Based on this web site www.ashford.co.nz/home/wheeltimeline.htm
I think that my wheel may have be built in the early 1980's. This is good as I had no indication from the seller as to the age of the wheel. So far the wheel is proving to be enjoyable, only one small thing has my questioning the overall condition of it.
X-posted to personal journal
ETA: craptastic spelling correction ;-)
Well I heard back from the lady with the Ashford wheel and it is a Traditional, she's asking $150 she says that it comes with : extra bobbins, a jumbo head unit with jumbo bobbins, the original manual, and a few other bits and pieces included.
What do you think? Is this a deal? Or should I wait it out and see what comes up a bit closer to home as the seller is approx a 3hr drive from me?
x-posted to handspinners
Go on then, what do you do with your handspun? Any good patterns you can recommend for handspun yarns?
Show us your FOs...
I have been seized recently by the urge (nay, need) to knit with my handspun. Firstly I tackled Giggle, and knitted a Gretel beret (pattern by Ysolda)
I am very happy with the way that this yarn knitted up, both in terms of handle and in looks. A good match for the pattern, I think. The roving was easy to spin, and fun, and felt very good to handle. The yarn carried those characteristics forward. The Tencel component caused me some grief and if I knitted the hat with hindsight, I'd probably use a magic loop to help to eliminate those nasty loose stitches.
I can recommend both the roving and the pattern, which copes well with a slightly uneven handspun I feel.
Roving: Chantilly Lace from Copperpot Woolies at Etsy (Merino/Colonial/Tencel)
Pattern: Gretel - available as a Ravelry download, or direct from Ysolda.com £3.00
Flushed with success, I noticed Ysolda's Urchin beret pattern - a free one. Urchin is designed for lumpy bumpy yarn. Hey, I have some of that! (quite a lot, in fact) I dug out my first handspun: 3 small skeins of very lumpy 2 plied Jacob - and I got stuck in.
It must have been Kismet. I didn't have the correct needles, so knitted it on 6mm instead of 7mm. I made the large size, to compensate. In the event, the hat actually fits. Even spookier, I completed the hat with just 12" of yarn left over - I had to join on some of my second handspun in order to graft the hat.
I love this hat. I adore the engineering - the pattern is quite simply genius. It knits up very quickly indeed and there is plenty of scope for adaptation. My finished hat is loaded with character and texture. It's a genuine Mad Old Bat Hat. Possibly it is even a Crusty In A Van Hat. It will suit me down to the ground. :-)
Pictures taken as soon as I had grafted - the hat is currently soaking in Fairy Liquid.
I could not recommend this pattern highly enough as a vehicle for showing off those early character yarns.
Pattern: Urchin - available as a Ravelry download, from Knitty.com, or direct from Ysolda.com - free
There will be more Urchins. First up will be one in Flambé, I think. I already sent for some 7mm needles (thank heaven for eBay)
It has been fun, knitting with my handspun. It is deeply satisfying. I should do more of it. I think I shall. :-)
I am looking at getting my first wheel and have found two through the same seller but am not sure as to which one would be 1st a better wheel & 2nd a better buy? They are an Asford @ $150 and an Idian head @ $100, not sure of the model of either one.
Any suggestions would be appreiated.
ETA cost of wheels
X-posted to handspinning
It feels like the longest time since I posted here - but I am pleased to say that it is not because I have been idle on the spinning front. In fact, I seem to have got quite a lot of spinning done and I managed to clear most of my prepared fibre stash. The raw fleece is a whole different matter, though.
I did attempt the Tour de Fleece, but joint pain got in the way. My plan was to spin for an hour daily before breakfast - I fell by the wayside after around a week, however.
So, what have been up to?
A Copperpot roving from Etsy, "Deep Fried Vegis". This actually got knitted up into a Morning Surf Scarf that I am rather pleased with despite the fact that the yarn got named "Deep Fried Disaster"
Then came "Gill's Delight" a gorgeous Mohair/Merino yarn from roving gifted to me last year. I was so proud of this spin. It took an age, because I was very careful - and the results were well worth it. SpinningGill wants it, but she can't have it. I haven't knitted it up yet but I want to do something very special with it. It may be a "Hypotenuse" wrap, in time - I got great yardage from it.
After that, came more of the blue shaded Shetland X fleece that I hand-dyed in the winter - and a slight detour into a raw-and-dyed fleece batt that I picked up in Stromness one day. The latter remains as a single until I decide what I want to do with it. I may use it as-is for a weaving project.
Next up was the other PS3 "Fire" roving (inferno) that I got from copperpot. Better late than never! I did this one thick-and-thin and plyed it with some coppery rayon thread. I love it, even though I still don't have the knack of plying the thick bits in tidily. I called it "Flambé" and will probably make the Colinette "iris" ear flap hat from it.
I also had some soy silk given to me, in very similar colours, so was immediately inspired to spin that up. I had been so scared of spinning it, it looked very difficult to handle but in the end I found it quite easy to work with (if a little messy) I even chain-plyed the whole thing when I was done, apart from a little that I experimented with and plyed with some of the leftover Inferno singles. I don't seem to have photos of the soy silk, for some reason.
The final part of this show-and-tell is another copperpot roving - the Chantilly Lace, which I turned into a lovely yarn that I named "Giggle".
This took me a long time to spin. I was very careful to spin it fine and even. Was the effort worth it?
What do you think?
Can you guess how thrilled I was?
It doesn't look like much when I set it down but it feels like plenty and in my defence I have to say that an awful lot of knitting has been done as well! Not to mention the exponential increase in my spinning skill...
I wanted to stop by, exhibit my progress, and say a large "thank you" to this group, without several members of which I would never have made it this far. Thank you for all your support, both tangible and intangible.
I really feel like a proper spinner now.
Currently on my wheels - the first bobbin of a very large spinning project. I am spinning some carded Shetland in many natural shades, and am aiming to get a whole sweater's worth done (and I am no small lady!) Also this, from a roving from Natalie:
I am loving this merino roving with a passion and really wish that I had bought more than one lot of it. It is perfect for the current Project Spectrum phase of "Water" (blue/purple/black) and I hope to knit it into a project with some black yarn. Perhaps these? or something inspired by them... anyway, I am spinning this as fine as I can, to give a fighting chance of making the mitts. All I need is some black merino of equal weight.
After this roving is done I must confine myself to fleece. Mainly due to lack of funds, but also because I really need to reduce the fleece mountain. I have one pencil roving in hand, which I may choose to knit rather than spin, and I still have two rovings that I was gifted - both are very special indeed and I kind of want to improve even further before I tackle them. Hopefully the Shetland large project will do that for me, and then I'll be ready for my luxury rovings. After that, it's nothing but smelly sheep for at least a year I should think!
Superwash merino 64 ct lambswool top from Spincerely.
Color Juno. 199m, 117g.
Spun on Lucrezia, 10:1, 2ply. 10 wpi.
Ewe Give Me The Knits merino, color Swamp Buggy 1
85g, 247 m, 11 wpi.
Spun on Lucrezia, 14:1, navajo plied.
These are my 13th and 14th handspun yarns. I've joined Tour de Fleece on Ravelry, and going to try spinning my first art yarns ever. I'm quite excited, and hope to show you several attempts after the Tour.
Just a quick note to say that I'm going semi-offline until August 10 while I'm stateside. I'll try to update as I can, but don't anyone fret when you check the blog and find I've not done much posting, and please don't send Vito to find out whether my fingers are broken! :-)
I'm going spend some time with family, and other spinners, and a frightening amount of raw fleece. (Anyone wanna come help wash wool? (veg) )
I can't believe it's been nearly a month since the last post, and since I'm about to hit the road for the next 2 months, I'm taking the time to catch up a bit before I go mostly offline. And then just wait, because I'll have LOTS of fibery stuff to tell you. I mean, let's get real: I'm going on vacation and have every intention of using a shamefully large portion of it indulging in spinning, knitting, and washing and processing fleece.
I've finally finished the necessary dyeing for the class, and the novelty yarns, and am back to working on my own stuff. So, this week was a trip into natural dyes.
I've set the image to open in another window if you click on it, and I've tagged everything so you can see which yarns are which dyes. I'm a bit disappointed in the photo itself since the colors are much richer and brighter than they appear here, and the two greys in the middle aren't really rey, but rather a greeny yellow.
From left to right, though, there's the original white, sandalwood, 3 with yellow onion skins, 3 with dandelion flowers, dandelion root, a lichen, birch leaf, osage orange, annatto, alkanet, and 3 with madder.
They all had alum as a mordant, except for 2 of the madders which were mordanted with iron or tin respectively. Two of the onion skins and dandelions were given after baths of tin or iron.
So, what did I think of it? Well, I still prefer acid dyeing. It's easier, I can get precisely the color I want in the quantity I want it, and it's got a huge degree of flexibility. But this was a truly fun experiment, and I'll do more of it over the summer. Two of the colors surprised me. I expected the birch leaves to give a green, but the resulting green is really a neon color; it's almost glow-in-the-dark. That surprised me. The lichen is grey and black in real life (Cavernularia hultenii, I think) and I expected a nondescript grey. What I got was a lovely, soft camel color that I rather like, and which is not at all what I expected. I expected Osage Orange to be . . . well . . . orange. Not yellow along the lines of the birch (but not as neon). And I didn't expect the Alkanet to smell like feet. :-)
All told, though, using natural dyes is easy, and presuming one follows the usual safety precautions, certainly no worse than any of the others.
There's not much blooming here at the moment, so let's see what plants I can find of interest in a few weeks when I'm in much warmer climes. ;-) What color do you reckon kudzu would give??
I have been on a spinge
(that is, a spinning binge). This is what I have spun since I returned from Aceh a month ago:
Handspun Merino 'Java Jive and Smudge': This is a two-ply yarn spun into aran weight. One strand is 'Java Jive' merino roving purchased from FreckleFaceFibers. The other is 'Smudge' (dark brown) merino from Treetop Colours.
( And there is more! Much more!Collapse )
Believe it or not, I have spun two more skeins, but they are still drying. On other matters, I leave for a year in Africa (working in Somalia, living in Nairobi) on Friday. And yes, I am bringing my trusty Ashford Joy spinning wheel along! Hoping to get in contact with local spinners too!
I lost my old Wordpress blog archives and all pictures when I tried to upgrade it to next version, so sadly all my old pictures here have vanished as well. I've moved my blog to new address http://vakerrellen.typepad.com Spincerely superwash merino top, color Belisma Light.
128 g, 252m. Spun on Lucrezia, 14:1, navajo plied.
This was my second try on navajo plying. I don't usually understand instruction drawings and my first try in the last autumn went so badly that I had to throw a whole skein into garbage bin. This time I noticed that I didn't draw the next loop through the previous one when I tried navajo plying for the first time. Therefore I got separate three ply parts which weren't attached to each other in any way. Luckily the unfortunate skein was made of sample fibers. Now that I know what I should do and how to do it, I will use this technique again. Not getting leftover singles was great. I never can distribute the wool evenly enough to empty both bobbins when I ply normally although I use digital scale when I divide the top.
The yarn weight is between sport and worsted. I got enough yardage to knit something else than just my handspun afghan. I've already predrafted my next spinning project, but haven't started yet. I'll spin natural white Ashland Masham.
I'm experimenting with novelty yarns these days in order to build up a little supply of beta samples for demos and training purposes, and I've been wanting to do a coil yarn. Last week, I received the Spunky Eclectic club fiber, and the day after that, the latest issue of Spin-Off
. Have you seen it yet? It's got a lovely coil yarn on the cover, with more variations inside. If you haven't seen it, look here: http://www.interweave.com/spin/spinoff_magazine/
Amy's fiber this month seemed ideal for a wrap-and-roll yarn. It's a nice merino with color spacings pretty perfectly arranged for this type of spinning, so I ran with it. And I've decided it really does look like bladderwrack. You know, the seaweed with the little air bladder "bubbles."
I've posted more on the blog
, but it was a riot to spin.
Last Saturday I managed to get a very short spinning video
up on youtube. :-)
I was determined to show the world that ,YES, one can spin cotton on a Turkish Spindle, so I snagged my daughter when she dropped by for a visit and had her tape me. It was a very impromptu decision with little thought about the process so it's not fancy. Please take a look. I'd love to know what you think. :-)
For regular spinning on the wheel I have 4 ounces of natural brown Corriedale and 4 ounces of baby camel in stash which I'd planned to spin for a vest for Ed. Originally I was going to spin them separately but the sample ply of the two types of singles was too barber pole. I want more of a heathery look. Next I tried to lightly comb the camel on top of the corriedale but the delicate camel didn't want to co-operate. I don't have proper combs which may have been the problem. I don't want a woolen wool so didn't try the cards. (Can you tell I'm learning by the seat of my pants?) So I ended up holding a strip of each together in my left hand (drafting) while spinning. It looked good but was a bit cumbersome so then I divided all the wool and camel into long narrower strips laying the camel on top. The spinning is coming along much easier now. Here's the wool/camel all divided, rolled and ready to spin.
I'm quite please with the results so far. My main problem now is finding consistent spinning time so it's been a slow work in progress.
The bobbin is now over half full.
The baby camel is a soft, lofty fiber which shorter staple and grab than the corriedale.
It's hard to invent names for my handspun yarns, so I'm numbering them.The Ranch superwash merino, color Lancaster
236,4m, 96g. Spun on Lucrezia (my Sonata) 14:1, 2ply.
This is my 8th handspun. My two year old toddler hates his scarf, because it isn't as soft as his brother's, and he keeps trying to steal his. I decided to knit him a new, soft scarf and since I don't know a commercial yarn which would be as soft as handspun, I chose batts from my The Ranch stash.
My 7th spinning project was BFL, and as always, I found merino much harder to spin evenly. But I've clearly progressed as a spinner, because this is quite even yarn and I got the thickness I was aiming for, fingering weight.
SakinaNeedles superwash merino, color Agate
51,6m, 87g. Spun on Lucrezia, 14:1, 3ply.
This is my ninth handspun. After spinning fingering weight skein you see above, I wanted to spin something thicker. I'm working on a handspun afghan from Spin Off Winter 07 issue. I'm using all my miniskeins and leftovers in that project.
I'm not interested in spinning novelty yarns, but I'd like to learn how to spin a specific weight yarn. Spinning for a project instead of thinking a suitable project for my handspun. I know how to spin dk weight and fingering weight, but I hadn't tried spinning bulky. This was very quick project, it took only a few days.
Right now I'm spinning this, Yasminah 2 merino top from Ewe Give Me The Knits. It is very easy to draft and spin, and I like the bright spring colors. I'm spinning two ply, fingering weight yarn. I don't know yet what to knit with it, but we shall see...
And a bobbin picture:
I am tempted to write that I have been mainly knitting of late, but when I stop to think about it, my spinning productivity just keep son improving by leaps and bounds.
Last week I took delivery of some merino from Copperpot at Etsy. I have been following Project Spectrum and succumbed to two rovings for the current Fire theme (Red, Orange, Pink): Torch Island and Inferno.
The Inferno is waiting in the wings but I spun the Torch Island (4.3 ozs) off in two afternoon sessions. I plyed it Navajo style (brave of me!)
and got 186 yards of roughly aran weight yarn. It came out properly balanced (luck not planning) and properly plyed - I seem to have got over my fear of over-plying and have stopped under-plying because of that. Hurrah!
I made a "Noro Hat" for my man
I also knitted up the yarn that I made from the Yarn Yard pencil roving, one skein of it anyway - this is a Spring Cap by Woolly Wormhead
It is absolutely thrilling to be knitting my own handspun into useful items :-)
I can thoroughly recommend both these hat patterns for handspun yarns. Both can be found via Ravelry or via links on my Woolgathering blog
There has been a quantity of non-spinning knitting too - sufficient to keep me from making progress on my dyed Shetland X. I have three bobbins of the fat single and no thin single to ply it to. I shall remedy that situation at spinning group this week. I shall be keeping that thin single on Hebbie and on Constance I intend to spin some burgundy and grey merino/mohair mix that I received as a gift last year. I have been hoarding the good stuff until I felt competent enough to do it justice. I am currently buoyed by recent success and raring to go!
It is good this spinning lark, isn't it? :-)
Well, the Cat's Paw scarf is off the needles - I hesitate so say finished as I've got to darn in the ends and block it. :) Slight problem though, the last time I measured it the length was 65ins. That was before I knitted the finishing five rows plus the cast off (another good inch). So, I need a spare 5ft 6ins of floor space to block the thing - not easy in our small cottage. I'm also told that it might grow by about 10%! I'll post some photos soon, if it doesn't take over the world... Now to the next handspun project - socks. My last pair are more darn than knitting. And I must spin some more yarn to sell.
Anyway, spinning day tomorrow - and one of our spinning course guinea-pigs (see www.sandayspinners.co.uk
) is coming to gain some more experience - and enjoy the cake!
I am considering selling my Haldane "Hebridean" wheel. I am not 100% certain that I want to part with him but I will need to de-stuff gradually over the next five years anyway, and I might as well begin now. There will be a Joy later, to make up for this sacrifice, but the trad will have to go when the Joy comes in.
I was considering putting Hebbie on eBay, though I am only looking to recoup the £50 that he cost me - so I may list him in our Sanday Spinners shop instead. I doubt whether anyone here will want this truculent wee fellah, but I thought I'd mention the possibility of the sale. He's handsome, but awkward. I love him, really - but, like so many men, he is really hard work :-)
Funnily enough, I have been using Hebbie quite a bit recently - I am spinning some hand dyed Shetland fleece into a fat and a thin single. The fat is on Constance and the thin on Hebbie. I find that I can spin perfectly well on him now, after he gave me so much trouble initially that I had to invest in the Trad. Awkward little cuss :-)
Overall, though, not much spinning being done due to pains in my left hand joints I am going to knit some mitts to wear about the house and see if they settle the inflammation down a bit. Just for now, the "pinch" is clearly aggravating the problem in my thumb in particular.
All the same, my spinning is improving rapidly on the productivity side and I can rattle of a bobbin full quite quickly now.
Since "exuberance" I have produced three skeins from Yarn Yard pencil roving, and a skein from my January dyeing adventures. Both were great fun and I am enjoying spinning now and relaxing about it instead of trying quite so hard.
There is more of the home dyed Shetland X to spin, and two bobbins are already full of fat singles. I'll be doing the thin single next and gaining some more finished skeins soon thereafter. After that, it is back to raw fleece and undyed skeins. I am quite looking forward to that, but I have really enjoyed my bursts of colour.
Over the weekend, I finished this beanie:( The photo is a bit big...Collapse )
The yarn was spun in 'woollen' style, as opposed to 'worsted' style. This was the first time I have spun yarn in this style. The fibre was combination of a rust coloured merino, dark brown merino and undyed brown alpaca (about 10%). I first hand-carded it to blend the fibres, then spun the yarn from big fluffy rolags. It took forever, and is quite a different experience from spinning from commercial sliver. It's worth it, though, and the yarn was distinctively different. Much more loft and a 'spongier' texture.
And I finally got my Ravelry.com account. And of course, I am KnittingNutter
there. Drop me a line if you like!
I've been just busy enough that things have been downright quiet on the spinning front (aside from enabling like mad, that is (g) ), so I've had very little to show. I've managed a few beta spins here and there, and there's an ongoing stream of grey, but that's about all. However, Wanda asked me to post about one of the betas--Lincoln--and the grey, so I'll be a good girl and pretend like I actually have something to tell you. ;-)
I'm rather sensitive to wool. Even alpaca itches a bit when it's next to my skin, which means that I lean heavily away from anything other than the fine wools. I'm working on finding a blend I can actually wear without looking like someone's spiked my clothes with itcing powder, but that doesn't mean that I don't spin the other stuff now and then just to learn about the fiber.
One of the Spunky Eclectic fiber club bundles was an 8 ounce bag of Lincoln dyed in eastery pastel colors, so as a break from DH's grey, I broke it out the other day and span it up. I wasn't terribly worried about it being an even spin, but the wool is just too hard for me to handle. It's not difficult; it's hard. It bothers my hands so much that I could barely stand to spin it, and as a result, the spinning is even more uneven than it should be, particularly in the ply. But the wool is fascinating. It's a long wool with a lovely long staple, and it's shiny. (Look, ma! Shiny!) Seriously. When it's tightly spun (and note that "tightly spun" doesn't necessarily mean a massive amount of twist!), then that gloss is really noticeable; the fibers form a solid layer which reflects the light nearly as much as silk. This photo simply doesn't show it, but you'll have to trust me that it's there.
I'd tried spinning it woolen, thinking that would make it a bit softer, but of course that was wrong. VERY wrong. All that did was give the prickly ends room to stick out. So, I switched to worsted and that smoothed those ends into the single and made for a smoother and less prickly yarn.
I didn't even bother to check the twists or wraps; there's about 97 yards here, and that's as close as things get. And, since I knew I couldn't handle the yarn or use it for anything else, I gifted it to a friend's artistic sister-in-law who might find something to do with it--even if she just uses it to tie up veggie plants. :-)
Despite my own problems with this fiber, it would be great for outerwear, weaving, and rugs, and I know Donna has been using it for just that purpose, so you'll have to get her to share her own experiences with it.
In the ongoing saga for DH's Cobblestone, the grey merino-silk blend is slowly filling bobbins. A recent discussion on a spinning list about how often we ply made me think about what I was doing and why I was doing it, and I *think* that's what Wanda wants me to post about. :-)
There are just less than 4 pounds of fiber to be spun. (And please, everyone, cross your fingers that it will be enough!) I'm spinning on a Majacraft Rose, and have a total of 10 bobbins: 2 jumbo plying and 8 normal plastic. The plastic bobbins hold about 4 ounces of fiber, depending on spinning and how the yarn is loaded onto the bobbin. I have 4 finished and 5 is on its way. With a little luck, it will be finished tonight. And I'm not plying any of them until I fill all 8 bobbins.
I know that letting singles sit on the bobbin means that the twist goes into a rest state; you don't see it as clearly as when the single is fresh. In order to be sure I'm plying with the right amount of twist, I'll have to dunk a bit of single into a warm bath and see how much is really there, but I know I'm adding a fairly heavy amount of twist because of the nature of the fiber. Merino and silk make for a slightly slippery combination, and I don't want the yarn to fall apart in the plying process.
It would be easier to see the twist if I plied those bobbins together as soon as I finished 2 (or made a center-pull ball and plied each bobbin back on itself), but if I do that, I'm bound to run into another problem later.
See, much as I want my spinning to be consistent and even, I know that it varies a bit (more if I'm spinning when I really shouldn't be). Sometimes there are differences between the beginning and ending of a bobbin, or between bobbins, even though I've kept a sample to use as a gauge during the process.
That wouldn't be a big deal if I were doing something small such as mittens, or lace which inherently hides a multitude of spinning sins. But this is a *sweater.* An XL, 4 pounds of fiber, lots-of-yarn sweater. The last thing I need is to find a major difference in my spinning in the second half of the knitting process.
There IS a way to counteract some of that, and it's easy. It's this:
Each bobbin is numbered as it comes off the wheel. When I've finished all 8 of my available bobbins, I'll ply bobbins 8 and 1 together, 7 and 2, and so forth. I'll hold the center 2 (bobbins 4 and 5) until the next batch of bobbins is finished and ply those two against the others. That should even out any irregularities and make things a bit more uniform. I'm working on the principle I try to explain to some of my new spinners: when you ply an irregular yarn back on itself, unless you take care to match like irregularity to like irregularity, the yarn really does try to find a middle-ground; it balances itself out to be somewhat more even.
If you want a thick-thin yarn, that's not such a good thing. If you're working toward a more even yarn, you can use that tendency to your benefit. :-) Keep your fingers crossed!
I just finished my 7th handspun yarn - pictures and more info on my blo
g . I tried to spin fingering weight yarn so I could make a pair of handspun socks to myself. WPI count tells I succeeded, the yarn is 16 wpi and it's quite even. I used 108 g of BFL roving but got only 219m. This was the first time I made 3ply (got a tensioned Lazy Kate last week, Sonata's built-in Kate holds only 2 bobbins) so it might have something to do with this. Yardage would have been enough with 2ply.
Obvious answer would be thick and thin yarn, but I think this one is quite even. I have small feet, so this will probably be enough for pair of socks still, but I don't know why this happened. I hope I'll get more meters with practice.