Spinning Tuesdays

Spinning Tuesday: What I’ve noticed about marling

Barber pole, peppermint stick, marl are all used to describe a type of yarn that has two high-contrast singles plied together. It’s a type of yarn I really don’t care for. Though I have recently made marled yarns with less contrast that I’ve really liked. I’ve also noticed the weight of the yarn makes a difference in the marling. So I’ve been experimenting, want to see? I started with high contrast blue and white Romney, spun and plied to three different weights: bulky, worsted and DK/fingering. Here’s what I see, as the yarn gets thinner and the twists per inch number gets higher, ...

Tiny weeny spindle

I have a weakness for spindles. Only one spinning wheel, but the spindle count is above 15. Not sure how much above 15. I love that they’re portable, and I love the sculptural quality of the spindles I choose. My latest love was spotted across a crowded Silk Retreat room — it’s a Jenkins Turkish Delight. I’ve been a staunch top-whorl girl since I learned to spindle. But this thing was so freaking cute, I couldn’t resist. Especially with yarn on it. You wind the yarn on over two arms, under one, and that gives a nice, plump square-shaped cop. At right, you see my little Turkish Delight, ...

Spinning Tuesday: Annis is Finished!

Don’t faint, but I’ve finished something else. My handspun Annis: I started spinning for this January 1 and have the shawl blocked and finished February 1. I still can’t believe that I worked on a project from start to finish, until it was done. No sidetracks (well, not many), no timeouts. I spun yarn that was almost DK, so the shawl is larger than the original, but that’s what I wanted. The spectacular thing about spinning your own yarn is that you can make exactly what you want, by blending color and fibers, and by the way you spin your yarn. I wanted my version of Annis to be a littler ...

Spinning: Annis and Nupp Knitting

I’m not quite done knitting Annis, but it’s still gorgeous, even unblocked: I almost didn’t choose Annis to knit because it has nupps. I have issues with nupps; I love how they look and hate to knit them and this patterns has 7-stitch nupps. So I went trolling the wonderful world of the web and found an amazing technique by Myra Wood. She calls it Easy Peasy Nupp, In fact,it’s so easy it saved this pattern for me, and tranformed my thinking about knitting nupps. No lie! Brilliant isn’t it? I like it because it’s easy, but also because you can choose the size of nupp you want. ...

Spinning: The Woolen and the Worsted

This past Saturday my spinning group took a field trip to The Spinning Loft. One of our group of our group is in the market for a new wheel, so we piled 6 spinning women into an SUV big enough to hold 4 Schacht Matchlesses in the way back. We may have sung the Partridge Family theme. While our wheel shopping spin sister tried wheels the rest of us shopped and spun. I feel deeply in love with this Yarn Hollow roving, 50% Cormo/50% Alpaca. My question to the room was – how would you spin it, woolen or worsted? The room answered, annoyingly, with another question, “What will you make with it?”. I have ...

Spinning: A Winner Plus a Little Something That Makes Me Smile

Our winner of a $30 Gift Certificate to any store at The Fiber Cooperative is comment number 29 – Betsy M. Hooray! Happy spinning Betsy! Some days all I need is just a little something to make me smile. I love color and I try to infuse as much as I can into every nook and cranny of my day. Take spinning leaders, for example. I use leftover sock yarn as my spinning leaders. It works wonderfully and it’s all kinds of colorful. The bobbins above are strung with Koigu, aren’t they fun? Just what I need on a gray winter day.

Starting the year off with yarn & a giveaway!

Remember I was going to spin some Southern Cross Fibre BFL and Merino? Well I did: Then I did some plying: I couldn’t wait to see what these two would look like as a piled yarn. I spun and plied most of this over 3 days – I actually woke up with sore calves in the morning! I love these colors together, and yes, they even marl in some places. I’m not usually a fan of marled yarn. It’s about 500 yards, 15 wpi. I spun the singles woolen and piled it to balance, because I wanted a softer yarn to be knit into something where abrasion/piling won’t be an issue and that needs drape, this shawl ...

Dreaming about 2011

I am a list maker. I love making lists. This time of the year I carry a little notebook and dream of all of things I might do in the next 365 days or so. Occasionally, I look back at the last year and take stock of what I learned. In my spinning life in 2010 the biggies for me were: Learning to spin fat yarn Learning to spin art yarn And it really, finally, hit home for me about how important and varied sheep breeds are, and how lucky we are to have so many to spin with. For 2011 my big three (so far) are: Knitting with handspun. I find handspun yarn so different than millspun yarn — it has a liveliness and ...

How Do You Choose?

When you find yourself with an empty wheel how do you choose what to spin next? I was recently faced with this dilemma, and instead of just grabbing something I went through the choosing more methodically. I didn’t have any have to spinning, my work and gift spinning are all done. I didn’t want to do any should do spinning, practicing techniques or sampling breeds. I have no projects that I specifically want to spin for. Leaving me wide open to choose. I roamed my stash; friends offered suggestions that I loved: your oldest stashed fiber, a color or fiber you hate or love, a forbidden too special to spin ...

A New Spinning Magazine, a Spinning Winner and Presents for Myself

Have you seen the new spinning magazine out of England? It’s called YarnMaker and is a wonderful spinning resource. I just received the first two issues and haven’t spent much time with them, but what I like so far is: lots of sheep and fleece talk, a two part round up of British spindle makers, natural dyeing, spinning and sheep people out and about, art yarns, history and quick projects. Mostly, it’s lovely to have a different spinning point of view than our North American one. I’m ready to subscribe. Our Spinning Winner The winner of our Miss Babs giveaway is Terri C. Congratulations and ...