So I was searching around and I discovered this Video and I went “hey, he’s spinning flax just like I do!”
I did a bit of investigation and I found his one and went “Hey, I want my wool on my distaff to look like this!”
His name is Norman Kennedy and he’s some old codger who’s bloody brilliant.
He grew up in Scotland and started spinning after WWII. He learned from the old people back then and managed to learn a TON of information that didn’t get passed onto the generation above him and then was lost for many people.
Guess how he spins?
And he’s not just a hobby spinner, he’s done real work spinning. Spinning and weaving sheets, towels, blankets and even fine linen shirts. Also knitting clothing from homespun.
He has a video for sale on wool and one on linen and cotton and because I found them for download and on sale I decided to download one. Well, I soon after downloaded the other. There’s a lot of information, he talks about fibre prep and spindles and different types of spinning wheels and a million things besides, but I found it all really informative, even the bits I thought I wouldn’t be interested in (like modern spinning wheels).
So anyway, this old Scottish guy uses a spindle the same way I’ve been using mine. They way I’ve been spending a long time trying to document.
His documentation for this method? I’ll summarise it below.
This is a spindle. Not a drop spindle, I hear folks saying drop spindle and I think ohhh that sounds clumsy, like them old folks was always dropping things. Oh no, they was smart those old folks. And this is how they taught me to spin it, none of these hooks and letting it go, just like this and you see them old folks was smart, they didn’t just hang out, no, always working and if they were going to market or herding sheep then they’d be working at their spinning even then. They got a lot done, all Henry the 8th clothing started out being spun like this and oh that was very fine, I know, I’ve seen some of it! But they wouldn’t drop their spindles like the folk of this country [he now lives in Canada] do.
So yeah. His documentation is “this is how I was taught by the old folk in my day, and they learned from information passed down through the generations.”
He doesn’t need a million pictures and videos because someone taught him.
But he seems a fascinating man and I’m really glad I’ve watched his videos, they taught me more than I thought they would!