Spin From the Fleece

Spinning from the fleece cannot be taught just in text. It is something you have to see, and do, and then as you go along you will get a feel for how it is done. These are some videos of me spinning from the fleece. I made the videos while I was spinning on a picnic table. You can do it on your lap but I needed a table where I could set the camera down.

Watch them, make a spindle, get a fleece and then start making your own yarn. Spinning is easy, the only hard part is pulling the wool apart into strands without breaking it and that's another thing that I can't teach in text, you just have to do it until you know what it feels like.

In this set of videos, I am using a top-spinning spindle that I made from a wooden chopstick, metal cup hook, plastic frosting g lid and a few pieces of scrap leather. The whorl (the plastic frosting lid and two pieces of scrap leather in the middle of the shaft that keeps the shaft spinning with its momentum) is attached to the shaft by cutting a small X in the middle of the plastic lid and round leather scraps with my very useful disposable box cutter and then pushing the shaft through the lid and leather pieces. I have not made any attempt to glue any of the parts of the whorl together, or attach the whorl to the shaft. This makes for the spinning to look a little wobbly, but the yarn comes out the same. It probably doesn't go as fast, either, but I see that more as an advantage than a disadvantage because it is easier to control and I am less likely to break the yarn. By not gluing the whorl to the shaft I can still take it apart for easier transport while travelling. I have other spindles that are less flappy for using at home.

This is the section of fleece on which I will be working in the videos on this page.
This fleece is from Farmer Palmer's Petting Zoo.
This video demonstrates how to pull out the twisted ends on the fleece.
More on pulling the twisted fleece and preparing it as you go along. This section of the fleece is very lumpy. There are a lot of fleece sections that aren't this difficult. All of it can be used.
Spinning is easy. It is pulling the fleece into strands to be spun that is hard. This shows the part of the fleece with a  lot of twisted ends being prepared. Many spinners throw away these difficult bits, but with a little effort, patience and practice, they can be pulled out and used in the spin.

Preparing fleece and pulling out strands of wool to begin spinning
Start spinning by putting some fleece onto the hook of the spindle and spin until you have created enough yarn so that it can be wrapped around the spindle below the whorl (round thing in the middle) and strung through the hook on top.
Another look at the same process of putting some fleece onto the hook and start spinning until you have enough yarn to transfer it to the shaft below the whorl.
This demonstrates how to transfer the newly-spun yarn onto the shaft below the whorl and then continue spinning. This spindle has a notch in the side of the whorl. This is convenient (sometimes) but not necessary. You could also tuck the yarn into the ball of yarn on the lower part of the shaft.
Setting the yarn onto the shaft below the whorl and beginning to spin it.
Moving the yarn around on the shaft while spinning, with subtitles
Moving the yarn around on the shaft while spinning, without subtitles

Preparing and fixing the yarn while spinning.




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