Saturday, May 31, 2008
An International Spinning Lesson
The Weavers Guild - despite it's name - has a whole room devoted to spinning. Since Betty and I bought new spinning wheels last weekend we decided that a clinic devoted to answering our spinning questions would be a good idea and the Weaver's Guild had one today! And as a bonus two of the students were weavers and spinners from Bolivia. Their son, Ali, came along as an interpreter but we did communicate some in the universal language of fiber! Severina told us through her son that she learned to spin on a drop spindle when she was 13 years old and to weave when she was 15. She would spin as she walked behind the Llamas and sheep on the road. She and Luis now live in the city but are interested in bringing back a spinning wheel and a drum carder because it would make their work so much faster. They are expert spinners but had never spun on a wheel before. They picked it up very fast! Going to the class today was kind of like traveling to Bolivia without having to travel. What fun!
I relearned from our excellent teacher, Nancy, how to Navajo ply and she also explained about worsted spinning. I tried combing with a flick carder - the object is to get perfectly aligned fibers and then when you spin them you get very lofty yarn. I might try that with the Coopworth fleece that I have. But I sure have a long way to go before I can say my spinning is anything like that of the experts that I saw today.