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Monday, 13 October 2014

Blogoversary the 4th!

Today is Dyeing to Spin's 4th birthday and I thought I'd show you something from the very beginning of my spinning days.

This cardigan is 25 years old.

I bought the raw sheep fleece the same afternoon that I bought my first spinning wheel and that was it - I was hooked!

So, how did all this come about?  Had I had a burning desire for years to learn to spin? No, my friend who went to the same pottery class, had been to a market the day before and there were spinners there.  She got talking to them and they invited her to go to their monthly meeting the next day in Ulverston, Cumbria.  We both went along the next morning and were shown how to spin and allowed to have a try.  I knew immediately it was something I'd do forever!

That afternoon we drove into the Lake District to a little spinning shop in Elterwater (don't know if it's still there - probably not) and I bought my first wheel, an Ashford Traditional.  I needed something to spin, so I bought some grey and some white fleece.  I have no idea which sheep breeds these were, I probably knew at the time but it's so long ago I've forgotten.

Anyway, back to the cardigan.  I carded and spun and carded and spun until I eventually had enough to make this.  The pattern is Slant Special from Nancy Vale's Knitwear book, although hers was a single colour.  The buttons I made myself at my pottery class - ceramic with a metallic glaze - and I'm amazed they've lasted this long.

The cardigan has a few moth holes now, it's a bit dated (specially the sleeves!) and it doesn't fit around my middle quite the same as it used to(!), but I think I'll probably keep it forever.  My very first spinning attempt :-

25 years on - both showing signs of wear!

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