Spin me right round

Here is my latest spin and I am so proud of it! It’s called Pot Luck and I  got 274 yards 2 ply out of 4 oz and I would have to say that it is pretty much a sport weight yarn.

IMG_5085

Here is the fiber before I started predrafting it

pot luck 2

Here’s a picture before I started plying it.

pot luck 1

Plied and on the niddy noddy.

Before it's bath.

Before it’s bath.

After it's bath, with a little mini skein of leftover.

After it’s bath, with a little mini skein of leftover.

I couldn’t be happier with the progress I have made. I am sorry for the blog being silent for so long, but I hadn’t really had much to say because nothing was getting finished. I should have some more posts coming your way soon.

The Tour de Fleece is happening right now and I am participating, but not as much as I would like because my time is so limited.

Here are a few pictures of what I have done so far.

IMG_5175 IMG_5176

Isn’t it pretty? Its a polwarth/silk blend and I absolutely love it. I think I have enjoyed this fiber content the most to spin with. I will give you more detail about the yarn once I finish it. So far it seems to be my most even spin yet, but I will have to wait and finish to see if that is true or not.

Have you been spinning in the Tour de Fleece? What have you been spinning lately?

Advertisements

Spinning Away

For my second handspun project I decided to try out a different breed of sheep for the fiber, try a dyed fiber, and to try to ply it.  Even with all of those firsts I think it came out really well.

The fiber brand I purchased was Malabrigo’s Nube. I was warned by an experienced drop spindler to no expect a very even thin yarn, which I am glad that I received that warning because I would have been very frustrated if I tried to produce a thin yarn. If you have ever worked with Malabrigos single ply you have probably have seen that the yarn in places is slightly felted together, that is also the case with their fiber. It isn’t necessarily felted together, but the fiber doesn’t want to draft out that much.

Here is the fiber before I went to spin it up.

Here is the fiber before I went to spin it up.

The fiber is a 100% merino wool which I found slightly more difficult to work with also because of its short staple. The color of this fiber is gorgeous though, the colorway is Arco Iris and totally made up for any difficulties I had with spinning it.

20140527-201056-72656612.jpgThis is a picture of the first half of the braid spun up.

20140527-201052-72652121.jpg

Here’s a picture of the two singles right before I went to ply them.

My twist direction for the singles was a S ply (meaning I spun it up clockwise) and then when I went to ply it I did Z ply (meaning when I plied it I spun the spindle counter-clockwise).

20140527-201054-72654929.jpg

Here is a picture of the yarn plied on my niddy noddy. Doesn’t it look pretty? It’s hard to believe, but before this picture was taken the freshly spun yarn looked like this:

20140527-201053-72653512.jpg

While I was taken the plied yarn and wrapping it on to the niddy noddy one of the pvc piping t-connectors snapped and all of the yarn flew off of the niddy noddy turning into the picture above (the t-connector is fixed in the picture above which is why the niddy noddy isn’t in pieces).

malabrigo handspun

Now here is the final product all washed and pretty.

I haven’t checked the yarn weight yet but there is 165 yards to 4oz.

Even with the issues I had with the fiber not wanting to draft out, I am really happy with the end result and I feel like I will probably get more Malabrigo fiber at some point.

My first Handspun

Well I have done it, I have spun up my first large quantity of handspun yarn and surprisingly I didn’t lose interest with it. I mean it is 100% undyed wool, it had nothing interesting or pretty to keep me going. What kept me going was my desire to learn, to get better, and to produce a finished item that I would be proud of.

For my first handspun I decided to leave them singles so I could get the most yardage for the amount of time put in.

20140527-201101-72661768.jpg

Here’s a picture of it before it’s bath. As you can see it is very kinky and in places over spun. So from reading different things I decided that I was going to shock the wool by washing it in hot, then cold, then hot and then cold water, thwacking it against the porch railings outside, and then hung them weighed them down with hangers. The end result looks a lot more like yarn.

The yarn hanging from the porch.

The yarn hanging from the porch.

20140527-201059-72659998.jpg

Doesn’t it look pretty! The end result is  695 yards single ply lace/fingering weight 100% cheviot yarn.

The comparison between the two is crazy. It's hard to believe that the yarn on the left turned into the yarn on the right.

The comparison between the two is crazy. It’s hard to believe that the yarn on the left turned into the yarn on the right.

Now I am now where close to being done with this yarn because I plan to dye it (I’m still unsure of what color) and then knit it up (still unsure of that too). Besides that I am contemplating getting more fiber so I can have more like 800-1000 yards to play with. 800-1000 yards has a lot more possibilities over 695 yards. So this isn’t the last that you have seen of this yarn.

In the next post I will talk about the latest yarn that I just spun up, it is colorful and pretty and I tried some new things!

Lets Spin Part 2

Well Part 1 was more about story involving the beginning of the journey. Part 2 is more about what I have learned and where my spinning is at right now.

So far most of what I have learned came from this book:

20140516-215859.jpgYou can get this book on Amazon.  It truly is a wealth of knowledge and talks a lot about the science of spinning and what to do. I feel that after reading parts of the book (NO I haven’t read it all, I have only read the parts that pertained to me in my current state) I had a better grasp of spinning, more so that when I first sat down to try. I have been told by a person who is a spindling instructor in Columbus OH  that the DVD of this book is even better than the book.

Right now I am still doing the park and draft method which is fine with me, I guess it makes me a bit slower, but it is what I am comfortable with and I’m sure I won’t have to park and draft for that much longer.

When I first posted about learning to drop spindle I was asked if there is a certain spindle that is better for beginners and the answer is no. Really drop spindling is a really personal thing, it’s best to use a spindle that feels good to you, there are tons of different spindles out there. Now I would suggest to start out with a cheap spindle. Like the ones at tinasangora’s they are very reasonably priced, but you can always try one from some one else, etsy is fully of different spindle sellers.

My spindle is a top whorl drop spindle and as I said in my last post it weights 1.25 ounces. The weight of your spindle can produce different types of yarn to, the book a posted talked about above goes into some detail about that.

Now so far with my spinning I have filled up my spindle for the first time (currently I am spinning an undyed 100% cheviot wool). I hope to spin enough yarn up from my 3 oz of fiber to make a shawl or small cardigan with and also dye it myself.

Here is my full spindle. The spun yarn on the shaft of the spindle is called the cop.

Here is my full spindle. The spun yarn on the shaft of the spindle is called the cop.

The concept of a full spindle is all relative, the best rule of thumb for spinning is if you aren’t sinning the same consistency or if you are having trouble getting the spindle to spin it is probably too full (mine was the later).

I'm planning on making singles for my first time around spinning. On that niddy noddy their is about 168 yds give or take a few inches.

I’m planning on making singles for my first time around spinning. On that niddy noddy (I made the niddy noddy) their is about 168 yds give or take a few inches.

The yarn weight is between a lace and light fingering weight.

The yarn weight is between a lace and light fingering weight.

I really am enjoying this, and for those of you who are experienced drop spindlers feel free to chime in and tell me I’m wrong or to give advice. Also I am sorry if this seemed really instructional, I had been asked different questions about drop spindles and I wanted to cover those in the blog for those people and others who have no clue about drop spindles.

Let’s Spin Part 1

Well as I have mentioned in past posts I have just started spinning with a drop spindle and so far it has been a rather fun experience this second time around and I feel like I may have fallen down the rabbit hole of spinning. I have always wanted a spinning wheel and spinning with my drop spindle has really cemented my desire for a spinning wheel.

My first experience with a drop spindle was in a class that I was taking my final semester in undergrad called The History of Textile and Design. It was a really interesting class where we started with the earliest artifacts and knowledge of clothing and finished a little bit after the Victorian period. We learned some about spindles, looms, natural dyes, carding fiber, and different fibers in that class besides fashion and design and we also had an assignment where we had to replicate an artifact using the technology of that period. My teacher who was also a knitter and a semi-decent drop spindler  had used grant money to purchase some cheap drop spindles for the class (along with other things, like different natural dyes that students got to try out also). I tried my hand at the spindle then and got frustrated because it wasn’t going fast enough for me , I also might have been kind of impatient (I was also working part-time, writing 4 multiple page research papers, doing research for those research papers, writing essays for grad school, and trying to find time to hang out with friends).

Here is a picture of my first attempt at the drop spindle while in that class, back then I thought it was horrible, now looking back I realize I really didn’t do that poor of a job.

IMG_5078Now these may look familiar because I have already posted these, but for those of you just tuning into the blog here is what I spun on my second try with my new spindle. The yarn is a wool Angora blend that came with the spindle.

IMG_5077Now in NO way am I claiming to be an expert with any thing involving spinning and fiber, but I hope to be able to chronicle my experiences and what I have learned along the way for future reference, but also for those of you who are intrigued by spinning, and the drop spindle.

Now I know that this post has gotten extremely long so just stick with me just a little bit longer and I will tell you about my spindle, and the rest can be saved for another post.

Meet my spindle

20140516-213522.jpg

She is 1.25 ounces Larvikite Crystal Stone Top Whorl Drop Spindle. She came from an Etsy shop called tinasangoras. I am really happy with her and the owners of the shop send out the spindles super quickly and always send sample fibers. Another plus are all the spindles are super pretty especially if you are like me and are a fan of semi-precious stones.

 

 

 

Distraction

What I should be talking about is my spinning right now (because well I told you in the last post I would), but I really haven’t been working on it much recently and I’m waiting around for WPI (wraps per inch) tool to come in the mail and I have been distracted by other projects so the spinning post will hopefully be towards the end of this coming week. But here’s a picture of what the spindle looks like right now.

20140511-122727.jpg

Nothing really exciting has been happening around here, I have just been knitting away on the three different projects that I cast on and showed to you in the last post. All three projects are a little bit bigger, some have grown more than others, but I do have a finished object. It hasn’t been photographed because it just got washed last night, but I can show you before bath picture.

20140511-122635.jpg

This is the trillian and it will have it’s own post later this week too (Or at least I hope).

 

Start all of the crafts

There is just something about spring and summer time that makes me want to start all of the crafts. I just don’t know what it is but before I know it I have like a million different things started ranging from sewing, knitting, jewelry making, and now spinning. It’s taking every ounce of will power I have to not cast-on at least two summer sweaters right now.

The reason I am not starting any summer sweaters is because that is the thing I want to do so I’m making myself finish these two things first:

My follow your arrow mystery KAL that got put to the side because of the Olypmics.

My follow your arrow mystery KAL that got put to the side because of the Olypmics.

The Downeast sweater, which you heard about last post. Sorry for the poor quality Iphone picture again.

The Downeast sweater, which you heard about last post. Sorry for the poor quality Iphone picture again.

Yep, remember those two things. They still aren’t finished. The NEED to be finished, if I don’t finish them now they probably won’t ever be finished.

Okay enough about those old things, here are all the things that I have been doing which is another reason why those old things haven’t been worked on.

I have been making stitch markers.

IMG_5082

I have been making bracelets.

IMG_5083 IMG_5084

 

And I just got a spindle so I have been spinning!

IMG_5077 IMG_5080

I will have a post about all of my spinning next week. So far I have been really enjoying it and I think so far I am doing decent.

Oh and to top it all off I have an urge to start sewing again so I picked up some fabric to make some project bags.

IMG_5091

What have you been doing lately? Does spring and summer have wanting to try and start all sorts of crafts?