Category Archives: wool

Making my favourite yarn

For the last while I’ve been obsessed knitting lace shawls, tidying up my studio and finishing up spinning projects with really slippery fibres. With more space opened up in the studio from tidying up, I was inspired to get out the tools/machines and get some wool carded to make my favourite yarn. Wool, plain and simple.

What I have below is my carding board. It’s a great thing that allows me to quickly tease up the washed fibre and open up the locks. I got out some of white and some grey Romney from Acacia Farms.

I teased up some of the white wool and an equal amount of grey. The grey is quite dark so I like the effect of blending the grey with white, spinning a singles from that, and plying it with a singles of the unblended grey.

Here’s what this yarn will look like: each skein below is a double ply yarn. One singles is the blended grey, and the second singles is either dark grey (the one on the left) or white (the one on the right).

Here are some drum carded nests of blended fibre. Many more followed, nearly a full pound! Will hopefully get around to spinning this up over the weekend, and then dyeing the yarn. Will keep you posted.

March Fibre club: Wellspring colourway in English Shetland

Here’s a photo of the March Fibre club yarn, nearly complete. It’s English Shetland wool that is a delight to spin, especially after spinning the slippery silky/merino/nylon Candygram last week. I am spinning this yarn to be a worsted weight and it spun up fast. All of it has been spun it all on my Houndesign Henry’s Dervish spindle.

I just have two more sets of singles to ply and then I’ll finish them off by boiling and bashing them around. That way they’ll get slightly felted and it also may even out the colours a bit.  The dark colours may lose a bit of dye and the lighter ones may pick it up. At least that’s what I hope will happen.

Two days later:

I finished up the yarn. And then I put all the skeins well tied up with figure eights, into a pasta pot with hot water and a bit of shampoo. I brought it to a boil and then held it at a simmer for 15 minutes. In that time the twist relaxed, the yarn evened out and the colours became a bit more even. The dark sections lost some of their dye and the lighter sections picked it up. I like this yarn a lot better now.

Not sure what it will be. There’s 100+grams of it. Enough to make a set of half-mitts and a hat. Or it could just go into my yarn collection.  I seem to be much more prolific making yarn than I am knitting these days.

Mitts #4 and #5 for Jacqueline

I am in the process of finishing up my knitting agreement with Jacqueline.  In exchange for 10 lbs of washed fibre (5lbs of dark grey, 5lbs of white) I agreed to make her six pairs of half-mitts.  Two for men, four for women.
I’ve got five pairs made, here’s #4 and #5 where I got out the dyes and had some fun with colour. The orange skein used to be all white.  The blue/green skein was 75% white and 25% grey.  I love the way the grey tones down the colour, while the white shows the true hue.  Combined in one yarn it adds depth.

Both skeins just off the drying rack. And below, wound into balls in preparation for knitting.  My commute to the city for work gives me a great chance to clock some good knitting hours.

Here’s pair #4 complete except for weaving in the ends, and the beginning of pair #5.  This is my second attempt at pair #5.  I had 3/4 of a mitt knit up in a lace pattern and finally admitted it was too large.  So it ripped it out and started all over again.  Put me a bit behind schedule, but the second attempt is much nicer.

I finished the orange pair last night.  And here they both are: #4 and #5 complete with the ends woven in.  I apologize about the quality of the photos, I can’t find my camera in my disaster of a studio, so I’ve been relying on the camera in my bberry.

I have one more pair to make.  The yarn that I made for it last week is not quite right, so it’s back to the spinning wheel.  That’s fine.  It’s a rainy day, my baking is done and all’s well with the world.  My world anyway.

Happy spinning.