So I had my first lesson in spinning on Monday evening. There's a lovely lady from my local Guild who runs the lesson evenings at her home for very little cost, she is well known by other spinners and comes highly recommended. She is a very talented lady and weaves on various equipment including the large floor loom in the room we were. It looks fantastic and very complicated, I'll stick to spinning for now.
She was impressed with my wheel and helped me make adjustments to it to make spinning easier and gave it some more oil on the moving metal parts and it really started spinning a lot smoother than before. I had cleaned and oiled it but wasn't completely sure where to oil so missed an important spot that made a real difference.
There were other people there too, one lady who started spinning in Sept 2008 who brought her table loom with her as she has progressed to this and very impressive it was too. The other ladies were quite new to spinning, one had only been for the last lesson and the other lady was new on the evening like me.
Our "teacher" explained how the wheel worked and gave a bit of history on them, explained the differences in wool from different sheep, and then we went on to start carding some fleece into rolags ready for spinning. I don't have any carders at the moment so borrowed some for the evening. This was quite good as I found I preferred the flat ones to the curved ones.
We tied a leader (a length of wool to start) onto the bobbin and started our wheels. She got me started and guided my fingers on drafting the wool and away I went. Probably because I'd had a little bit of experience it actually felt okay and I kept going longer than I thought without any problems of the wool breaking, etc. I was really pleased with myself and it all felt very comfortable. I was sat next to the lady who came to the previous lesson and she was impressed with how fine I was spinning my thread as she did a more thicker yarn. I had thicker parts too after all it was my first proper go on my wheel.
I was pleased when the more experienced ladies watched me and said they thought I was a natural at it. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to get hold of some carders to do more at home, I might try to hand tease/comb some wool to have a go in the meantime. There isn't a lesson next week but I have booked myself on a day course elsewhere for next Tuesday so should have quite a bit of experience under my belt by the time I go back in a fortnight.
Anyway, here are some pictures of the first yarn I have produced and my first attempt at basic plying.