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Hobbies: Spinning Wool
(for some extra money!)

When I read the word "spinning", I imagine a little boy going round and round until he is knocked off his feet with dizziness!

Karol is a Spinner of Wool.. very cool!

By Karol Keil, Menasha, WI

What I am doing to earn a little money is spinning! It started out as a hobby 14 years ago, but after spinning for that long you finally run out of things to knit and crochet with the fiber. There is just so many mittens, hats, scarves, afghans, etc. that you can make and give away.

I met a woman at an alpaca show here in Menasha, last March. As she was telling me about her alpacas, I happened to mention that I spin. She said she was looking for someone to spin her fiber and would I be interested. I said I would love to give it a try, so I gave her my name and address. A few months later Jean sent me fiber from her flock. It was gorgeous. soft fiber and it spun up like a dream.

The first nine pounds that I spun for her, she had made into an afghan. I had to laugh when she e-mailed me that she was probably the only person with a $3000 afghan. By the time she has to pay for shearing, carding, spinning, and knitting, it gets to be a very expensive afghan.

Four pounds of Milagro's fiber that I had spun for Jean, went to the vet who saved Milagro's life--she had a very difficult birth. But both mom and baby are doing fine. Jean has about a dozen alpacas, so I never know what color or texture of fiber I will receive to spin next. It is always fun waiting for the UPS man to come with the next box of fiber.

I have migraines among other problems and I can not work, so this works out perfect for me. If I have a day where I feel good I can get a lot of fiber spun, but if I am sick, I can take a few hours or the whole day off--Jean is in no rush for the fiber, so that is a big plus for me. How many other people are lucky enough to be able to work in their pj's while watching TV in their own comfy living room? Or my other favorite thing to do while spinning is listening to audio books that I check out at the library.

I like to spin but run out of things to make with the finished fiber, and then the skeins of yarn build up in my basement. This way I get to spin and don't have to worry what to do with all the fiber. Works out well for both of us. The fiber is professionally carded before I receive it, so it is beautifully soft and ready to spin.

I spin two bobbins full of fiber, then ply the fiber from the two bobbins together, forming the yarn. Next I wind it on a thing called a niddy-noddy that forms the skein. Then I have to soak the skein in hot water to set the twist, let it dry and it is ready to go back to Jean.

I enjoy spinning as it is a very relaxing hobby and doesn't take a lot of concentration, and I am able to watch TV, or listen to music or books, at the same time--fun!


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