Reference to The (Amazing) Byrds, set aside, spinning wool was possibly one of the most fun activities of this class.
Using a drop spindle – mine was one with the whorl at the bottom of the shaft – I spun wool into yarn. At first the task is very daunting, requiring the use of two hands, with one hand managing the spinning of the spindle and the other managing the un-spun wool fibers. Time passed quickly as I focused on spinning my wool. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to produce yarn of uniform width, but I would get hung up because I would build up to much spin from the spindle that I wasn’t able to let out into the wool fibers fast enough.
By the end of the day, I found myself with a spoolful of yarn that spanned more than the width of the classroom and into the hallway. I got help from a classmate and together we twisted the yarn so that it was double-ply, resulting in a length of yarn whose length fit in the classroom – barely.
While spinning, it was very interesting listening to the professional spinners talk about the history of spinning/weaving, different types of wools, etc. I now have a vastly increased appreciation for the thin fibers that make up the merchandise of our modern stores – shirts, rugs, etc. I now have a greater understanding of the processes that were conducted and the labor required for handmade and/or fine materials – as it was a very time consuming art that requires the hightest level of mastery.
– Janae Monfort