to make the wool into uniform rolls called rollags.

The action using the carders, which carry lots of bent pins in opposite directions, is to roll up light fluffy coils. These coils can then be spun or you can knit directly with them or apply them to other fabric with a couching stitch. Although usually wool is only seen as a product after it has been spun, there are many other possibilities for using it in a raw state. If you can manage to spin a little wool, why not stretch that on a frame and weave tufts of wool in and out of it? If you pack this wool in tightly and turn in loose ends you will quickly make beautiful thick hard-wearing rugs. If you can use multicoloured fleeces like the Jacob's you can stagger the shading and produce a work of art. A small amount of wool can be spun as the Egyptians did using a drop spindle. Or you can be even more rustic and use a potato as the weight.

Spinning-wheels themselves are attractive pieces of furniture. They have variations in design and are often local in origin. Once spinning by hand was an essential part of our survival. Today it is a craft. Many hand- knitters would pay well for hand-spun wool. You can often learn to spin at local evening classes. If there is not such a class near you perhaps it would be worth advertising for a teacher. The most surprising people can spin and often are delighted to show newcomers how to begin. Although an experienced spinner will judge their ability by the fineness and evenness of the yarn they spin, it is often most appealing to the knitter when spun in an irregular manner. The differing thicknesses make most attractive jumpers. Truthfully if you want really even wool, it is produced by machine; even the Jacob wool is spun commercially if you want this kind of continual evenness.

...next