My dear daughter and I are back from another wonderful weekend at Green Camel in Tyler, MN. Both of use enjoyed it immensely! We didn’t want to leave early Sunday, but we had 2 skits to be in in our church’s variety show that afternoon.
She was a needle felting maniac! Two dragons and a bulbasaur are now added to the needle felted herd of creatures at our house. She also sold several small felted animals (mostly green camels for the event) in her first ever solo shop.
This method involves plying from a center pull ball (because I hate yarn waste).
How to spin a gradient yarn from a center pull ball
1. Gradient dye the top. (I had 4 oz of lovely Polwarth top to play with. Will play with more of this wool.)
2. Before spinning, divide in half length wise. Spin the color progression on ½ of the wool. Then spin the color progression backwards on the other half of the wool. For example I spun – green, blue, black (first half), then kept going on same bobbin with the other half of the wool – black, blue, green. My bobbin was VERY full, but it all fit.
3. Wind singles into center pull ball. Keep tension on your yarn at all times when winding.
4. Ply from both ends of skein. (So I pulled both green ends and plied from image above.)
Keep tension on your yarn at all times when plying – especially where you’re pulling from the ball. This helps reduce twisties and knots as you ply.
I over plied a little and it was the most amazingly balanced skein. (
4. Final yarn prep – as you see fit. (I soaked it, thwacked skein to fluff it, laid it out to try on rack and dried with a fan.)
Here’s the final skein in various forms. I ended up with about 6-8 wpi. I want thicker yarn – so more practice for me!
Last month I joined the Facebook group “A Spinner’s Study”. Truly a lovely group (enough to make me think twice about my general dislike of Facebook.) They have monthly challenges and breed studies and one that I’m participating in for October is The Cormo breed study.
Received my cormo top (from North Star Alpacas) this week. (Isn’t the salmon color pretty? This is as close to pink as I get, folks.) I’d spun cormo before, but I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to spin! Easy to spin a nice fine yarn. Feels good in my hands.
Trying the pinch and pull type method for consistency. I can’t do this method for hours on end like I can other methods (I’m a former programmer and it took a toll on my hands). But it’s nice to know how to do. So I spin for ½ an hour to an hour and do something else for a while.
Next month the challenges will focus on thin yarns and thick yarns. Really looking forward to that!
I also participated in the Moonrover stash-along challenge with some superwash merino/bamboo blend. I’m not usually an SW fan. But this spun very nicely and it was fun to use up some of my fiber club stash from the beginning of the year.
Coming along well on my daughter’s circle vest. Decided to add some Malabrigo Rios “Arco Iris” (purples and greens) to the lilac-ish purple Brown Sheep yarn I’d been working with. It really seems to make it pop and the variance in colors helps make the stitching seem to go faster. Hopefully, I’ll be done this week. (Cross your fingers for me!)
What have you all been working on? Have you been feeling the autumn crafting bug?
I’d spun the wool quite fine, and found these yarns puffed up quite a bit then testing the ply. The yarn is quite a bit thicker than regular sock yarn.
I was really happy with the white plied with the darker variegated yarn after it was spun. And now that I’m knitting up Gusset Heel Basic Socks (toe up), I love the gentle striping effect in the socks as I start to knit them. I’ve had to modify the pattern to accommodate my thicker yarn and size 2 needles. A decrease of 8 stitches in the overall number of stitches is working well.
A side note on patterns in Kindle books: I purchased Socks from the Toe Up for the Kindle. It’s lovely to have my books with my all the time. But I was at a loss at how make project notes. UGH. After some tinkering, I found I could open the book in the kindle reader on my PC and take screen shots and print them. Then I can make notes on the pattern to my heart’s content. After more tinkering with the Kindle app, I found there is the ability to make notes in Kindle books. But it’s just not the same as keeping track on paper. PC notes are easy, but I don’t knit near my PC and notes from my phone are not easy. Paper is faster and easier in this case. I’ll scan my notes afterward to keep for future projects with the same pattern.
Back to the knitting project…
These socks are a blast to work on, but I think there’s not enough twist to make the socks last a long time. These will be squishy soft socks, but not so durable.
When I spin for socks again I’ll need to:
Use a higher ratio whorl on my wheel – so I get more twist in my singles and plied yarns.
Spin finer for thinner yarn. This yarn is pretty thick for knitting the patterns I want to knit.
Consider using a 3 ply yarn – perhaps Navajo plied.
Fear not I’m not discouraged at all. I’m enjoying the process and am already planning for more handspun socks.
Have you spun for socks? If so, how did you like it?
Happy New Year to you all! I hope that 2012 was a good year for you and that you made many wonderful projects!
Spinning and needle making were the two projects that I did as the year came to a close.
I finished the spinning for fractally spinning the scrumptious Frabjous Fibers Polwarth Top in the #250 Trapesze colorway, then plied it.
Yesterday I finished spinning this older batt from Moonrover. It was a bit loud for me. (And that’s saying something, since I usually like bright and bold.)
I found I had some coordinating chocolate brown alpaca. When the two were plied together the effect was much more subtle and pleasing.
Hubby put some lovely nalbinding needles in my Christmas stocking. (Since I’m always losing mine or they are with another project.)
And these pretties will be appearing in my shop soon. (The bamboo one (bottom) is listed now.) Working with my hubby, side by side on these is such a joy. (I wish we didn’t have to get the new interior doors done too. I’d rather help him with these. But the doors are needed and were a gift of love from my father in law!)
My focus is changing this year. I’m honing in more on what’s important to me and my family. We were stretched far to thin this year. I’ve already informed one of the groups that I volunteer for that I’ll be stepping down. While I love to volunteer in my kids’ activities, I can’t do everything and keep every thing functioning that they like to do. This last month has been a big soul searching month. (And I LOATHE saying “no” and stepping down from things.) But on the good side of this – I was told I’ll be able to teach for the group here in town that leads First Lego League. One of the other incredibly cool things that happened was that my youngest said she would like to learn to spin. You bet I’ll be there teaching her really soon!
In my craft focus, I want to teach more and to push my skills in nalbinding. I’ve been teaching a few classes and love it. Cross your fingers for me as I wait to hear back from Shepherd’s Harvest about my nalbinding class. They will let us know soon if our class proposals were accepted.
What will you be focusing on this year?
Here’s to an even better 2013 and to much blissful crafting!!!
I zipped over to the embroidery store here in town this morning. (We actually have an embroidery shop – I didn’t think we were a big enough town to support one for very long. But she’s had the shop for 10 years now. Yay!) And scored wool embroidery thread on sale for $.50/skein. The lady as so nice and even brought out more colors for me to look through! I went a little overboard, but I have most any color thread to play with for my tinkering with rosesaum. I wonder how it will mix and match with my handspun embroidery thread…
(Perhaps I went a little over board. My reasoning for getting so many is that you can’t order this kind anymore and she’s got it on clearance.)
The first skein of my handspun singles is complete for the mittens I want to nalbind and felt as a background for rosesaum embroidery.
So *hopefully* I’ll have a pretty set of mittens for this winter!