It's Not Just a Sheep– It's Also a Cheese

  My Wallace and Gromit yarn, from Wensleydale top.

Three of my dreams come true with our latest kit, How To Spin Fine Yarns: I’m eager to spin a 2-ply laceweight for some special projects; Merino top always thrills my fingers; and I want to play with more Wensleydale. Since the kit includes Beth Smith’s new video and 4 ounces of top (2 of each breed), I can practice her techniques while I watch.

Merino and I are old friends. I’ve spun top, roving, raw fleece processed with dog combs, batts from my drum carder, etc. But when it comes to fine yarns with Merino, there are undoubtedly things I could do better. Knitting a Shetland wedding ring shawl from my handspun Merino laceweight would make me feel like a spinning rock star.

Why Wensleydale? It’s still a newish breed in my repertoire and I want more time with it. My first attempt at spinning it produced a lovely drapey yarn with a slight halo. Beth Smith likes Wensleydale for its strength and crispness. Like Beth, I love Wensleydale’s breed characteristics, but especially I love how it reminds me of Wallace and Gromit. (They love the cheese. Naturally I had to name my yarn after them.)

Beth Smith’s Spin Thin video includes her tips on how to spin fine yarns, from wheel adjustments to spinning techniques to fiber choices. One of the big surprises for me was her discussion of drive bands–not just how to adjust and tie them, but how to choose the right drive band (and brake band!) material for fine yarn. And fat-core bobbins first sounded like some kind of joke, but once Beth explained what they are and how to make them, I ran out to find some pipe insulation to make my own.

With Beth’s video showing me how to spin thin, some TV nights with my favorite inventor and his dog will get these projects moving.

Because I don’t have enough lace shawls already. Really.

imageplaceholder Deborah Gerish
Group Content Manager

Post a Comment