Last week was the LYS Tour in the Puget Sound. I didn’t make it to as many shops as I had hoped, but I stopped at some of my favorites. I tried to show restraint, but some yarn and fiber was just too lovely to resist.
Tolt Yarn and Wool
Fiber from Homestead Hobbyist (Mad Cow Yarn)
From Weaving Works for a small weaving project.
I also managed to start a few new things and get some yarn finished over the weekend.
Dyed yellow and gray braid for my Etsy shop.
Doing a little knitting in the sunshine and my new mug from Spincycle Yarns.
New handspun shawl on the needles. The pattern is the Quaker Yarn Stretcher by Susan Ashcroft.
3-ply natural gray Finn yarn. 150 yards, 2.9oz. This was super lovely spin, and it made a really smooth, dense yarn. Also available in my Etsy shop.
It has been a little while since my last update, but there has been a lot going on in my fibre-universe!
I finally got my new spinning wheel. It is GLORIOUS! It is going to take some time to get used to it, but I’ve already finished my first skein of yarn.
I’ve also had the opportunity to start selling some of my knitted goodies at a local shop. It has been fabulous developing a relationship with a local business owner and feeling like I am supporting local businesses. Selling on Etsy was not working for multiple reasons, so this situation feels far more productive and rewarding. I was also fortunate to find someone who appreciates my aesthetic. My work has also attracted the attention of some other local fiber artists, so I’ve started to feel much more connected to the community.
Right now, most of my WiPs are based in working on items to keep the store stocked with goodies. I’ve been working on hats and cowls, so the projects are quick, fun, and easy. I’ve also been knitting a little for a fellow knitter who couldn’t meet holiday deadlines, so I’ve been getting to play with some locally produced yarns.
I’ve been doing lots of knitting, spinning and dyeing over the past few weeks, so I thought I’d share some of the projects.
I knitted the hand dyed skein into a little hat for my daughter. I used the Kit Kat Hat pattern, which is a free design on Ravelry. It was super quick, and I love how I was able to showcase the yarn.
I spun a braid that I had dyed. I’m still working on getting color schemes, but it is fun to play.
Finally, a BIG project! The Parks Wrap. I am so happy with how it came out; it is so warm and cozy.
The long weekend has provided some good opportunities for working on projects and experimenting with some new things.
This fiber was some I picked up from the LYS tour. The colorway was called Neapolitan, and it’s by Frabjous Fibers. It is 100% Polwarth. I am really happy with the way it spun up. It’s not totally my colors, though, so I decided to put the skein up in my Etsy shop.
I also spent a little more time playing with dyeing some of my handspun yarn. These are both kettle dyed. I need to work on getting the dyes to incorporate through the skein more evenly – there are a few white spots in both. I am very happy with the colors, though.
A friend of mine offered me two fleeces from one of her friends. I gleefully accepted, of course! Since I intend to bring a few sheep onto our property eventually, I figured there is no time like the present to learn some of the basics of working with an processing a raw fleece.
Here’s what it looked like out of the bag:
This fleece wasn’t raised with the intentions of someone spinning it, so it was pretty dirty. I picked through the nasty bits. Then I decided to wash up a little bit.
It cleaned up pretty well. I let it dry out in the sun.
I carded it with my new hand carders and made my first few rolags.
After that, I spun some up, of course.
I am pretty pleased with how it spun up. YouTube and Google searches were pretty handy during the process. I have a lot more to work through, but I think it is going to be a fun journey.
This morning, I finished up spinning and plying this CVM and alpaca blend. The fiber is from Hay Day Fleece and Fiber Co. It is earthy and wooly, just how I like it.
I am really liking the roundness that I get from a 3-ply, but I don’t have the bobbins for a traditional 3-ply, so this is chain plyed. I am resisting the urge to buy more bobbins for this wheel because I am getting a new wheel in the coming months.
A girl can never have too much gray yarn, but I am thinking I should start to venture into more colors.
Today, I happened to have a day to myself. It’s a bit of a rare occurrence, so I decided to spin up some yarn.
This was an 80% Alpaca 20% merino blend that I picked up from an LYS: Mad Cow Yarn. If you find yourself in Bothell, WA it is a worthwhile stop. They’re super friendly, and their selection continues to expand.
This was my first time working with alpaca at all, so it was a learning experience too. I didn’t find it much different or challenging. This fiber didn’t readily pre-draft, but I’m not sure if that’s a feature of this fiber or slaps a in general. I have some more pure alpaca at home that is in the queue, so I think that’ll give me a clearer picture of the qualities of an alpaca fiber.
I ended up with about 160 yards of a 2-ply yarn. It needs a soak still, but it is pretty luscious as is.
I finished my first hat made from my handspun yarn! It is so gratifying to go from roving to a finished, wearable product. Since I still consider myself to be a beginning spinner, I tend to choose a project for my yarn after I’ve finished it.
This fiber was some that I got in Port Townsend at Bizaare Girls Yarn Shop. It is BFL and Polwarth (from what I recall). It is a 2-ply yarn. Eventually, I want to start making more 3 and 4-ply yarns, but I’m a bit limited in the bobbins that I have. It came out to be a worsted weight yarn. I got a handy wraps per inch (wpi) tool from Knit Picks, and it has been helpful in using some of my handspun and determining what needles to start with. I used the Craft Sessions’ Simple Hat Pattern as a guide. It fits great, and it is super soft.
Washed and in a skein
On the needles
I am really enjoying my spinning lately. Consequently, I’ve been exploring different sources for fiber and a variety of wool-types. I am still doing a lot of experimenting to figure out what types of yarn I like to spin and knit with. Today, I started spinning some grey Cormo that I purchased Hay Day Fleece & Fiber on Etsy.
I am a big fan of rustic feeling fiber. I don’t really mind little bits of VM in either. So, this fiber totally fits the bill for me. It drafts well and is clean, but it still feels sheepy and wooly. I’m thinking I might take this single and ply it with some black fiber that I have for a marled effect.
I’ve mentioned this fiber in a few previous posts, but now, I have some finished yarn! In case you didn’t see the previous posts, I found an 8oz bag of fiber for a steal at a small festival that was sponsored by the Whidbey Island Weavers’ Guild. It was labeled as Shetland/Icelandic, and it came from a farm on the island. Spinning with this was pretty different from the roving that I had previously worked with; this stuff was earthy. After spinning my hands had a nice coating of lanolin, oil and dirt. There were definitely some second cuts in here, but I was able to work with it, and I had fun. I, of course, thoroughly washed the yarn after it was finished, but it is still nice, wooly, and earthy. I started with about 100 grams of fiber, but it lost a bit of weight when I soaked/washed it.
I saved a little for myself, and I made a little swatch from it. I was happy with how it knit up, and the halo on it is quite nice. So, I decided to put the skein below up in my Etsy shop. I am hoping to transition more to selling patterns and yarns rather than finished objects. Right now, I am starting to spin some undyed yarn so I can do some natural dyeing from plants around the property come Spring and Summer. I’d like to inspire creativity in others!
2.7oz, 125 yards of 2-ply DK/light worsted weight yarn!
The swatch from a leftover “partial skein.” On US size 6 needles.