Tag Archives: yarn

Homeade e-spinner that rocks

26 Mar

I think a while back I mentioned my husband was building me a spinning wheel. I am a novice spinner, having only had a single beginners drop spindle and a new laceweight trindle, with exactly one skein of lovely spindle spun yarn finished since I began trying to spin. My husband only took a minor interest in my knitting over the years, but spinning piqued his interest because he just purchased a bunch of cool woodworking tools and was looking for things to make. So one day he just set out to build me a wheel.

Through much trial and error with some treadle designs, he decided it would be even more fun to make this thing electrical. So when the little sewing machine motor came in the mail, my wheel turned into an e-spinner. It took a little bit, having no experience with any wheel of any sort and only minor knowledge of spinning and tons of youtube video watching, but here is the first skein of yarn fully completed and ready to go:

wpid-storageemulated0PhotoEditor2014-03-26-14.40.21.png.pngI wound it onto the niddy noddy (also made by my woodcrafting genius husband) but totally forgot to count and measure. I was a little distracted with excitement for bathing and drying and squishing my new little beauty. This is the same Knitpicks “Wool of the Andes” roving I used for my spindle spun hat just in a different color.

About this time last month I traveled to Seattle to visit my sister and I picked up some Malabrigo Nube pure merino wool roving in the colorway “Piedras” at one of the million awesome LYS’ in the Seattle/Tacoma region. (She’s so lucky) So that is what is on the wheel today. Finally, without further ado, here is the version 2.37 of my e-spinner! Promise not to laugh, she’s a little rough around the edges but she functions for exactly what she’s supposed to do, SPIN ALL THE THINGS! And I think its the most beautiful e-spinner in all the land:

wpid-20140326_141621_HDR.jpg wpid-20140326_141658.jpgNext post I will show off what my husband has been working on as of late, amazingly beautiful drop spindles. My collection of spindles has exploded with all kinds of prototypes, and I actually spun a whole skien of yarn on the cutest little mini spindle you’ve ever seen. Stay tuned!

Finished Object: Handspun Hat

9 Jan

Do you remember the handspun yarn I made a while back?
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It is now a hat! I used the Stratford pattern by Zandt Kennett. I absolutely love it and wear it everywhere.

I am now more pumped than ever to spin, I am not sure I have a knitted piece I am more proud of than this hat right now. My husband is totally on board too- he is currently in the design and prototype stages of building me an electric wheel. How awesome is he?

Since I’ve been gone……

5 Jan

September! I haven’t posted since September! This has been a very busy couple of months, and the time just flew by. I figured I would catch up by posting a bunch of things this week, before I forget everything.

First order of old business:

I went to two Fiber Festivals, Shenandoah Valley and Rhinebeck. The first, Shenandoah, was a small festival held in Virginia, just a short drive out of D.C. It was my first time going to one of these things, and it was kind of like your first time visiting a good yarn shop- totally overwhelmingly awesome. I took the kids and they did great. I took my camera and it did terribly- the battery was D.O.A. Oh well, life happens.

My first order of business was to find Kate and her Gourmet Stash Punis. So I got some, in the “Van Gogh’s Paintbox” Colorway.  Next we wandered a bit, and found all kinds of fibery awesomeness. First there were the ladies spinning angora, directly from the bunnies. I didn’t know you could do that, and I found myself wanting one of these bunnies- so soft. There was also a sheepdog demonstration, and a barn full of animals to visit. Before leaving, I scooped up a cool trindle, and a skein of sock yarn from Dragonfly Fibers, a small art batt and sparkle sock yarn from Puff the Magic Rabbit, and some wool from a small farm in VA which I do not know the name (no tags!).

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Up next was Rhinebeck, a huge fiber festival in Rhinebeck, NY. This time I did not take the kids, and I am glad I did not. They would not have fared well. The drive was long, parking was horrendous, and the grounds were overflowing with people. That all being said, I had a lot of fun. I met up with my girl Vanessa from Vintage Rose Knittique and I made some great new friends. There was a lot of yarn to look at, and I scooped up a fun mostly purple sparkle Loop Batt, along with some Jill Draper Makes Stuff worsted yarn for my awesome babysitter. But overall, I did not find the same small shops/farm sellers. Most everything was stuff you can get online, but it was still nice to be able to squish all the things. I think if I do bother to go back to Rhinebeck, it will be to meet up with friends and podcasters again, and I need to have some sort of shopping plan. The beautiful fall colors and the food was incredible though, I could have sat on the Ravelry hill all day and just people watched and knit and ate!

Art Yarn at Loop

Art Yarn at Loop!

My socks!

My Socks have a photo op on the hill! Totally appropriate here.

Please if you don’t already know these awesome podcasters and shops, go check them out! I can’t wait for the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival coming up- it is going to be awesome! This time I’m taking my husband and the kids- wish me luck- haha.

Drop Spindling: Why not?

31 Aug

A while back I ordered a drop spindle and spun the little sample of fiber that came with it. Ugh what a mess. But I was hooked, and ordered some wool roving from knitpicks. When it came in the mail, initially I was all “it’s so FLUFFY!” But then, the realization……it took several hours to spin the little sample of wool, how long is this going to take! So I set it aside to work on some baby cardigans. (Another post)
Well it was staring at me all week so I picked it up, petted it, and started pre-drafting some of it. Then it fell onto my spindle, and oh how many times did that spindle hit the floor? I lost count. For some reason I found it easier to spin a fairly consistent thin yarn than a thicker yarn, I’d say for the most part my singles were about fingering weight, although it is not really all that consistent.

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And yes, it took for.ev.er, but I can’t tell you how calming it is. It’s mesmerizing really I have no idea how to describe spinning. Even the kids would come in and stare, lulled by the fluid motion or something, idk. In the end, it went quicker than I expected and I was soon plying my thinner yarns together into a thicker yarn. That itself took hours, and I think would be more fun if I had a multicolored yarn….this was just purple, and more purple….no fun color mixing. Next time. Late last night, I soaked the yarn, which scared the crap outta me. I hand wash all my knits, but this was a nail biter, I kept thinking please don’t felt up! I told my yarn, please don’t turn into a big tangled, felted mess! (I told you, it was late)
This morning I ran downstairs like a kid at Christmas. I couldn’t wait to squish it!

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I wish I could show you pictures using a real camera. I need a new memory card reader so we are stuck with iPad pictures but hey, I couldn’t wait.
The final skein is just over 104 yards of handspun 2-ply yarn. I don’t know what to classify the weight as, overall it’s like a worsted in most places. I planned to make a cowl or something but really, all I want to do is frame it and put it up on the wall for everyone to see….I made my own yarn with a stick and sheep fur! HELLO GORGEOUS!

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My back is sore, my fingers are calloused, and I can barely lift my right arm today, but it is so worth it. I don’t think I’ve quite had this much of a sense of accomplishment with my fiberey art in a while. But I have concluded that in order to produce any useful quantity I will need a wheel.

WIP Wednesday!

24 Jul

It is Wednesday and I am writing from beautiful Washington State! I am so happy to finally be here visiting my sister, I miss her so much -living on the completely opposite side of the country really sucks sometimes. Yesterday we ventured into the city and explored Pike’s Place Market, and of course one of the local yarn stores So Much Yarn and they certainly lived up to the name. I got a skein of Malabrigo Rasta in the Solis color way for a drop stitch cowl. I also picked up a Rayon/metallic blend from Blue Heron Yarns in a variegated purple called blueberry which I plan to weave into a shawl. There was a cool project bag which I also could not resist, especially after my friend caught me using a plastic shopping bag for my last sock project- whoops!

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So for today, my WIP is the Mairi Shawl which I am doing in an alpaca yarn I got in a swap. It is from a Doctor Who yarn club and I forget the details, but it is gorgeous. So far I am halfway done with the lace edging and it is going really quickly. I cast on at the airport and got all this done on the plane ride over. I hope to do a little mini yarn crawl while we are here, and pick up some new circulars because these crappy ones from the craft store are really getting on my nerves. The plastic just does not flex an ounce. But they get the job done for now.

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We are going to be really busy this week so I am not sure how much I will really get done, but there will be a lot of driving so maybe I can get to the body of the shawl soon. Today we visit Mount Rainier! The kids are totally excited after seeing it from the plane:

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