Category: Spinning

Articles in the Spinning category

Tour de Fleece, week 1.

It is now Day 8 of the Tour de Fleece and a lot of spinning has happened at Chez Sheepspace.

First, I started with some Southern Cross Fibres BFL in the ‘Spring Forward’ colourway:
TdF 2012 -- Day 1

Day 1:
TdF 2012 -- Day 1

Day 2:
TdF Day 2

Day 3:
TdF Day 3

Finished Yarn:
TdF Day 4

1015m of laceweight singles spun on my Louet Victoria on the smallest whorl (14:1, I believe), 111g.

I then turned to some very pink Falkland from Spinning a Yarn:
TdF Day 4

Day 4:
TdF Day 4

And the finished yarn:
TdF Day 6

155m of aran weight 3ply, spun on my Kromski Symphony at 10:1.

Enjoying my time with my Symphony, I started 200g of Sheltand in ‘Last of the Sunflowers’ (Wildcraft club fibre; Nov 2011).

Wildcraft November 2011 club

Day 7:
TdF Day 7

This is destined for a handspun yoke cardi for my husband and he’s delighted it is in progress. I’m on the second bobbin of 3 now, and I’ll likely have it finished by the time he returns from Holland next week.

I also started the week off with a long-term WIP that I’m determined to finished during the Tour. My goal has been to spin a minimum of 15 minutes a day on the spindle, and most days it is closer to 30 minutes. Thankfully, my daughter is a slow eater and provides amble spindling opportunity. This, again, is 50/50 BFL/silk in ‘Autumn Leaves’ from Wildcraft:

I started with 32g remaining (and being spun on my 18g Walnut Wildcraft spindle that my husband bought me for our 5th anniversary):

By Day 4 I had finished the third spindle’s worth of fibre:
TdF Day 4

On Day 5 I started the filling the final spindle (18g maple leaf resin spindle, also Wildcraft):
TdF Day 5

Day 8:
TdF Day 8

I am a quarter of the way through the final spindle, and have 18g left to spin (each of those little bumps is 6g), which means if I continue spinning this daily it should be done and plied by the end of the Tour.

Sock goodness.

I posted last week that I was spinning up some Devon longwool from one of last year’s Wildcraft fibre club installments.


Here is the finished yarn:


That a 3ply DK weight yarn totalling 290m and weighing 241g. The two larger skeins are a traditional 3ply, whilst that wee little skein is the leftover singles that I navajo plied.

I’m actually rather surprised at how well the Devon longwool n-plied. I thought I’d end up with rope, but it is just as lovely as the traditional 3ply. This has given me a lot of hope for the Wensleydale braid I bought off the Wensleydale Longwool shop a few years ago. It is a dyed braid and I was really hoping to keep the colours intact as I have visions of stripey Wensleydale socks. After this little experiment I’m going to try navajo (chain) plying the Wensleydale. Why not? The worst thing that happens is that it doesn’t work.

I appear to be on a slight sock spinning kick as I started a new braid of fibre this week.

Aquarelle SW EWB

This just came in the post last week and it jumped on the wheel paying absolutely no mind to the other fibre in queue. And I’m loving it.

Aquarelle in Progress

This is 150g of a superwash English Wool Blend (from Wildcraft). I love this blend. It is hard-wearing, fabulous for socks (those I’ve spun thus far are holding up really well), and it is so easy to spin. I’m really happy Karen is doing the 150g braids now as I always found myself running short on yardage with only 100g. One of the pairs of socks I made for Joey ended with 2” of yarn left over after kitchenering the toes… and he doesn’t have large feet.

I’m planning to finish this up this week as I only have one bobbin left to spin. That and the Tour de Fleece starts on June 30th and I’d like to have my wheels free and clear to start the Tour with a clean slate. :)

I haven’t quite decided on what I’m spinning during the Tour, however I have some BFL and some Polwarth off of Southern Cross Fibres that I’d lovely to play with, as well as my November 2011 Wildcraft club fibre that I keep promising my husband I’ll spin so we can buy the coordinating millspun for his cardi/jumper. Not to mention that Wensleydale, which I’m now quite excited to try out, the Merino/Bamboo I got for my birthday, and the fact that my July club parcel should be arriving during the Tour. So many options, so little spinning time.

Flowers everywhere.

As promised, the finished Primrose yarn (March 2012 Wildcraft fibre club):


This is a BFL/silk blend. I always forget how lovely this blend is when it becomes yarn. Soft, smooth, and a beautiful drape and sheen. Just wonderful, and totally worth spinning. This is a heavy fingering/sport weight chain plied yarn that is a gradient, with a total of 285m.

On the wheel is my Periwinkle fibre (May 2011 Wildcraft fibre club):


I took this photo earlier today then may have accidentally spun up the entire third bobbin this afternoon. Just sayin’. I plan to ply this up in the next couple days and am looking forward to seeing the results of how the Devon Longwool does in a 3ply.

Fibre club. Times three.

This is going to be a very fibre club filled post.

First, we have Euphorbia, fresh off the drying rack:

Wildcraft Fibre club, May 2012 on BFL. 645 metres and 243g. Destined to be the main colour of a Sothia shawl.

I really enjoyed spinning this. I love BFL. I spun this on my Kromski Symphony at a 16:1, and did this as a traditional 3ply yarn.

Second, we have Primrose, fresh off the wheel:

Wildcraft Fibre club, March 2012. BFL and silk blend. This is the coordinating yarn to go with the above Euphorbia.

Although I don’t like silk blends as much as like a straight up wool, this was still a pleasure to spin. I just wish the silk didn’t get all over me. (That’s probably my fault for wearing black cotton clothes, but at least it is an easy fix.)

I rearranged the colour sequence of this braid. The braid went yellow then yellow/green then orange in the middle, before going yellow/green and yellow again. When I spun this, I started with yellow, then progressed to the yellow/green and then finally the orange. Unfortunately, I started spinning the orange from the dark end rather than the light end. To rectify this, I pulled the orange off the bobbin and wrapped it around a tennis ball, and continued until I got to the start of the light orange transition section.

Plying ball

When I started plying, I started with the singles on the tennis ball, then progressed to the singles on the bobbin. The final yarn transitions properly from the yellow/green into a light orange and then finishing with the darker orange as I had originally planned.

I’ll post a photo of the finished yarn next week once it is washed and dried.

I had the urge to spin something else this afternoon, so I pulled out some Devon Longwool, which I received for the May 2011 Wildcraft fibre club.


This was on the list of fibres to try during my ‘year of longwool’. I’m spinning this up as a 3ply and hoping for a sportweight. I’d love to make socks out of this if everything works out. Longwools aren’t exactly good yardage givers, so I’ll see what this produces when all is said and done. The braids are quite generous on the weight, so I’m hoping it’ll all work out. I have big feet and I like a sock with a 7 inch leg. Yardage is always a consideration.

Periwinkle Devon longwool

I really wanted to spin this up as I also have some Wensleydale I bought off the Wensleydale sheep shop a few years ago at my (then) local spinning guild’s gathering. I would love to make socks out of that fibre, but I thought the Devon longwool might be a bit more forgiving and thus a better first attempt.

And to think… I still have a several more fibre club parcels sitting in the stash.

Euphorbia, ready for plying.

This photo almost didn’t happen.


That’s all three bobbins of the Euphorbia (Wildcraft; May 2012 club fibre), which I just finished spinning. And when I mean just, I mean I swapped the last bobbin off my wheel at 9:30pm and took a quick photo whilst we still had adequate natural light (ah, Denmark in June).

The bottom bobbin in the photo is spun straight from the top, the middle one is split twice, and the top bobbin is split down into quarters. I love how you can actually see the difference between the bobbins. I’m planning to ply these up tomorrow and am anxious to see the results, which I’ll post next weekend.

This has been a lovely spin. I do love BFL, and I adore this colourway.

Euphorbia, part 2.

The weather outside has been delightful. I’ve taken a few evenings this week to sit outside with my wheel. Of course, this will be made much easier once we have actual outdoor furniture rather than pulling out the Poang. However, I’ll take what I can get. :)

I’m about three-quarters of the way through spinning my second bobbin. The first was spun straight from the top, whilst I split this portion of the top in half along the length of the fibre.


It is spinning up beautifully and I am really enjoying it whenever I actually get a chance to sit down at the wheel. However, if I want to get this and the coordinating braid spun before the Tour de Fleece, I think I’ll have to get a move on.

Speaking of the Tour de Fleece, we are once again hosting a wildcard team over on the Wildcraft Woollies group on Raverly under the name Team Fibre Puffin (which is a long running joke within our group. You are more than welcome to join in, even if you don’t know what a fibre puffin is. No worries.)

I love the Tour de Fleece, and usually set a goal of spinning for a cardigan or jumper. I had thought that I’d be using some batts I carded up in September from the Wildcraft fibre club in the colourway Evergreens. Except that I just went to Flickr to grab a photo of the batts only to realise that I’d already spun them.

I’ll have to have a wander through the fibre stash and come up with another plan, because apparently I’ve lost some brains cells along the way… How do you forget spinning a cardigan’s worth of fibre?

New fibre: Our cat

Although I’ve done a bit of spinnig this week, I don’t have much to show for it. Instead of boring you with the wee amount I have on my bobbin, I thought I’d show you some new fibre I received as a birthday present from my children (with help from the hubby… with help from me).

Merino Bamboo

This is 200g of Merino Bamboo in the colourway ‘Our Cat’ from Garn Galleriet (now on Etsy) who is a Danish dyer. I love the presentation of the fibre. Very distinctive. I am looking forward to spinning this up, though it hasn’t told me what it wants to be yet. For now, I’ve been petting it in hopes it’ll speak to me.

May club goodness

I was very excited to see my May 2012 Wildcraft club fibre arrive on the doorstep this week. The theme is ‘Euphorbia’ and it is dyed on 100% BFL. Love. Not only love, but serendipity.

Euphorbia braids

I’d been keeping have an eye out for 200g of some BFL that I could pair with my remaining 100g of Primrose fibre (March club; BFL/Silk blend) as I really want to spin to knit a Sothia shawl and this will work out perfectly. Here is a reminder of what the Primrose looked like (my remaining braid only has a touch of the orange):


My plan is to spin a 3ply sock weight yarn out of both yarns to knit the Sothia shawl. The Euphorbia may have jumped on the wheel within 24 hours of arrival. I may be excited about this.

The fibre is spinning up beautifully.

To prep this fibre, I divided it into three sections. Usually if I’m dealing with a single braid I simply fold into into three sections and tear the fibre at the folds. When dealing with multiple braids, I like to weigh my braids and then measure out by weight. I do this for a few reasons, but the biggest is that the two braids could vary in weight and this is the easy way of getting equal amounts of fibre for each ply. I also never assume that just because the tag say ‘100g’ that the fibre is 100g. It often depends on the dyer. Some dyers cut it very close, some are very generous. It is always best to weight it out.

I’ll be fractal spinning the Euphorbia fibre. For my first bobbin, I am spinning it straight from the top. For the second bobbin, I’ll be splitting the fibre in two lengths prior to spinning, and the third bobbin will have the fibre split into quarters. This should be an interesting experience is it is very rare for my to split my fibre at all, let alone strip it down into quarters.

Here is how it look about halfway through spinning up the first bobbin:

Euphorbia 1

I just finished off the first bobbin today. It looks just like the above photo, but with more singles. On to bobbin two… tomorrow.

True Blue, the final chapter

I delayed posting my spinning entry for the week until today as yesterday my yarn looked like this:

True Blue soaking

Not overly interesting, is it? However, it is indicative of finished handspun. :)

I ended up having to give it several baths in vinegar water as I was having some excessive dye run off. I don’t usually mind a bit of excess dye being released into my yarn bath (I bathe my yarn in hot water to help set the twist and ease out any residual dye, so for me a little bit of colour it perfectly normal), but I found the levels to be higher than normal. Given the colour and the fact that I’m planning on knitting this into neckwear, I wanted to make sure all the excess dye was gone before I spent my time knitting lace.

If you do find yourself with yarn that is bleeding colour, the easiest course of action is usually to use vinegar or disolved citric acid. Either will usually set the colour of dyes used on wool fibres. I simply continue with vinegar baths (about a cup of vinegar into water which will cover the fibre/yarn) until the water is coming out clean. Very simple, though if you are using hot water, remember to keep the water temperatures consistent to avoid shocking (and fulling) your yarn/fibre.

Today my yarn looks like this:

True blue finished

See? Wasn’t that worth the wait?

I’m quite pleased with the yarn. The colour is still vibrant, the yarn itself is soft, and it has great drape. I ended up with a heavy laceweight of approximately 487 metres measured before setting, so this is technically not the final yardage count. However, it is more than enough to do an Annis shawl. In fact, I still have leftovers from both bobbins in case I run short. After filling an entire bobbin to beyond capacity, I felt I had enough yardage and didn’t bother plying the remainder. I’ll likely keep the singles aside and use them in other yarns.

I’m really looking forward to knitting this shawl. I may even cast it on after I finish my cardi.

True Blue in progress

It’s been a busy week, but I’m happy to have been able to fit in several spinning sessions.

I’ve never taken a photo of myself whilst spinning, but since I’m working on a photo project this week, I took the opportunity to do so. If you are wondering how I did it, I used a remote for my camera which I put on my treadle so that I could snap the photo with my toe whilst treadling without interrupting my actual spinning. :)


I’m about three quarters of the way through the second bobbin and plan to finish and ply the yarn this coming week.

True Blue Batts

The fibre is from Spinning a Yarn, in the True Blue colourway. The batts are made up of Merino, Shetland and sparkle.