Spinning Class held at Roscoe Village Visitors’ Center

| March 11, 2019

Theresa Fry demonstrated how to use combs to clean wool in a spinning class offered by the Canal Spinners and Weavers Guild held Saturday, March 9 at the Roscoe Village Visitors’ Center.

COSHOCTON – About 20 people took part in a free spinning class held at the Roscoe Village Visitors’ Center on Saturday, March 9. The workshop was presented by the Canal Spinners and Weavers Guild and introduced attendees to the process of spinning yarn from wool.

The class began with a description of the parts of a spinning wheel and how each piece worked to create yarn. Elaine Ashcraft explained the differences in sheep wool and how every breed of sheep has a different texture to its wool.

“Even within the same breed, there can be differences,” said Ashcraft. “Rams and ewes have a different feel and lambs are the softest.”

Several types of wool were passed around for students to feel and learn the difference in the coarseness to each. Each wool is best used for different purposes, such as rugs or hosiery.  “Every spinner has their own opinion of what the best wool to use is,” said Ashcraft. “You need to try all types and see what you like best.”

Theresa Fry then showed the process of making the wool ready to spin.

“I wash my wool in my sink with Dawn dish soap,” said Fry. “I just lay it in the sink and gently press it down.  You don’t want to move it around too much as some wools turn to felt easily.”

She also said that the wool must be rinsed and to be put on towels or screens to dry.

“Never leave it in the direct sun, as it could get brittle,” she said.

She advised to dry it inside or in the shade.

Fry demonstrated how she uses “cards” with fine wires to clean her wool. Any hay or dirt that is left in the wool will fall out. She also demonstrated using combs on her wool.

“Worsted yarn has all of the fibers going the same way,” she said, “while woolen has fibers going in different directions.”

Students were then able to try their hand at spinning yarn. Guild members gave pointers about the speed of the wheel and how to hold the wool and offered encouragement.

“It takes a lot of patience and practice,” said Ashcraft, “but it’s also a lot of fun.”

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