One of the things that I find incredibly calming is to spin wool by hand. Did you know that hand-spinning has been around for 10,000 years? It makes sense when you think about it. Humans need clothes to cover our bodies in order to keep warm. It makes sense to get a few fleeces from a sheep before using that sheep for their meat and hide. So, in the absence of animal skins, we need textiles to make these clothes. String was necessary to weave textiles, and thus hand spinning was a necessary skill! This doesn't even take into account the usefulness of twisting fibers to create lengths of rope! There are so many natural fibers that become stronger when twisted but right now my favorite is wool. (If you missed this hilarious wool ad that came out earlier this year, I highly recommend it. Less than two minutes of wool fandom in adorable, animation.)
During the Tour de Fleece this past summer I started working on my drop spindle skills and I was able to finish off a few bundles of fiber. Excited by this accomplishment and ready to get my hands on some more fiber, I got on ebay and bought someone’s fiber remnants. I wanted something cheap and with lots of fun colors so that I could get some practice before diving in and buying a whole new braid of wool. After I made the order, other responsibilities came to the forefront and the two boxes of fiber arrived and remained untouched for a few months. Several weeks ago I decided to dust off my spindles and get back to work! Since I’m spinning remnants, I’m not sure what the fiber content of any of it, a short-sight on my part. Oops! This little bit of pink and orange fluff feels like merino and is oh so soft.
It started off as chunks of hot pink, burnt orange, and creamy white, but the finished product is quite different! I just love the way the fibers twist and colors chase each other down each strand. Even though it’s just a teeny, tiny ball of wool, I had to knit it straight up just to see what it all looked like together. With just enough wool for a mini-cowl, more of a necklace really, it’s not the most practical bit of knitting I’ve ever done. But it will be treasured! It’s deeply thrilling to be one step closer to my goal of taking fiber from sheep to finished object. Until then, I’ll keep spinning away on my little drop spindle, working up the courage to order myself a full braid of wool.
Thank you for reading! Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, Happy Hannukah, and Happy Kwanzaa! What a wonderful time of year to come together and celebrate.