Archive for the 'fibre' Category

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
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 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.