Archive for the 'Spinning' Category

Dec 18 2010

Little Lamsied Ivy

Published by under Knitting,Spinning

Let’s see — I’ve been wearing this for two winters now, so it’s embarrassingly behind the times to post it. That said, it’s the first garment I’ve knitted purely of my own handspun, so it really needs to make an appearance. First, we’ll begin with the fiber. This is Corriedale dyed in osage orange and indigo and prepared by Stefania Isaacson of Handspun by Stefania. Although she doesn’t name her colors, I couldn’t help myself and labelled the photos of this fiber “Summerlawn.” One look at the fiber against my grass and you’ll understand why!

just a little bit of the prepared fiber

First, I enjoyed the wool all by itself. Then, there were spun singles and fiber….

Then a 3-ply, spun singles, and fiber…

Spun singles, 3-ply, and fiber

Then the 3-ply on the niddy-noddy, 3-ply on the bobbin, spun singles, and fiber…

Fiber at all stages of preparation before knitting.

And let’s not forget the final product: the scarf itself! Sadly the color isn’t quite true in this picture, but the lace pattern (Ivy Leaf from Barbara Walker) shows up quite well.

Ivy Scarf from handspun Corriedale

Oh, and the gloves I made to go with it! (My own design, made of Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca…I didn’t have enough of the Summerlawn to manage a pair of gloves as well!)

Gloves to go with the scarf

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Apr 01 2010


Published by under Fiber,Spinning

Spinning outside!

April 1, 2010: High of 80+ degrees Fahrenheit.

The gooseberry bush is nearly in full leaf, the daffodils are blooming, and the forsythias burst into bloom today.

After work, I spun purple corriedale and silk on the front porch and posted to the blog.

This is April 1 in Chicago. Given the weather and the events of the day, I fear the sky may be falling.

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Sep 09 2009

Passing On…

Published by under Life,Spinning

I’m pretty pleased with this stuff! It’s a 2-ply merino in a medium blue with some purple and pale gold heathered throughout. I picked it up at The Fold some time ago, while Toni (the proprietor & wise woman of fiber) was hosting a fiber-related estate sale for an area spinner who had died.

I should note, too, that my loom here at home was also passed on to me from someone who was in the process of passing on — hi Phyllis, wherever you are! — and I can’t think of a better way for one’s materials to be given another life than to be given/sold to another artist/crafter. In fact, my niddy-noddy also came from the estate sale at the Fold…and was part of spinning this yarn.

Wet-set on the left, freshly plied on the right!

Wet-set on the left, freshly plied on the right!

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May 04 2009

Spin to Weave

Published by under Spinning,Weaving

So, I keep beginning posts and then setting them aside because I’ve not quite finished the project…or have something else I want to write about…or (best of all!) Have Finished Something Else. In very good news for me, this post is delaying two others for the latter reason. Hot damn and holy hallelujah!

This is my first weaving completely woven from handspun yarn. I’ve used handspun (both my own and lunarawe‘s) as weft before, but not as warp. I figured it would likely work out well, but I was just waiting for the right moment.

Many months ago, lunarawe was at my house for a while and dying to spin something. I handed her some green merino and some very soft shell pink merino that I’d picked up from Toni at The Fold. (You do know about The Fold, right? Please say you do…if not, go visit! It’s a wonderful shop in Marengo, IL, with sheep on the premises and a very helpful Toni at the counter.) For some reason, I’d found myself wanting to use these two colors together; so I asked the spinning addict if she’d make me a 2-ply, with one strand of green and one of pink. After the inevitable allergic reaction to the pink, this is what she’d spun:

226 yards of handspun merino by lunarawe

226 yards of handspun merino by lunarawe

So, then it sat in my stash. Waiting. And sitting. And waiting. Until I got bit by a radioactive spider…or stabbed by a crack-laced spindle, and started to spin like a madman fairly regularly. The remainder of the pink and the green reappeared, and I spun them into single-color 2-ply yarns. Oh, did I spin them…and here’s the photo montage, starting with my green handspun merino. (As the Yarn Harlot says, click to embiggen!)

And the pink handspun merino:

And here are pictures of the yarns together:

And now for the weaving…

The wrap before wet finishing:

And after wet finishing:

I was hoping to end up with a tweedy sort of fabric, and got just what I wanted — the weft helps bring out the contrasting flecks of color from the pink/green 2-ply. I love it when experiments turn out well!

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May 01 2009

Like a crazed spider…

Published by under Spinning

I’ve been spinning like mad lately — handspun for weaving, for knitting, for the sheer pleasure of wheel and spindle.

bits and bobs
bits and bobbins

I am beginning to think that the crazier the world gets, the more appealing spinning yarn is to me. I don’t suppose there’s any way to spin straw into gold, is there?

How about Corriedale into yarn instead? I’m aiming eventually for a 3-ply knittable yarn. Below is Corriedale dyed with indigo and osage orange from Handspun By Stefania. It just so happens that Stefania is the mother of my best friend from junior high and high school, who I saw at last summer’s Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair. Stefania’s dyeing is wonderful, and I’m spinning up nearly a half pound of this stuff.

one-third down, two to go
one-third down, two to go

This is also hers:

two cakes of singles, one small ball of 2-ply
two cakes of singles, one small ball of 2-ply

Corriedale dyed with two concentrations of cochineal. Looks like raspberry twist in the singles…and I think it’s much nicer as singles than as a 2-ply. That starts to look like a cabled yarn, and not in a good way. I’m thinking to try it as a singles weft, although it might make for an interesting 2-ply warp. The cabling would disappear and it would become a tweedy sort of fabric with the right weft. Hm.

Oh, and here’s more Corriedale (with silk added!) waiting to be spun. This is dyed with logwood and cochineal:

the roving is actually a little darker than this
the roving is actually darker and more purple

And let’s not forget the first two wools of hers that I spun up: some Coopworth in indigo and more in osage orange. The shine of the Coopworth is glorious, although I find it feels a bit like spinning wire. And if there’s just a tiny bit of osage orange pigment left in the wool, well, my fingers turn fuschia! Yes, the hottest of hot pink. Very silly…and not what I would have expected, but the yarn is washed and my fingers are clean. Wish I’d have taken pictures of that.

mood indigo
mood indigo
oooh, shiny!
oooh, shiny!

Huh. I guess you can spin wool into gold after all. And into a lovely color-graded yarn (roving from The Fold) with a bit of gold in it, too.

color-graded polworth roving all spun up
color-graded polworth roving all spun up

There will be more spinning in the next few posts; I’m beginning to think that I might need to take a break and go play in the garden or read a book or something.

Crazed spider, I’m telling you.

this one’s been stalking me in my bathroom for a week!

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