How Celia Spins her Yarns

Knitting or crocheting with a hand-spun yarn offers a different experience. Since it is made by hand its thickness may vary along the length of the thread, and as not all the natural oils are washed out it is also warmer to wear. I get the wool or Alpaca in its untreated state from local sources here in East Anglia.

When I am using untreated fibre the spinning process starts with the preparation of the fleece, which means washing the fleece before drying it in air. Then it is carded to make spinning easier before spinning a thread onto a bobbin. When several bobbins have been filled, I take the end from two bobbins and, spinning the wheel in reverse, I ply them together to make the finished yarn. This is then wound into a skein on a niddy noddy, before being washed to set the twist and effect any shrinkage. If I'm going to dye the wool I do it at this stage. When dry the wool is ready to use.

I have always really enjoyed spinning, and looked around to see how I could use the wool I had made. I noticed there were not many chances for those who love knitting or crochet to work with hand-spun yarn, so I designed some patterns for my yarns. I had these patterns checked by proffessional knitters who advised me that they worked up better in a double knitting/Aran weight yarn, which is why I spin this thickness today.

 I put a number of skeins together to form a ‘pack’ of the size that will make up into one of my patterns. Each dyed pack of yarn is individual as I do not keep a note of how I dyed it. I do not sell my hand-spun yarns on the Internet, as it is difficult to feel their texture or see their true colours. You will, however, find them displayed on my stand at the events I attend, most of which take place in the East Anglian region of the U.K. See ‘Celia's Events’ page for up-to-date details.

I spin in a style known as 'Long Draw' as I find it a more relaxing and quicker way to work. This was the orginal way of spinning with the drop spindle and Great Wheel. However, once treadle wheels came about after the 1340s different spinning methods gradually developed.

I am happy to talk to groups of all sizes about spinning or to demonstrate spinning at your event. Please see the ‘Talks and Demonstrations’ page for more information