Monday, October 21, 2013

Ketner's Mill and spinning wool

This weekend was my very favorite country fair in Marion Co. Tn. Ketner's Mill. It was perfect weather. Beautiful colors everywhere. Friendly happy people. I just love it. And look forward to going every year.

But this year was different. I was asked to be a part of the ladies who do wool demonstrations in front of the mill! I said I would be there and would be willing to do anything I was asked! And I do not know a thing. So Susan said I could learn as I went. Perfect!

This is the old mill. They only use it now to make flour and corn meal and grits. And only a few times a year I think. I bought some corn meal and made corn bread when I got home to have with the pinto beans that had been cooking all day in the crock pot. So good!

This is Tia and Susan. Tia let me use her little spinning wheel to practice on! My very first time AT a wheel to spin myself! And I got to spin the wool I carded earlier on a hand carder. It always looked so easy and fun to me when I watch people spin. It was not easy. Or fun. It was a bit hot out in the sun. The wheel was a bit small for me. I could not get it to go for me. But I will keep trying!

Susan is the sweet lady who I got my Alpacas from. She had been spinning the whole morning. When she was plying her 2 yarns together, I thought I might be able to do that. So she let me try. And it was so much easier to do for me. And I loved her wheel. So much easier to use than the little wheel. So I got to ply yarn. For the first time. It was fun! I enjoyed the whole day.

I did a little shopping too while I was there. Got a beautiful hand made spoon. There is a family who comes and makes sorghum. Horses and all. They cook the syrup right there too. I love this sorghum and get some every year. There is also a man who makes the best muskidine juice ever. He has red or white. I love the white. Tastes just like a fresh muskidine. Plus the corn meal. That's all.

They are sitting on the porch of the mill. Inside in the back room is this huge old carding machine. Only 3 of them in the country. It's huge!

This tells about it. I would have loved to see it in action. Can you imagine how much wool this machine could crank out at a time?

                     It's a beautiful machine even now. All the wooden parts and metal. So pretty.

SO, when I got home, I brought my great grand mother Katheryn's spinning wheel out of the bedroom. Cleaned her up. Sat down and tried to spin some roving I've had forever. Just to try it out. It's a beautiful wheel. If it works, I will just use it instead of buying a new one and save $700. I will buy a big carder instead. Sounds good to me.

I have to say how smart my husband is. I told him about the little tiny tool Tia used to get the thread through the little tiny shaft. He told me to use a crochet hook. The man is brilliant! I got my smallest hook and it works perfectly!

So, while I was trying to spin, it wasn't going onto the bobbin. I know I need to get some new ones, because some of them are broken. But as he was watching, he said the bobbin shouldn't be turning, that's why the wool wasn't going around on it. But I clicked on some Youtube and watched as some people were spinning and the bobbin does goes around.

I am going to load her up and take her to Polly at the book and yarn store downtown this morning. She'll be able to figure it out. And order new bobbins and all. But I am anxious to be spinning!

I have all this wool that needs to be made into something. Susan brought me a pound of Alpaca wool to trade for some plantain salve. It washed up so pretty. And I've been carding it as I sit doing nothing. It's wonderful and SO soft compared to the sheep's wool. But I really do want a big hand crank carder.

I also have my great grand mother's Lazy ( I can't ever remember what it's called but remember Lazy) thing and it has 3 bobbins on it. With some of her yarn still on it. I need to get more bobbins for that too. So I am all excited to be carding and spinning and knitting all this wool into nice warm cozy things to wear this cold winter! I know I'm going to knit a hat for me and my husband first.

So what are y'all knitting?


Shine said...

Oooooh! You're going to LOVE spinning! It's the absolute most relaxing hobby on the planet!!! Of all the things I do...and I do ALOT...spinning is my very most favorite :) Your wheel is lovely :)
Best wishes!! Shine

Kristin said...

Look at you go! Spinning talk may as well be Greek to me. I know nothing about it. But it sure does look beautiful up there! I'm pining for the mountain trip I'm not going to get this year. How blessed you are to live there.

I am going to manage a trip up there at some point!

Kris said...

It really has not been very relaxing to me yet. I am hoping it will become that way soon. I need to be by myself and just spin.

Kristin, I hope you get to the mountains soon. And I hope you come see me! And bring your mother too. I'd love to meet her.

Betty Ann said...

Rest assured Kris, whenever Kristin finds time to come visit you she will be bringing her Mama with her!