I have really enjoyed reading about others’ experiences of producing knitting from fleece to garment. So when I spotted Jenni ( known as Wooli Jenni) at the craft fair last November, with her lovely display of hand knitted bags in their full natural glory , I just had to stop for a chat. And would you believe it, she does workshops in her own home.
Yesterday, in the snow, I ventured out, to her lovely home- a cottage converted from a cow byre and diary- for a one to one session.Here..
It was AMAZING! Jenni showed me the raw fleeces, and explained how you could tell which end was the clip end and which the tip, what made a good fleece from a not so good fleece, which part of the sheep each piece of fleece had come from, how each piece of wool had a surface like scales on which helps it bind together in spinning. It was fascinating !
Then Jenni showed me how to prepare the fleece for spinning by carding the wool- that’s going to take some practice remembering which way to turn things.
Next came the really scary part- using a spinning wheel. Learning to treadle so that the wheel doesn’t go backwards ( a bad thing) and at the same time feeding through the raw thread to spin yarn. But
My first pieces of spun yarn- one from carded wool and one from combed wool. But better than that- here is my first hank..
I am so proud of my first hank- all bobbly and gorgeous. not enough to make something from but I will knit it into a small square to show you later, unless someone has a better idea of what to make.
I had the most wonderful time. Jenni was a super teacher- encouraging and so clear in her explanations. Will I try some more- you bet!
If you are ever in the Ryedale area of North Yorkshire and would like a one to one session with Jenni (£12 for three hours tuition and coffee and a flapjack!) and would like her contact details then let me know and I will pass your name to her.
PS Jenni also sells bags she knits herself, I have tentatively suggested she needs an ETSY shop, but if you would be interested in what she makes, again let me know and I will pass on your request.