Monday, January 5, 2009

Making Musk Ox Yarn

It has been very cold up here on the tundra for a while now so we have been doing a lot of inside activities in an attempt to fend off cabin fever. Luckily homeschooling has taught me to be prepared for some on the spot "learning experiences." Isa and her friend Judy asked to learn how to spin wool. We had collected some Musk Ox wool when we were living in Nome so I brought that out and taught Judy and Isa how to card the wool. Both took to it like pros and carded all that they could find.

Then came the much harder job of spinning the wool on to a drop spindle. I am in no way a pro at spinning. I went through a phase where I learned the basics both on a drop spindle and a spinning wheel but never was more than a beginner. I taught Isa and Judy the basics and demonstrated the technique few time for them, including how to do a great job messing up. After I showed them all of the ways not to spin it I left them alone with the materials, carders, and drop spindles thinking I would clean up the mess later. After an hour of not hearing from them I walked up to check on their progress. They had spun a good two feel and Isa was becoming very good as shown in this photo. She could spin, pull and roll it all by herself!

And the best part? She learned it all by herself.

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