We were talking about whether you could felt with dog fur or not when Christine brought the husky fur along to spin. You can. Alan tells us there is no shrinkage so you wetfelt to size . Don’t expect to go through the process where the item becomes smaller as you felt. The woman in the video explains and shows how she felts dog fur. There are not many videos around so we appreciate this one is there. The wet felting process is the same and experience is going to be a great teacher.
This week Sonya, our roving reporter, brings you Christine ‘s story. Her crescent shawl continues to be one of our top posts. She has mentored new members in spinning and weaving . She supports them strongly at the start and then gives them so many ideas and pushes them to fly and believe in themselves. She is confidence-inspiring with yarn arts because she is so passionate about them:
Christine is a most gifted and creative person you could ever come across. And laced with such kindness of heart. She willingly teaches newbies how to spin, weave, do complex knitting, or manoeuvre their way into a puzzling spinning wheel., spin chunky yarn, use an obscure sock loom etc etc. Can’t do something? Need the shelves of patterns sorted? Take you to the airport? Do a stint at the Royal Adelaide Show? Just ask dear Christine. Oh it’s too late! She’s already offered before being asked. Every club should have a Christine. Here is her story which she assured me there was nothing about her, to write.
I’ve knitted for as long as I can remember. My mother was pleased she could teach me because my two sisters just didn’t cotton on to knitting. But for all that there was a lot of skill in my family. One of my brothers and his son built their entire house. Another brother has renovated and redecorated his house. One of my sisters is brilliant at sewing, making curtains and such, and so clever with macramé. And the other sister is just so socially gifted.
I was sixteen when I knitted my first cardigan. When my children were young I remember knitting seven jumpers for them in seven months. My wrists were so sore that I threw out my needles and the rest of my wool, vowing never to knit again.
After that I don’t think I picked up my knitting needles for some years. Then a friend gave me a cross stitch tapestry, a white work project and a long stitch tapestry. That all got me going again. I decided I would make hardanger embroidery my specialty.
When my neighbour and friend Beryl showed me her spinning wheel and told me about the process of washing, carding, spinning and then knitting, I thought to myself –what fool would go through all of that?
I started coming along with Beryl to Seaford Spinners and Weavers because I decided I wanted to learn how to spin. However I had no intention of joining up. I learnt to spin on the wheel I borrowed from my sister who keeps it as an ornament and is not interested in using it. I took to spinning and loved it. I still find it relaxing and I feel kind of secure, behind a spinning wheel.
Marjorie brought along some dyed wool. Things do not always go according to plan when you are dyeing. The dark blue of the bottom skein was supposed to be purple. The skein itself looks good with the dark blue , orange and green. Marjorie is an experienced wool dyer. She just could not get the purple colour. In the end she got a lovely amethyst colour which is at the top. The was extra green so she dyed the green skein and that is very vibrant. These were Landscape dyes. It will be interesting to see how Marjorie spins these colours and what she makes with them. Sometimes when things don’t go as planned it will challenge you to think differently or create differently. We are certain Marjorie will use her skeins of wool to good effect.
Deb brought along her raw fleeces on Monday but she also brought along Sally, her German exchange student. It was a good day for Sally to be there with all the fleece and fibre around. We run all sorts of different wheels plus the looms and carders and then people are knitting or crocheting. There was plenty for Sally to see…including a spectacular view of one of the best beaches in the world!
Alexis got Sally spinning on her electronic spinner. Sally took to it like a duck to water and was applying herself to her newly learned skills with a lot of concentration. She was just delighted to be spinning and have the change to make her own yarn from the beautiful colours Alexis was spinning. She really was good at it and,for a beginner, was showing the enthusiasm and commitment you need to be a good textiles person. Luckily her host mother is a very good spinner too with a lot of experience so the next generation of spinners is up and running!