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Old 04-21-2007, 11:25 AM   #1
TheMabeses
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Wow, spinning, huh?
I have a friend who is a sheep farmer. He has 400 lbs of wool and has told me that if I want to learn to spin it he would give it to me. I have just started knitting this year and have become a fanatic. I love it and I am very interested in learning how to spin my own yarn. Do you guys just keep the color of whatever material you use or do you dye it? How does it all work? Do you purchase a spinning wheel? What do you experienced spinners do? How does it all work?
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Old 04-21-2007, 04:36 PM   #2
TheMabeses
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No one is responding so maybe this is too big of a question.

How about this one:
What is the best thing to do to start? Do I buy a spinning wheel right off or are their other options to see if I like it before I begin?
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Old 04-21-2007, 04:55 PM   #3
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Howdy to a fellow Oregonian... If you havent tried spinning I would find someone that can give you a lesson or two... and see if you even like it... if you do, then I would go for a wheel...I dont know what area you live in but maybe you can find out if they have a spinning guild around... and check out spinning and different types of wheels that way...

400 lbs of wool, my goodness!!!... there is quite alot of work to getting wool that is fresh from the sheep to be able to spin it...like washing,carding and so on...you can dye wool fairly easily....There are also places you can send it to get it ready for spinning or even spin it for you if you just want to knit...

I love to spin just to spin, I dont knit... but do use the yarn I spin for weaving..
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Old 04-21-2007, 04:56 PM   #4
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Howdy to a fellow Oregonian... If you havent tried spinning I would find someone that can give you a lesson or two... and see if you even like it... if you do, then I would go for a wheel...I dont know what area you live in but maybe you can find out if they have a spinning guild around... and check out spinning and different types of wheels that way...

400 lbs of wool, my goodness!!!... there is quite alot of work to getting wool that is fresh from the sheep to be able to spin it...like washing,carding and so on...you can dye wool fairly easily....There are also places you can send it to get it ready for spinning or even spin it for you if you just want to knit...

I love to spin just to spin, I dont knit... but do use the yarn I spin for weaving..
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:30 PM   #5
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400 lbs!?!! I would never leave my wheel. haha. I think if you like knitting you would like spinning. If you try it with a drop spindle, I guarantee after not long you'll be hooked. you could do whatever you wanted with that wool. You could prepare it, and dye the roving before you spin it, or spin it then dye the yarn, or you can leave it as is.
spinning is addicting!
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:45 AM   #6
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I couldn't spin up 400 pounds of wool if I never left my wheel for the next year. 400 pounds is a crazy amount and I have to assume that much of it is old, and possibly infested with bugs. A sheep yields about 5 - 10 pounds of wool a year so unless he has 80 sheep running around with freshly sheared coats, that wool is over a year old at least.

And unless he has some serious wool storage going on, it's undoubtedly had some bugs in and around it. If he has that much wool laying around, I don't think he's in the business of selling wool, and thusly probably not in the business of making sure it stays fresh and clean.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe he has 400 sheep running around. And has so much wool he can give you all that for free. None the less, take heed:

If you've never spun before, you should really skip the raw wool, even if it's free because preparing raw wool is so tedious and time consuming it will almost certainly turn you off to spinning. I only tackled raw wool after I had already learned to love wool, the smell and all. And even with my obsession to wool, I'd MUCH rather buy prepared roving.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:01 PM   #7
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That seems to be a good point, Silver. I think he has had it stored for awhile. He pays guys to sheer his sheep and then stores it in large bags. I'm not sure how clean or well stored that is. He is actually going to be shaving his sheep again in June. Maybe that wool would be better? I've been trying to research all that it entails with the prep work of cleaning, carding, ect and it does look like a lot of work. There is a mill near my home that will do the picking, washing, and carding for a fee per pound. I've thought about taking some of his fleece, paying for a pound or two and then trying my hand at spinning (and later possibly dyeing) to see if I like it. (I have this feeling I'm about to find my long lost love ). But I also want to be realistic. I would love to be able to have yarn for my own projects, something I created from almost the first.

I love to knit and have been doing it just this year. I'm just starting to learn about different yarns other than using the same old acrylic ones!

How realistic would it be to look to spinning wool to eventual sell it and make some money off of it? I know that would be something I couldn't do for awhile. I would have to give myself a lot of time to learn to spin and get efficient at it but is it even realistic to look towards selling it to make some extra cash someday? I don't want to learn to spin just for the the "almighty dollar sign" but the thought has crossed my mind, I just dont know who realistic that is. Have any of you tried something like that? Selling your yarn? Is it even worth it after the price of getting it prepared to spin? Anyway, I feel like I have so many questions and I recently found a place that teaches spinning so I will be signing up fairly soon!
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:06 AM   #8
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I haven't spun much yarn at all, so I don't really know the answer to the question... but if I were to decide I wanted to sell yarn I spun, I would go talk to the lady at my lys, and ask 1. if she thought people would buy my yarn (depending on how much I could supply, whether it was colored and so on) and 2. if she would be willing to help me market/sell my yarn, either by selling it in the lys or by just letting me advertise there. I recommend talking to your lys once you've got some experience spinning and have something sellable. Perhaps go in on a day when the store is somewhat busier, and take in some of your yarn - fellow knitters would tell you how much they would be willing to pay for it.

If I might ask, what breed of sheep is the wool from? Do you know? Personally, I'm in love with spinning shetland, so if you ever get the chance, try it. That reminds me, I need to take a picture of that yarn...

I'm not an experienced knitter but I would like to address the question about dying that you asked in your first post. I like naturally colored wool. I think it is lovely. On the other hand, dyed wool is lovely too, and you can get such a variety of colors. I recommend trying a bit of each, and seeing what you prefer.

Make sure you post pics of your first yarn.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:26 AM   #9
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Roving can be pretty inexpensive, so you may want to start there with some prepared roving and a hand spindle?
Unless you can get your hands on a free or very inexpensive used wheel? Because they are around 250 dollars and up, so there are definitely cheaper ways to start. a handspindle is 10 bucks or so, and a pound of dyed prepared roving is like 8 dollars)

there's a spinning store near me in virginia that sells fibers and supplies, I've bought silk and merino there, but lost interest in spinning. (Living in a studio apartment with 2 busy cats probably has something to do with it, I'd have to spin in the bathroom to get any peace!! It's very neat though to make your own yarn.
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:08 PM   #10
TheMabeses
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By the way, I was going to correct this part earlier but forgot! I put one too many zeros on the 40! It is 40 lbs of wool not 400!
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