Swedish Knitblogger who loves spinning, knitting, dyeing and yarn. I will do some other roundabouts about life too.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Gotland Knitting Symposium Part 3 (of 4)

This day was mostly about Spinning. I felt very confident. I have spun some so I was not a total beginner. Most of the group had some experience, but the few who didn't really got going fast in my opinion. But, all of the Spinning wheels were "semi-modern" or modern, hence all of them was upright. I have an Ashford Elizabeth, a traditional wheel that I bought from Gudrun, but that beauty was at home. So, a local had made these, with an extra large entry whole for the thread. Becuase this was not an ordinary spinnig course, this was a local invetion (well...) called "Spinna Tott", which in my translation is spinning directly cut from the sheep. No carding!
The wool has too be long and of excellent quality, since you are supposed to clean out the tip at the same time you are spinning! We were taught by our teacher, Ingmarie ( in striped) had a lot to think about. Somehow my local, very beautiful crafted spinning-wheel just did not agree with me. But Hey, I know this, so I just struggled, and struggled and struggled... I realize that as soon as I started, the tension loosened up, so it was just twisting the thread, but not "eating" in (swe matade). So, what is called "breaking the neck" of the thread, or making a "rubber band", was at risk. You spinners surely understand.

The second problem I had is that I'm used to sit low and relaxed with my feed on the ground. This spinning-wheel was so high up that I had to "sit in the air" with my hands very high. Somehow I just could not relax.Back aching. And also, very unused to have the "whole" and the pedal above each other. But I thought. Practice. So I spun according to Ingmaries rules. Take the "tott" from the cut side. I sure became an "effect yarn", which was interesting. You need to be fast. And threading with both feet, my back got sore, my arms and shoulders was hurting, and snap, I strained a muscle. Poor me. Poor me. I got sad and angry. Non of the "relaxing" comforting spinning I have been used to. Sigh.But we had a break, and have a traditional got to the field, which is "gau te Änge" (my dialect attempt).
This means take your knitting, have a FIKA (coffe with saffron-bun and gorån) and just enjoy. This local meet should be done in apron and take on your best clothes and has been very important in history. I wonder how many kids that has been produced in those bushes ;-) Anyhow, We had good local accordian, and fiddle band and also a bit guiding. Wow. Very nice break to a broken body. Look at this great local ladies. They one in the middle were so proud, she had spun and weaved and sawn her dress.
She was though complaining about the Fardhem yarn being "to uneven". So I realize, we all have different preferences in life. I think it is a feature, they think it is a fault. Anyhow this great break did make me grow up to a decision, instead of whining about my disagreement of the spinning wheel. I just bought fleece. And thought to do it in peace on my own wheel. And, to be honest, I have been sitting two evenings now and and no problem - but, then I was told by Lilly from Sigster's that when you spin directly without carding, you should start IN THE MIDDLE. So I was tought wrong. I realized why my yarn had bad ends. Very interesting. But best of all, there is no problem doing it. I have though discussed that combing the tip a little before starting makes it better, maybe because I want a good yarn. I met her at the medieval week, where I also ordered a special thingi (got. Kränku?) (see picture above) to have your wool in. It is put on a pall (hmm, stool?) and you can turn it. The idea is of course you can us the pall to sit on in between. But when this wool addition is on, if the wool is cold, (and you know how hard it is to spinn cold wool) is that you have it up in front of the fire, and then turn it and pick a warm piece to spin. Nifty?! Well, All in all a fantastic third day. Except the total cliquing that occured. Making it hard to meet new people. Well, one better know when people rather talk ABOUT you than with you. That is a sad truth. On the evening there was also a Fashion show with all the local designers. To big and without printed program it just rushed by. So, Let me present one of my heroine, Agneta Werklin, behind Yllet! I just say that the Gotland people both have a fashion, colour and money-making sense. I just say. WOW!

1 comment:

HPNY Knits said...

all in all these are great essays about the art of spinning and knitting in Gotland. really interesting and inspiring. I am envious of the feeling of leisure I get from your posts from this trip, although sorry to hear about the muscle trouble. hope its better.