It was badly matted, with lots of variation of colour. I tried drum carding which would have saved a lot of time but lots of work with hand carders was the only way to separate the fibres nicely. This meant that each lot on the carders became well-blended colourwise, but I tried to stick to one colour on each charge of the carders so that there's a good colour variation within the singles.
- Sheep and fleece
- Spinning with a drop spindle or just your fingers
- Spinning wheels
- Carding and combing fleece
- Spinning techniques
- Getting the handspun yarn ready for hand knitting
- Fancy handspun yarns
- Natural Dyeing
- It's my first go at colourwork (Intarsia in the round = lots of ends to weave in) that's worked out very well, the second one is neater than the first!
- The detail is embrodered on, not something I'm familiar with or very keen to do more of
- The chart only gives you the leg - after that you're using your favourite sock pattern. I love the squares and chose to carry them on over the top of the foot and that looks good
- The leg chart isn't symmetrical, so I read it right-left for one sock and left-right for the other to make them a pair
- One ball of Zitron Trekking XXL 4-ply Sock yarn (shade 451) was perfect in colour and more than enough. The white was some almost-white wool/nylon sock yarn from my local shop, but they don't use much white so anything from stash will do
- Many many thanks to Tara Wheeler for the pattern which is free and is here - and the Ravelry page for the pattern is here
I read this blog post from Amy of Spin-Off magazine which made me think about the Luddites and their motivation. Wool and cotton mills and spinning and weaving machinery were broken and burned.
The recent distubances in London have similarities to the actions of the 19th century textile workers, but also some important contrasts.
'Luddite' is a term used about someone who has a fear of new technology. I think that's a bit unfair; the Luddites weren't simply afraid of technology and progress.
Unlike the young people in our cities recently, Ned Ludd and his followers were clear about their purpose. They valued their skills and employment and were fighting for their jobs and way of life. They believed in a skill-based economy and were resisting a move to automation and unskilled jobs.
Some were executed or transported for their actions.
Although it's not proved possible to halt automation and technology, we can't shake off connections with the past. It's clear that we still feel the need to develop and use manual skills to create beautiful and useful things.
- Spinning with unwashed greasy fleece
- Spinning longdraw from a teased mass of fibre without using carder or pet comb
- Spinning the yarn and seeing a garment knitted in one day
Size is spot on, Hoping the enthusiasm remains through its partner....
A newsletter reader asked for some pictures of the wide carder in use.
Next up was some of the Shetland I scored recently.
Do your knitting habits change with the seasons? Craftsy magazine held a survey on Facebook and found the top answer to be 'the weather doesn't affect my knitting'. The next highest answer was that projects become smaller; hats and socks.
In response to this, Stefanie Japel has put together her top five free summer patterns.
I guess that like me, you are not often moved by many of the patterns in a top five, but these ones really grabbed me, I've bookmarked three of them.
The Summer flies shawl (I assume meaning that Summer goes quickly, not a reference to the insects) looks lovely and is said to be quick and easy to knit. The Ornamental Socks have a fascinating heel! And the Suntrap Scarf just looks beautiful and summery.
The scarf is similar to one of my own WIPs and reminds me that I should get on with it!
Most Ashford products often come in 'natural finish' which is a nice way to say that the wood needs finishing somehow, stain, oil, wax, varnish, the choice is yours. Some things come lacquered or have a lacquered option.
If you're a knitter or just curious about spinning, then this free eBook is for you!
It contains excerpts from well-established books from Lee Raven, Maggie Casey, Amy Clarke Moore and others. You can learn how to make a spindle for yourself and spin & ply your first yarn!
The free download requires you to give your email address to SpinningDaily, but their regular emails are often interesting and worthwhile.
1. Warping takes time and is intricate work, and when you want to weave a different pattern it generally means threading up differently. But with a little application and a good audiobook, it's relaxing and enjoyable.
2. Care taken when threading can save lots of time re-threading.
3. Once warped, the weaving process is very quick and rewarding
4. Weaving with singles is perfectly good and the work doesn't bias as knitting can.
5. There are many permutations of similar or different warp and weft (colour and thickness) giving a wide variety of fabrics.
6. Repairing broken warp threads is possible but it's a bit of a pain and far better to take care and not break them in the first place.
There's still time to enter this year's Spring competition, a good prize on offer and not a huge number of entries so far. So why not give it a go?
It's a freestyle event - do whatever you like, dye the fibre, mix bought dyed or natural fibre, use animal, vegetable or synthetic, straight or funky, whatever you like. To enter, join the group on Flickr and add your photos. If you have trouble with that, simply email them to me. you've got until mid-May.
Above is a mostly-warp 3/1, moving back and forth to create a chevron
And here are some more variations - swiss twill, alternating (really not quite sure what went wrong there!) and a zig-zag
This is my own (non-qualifying) go at the handspinner spring competition. The brief is to make yarn inspired by the cherry blossom photo provided. There's a good prize on offer, so please have a go. More information is in the March newsletter.
I think this is my fattest yarn since my very first go at spinning, which was not intentionally fat.
I could picture those colours in a squishy arty scarf, made on large needles - cool in spring and warm in winter.
The result is looking a little under-plied. I didn't want a very spirally plied effect, so was afraid to go too far. It's not set yet, I'm hoping it'll fluff up a little more after a wash.