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Spinning Yarn

In my dream house/farm, I’m going to have sheep and other animals that have been rescued from farms that aren’t very nice to their animals. I want to give them happy homes!

It’s my understanding that you want to shear sheep though, even if they are just pets, because in sub-tropical Queensland especially, it’s just too hot in summer for all that wool. That makes sense – we have to shave poor Loodle in summer cos it’s too hot for him too!

So if I’m going to have this abundance of wool, I think I’m going to learn how to spin my own yarn. I’ve been interested in it for a while, but I read this post on Living Naturally in Louisiana and it inspired me! I’m too busy at the moment to try on a handspindle, and our place is too small to have a spinning wheel, so it will have to wait, but I’m anticipatorily excited! (Yes, I know anticipatorily is not a word, but it gets my point across. Why should Shakespeare be the only one who is allowed to make up words that aren’t nouns?)

yarn and spinning wheel

Homespun yarn with a beautiful spinning wheel. The yarn always seems to be intensely coloured when it's homespun. Photo courtesy of Screw Bronze! blog (link at the end of the post).

I love the idea of having local, eco-friendly yarn though – from happy sheep. I don’t buy wool yarn now because I don’t want to support an industry that isn’t animal-friendly, but I’m not happy buying acrylics either (they’re made from petrochemicals), cottons use so much water and maize takes corn out of the food web. That pretty much leaves me with bamboo and soy (leftovers from making soy products), which are both pretty expensive and often not locally produced. Sometimes I pick up used yarn, unravel a jumper or succumb to some pretty cotton, but I can’t wait til I can make my own pretty yarn from my happy pet sheep. Then I can reduce my dependence on those other kinds of yarn (although if I start making my own soy milk, I wonder if I could make my own soy yarn… and maybe grow some hemp and make a blended fibre…)

Plus I’ll be able to try some of those felting patterns I’ve seen (only animal fibre can be felted).

*Photo courtesy of this post at Screw Bronze!

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