This is the first part of a two-part post that has absolutely nothing to do with flower looms of any kind. I bet you weren’t expecting that, huh?
So what have I been doing? Spinning!
Back at the beginning of April I was lucky enough to go to an art yarn spinning workshop taught by Lexi Boeger of Pluckyfluff fame. Since most of my spinning is super smooth and about fingering weight, I had a great time brushing up on a few techniques I have tried in the past, and went totally out of my comfort zone and had a go at some new ones.
I ended up making five different yarns over the weekend. Firstly I made a coily, spirally, knotty, stacky yarn with some batts I had carded and spun into singles before the class. The batts were made from everything that struck my fancy at the time including: merino, mohair, nylon glitz, llama, samoyed dog undercoat, angelina, border leicester, alpaca, and I think there was a bit of bamboo or silk or something in there as well 🙂
Then I made a bulky chain ply from an art yarn batt. This one has merino, border leicester, more nylon glitz, samoyed undercoat, cotton waste from the inside of some couch cushions (which is utterly brilliant in batts, who knew?), recycled denim, angelina, polwarth, mohair, sari silk waste, and who knows what else in it. I knit this up almost immediately to make a Kindle case. I’ll show you the knitting tomorrow but I haven’t sewn a lining or stitched it up yet.
Next is a yarn with stuff spun in. I made a batt from mostly merino and spun in all sorts of flowers, bobbles and a little yarn dolly. This yarn makes a liar out of me because it has some flower loom flowers in it after I promised there would be no mention of them 🙂
The finished yarn was plied with a commercial vintage angora that I dyed blue. I’ve crocheted this into a crochet-graffiti tag that I’ll show you tomorrow and tell you more about then.
On the second day we learnt corespinning and made our corespun into a supercoilled yarn using a very clever and fast technique that I had never seen before. This is my absolute favourite yarn from the weekend, it’s so unlike anything I have ever spun before. It’s thick but light and even though it was highly energised when I spun it, it settled down almost completely after I washed it to set the twist.
This yarn is made from the same batts that I made my coiled and knotted yarn from.
I also tried corespinning with mohair but I only made a small sample so I don’t have a photo of that one. I’m looking for a more suitable core yarn than I had on hand.
I continued spinning after I returned home.
I chain plied the remainder of the batts I carded to make my “dolly and flowers and Sarah’s a liar” yarn. It’s about dk weight.
Then I spun up the rest of the brown batts that I had left over and chain plied those. They ended up quite bulky, what Aussie knitters would call 12 ply thickness (but it’s three ply). I adore multitude of different textures in this yarn. Rough blending is something I’ll be doing a lot more in the future.
Then I got stuck into spinning some of my club fibre from Ewe Give Me the Knits. OK, I spun all of it.
2011 February club. I split the roving almost as thin as I wanted to spin and spun a 2 ply. Should knit up to about 10 ply thickness or 8 ply. Very soft and squishy and really fun to spin.
March club. I split the tops down the middle and spun the single, then chain plied. It’s soft but firm because of the chain ply, about 8 ply thickness.
150gms EGMT Merino in the Little Speckled Hen colourway. I wasn’t sure about the colours before I spun it because of the white but I made it all blend in when I spun it up and now I love it 🙂
I split it in half, the split one half in half again for long colour repeats. I split the other half eight times for much shorter colour repeats. 2 ply, dk weight.
Tomorrow I’ll show you what a couple of my yarns look like worked up, a whole lot more spinning, my new spinning wheel, and a preview of an upcoming tutorial (not flower looms!)