Archive for the 'spinning' Category

Handspun textured scarf

sticksandstring2

I’ve enjoyed spinning a few textured batts recently, and have been looking for a pattern to use with small amounts of textured handspun. I found a nice simple stitch pattern and came up with this scarf

handspun textured scarf 3

Unfortunately I only had about 50g of yarn, so the resulting scarf is a bit short – just long enough to tie around my neck ( I really needed 75 – 100g), but I’m pleased with the effect, and will be using the stitch pattern again

Here’s the pattern:

I used approximately DK weight yarn (approx 11 wpi), and started with a foundation Ch of 19 Ch using a 5.5mm hook to make a scarf approx 5 inches wide. The stitch pattern is a multiple of 2 + 1

Using UK terminology**

Row 1:  miss 2 Ch, insert hook into next Ch, *2 Half trebles together inserting hook into next 2 Ch, Ch1, repeat from * to end working one half treble into last Ch

Row 2: Ch2, miss 1 st, *2 half trebles together inserting hook into Ch1 space, and then into next stitch, Ch1, repeat from * to end working one half treble into top of turning Ch

Repeat row 2 until scarf is desired length or you run out of yarn, fasten off

**For those using US terminology use half double crochet instead of half treble.

Frog or Finish

jacob skein

October has been my finishing month. I finished spinning the Jacob yarn (see above), and decided to make a Lacy Baktus scarf -really pleased with it, and have already worn it quite a lot, although the yarn is slightly itchy.
handspun lacy baktus

There have been quite a few unfinished projects languishing in my yarn basket over the past few months. A couple of weeks ago I decided to have a clear out – mainly to make room for new fibre I bought at the IKnit day in September and the Knitting and Stitching show earlier this month (see below).

Iknit day and Knitting & stitching day fibre

I decided to be fairly ruthless, and commit to finish a few before starting another project, or get rid of any project that I don’t really like anymore. I ended up frogging a couple of things – the flared lace smoke ring, which according to my Ravelry page I started in December 2007 ( I decided I would never wear it) and the Green Liesl cardigan (really don’t like the colour at all – the yarn had gone to a charity shop). I also decided to frog the crochet alpaca lace scarf as the yarn didn’t really fit the pattern. I am now using the yarn to make the Luna Lace scarf from the Shear Spirit book. The pattern doesn’t look like much on the needles, but I’m sure it will look really nice after blocking.

alpaca lace scarf

I’ve managed to finish a pair of socks I started last December,
blue admiral

and my bog jacket – pictured here before blocking.

bog jacket

I decided to add garter stitch front  bands and a belt instead of the applied I-cord. I quite like it, but wish I had used larger needles for a lighter, less dense fabric.

September Spinning

trio of spindles
I can’t believe summer is already over . We’ve had some lovely trips in our campervan in England and France over the summer. I took knitting and spinning projects with me, but didn’t really spend much time on them. I have however acquired quite a few new spindles over the past few months (see above).

As is always the way, as soon as autumn draws in, I have the urge to knit and crochet more. My one finished project since my last post is my feather and fan comfort shawl
featherandfanblocked
The yarn is a 2 ply yarn spindle spun from some Corridale top my sister bought me last Christmas. I’m really pleased with the colour transition.

During one of our summer camping trips I managed to pick up a bag of washed Jacob fleece. It’s the first time I’ve ever bought unprocessed fibre and it’s been sitting in my fibre basket for the last few months waiting for me to get around to buying some carders.

I decided to go for mini carders from Forest Fibres (great service by the way). At first I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but after consulting some of my spinning books along with some very helpful videos on youtube, I managed to produce some fairly decent rolags. Here’s one from my second batch.
jacob rolag

I actually find carding quite satisfying, and I really enjoy spinning from rolags.

I’ve got a couple of ideas for new crochet designs. These will be for handspun yarn – I need to spin the yarn first before working on the patterns, so they might not be ready for some time!

Wheel Spinning

 my wheel

I am now the proud owner of my very own spinning wheel! I’ve been thinking about buying one for a few years, but had been reluctant to go ahead for a couple of reasons. I wasn’t sure I would use it enough to justify the cost, or the space it would take up - we don’t have a particulaly small house, but my husband does sometimes comment on how much space my knitting and crocheting stuff takes up ( to be fair to him though, this is probably more down to my untidiness than anything else!)

We don’t live near a spinning wheel outlet, but I had planned to visit P&M woolcraft on the way to visit my parents at Easter to try a few wheels. Unfortunately, I couldn’t wait that long, so I went ahead and  bought the wheel I always thought I would buy – an Ashford Joy double treadle, mainly because I liked the way the wheel looks, and also the compact size.

 I know these are not the best reasons to choose a wheel, but I am alsolutely delighted with it. I find it easy and comfortable to use. It doesn’t get in the way when not in use (it fits neatly under my computer desk when folded), but when I want to use it, it only takes a couple of minutes to get it out and set it up to start spinning.

When I bought my wheel (from Wingham Wool Work – great service), it came with a £25 fibre voucher, which I used to buy a variety of fibre to practise on.

I’m really enjoying wheel spinning. I’ve already completed my first wheel spun project – a storm cloud shawlette using a two ply camel /silk blend spun from fibre bought with my voucher.

The camel/silk was  easy to spin once I got the hang of it. The finshed yarn was lovely and soft, and although not very consistent, about 14 wpi.

handspun camelsilk

Here is the finished shawl – a nice, quick and easy pattern. I would definitely make it again.

camel silk shawlette

I’ve also spun up the rest of the green hand dyed fibre I used for my crocheted cowl. I’ve got about 400 yards about 16 – 18 wpi. I’m using this to make an Ishbel shawl.

Ishbel - progress

February update – knitting and spinning

February is here, and I’ve realised that I haven’t updated my blog for over a month – this is my first post of 2009.

I’ve been busy practising my spinning. Here’s one of my current spinning projects.

 alpaca silk on IST spindle

It’s an alpaca silk blend from World of Wool on a 2 inch olivewood whorl spindle from IST crafts. The fibre is beautifully soft and the spindle is lovely.It spins really well and the whorl has a lovely olive oil smell.

I finished my first handspun handknitted socks last week.

handspun sock2

These were my first toe up socks. I used the universal toe up pattern from Knitty.com. I really enjoyed knitting them, once I got the hang of the short rows.

I’ve also started two new non handspun knitting projects. The first is the Bog Jacket from Knitting Around. It’s basically endless garter stitch, but has an interesting construction. A nice mindless pattern so far. I’m using Texere Troon Tweed yarn reclaimed from another project.

bog jacket progress

I’ve also started a Japanese Feather and Fan Shawl with the Knitwitches Heavy Laceweight Cashmere I bought from last years Knitting and Stitching Show.
cashmere shawl progress

This pattern requires a bit more attention, but I think it will be beautiful when it’s finished.

More Spindle Spinning

I have spent a lot of my free time spinning over the past couple of weeks. I dyed some more roving, and after spinning up a small amount, I decided that I wanted a slightly thicker yarn. Rather than wasting what I had already spun, I decided to make another crocheted cowl.

Here is the dyed roving

hand dyed roving

 

And here is the finished cowl
green handspun cowl finished

 

I got some lovely hand dyed fibre and a new Bosworth mini spindle for christmas. The spindle is lovely and spins really well. It’s made of Bocote wood. Here it is in use

ply on the fly

I’m trying the Ply on the Fly technique, which I really like. It’s nice to know that the yarn will be almost ready to work with when it comes off the spindle.

Spindle Spinning

handspun shawl sample 2

I recently had the sudden urge to try to learn to spin again. I bought a spindle and some fibre (about 200g of Bluefaced Leicester) a few years ago, but I couldn’t quite get the hand of it, so they have been languishing in my yarn storage box.

This time though, something seems to have clicked. I’m hoping to be able to spin yarn to make shawls, scarves socks in sock weight and heavy lace weight. My first attempt was too thick – when plied it came out approx DK weight. I’ve been practising for about one hour every evening over the past week, and last night I finally managed to create a 3 ply sock weight yarn.

This is a sample showing my most recent attempts.
handspun sock sample
The first (bottom) yarn is two ply, and came out too fine for socks (it also wasn’t well balanced hence the visible twist). The second (top) yarn was navajo plied. It’s actually for the same roving (some of the Bluefaced Leicester that I hadnpainted with the help of my daughters), but the colours look quite different due to the plying techniques.

I’ve also been experimenting crocheting with singles. The  photo at the start of this post shows a sample crocheted with a (rather uneven) single which was slightly underspun and then dryed with a weight after washing)

I’m really enjoying experimenting with my spindle spun, but I’ve got  a couple of christmas presents to finish  so I’ll have to resist spending too much time with my spindle until they are done!



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