Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Beginner spinning

Along with the renaissance of knitting and crochet, the basic art of spinning yarn has made a comeback as well. Many knitters and weavers spin their own fiber to obtain unusual blends of hair and wool that are not available commercially in the everyday yarn shop. Evidence of this time-honored important skill can be seen on handmade vendor sites selling indie hand-dyed and spinners exotic yarns and rovings around the Web and also locally at craft and fiber fairs and festivals. Summer is high season to get first-hand knowledge of hand-spinning at the many wool and fiber festivals scheduled in most every state in America, many in New England.

Like any renewal of an artisan craft, new handspinners are employing new techniques like adding beads and novelty elements, not found in traditional yarns. This method of self-sufficiency is not only very economical, but  also, spinning has been known to be meditative as well.  Basic knowledge is needed for integrating the shorter hair of alpaca and angora rabbit with the longer fibers with mohair, for instance. This technique strengthens the yarn, as does the amount of twist used in the spinning of shorter fibers. You might also enjoy the addictive art of coiling.

Click here for Wool and Fiber Festivals calendar in New England and elsewhere in the United States.

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