Tag Archive | roving

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!

Miss Babs Hand-dyed Yarns & Fibers

In a previous post, I told you about thespinning wheel I got for Christmas. I don’t know how to like back to my previous posts so if anyone can advise me, please do?  I also got two lessons. The first thing I made was a cushion cover. A picture of that is at the end of this post. Then I bought some roving and made some skeins. I’ll write more about making skeins later.

When I had a lot of skeins, I started knitting.  Before you can start knitting, you have to check your tension, otherwise the garment comes out too big or too small. Since the skeins were made with wool I’d spun myself, I needed to see what my tension was so using size 4.00mm needles, I knitted up a sample square of 50 stitches to 50 rows and then counted the number of stitches and rows to one inch. That way I could make sure that the pattern would come out right. I found that the yarn I spun myself was very slightly thicker than the English double knit wool yarn I am used to knitting with so I changed to a smaller needle and then it came out just right.  In America the usual thickness for yarn seems to be what they call Worsted. We don’t have that expression over here (that I know of) and it is slightly thicker to knit with than our D.K. yarn, so popular in England.

Back at Christmas time I bought some brown Worsted and made a garment with that. It felt thicker than I am used to.  So knitting with my own spun yarn is akin to the Worsted over there.  However, I would like to get it a bit thinner so I am working on that. With my spinning I am trying to make a thinner, finer yarn and I think that will come with practice.

So here we go… This is the start of a sleeve for my cardigan.

This is the back of the cardigan.  I think the colours are just gorgeous, don’t you?

This is the front. It’s not quite complete. I have to find some buttons in the right colour and then give it a gentle press.

The wool yarn is so soft to knit with and will be so warm to wear. Here in England we wear woollies all winter and our winter starts at the end of October and sometimes goes on till the end of March.

Because I am a bit wacky and I like things which are a bit different and individual, I spun in some of the roving from a cushion cover I made previously. Only a little mind, just enough to notice.

The roving for the cardigan was purchased from MissBabs hand-dyed yarns and fibers of Mountain City, Tennessee. It is composed of Blue Face Leicester (BFL) and Tussah Silk top. It spins and knits beautifully. It is 80% white BFL/20% Tussah Top.

It comes in 4 oz lots and for the cardigan I used 2.5 lbs plus a little of the plain green at the top of the sleeves.

Miss Babs has her own website at www.missbabs.com and a blog too. Click to visit her blog here.

A New Spinning Wheel

This is my spinning wheel, which my husband bought for me for Christmas (wasn’t I lucky!). It’s something I’ve always wanted since I love knitting and sheep and all things wool, especially woolly blankets around me during the cold of the winter! It’s an Ashford Traveller and it is just perfect for me. It has two treadles, which must be good for exercising my legs and keeping the blood flowing nicely and a rack (lazy Kate) for the spools of yarn once thread. There is room on the rack for three spools, plus there is one at the top which I am filling up.

When I get two spools of yarn finished, I can ply them together and make something with which I can knit.

I had two lessons in hand spinning from an expert (take a bow Kelhora if you’re reading this ever) and lots of practice between lessons and got the hang of it. I won’t say it was easy to learn – it wasn’t but I was determined to do it so I persevered.

I bought some gorgeous roving in the local yarn shop and put it in a bag to use when I got proficient enough!

What do you think of the colour?  Isn’t it just so gorgeous.  I really hoped I had bought enough because I had no clue how much I needed to make a cardigan for myself.  I know that I usually buy 10 balls of 100g yarn and that’s enough so I had to do some simple arithmetic to work out the need.

Next time I’ll tell you what I did with it! be sure and call back to see. I’m so looking forward to showing you my very first effort at knitting up my own yarn.