Frequently Asked Questions

How can I learn to spin?

Not always easy. But with a little digging you should be able to find a “spinning group” in your area. Start by asking around your friends and neighbors. Stop in at a yarn shop. Then go to your computer, google or bing to see if you can find something in your area.

In my area of the East Mountains of New Mexico I happen to be at a Wool & fiber festival and brought up the subject. Just so happen to be talking with a Shepard who was part of a local group. The rest is history!

I have find most people who work with animals and or the “arts” are the most welcoming and willing to share.
This is the case with my local group. There is often someone new. Sometimes just watching and listening to the information we share about the different fibers and techniques of handling, preparing and spinning. Always new information and opinions about everything from each member. There is always a hands-on chance to try it with lots of instruction that accompanies the art of spinning.

What about spinning wheels?

There are lots to choose from. And it can be very confusing to say the least. From real cheap to beautiful works of art in themselves. As I said above in, our group there are many different members, each has a preference to a wheel they just love, but also works for them. Like anything else it is a matter of personal preference. Try to find someone to borrow from. Perhaps there is a guild or group that will rent you a wheel. Try them all if that is what it takes for YOU to feel comfortable. Yes, I have a preference. Mine is Majacraft. They are a work of art, but not inexpensive. There is a good range of prices to choose from. One of the main reasons I sell them is that is does not take a rocket scientist to use them. The results are great, and no fussing around with tensions etc. And Quiet; can’t sleep, get out your wheel and off you go without disturbing the household! The original double peddle wheel makers. There are also great “How To” manuals on their web site. Worth a visit. They also have other fields of interest such as weaving and lace making, fun stuff!

My other choice is especially for beginners is a wheel from Louet. They are one of the oldest and most reputable companies you will find. Their beginners wheels give you a good handle on the process without breaking the bank. AS You can progress with your spinning of course you can move up their great line of wheels. The looms that are available are wonderful. Carders, and combs for your fleece and prep work. And least I forget a world of fibers to chose from. And I do mean the world! A-Z in fiber, it is like a candy store for us fiber folks!

Do I Need to Take a Class?

Well, that depends on how YOU learn. Can you tough it out on your own? Or you do better with someone actually showing you? Can you Watch any number of UTUBE videos and pick thing up that way?

I still recommend you go watch different people spin, and on different wheel. Try to choose something that you “kinda” understand. Then get your fiber, lock yourself in a sound proof room, and go for it. There is lots of frustration resulting in big wad of thick clumpy yarn. Great, you got results! The rest is practice, practice, practice!! Suddenly, it will just appear, and again, you did it. No matter how you start, with an instructor, or just watching, you still have to keep going till it clicks. And it will. Like riding a bike or swimming. Once you got it, you win.

But, also remember if in the end your not happy about it, consider that many be it is not for you. It is a kind of addiction (perhaps not the best chise of words, but) you will be hooked. And then you can create whatever you can dream up.

As Majacrafts motto says “Spin your Dreams”

What about fiber?

Everybody has their preferences. Starting out try to find a local producer. Often there is fiber around for the asking. Be sure it is clean & carded for you to start out.

I would recommend a course wool that would be easy to handle for you. Read, read up on fiber. It is to extensive a field for me to get into here. But like all things once you get your hands and feet working you can try all kinds. And you will want to. Remember: what am I going to use this for? Then proceed to that goal. Another thing I find people do is get to caught up in the details. Make a yarn that you can actually use. Don’t worry about getting it so thing. Why, it is muscle memory. Once you get it thin like everyone else says is the goal, you may not be able to get back to a thickness that works for you. I sell my own wool I raised from my sheep. I also raise Angora rabbits. I like to blend that in with the wool. ( Not crazy about spinning that fine stuff). I use silk from Louet and make a blend of wool & silk with that. There was alpaca fiber available locally which I had cleaned & carded for that blend as well. Look around, where there are spinners, there is info on where to get fiber. Like I said locally is great. Support your farmers! USA! But you can all kinds and colors from Louet. Explore your options, and enjoy, have fun and laugh! It is good for you!

Victoria's Mountain Yarn

Comments
  • Cindy says:

    As a newer spinner and former breeder/ exhibitor of BMDs, I love the photo of the Berner with the sheep!
    I am traveling right now, but will be contacting you to purchase wool soon! I would like couple of white batts and am wondering if you have any darker natural wool?

    I’m in California now and will be heading east to South Carolina mid April.

    • Victoria says:

      Please feel free to stop by the farm. I am open on Monday’s but will be happy to show you fiber, yarn and products at other times. I do have
      darker colored batts. My phone number is on the web site 505-204-6127. Safe Travels.

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