Sunday, 13 February 2011

Fleece to fibre

Spinning around

Pauline Bott came to the Social and Wine Circle meeting in February to talk about “From fleece to fibre and beyond”. The Church Rooms in Old Buckenham were festooned with items varying from alpaca fleeces to finished clothes, rugs and wall hangings. Pauline explained that her hobby of spinning (and making things from what she had spun) was something that she had just ‘picked up’. It had come in useful in the days when she worked as a coach driver as she could get out her spinning wheel to keep her occupied while waiting to pick up passengers for their return journey.
It was a therapeutic hobby, first ‘carding’ the fibres from a fleece and then turning this wool into thread. She estimated that it took her around three hours to make an ounce of woollen thread so producing a jumper that took some 26 ounces of wool was quite an undertaking. She sometimes dyed her own fleeces using natural materials such as onions, walnuts and broad beans to get the colours.
Members of the Social and Wine Circle were invited to have a go at hand carding and at using a spinning wheel to produce some thread – with varying levels of success. Then it was a chance to ask questions and to handle some of the exhibits including fleeces from llama and several breeds of sheep, wool of various colours as well as the items made from them.

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