Spinning Class

This is what I looked like for three days last weekend in a class with Judith MacKenzie, an incredibly famous textile artist from Canada. She is associated with Spin Off Magazine and everything Interweave. I think I’m going to have to ask for all of her DVDs for Christmas because there is no way I absorbed even half of what she taught us. I think I made a lot of progress though and now I feel like I’m a real spinner. I finally know the difference between worsted and woolen, and I know that I am a natural woolen spinner, so spinning worsted is definitely a challenge for me right now.

I’ll start off with a few photos of the beautiful wheels…

So many Lendrums! I had the only Matchless though, so that was cool.

Here is JM herself spinning on MY wheel! It’s officially mine now after paying for it for six months. Woo hoo! JM was very complimentary of it. Such a great machine. She said though that a spinner is one half of the spinning machine. I thought that was a cool way of putting it.

Here was my view of my merino top in five different colors. I was going for the boy sock look whick I think is really hard to do. I love knitting socks for guys because they really appreciate it.

Here is Judith lighting some of my fiber on fire. I brought flax and what I thought was cotton, but she was like “um, that’s not cotton.” I paid like $15 for it and it turns out it’s mohair! She figured it out by setting it on fire (in a firehouse) and it basically put itself out. That means it’s protein and comes from an animal. The flax goes up like a box of matches. That means it’s cellulose. And I finally spun flax!!

You have to “wet spin” flax which means you have to like your thumb and then apply the saliva to the fiber after it’s spun. It’s a little weird at first because you end up with fiber in your mouth, but it holds the fiber together much better than water. I wonder who figured this out…probably someone in a cave a million years ago…

Here is JM doing a longdraw. She is amazing.

Now I am even more obsessed with this craft.

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One thought on “Spinning Class

  1. Whoa, AWESOME. Totally would have loved to join you for this. I have so much to learn. I actually haven’t spun since May! Very curious about the sock yarn — is it self-striping?

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