Articles in the Spindling category
I decided to pull out a long term spinning WIP in hopes of it actually becoming yarn before the turn of the next century. This is a 50/50 BFL and silk blend from Wildcraft in the colourway Autumn leaves.
I mentioned that this is a long term spinning WIP, and I meant it. I started this before I got my Victoria in 2010. I have to admit I spindled less once I got that wheel. I bought it for guild meetings, but that was also where most of my spindle spinning happened. In fact, here is a photo from December 2009.
Recognise that fibre. Yep. That was when I started spinning this. Pretty shocking, really.
I’ve got half the fibre spun already, and am working on the next 25g. It goes pretty quickly when you actually work on it, but I think I need to work on discipling myself to actually sit down (or stand up) and spindle for 15 or 20 minutes a day.
The spindle I’m using is a Wildcraft lightweight walnut spindle that was a gift from my husband for our fifth anniversary. It is a mere 18g, with a long shaft (now standard on her spindles), and is a fabulous spinner. I’m very fast at drafting and even I sometimes have a hard time keeping up with this beauty.
I’m also using a matching wrist distaff which was a birthday gift from Karen and Sophie. I actually special ordered it from Karen as I wanted two distaffs — one walnut, one cherry — to match my two wood spindles, and specified the approximate shape, texture, length, and the fact that I wanted a clasp at the top that would turn. The two of them then went behind my back and gave them to me as a birthday gift! Such sweet friends. :)
I really like the swivel clasp/hook feature as I don’t have to keep unwinding the fibre. The only downside to this is that it is hard to keep small amounts of fibre on the distaff… but that’s what I use my watchband for.
And yes, that’s another photo of the Autumn Leaves fibre in progress, this time from June 2010.
I am determined to finish this. Preferably soon. I’m really looking forward to seeing the final yarn and yardage amounts so I can pick out a shawl pattern. I love this fibre and colourway, and I think it is high time it got the attention it deserves.
Poke me with a pointy stick if I’m not making progress on this. It is embarrassing enough that it is going into its third year. I’d love to have it done by my birthday in May. We’ll see how long it takes. I’ve almost finished the first of four strips of fibre that will comprise this third cop. In fact, I think I’ll finish this strip now and avoid the birthday rush.
I finally finished it this week!
I always forget how lovely spindle spun yarn is. I find it has a wonderful bounce and hand to it that I don’t always get with a wheel. It is yarn that says, ‘I am yarn that was spun with love, time and effort’. This yarn is no exception. It is delightfully soft and springy.
Now, the discerning readers amongst you might notice that I said I was finished, and yet there still appears to be a braid of fibre sitting there unspun. And my friend, you would be correct. I usually spin up all 200g (or 600g or 1kg, or whatever quantity it is that I have) up at the same time. I spin all the singles, then do all the plying, and then wash it all at the same time. I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive like that. However, last week, in a sleep induced idea came into my head at 3am whilst I was feeding the baby, I decidedI was going to make coordinating yarns out of the same colourway.
This skein produced 263 metres of a lovely sport weight 3ply yarn which I’ll likely use for either a hat or cowl. Likely a cowl. As is obviously apparent, I have yet to pin down a pattern. The second (coordinating) skein is going to become mittens.
I’ll divulge more of the plans with you next week once I have some photos to share. :)
With a move abroad, I’ve decided to revive the blog. I’ll be talking about all aspects of craft and creativity that are happening at Chez Sheepspace.
Let’s start with what I’ve been spinning.
Here is my September 2011 Wildcraft fibre and spindle (the latter being a gift from Karen for help with this year’s Tour de Fleece).
I love the colours. I love the spindle. As soon as I received it it got packed away as we were moving. Once our stuff caught up with us, I decided to start spinning it as I figured that spindling was the only activity I could do in a dark room. The spindling got much easier once the lights were installed in the lounge.
The first third on the Studland Beach spindle against the second braid:
I’ve since started on my second spindle’s worth, this time on my Forget-me-not and Pink Lace spindle, also Wildcraft. How I do love her spindles, especially now that the extra long shaft comes as standard.
I thought that today would be a good day to talk about what was on my spindles as I’m going to Spinners Gathering on Saturday and it all might change by the time I get back. :)
The batt is a blend of merino, angora and sparkle totalling 59 grams. I’m spinning it thick and thin and allowing in nepps for a yarn with a little bit more character. This will hopefully be a hat for my little girl come winter. (And thanks to Rosii for the batt in the first place!)
On my Hedgerows resin spindle (31g from Wildcraft as a part of my May fibre club shipment — thank you Karen !) I have some Wildcraft English Wool blend in the Spring colourway. The is the second bobbin of three, so I’m hoping that I might even finish this off at the Gathering on Saturday.
And this is the best view:
I love resin spindles. I’m hoping to buy a chilli pepper one as some point in the nearish future. :)
And here’s the first third of the braid spun up.
I’m not 100% certain this colourway is going to end up in the blanket. I think this will definitely be one of those yarns I’ll have to see with the rest of the yarns to see if it fits.
I have a secret to tell. I’ve never plied on a spindle. I wind my singles off my spindle and ply them on a wheel, so I thought I’d share part of that process.
First, we need a few supplies:
You’ll need a pair of scissors, some tape, a toilet roll liner, a ball/wool winder and your full spindle.
Take the liner and cut it open lengthwise:
Set up your ball winder and tape the liner so that it fits on the wool winder. You’ll need to tape it on fairly snuggly so that it doesn’t fly off whilst winding but not so tight that you can’t get if off once you are done. Put two little notches at the top of the liner that are opposite each other to enable you to hold and secure the tail of your single:
Thread your single through your wool guide and secure it to the liner and start winding your centre pull ball:
To hold my spindle I usually hold the end of the shaft with my hand and place the top of the spindle onto a non-abusive surface. I like the top of my ball winder box:
Once I’ve wound off a significant amount of singles I can usually just hand hold the spindle without any support.
Once my singles are wound I tend to label my liners so I know which order I need to ply them. This is useful when navajo plying or when working a larger project so singles can be plied together in a certain order.
See those three bobbins? That’s the all of the Rice Pudding colourway I blogged about a couple of days ago. They are currently in the plying queue and I’m hoping to have some finished yarn to show next week once it’s been plied and set.
Thanks to a few enabling friends of mine, I decided to try spindling. Here’s my first attempt on a spindle I borrowed from a friend:
It’s hand blended merino, approximately 62 WPI as a single. I haven’t plied any of it yet, though, as I’m waiting to spin up a bit more of the singles so I can make a nice lacy scarf or shawl. This particular project is something I can see me doing in spurts so I just do a little bit any time the spindle is free.
This is my new spindle:
It’s a Wildcraft lightweight Cherry wood spindle, approximately 30g. It’s really lovely and I’ve quite enjoyed spinning on it, especially in public.
This was the first fibre on that spindle:
The fibre is an English Wool Blend dyed by Wildcraft in the Rice Pudding colourway. I’m spinning it up so that it comes out as (hopefully) a 3-ply worsted weight yarn. I’m not splitting the braid at all as to keep the colour repeats as long as possible and I’ll navajo ply the singles when the time comes. I have this insane idea to spindle spin a Lizard Ridge blanket for our bed. I’ll keep you post as to the results. In fact, you’ll probably hear about this project for years and years to come. ;)