I went to a local festival and they had a booth with some alpacha (sp?) I was very interested in the lady that was spinning the wool. But I didn't get to ask all the qestions I had. She mostly told me about the spinner she had and how she got it off of Ebay. She went into detail of shearing her small herd .
My questions are, is it worth getting a spinner? What is the drawbacks if any. Do you save that much money by spinning your own wool? What is the best spinner ? what spinners should I not buy?
I think I'd like doing this, but I'm not sure if getting set up would be worth it in the end. I sure would love to hear from some of you that spin.
I'm not a spinner, but am dieing to learn! I bought a drop spindle and some wool and learning to spin with the spindle. But now I really want a spinning wheel, too.
You can save money by purchasing your the wool or roving and spinning and dyeing the yarn yourself. But it's not a lot of savings and you will spend a lot of time in the process. I know that it will save me money in two ways. First, the roving (wool that has been prepared and ready for spinning) I bought was a little cheaper than the same quantity (by weight) of yarn that someone else has spun and dyed. Second, it will slow me down so I'm not knitting up my store bought yarn and going to buy more yarn.
But spinning, I think, is something that you either love to do or you learn to hate. I'm the kind of person that generally enjoys doing that sort of thing.
I've recently started dabbling in this art, and I'm lucky enough to have a friend who is not only knowledgeable in this craft, but also has a couple spinning wheels!
Not sure where you're from but there are Spinning Guilds all over the country as well as Sheep & Wool Festivals. I just went to one in NJ last weekend and plan on attending one in NY state at the end of October. Perhaps one of your local yarn shops has a spinning class? If I were in your position, I would try to find somewhere local or not too far away to check things out before making any major purchases...and these days a spinning wheel *is* a major purchase. If you can hook up with a spinning guild, you might be able to try several different wheels & try to decide if you like the experience. Some folks start by trying their hand with a drop spindle as they're relatively cheap...you could even make one yourself if you or a friend are at all handy.
The most amazing thing to me is the incredible variety of sheep there are out there and the differences in the wool they produce. Now wool isn't just wool, it's Perendale, or it's Border Leicester, or it's Romney, Merino, Jacob, etc. etc. etc.
Whatever you do, I wouldn't start with Alpaca...it's slippery & frustrating and tends to break apart; it doesn't have the little "barbs" on each individual fiber that sheeps' wool has. Those barbs help the fibers stick together in the spinning process.
Best of Luck,
We have a whole board here at KH for "creating yarn" -- that's where the spinners usually hang out :)
I've been spinning for a little over a year and I love it! I learned on a drop spindle then got a wheel about three months later.
When people ask if it's a money saver I always say NO, just like knitting your own socks (at $10-$20 for the yarn and hours and hours of knitting time!) is most definitely not a money saver. :teehee: It's something that you do for the love of it, not because it's cheaper. I mean, I guess if you had sheep, sheared them, and processed the fiber yourself you might come out ahead paper-money-wise, but time is money too, and in that way you would never break even. :shrug:
It's funny to me how many people think I knit/spin "because it's cheaper" when really it's quite the opposite. Such a fixation in our culture with spending as little $$ as possible...
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