Beatrice Rothschadl of Lake Mills started spinning wool to save her school-aged daughter from purchasing her crocheting materials at the store. She says it took her about three years to get good.
Today — more than 40 years later — Beatrice’s adult daughter has her own flock of sheep, in which she gifts wool to her mother. And Beatrice teaches others to spin. Her latest class: teaching at the 2021 Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival.
She sees interest in spinning from people both young and old. She’s even spun dog fur for kids who want a memory of their dog if it’s passed away. She’s also spun silk, cotton and hair.
Rothschadl says it’s a learning experience, and it’s more rewarding than going to the store. It’s also labor intensive — when purchasing raw wool, you have to pick out the bad wool, wash it, air dry it completely, and then dye the wool if desired.
She says with the spun wool, she makes everything from chemotherapy hats and baby clothes to vests (like the one she’s wearing) and mittens.