Cross-continent moves are not to be taken lightly, I now understand. I cannot understand what possessed me to sign up for the Spinning Olympics. I didn’t even look at my spinning things while the Olympics were on – they were all securely packed in boxes that were far less important to unload than others – such as those containing our kitchenware and our clothes. Now, however, things are settling down just a little, and an event last Sunday reignited my interest in spinning.

Our local folklore museum held its annual(?) sheep-shearing day, and invited children to watch the shearing, then learn to dye, card and spin the wool. Unfortunately, my camera’s battery gave out after only the shearing, but we had a good time nonetheless.

Sheep shearing

I’m not so sure about the sheep, though. They had to be dragged reluctantly over to the little shearing platform, and whenever a new sheep was due to be sheared, the other ones circled it anxiously, looking an awful lot like a father-to-be in a delivery room:

Sheep shearing

Afterwards, we visited the workshop where kids learnt to card and spin wool. I was very happy to have my son with me, so I had an excuse to sit down and try the hand cards – a completely new experience to me. I didn’t do very well, and the instruction was less than perfect, but at least I tried it. And touching the wool and trying out the boat-anchor spindles reignited my enthusiasm, so I went and bought one of the hand spindles sold at the museum. Also, my mother-in-law recently gave me a pair of old hand cards, so I’ve been slowly getting back into the swing of spinning:

New hand spindle and new hand cards

I’ve bought some cheap wool in a grey heather, a brown heather and some solid colour red, and I’m experimenting with colour-blending through carding. I’m shooting for a tweedy yarn, and so far it’s not going so bad. I’ve looked up some carding videos online, and they’re more help than the museum demonstration.