Tag Archives: handspun

spinning!

So, a while ago, I was talking to my friend A, who is a brilliant artistic person who does lovely handmade ceramics. She also knits, and I mentioned in a sort of casual, offhand way that if she ever wanted to make me a mug, I’d totally trade her for some handspun.

She delivered on the mug a couple of months ago, and it is 100% my new favourite thing. So, for the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to get down to the business of making some really, really good handspun for her.

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This is one of my few finished yarns for which I actually have photos of the unspun fiber – I used Tanis Fiber Arts’ in Ultraviolet. It’s from her Etsy shop, as (I believe) she no longer carries spinning fiber in her regular colourways.

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Is it not the prettiest? My favourite part is, obviously, that it’s blue.

With this fiber, I basically just sat down and spun, from one end to the other. This fiber was incredibly smooth, and didn’t require much predrafting at all. I’ve never worked with superwash merino, and I’m wondering if that’s it? It just didn’t seem as “sticky” as regular wool usually does.

I was going for a finished product somewhere in the worsted weight family, so I tried to do singles that were on the fatter side.

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I chain-plied the singles, then gave them a bath in hot water to set the twist.

Overall, I feel pretty good about this yarn. It turned out fairly close to worsted-weight, once it’d been washed – I’d feel comfortable knitting it on 4mm needles or so, which is pretty close to what I wanted.

I also love the colours, quite a lot. They all work really nicely together, and because I spun from end to end, there are some nice long repeats of different shades of blue and violet. I sort of wish I could keep this for myself!

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handspun

The tree in my apartment is decorated.

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The cat is finally satisfied that I’ve paid enough attention to her.

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And my yarn is spun.

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The fiber is from into the whirled, in the “bird girl” colourway. (Someday, I will remember to take a photo of my unspun fiber before I turn it into yarn, but today is not that day, unfortunately.) It’s 4oz of polwarth, which is my absolute favourite kind of sheep, spun into 212ish meters of worstedish weight yarn.

(I was going for bulky weight, since I planned to knit it into the Capucine hat, but it’s harder than I thought it would be to consistently spin heavy-weight yarn. Most of it is close to a heavy worsted weight, some of it is a bit on the thin side and closer to heavy fingering weight.)

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It is a good weekend for some knitting, I think.

a spot of fiber

In reality, this week has been crazy, crazy busy. I’ve been running from one errand to another, and seeing a lot of friends that I haven’t had a chance to catch up with in a while. But because I’ve been busy doing fun things, instead of work things, it feels like it’s been a glorious stretch of free time.

I got part of my spinning plied and off the wheel.

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This skein is 270-ish yards of fingering weight BFL, spun from violaviola fiber in Desert Horizon. It’s actually only about half the fiber I have – I’ve only got one bobbin for my wheel, so I spun as much as would fit comfortably on one bobbin, and then plied it so that I could spin more singles. I plied using a new-to-me technique this time, winding the singles into a center-pull ball and then plying each end together. I definitely had a few moments of crankiness over tangled singles, but after a while I figured out a way to hold the ball so that it plied smoothly, and I ended up really enjoying plying that way.

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