Our new blogger, Jenna Woginrich, has recently acquired a small flock of sheep, which she reported on this week in her homesteading blog, “Give Fleece a Chance.” Jenna eventually plans many uses for the sheep, including harvesting wool, from which to knit lovely winter scarves.
Have you ever thought of how much work it must have been for our ancestors who spun, wove and sewed all their clothing from wool, flax and cotton? It’s really amazing, when you realize how easily we acquire our clothing today. Imagine knitting all your socks and undergarments from the cotton you spun into thread.
Since we don’t have to produce all that we wear, we have the luxury of choosing to learn how to spin the yarn for and knit unique scarves and sweaters from wool we might even shear ourselves. The back-to-the-landers of the 1970s emulated the early settlers and gave new life to many of the hand crafts that colonists and pioneers relied on. Spinning, knitting and weaving were high on their self-sufficiency skills list.
If you have a yearning to work with lanolin-rich wool, check out these articles from our archive on hand spinning wool and making a spinning wheel from a bicycle wheel. You may not spin enough to knit a sweater, but in a few hours you can make enough yarn to knit a pot holder or tea cozy.
To find the right wool for spinning, contact your local 4-H folks. And a fabric or yarn store can steer you towards spinning and knitting classes in your area.