I recently got to chatting with a new Ravelry friend who wants to learn to spin. I offered my standard caution to not worry about what her early spinning efforts would look like. Just so everyone understands, this is the first skein of yarn I ever spun:


A little different than some of my more recent efforts. When I first started spinning, I demonstrated at a local farm for their Sheep Shearing Day. People were agog and had no clue what I was doing, so clearly, any spinner, even a bad one, was welcome.

In exchange for spinning, the farmer gave me as much wool as I wanted. This was about the time the Wool Pool in New Jersey was being discontinued. The farmer raised Dorsets and had them on an accelerated lambing program. Consequently, he had a considerable number of fleeces to give away. In fact, the helpers offered to carry the ones I wanted to the car. They followed me to the parking lot, at which point I realized they were carrying not just the fleeces I wanted, but every doggoned one of them! I think I wound up with 36 free fleeces, Dorsets, Suffolks, and crosses thereof.

Anyway, it was a good way to start spinning, as I was working on not expensive wool so if it didn’t turn out right, it was not such a loss as if I were spinning merino. And it turned out that Dorset is actually a nice middle-grade wool, very bouncy, and makes great socks, so much of that early wool turned into nice, serviceable yarn. Not very exciting, but very utilitarian.

This first skein was one of those Dorsets, not very well washed so it still has a little lanolin in it. Overtwists and under twists abound – I did not ply this, it was a single strand, but it sure plied itself!

And, of course, if I wanted to go back and make a yarn like this now, think I could do it?

Enjoy these custom-spun, one-of-a-kind beginner novelty yarns – they happen once in a lifetime!

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