Tag Archive | hand-spinning

On my spinning wheel.


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I’ve just finished spinning up the bag full of ecru merino roving. It was a a delight to work with. This will be spare because I have finished the sweater I was making with the bulk of it. I’ll show you how it turned out soon. This roving was easy to spin and easy to draft and the result was very smooth as you can see above and below.

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Now on my wheel today is some more of Miss Babs blue faced leicester yarn, which you can see is much more woolly. It is more difficult to draft and I have to be very careful that the thread doesn’t break. Once I get in my stride with it, it will be just fine. I just have to take care because after using the merino, followed by the mixture of Alpaca and silk, this one is tougher to use.

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and I’m pleased with the result so far 🙂

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Hand-spinning with Blue Faced Leicester Tops


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This beautifully coloured roving was one of my Christmas presents and I’ve just started spinning with it. It came from Miss Babs, via The Yarn Haven shop in Knoxville.

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I have no idea if it was expensive. I’ve seen Tops at all different prices, more and less. I look in the Etsy shop usually. Perhaps one of you could give me a guide price as to what you would expect to pay?

The colours are varied in this lovely roving. There is everything from purple to brown and I couldn’t wait to get started. After the last three months spinning with a mixture of Alpaca/silk and prior to that Merino, I had to practise a little. This yarn is much more woolly and more difficult to draft. I spent a while practising until I felt comfortable with it and then I started.

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Here is the spun yarn.  I’ll come back and show you later when I’ve done some plying.

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As a contrast, this is the Alpaca/silk spun up.

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and this is the Targhee:

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All quite different.

I enjoy my spinning.  It’s a great way to relax.

What do you do to relax?

Oma

Knitting up my spinning.


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I chose this pattern to knit up my handspun merino yarn. I liked the front panel pattern and the fact that it is short-waisted, like me. I need a jumper that stops at the waist, to look the most flattering. I have very wide hips, like Beyonce! (yeah right!) and long jumpers don’t suit me.  It is hard to find a pattern that does me justice. I must be the only one in the world with hips this wide!

One of the problems with handspun yarn is that you don’t really know how much you’ve got!  I don’t have a counter so I can estimate how much yardage and short of using a tape measure, I’m a bit lost. So far I’ve done it by weight, but since I’m new to handspinning, I’m still experimenting.

I decided that if anything I was going to be short so I’ve knitted the back, front and sleeves up to the armhole and no further. I figured that I would definitely have enough yarn for that and if I run out, I can buy something similar to finish it off. Contrast might even be better. Then I’ll have a different problem to cope with, that of the thickness of the yarn, not the length. I’ll worry about that when I come to it.

Time for another picture:

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This is the back, up to the armhole and waiting patiently on a stitch holder to be finished.

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This is how the front panel knits up.

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I’ll be back to show you how I’m getting on later.

In the meantime, sometimes I knit up a scarf…

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Hand-spinning with alpaca/silk and a little bit of knitting.


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I’ve been spending my time over Christmas and during the cold weather, spinning, knitting and reading. I made this pretty little dress for my new grandchild, who is bound to be a boy now that I’ve made a dress! However, I enjoyed using the fairisle wool. It is unusual in that it is designed to knit up like a fairisle jumper, just so long as you make it the right size.  As you can see from the pictures, it works on the skirt part of the garment, but on the sleeves and the yoke, it goes all stripey. It gives an interesting look and it’s a case of ‘you never know what you’re going to get’ until you do it, of course.

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When my own children were babies, the colours were mostly muted, but these days anything seems to go so these rather bold colours (to my eye) give a more modern look.

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Now for the hand-spinning. I have been practising with the alpaca/silk combination. It is a dream to hold, very soft and silky, much like human hair, but not so easy to spin with. I think it requires a lot of practice. On the lazy kate below is a merino wool on  the left, alpaca/silk in the middle and a tarhee roving spun up on the right. All very different to spin with.

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I think I got a bit too much twist in some of it, but that will work out when I ply two strands together (I hope).

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I’m knitting with the merino yarn at the moment.  It is very soft and so far, my favourite. I’ll let you see what I’m making in a future post.

After tea I have to clear out the kitchen, ready for the horrendous job booked for tomorrow (see previous post).

Wish me luck.

Oma

Roving to yarn!


This glorious Autumn-coloured roving was mine to spin recently whilst I was in America.

I began to spin and soon it filled the spool.

Here it is once plyed and hanging in skeins.

I brought it back to England with me and put it into balls, using my Swift and ball winder.

Now, what to make with it? Perhaps some mittens? or a pretty shawl.

Purple mittens waiting to be decorated.

I can’t decide yet but whatever I make, it will be more enjoyable for having spun it myself!

Fibre – Gorgeous Autumn colours to spin with.


I bought this beautiful Autumnal fibre last week at a local wool shop. Isn’t it just gorgeous? It’s Targhee fibre and feels quite fibrous to spin with especially compared with the Merino fibre I’ve been spinning recently.  It is not difficult to spin with though, it just feels different.

I think it’s going to make a lovely yarn for this time of the year.

Here’s a closer look. So many colours combining to remind us of fallen leaves and shedding trees.

That’s not all I’ve got to remind me the season is changing. Check out this wonderful pumpkin that leaped into my shopping cart last Wednesday.

Have a great week everybody.

Oma

Getting in a spin!


I’ve been spinning up a storm this week and now have enough of this cream-coloured merino wool yarn to make a garment.

I always admire the yarns I see on Etsy.com but quite often there is only enough available to make a scarf or a shawl or a pair of socks. These days I prefer to make something a bit more substantial, which takes at least 500 gms of yarn. I haven’t decided what to make yet, but it will inevitably be something for the winter months because this yarn is so lovely and warm.

Already there is just a touch of Autumn in the air and when I get that feeling I start looking out my knitting needles and sewing kit and planning what I’m going to do during the darker evenings.

I have all my knitting needles in this handy hold-all, which can be used for coloured pencils too. I love having them in here because I can find just the ones I want without difficulty.

Maybe I’ll even do a little quilting…

and a little wishing and cauldron lighting when the fancy takes me…

Have a great week everyone.