Spinning A Yarn

Today I’ve learnt how to spin!

I was using a bottom whorl drop spindle that has been lent to me.

My first yarn was made using 50 grams of undyed cotton rovings.  I forgot to take pictures of it until I’d finished the process.  The second yarn was made using 25 grams of undyed ramie rovings.  I’ve got plans to make a third yarn out of 50 grams of bamboo I brought at the same time!  All the rovings were brought from Wool Finch Studio on Etsy (and they are lovely to work with!).

The Cotton Yarn

This is the first ever yarn I’ve spun, so naturally there were problems, its not massively even all the way through, but for a first attempt I’m very pleased with it.  The spinning process starts with the actual spinning, and then you need to set the twist in by washing it.  Here it is after washing and out for drying, I’m drying it flat although there are still some kinks that need working out:

Cotton Yarn, flat drying
Cotton Yarn, flat drying

Once its dry I’ll be winding it into a ball ready for doing some knitting or crochet!  Any ideas what to make with this?  There’s only about 18m of it!

The Ramie Yarn

Firstly, I’ll explain what ramie is!  Ramie plants are also known as Chinese nettle plants.  The fibre comes from the ‘inner bark’ that surrounds the stem of the plant.  Ramie is one of the strongest natural fibres.  It also has a lustrous feel to it.  Here it is in roving form, a mere 25 grams of it:

Ramie Fibres

I then spun this up into a yarn.  It was a lot quicker to spin up, partly because I knew what I was doing and definitely because there was less of it.  I haven’t got to the stage of taking this off the spindle yet, I’m enjoying the beauty of it on the spindle!  As I knew it would be on the spindle for a few days, I span in a commercial yarn at the end so that I could use that to tie the end to the spindle and not worry about damaging my handspun yarn!

Ramie yarn on the spindle!

I haven’t worked out how much of this I have yet, but its feels lovely, almost silky!


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