Making rolags during photoshoot with Danish photographer, Dorte. All looks a bit Hygge I think. . I wondered if I should ask my daughter Jenny – who has lovely elegant hands – to model for me, but Dorte said; “No Pam, your hands know what they are doing’ and I can see she is absolutely right – but they do rather look old…. they’ve been making rolags a long, long time.Rolags are very easy to spin, I aim to make one a minute and like to produce a basketful at time. My basket was specially made for rolags and I have had it since I learned to spin in 1985. I wasn’t allowed on a wheel until I could make perfect rolags – was lucky to have a professional teacher – Elizabeth Palmer – who still lives nearby. My old basket was especially made to accommodate rolags in rows of ten at a time, then two lots of five in the opposite direction for the next layer. Hence , I know how many I make in 10 minutes, or how long it takes to make 10. Rolags should be a light as air – just carded fibres loosely rolled up. They are often confused with punies which are quite different in structure – Punies are the opposite to rolags in that they comprise densely packed fibres and weigh 8-10 times as much as a rolag. It used to be thought that long draw spinning could only be done from rolags – not true. As long as the fibres are lying in the same direction as when spinning from a rolag from one end, the long draw is quite easy and yields a lovely lofty woollen yarn.
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