Posts Tagged: yarn

handspun funtimes: an open letter


Dear everyone,

I made some yarn. It’s a very dignified sort of deep magenta, which less discriminating types might call pink. I like it an awful lot.

I’m not tremendously sophisticated when it comes to my spinning, so I spun this pretty much the way I’ve been spinning all of my yarn lately: short draw for singles, chain plied, washed & thwacked. Someday I will branch out and learn an exciting new spinning skill, but not today.

The fiber is from v i o l a, it’s her BFL top in raspberry. I absolutely adore the way she dyed this, with just enough variegation to be interesting. It’s fingering weight, and I am tremendously proud of myself for that, because, a) I was patient enough to spin a whole four ounces of fiber into teeny tiny singles without getting frustrated, and b) now I have 291m of fingering weight yarn.


c) I’m 99% sure that’s enough for a pair of socks, if you are me and have small feet!

d) Handspun socks! That’s not quite something to cross off my to-do list, but it’s awfully close.

In conclusion, I am very, very excited to finish my big blue blanket so that I have an excuse to get this yarn onto my needles.


spinning and a link

Not a lot of knitting to report lately, but I’ve been spinning an awful lot.



This is SweetGeorgia Yarns’ superwash merino, in a colourway called Honey Fig. It’s really interesting spinning it up – it’s a series of lovely, deep red-purples punctuated by long runs of bright yellow, and I’m still trying to decide exactly how that’s going to translate into a yarn that I’ll use. In the meantime, though, it’s a lot of fun to look at. I’m finding myself waiting for the yellow parts as I spin, just because I love the way the yellow parts look next to the purple on the bobbin.


In other news, I’m a little obsessed with this blog called How To Be A Retronaut. They have a lot of really interesting posts featuring photos from familiar places in the past, which is one of my favourite things. In particular, I love thinking about the differences in perspective – how new and current Kodachrome photos must have seemed in the early part of the 20th century, and how quaint and vintage they are now.

Anyway, this post featuring photos from Ireland in the 1920s caught my eye, and I wanted to share it with all of you. There are knitters, and I find that charming as well.


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.


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.


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.


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!