Shani spinning and a simplified explanation of the process of spinning and some ideas of where to obtain resources.

There were some queries and interest shown at the various knitting groups I belong to about spinning and learning to spin.  Please excuse the sound effects on the above video - after the third take, my sense of humour failed and the birdsong and whistling will have to stay !!

I spin using a modified short-draw method.  I have tried the formal long-draw and short-draw, woollen methods but when I get into "production mode" seem to default to the above sitting.  The nice thing about spinning is that you find your own method and way of producing yarn suitable for you.

I would recommend that you think about contacting a Guild for some tuition and ideas about what kind of wheel/whirl you would like to spin on in the first instance, or contact local craft shops such as the Spinning Weal or Get Knitted, as they both hold beginners' workshops or know of local tutors.  Wingham Wool also hold open days at Guilds and try before you buy service, they also sell an excellent range of roving. (contact details on the Stranded Yarns page)

The Process (simplified.


You start off with a roving or carded wool - this means the wool is cleaned/washed and prepared so the fibres are parallel and easier for you to handle as you pick up momentum.

The above roving was prepared to order from Wingham Wool, using their blending service which I use a lot to produce quite distinct and heathery blends.  It looks quite radical in the raw, but blends into super useable shades.

For plied wool, I spin to bobbins of equal amounts in a clockwise direction, then ply in a anti-clockwise direction.  Whilst this removes some of the twist, it does make the wool softer and for my knitting this is perfect to knit with at 4.5 - 5.00 mm.


( The Natural Dye Studio - Blue-Faced Leicester -Midnight Ocean Shown here)

Then plied on the bobbin.

Wound off onto a niddy noddy and then finish by washing, which sets the twist.  A tip that I owe to a friend of mine is to wash it in Lavendar Baby Shampoo - ooh smells lovely.

Finished product below…

Another excellent source I have found for hand-dyed roving is .  They along with the Natural Dye Studio run clubs that you can belong to which supply excellent roving custom dyed, perfect for experimentation, small and large projects alike.