My mom is sending me about 30 pounds of angora wool...straight from her goats. I fully understand (and am confident that I can handle) the carding, roving and drafting, but the actual spinning part with a drop spindle intimidates me for some reason. She really wants an angora blanket from her goats for next christmas....so at least i have time to learn! but then again, i still have to know how to knit! but, first thing is first...spinning the wool. how quickly do you get the hang of this? i think i can get it all prepped for spinning fairly quickly as this is brainless but albeit time consuming. the idea of spinning, on the other hand, sounds excruciatingly long and treasures consistency of thickness and texture.....hence by apprehension! any words of advice?
Is spinning hard?
I would suggest you get a drop spindle and some wool to try spinning before you attempt to spin angora. A yarn of 100% angora seems like it would be very frustrating to work with, especially for a beginner! Most angora yarns I have worked with are blended with wool and sometimes some nylon to make them easier to knit with.
Take some time to learn how to spin your own wool from roving comfortably before you try with your mother's precious fleece. Once you are comfortable spinning wool (a much easier fibre to work with) try the angora. As your mom if the blanket has to be 100% angora or if she would be okay with a blend. You might find you have better success by spinning the angora with some merino (a very, very soft wool.)
When you are ready to learn to knit I would suggest that you start with some simple wool for that too. Angora sheds like crazy and seems like a poor choice for a learn to knit project, especially when it is handspun and very valuable to the person who gave it to you.
thanks for the thorough response. I'm going to meeting with some people from the local weaver's guild who spin on a regular basis and they will help me delve into this a little further. It all depends on the angora, they said, so at least its someone local who I can bring the roving to to see what steps I should take.
wishing myself luck on this one!