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Thursday, August 8, 2013

How I spun my own yarn. Sheepishly.

A while back, I read a book, Sheepish, about two women who moved out of the city and started a sheep farm. They sheared the sheep, and they decided to learn how to card it and spin it in to wool. Obviously, I like to make stuff. So I decided I wanted to card wool and  spin it to make my own yarn.

An example of roving
I looked into it, and I found that the carding tools were too expensive for this little project. But you can buy wool that is already carded and dyed, called roving.

You don't need a spinning wheel, although there are still people making and selling those. I found a drop spindle on etsy for six dollars, and that was fine for my little project. Now you can find them as low as $2 plus shipping, or you can make your own pretty easily, I'm sure.
Most of the time when I do projects, it's in order to save money. But this project I did just because I wanted to. It is definitely cheaper to buy yarn already made. Unless you have a sheep and you plan to make a whole lot of yarn. If you have a sheep, you could probably get rid of your lawnmower. And if the apocalypse happens, then you will be the only one still wearing a sweater.

I went to Wool Over Your Eyes, the yarn shop in downtown Greenville, and they didn't  carry roving, but the owner was very helpful and knew where I could get some. And she has tons of beautiful yarn. I could really spend a lot of money there if spending money was the sort of thing that I did. She directed me to the lady of Mericiful Hearts Farm who sells roving at the farmer's market and I found her at the Indie Craft Parade last year.  I picked out a bit of roving that was dyed all different shades of green. She really did a beautiful job with it.

I love a good lumpy yarn. So that was the look I was going for, thank you very much.

I made three hanks of yarn about this size. I didn't exactly follow directions. You're supposed to kind of stretch the roving out, but that was taking a long time, so I went with the string cheese approach. I pulled a small piece off about the right size and twisted that up. It went much faster for me. Some people will twist two strands together to make it stronger, but mine was already pretty thick. And lumpy. How I like it.

I made this short little buttoned scarf.

Ta da!

And now whenever it comes up in conversation that I made something, my mom tells people "And she made her own yarn!" That's a little embarrassing, Mom. :)

Other things that I have a desire to make even though I could buy them for a perfectly reasonable price: cheese, butter, candles, rugs, sweaters, pillows, skirts, and a secret passageway.

Did you ever make anything that more reasonable people would just buy?

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