Thursday, 30 October 2008

Falling for Autumn

Fall, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

When I bought my Cascade spindle from Spunky Eclectic last year I also bought a BFL almost solid sampler, well, just because I liked the colours! However, I wasn't sure how to spin it. I wanted to blend the colours but the thought of doing nearly 200g with handcarders filled me with dread. Fast forward to now and I finally have my longed for drum carder. It was *really* easy to blend the colours into some frankly enormous batts. I split the batts lengthways and spun them longdraw as fast as I could, not worrying about the weight or any lumps or bumps. I was going to ply it but after a couple of minutes of spinning I realised that it would make a really nice singles yarn. So I've ended up with 149g and 457m, which I'm hoping to make into a small felted bag (and there might be enough left for some wristwarmers too).

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Pick up a Piiku

Piiku, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

This is my latest spinning, 391m/189g of 2 ply Piiku Finnish fleece. The colours range from light cream to dark brown, and it's about 10WPI and a 2 ply. I've spun the colours carefully so that I have two matching skeins that fade from dark brown to cream, so that I can make matching socks. This was my first time trying longdraw, and it worked brilliantly. It's so fast! I've tried the technique before but these carded fibres were perfect for it. I spun and plied one of the 100g skeins in just one day.

Monday, 13 October 2008

More new yarn stash...

Eclipse, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

this time some of my handspun! This is the first skein of Eclipse, made from the July Romney fibre from the Spunky Eclectic club. 54g, 139m, 13 WPI. I'd not spun Romney before but I really like its toughness and slight halo. It's navajo plied so that when I knit it into socks it will make stripes. The matching skein will have to wait until my current spinning project is finished- it shouldn't take too long, maybe by the weekend if I'm lucky.

Malabrigo, mmmmm

Malabrigo, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

After deciding that I wasn't going to buy *any* yarn at Ally Pally on Sunday, I caved in surprisingly easily at the Sockopus stall. This gorgeous Malabrigo sock in moody blues and greens just spoke to me- "buy me, but me" it whispered. So I did.

I also bought some spinning fibre- half a Romney fleece, some Finnish breed in natural colours, some Wensleydale, two lots of Natural Dye Studio fibre (one BFL, one UK Merino) and one Pigeonroof Studios BFL.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

What's on the wheel?

Eclipse, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

I'm currently spinning the Spunky club July offering, which is "Eclipse". I've decided that I want to make it into socks, so I split the fibre legthwise to spin into singles. I'm now navajo plying, so I should end up with two small matching skeins of stripy yarn eventually. They won't be exact but I think they'll be close enough. I'm going to do a toe up vanilla version, and just knit until I run out of wool. I'm finding the navajo plying quite difficult as the singles are so thin, they sometmes break under the pressure of bringing it through the loop and sorting out tangles. I've been felting the ends back together and then continuing gently until I'm past that spot. It seems to be going well and I'm liking how the plied yarn is looking on the bobbin.

Sunday, 5 October 2008


Ocean, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

I found it very hard to decide which of the lovely fibres Chrispindle set me in the swap should be first on the wheel. The merino/silk and alpaca are both lovely, but I decided to start with the "wild'n'wacky" drumcarded batts. The batts included merino, English wool, alpaca, angora, sari silk fibre, bamboo, cotton noil, trilobal nylon, angelina and braid. These were a very quick spin, from fibre to yarn in just a few hours. It took longer to get the beads onto the thread than any other part of the process! I ended up with 165m/73g of thick/thin/textured single plied with silky light blue thread with beads on. The combination of blues with green and purple highlights is really pretty, and the beads really make it sparkle.

I've had a slight setback with some of my Christmas knitting, where I've woefully underestimated the amount of yarn I'm going to need. A drastic rethink is needed there. I'm also having to wait for a pattern to arrive in the post from Canada- I thought I could buy it online to start straight away but no such luck. These delays do mean that I've been able to cast on for a different knitting project instead, which is keeping me busy.

Saturday, 4 October 2008


Peacock, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

This is the first 48g of "Peacock", spindle spun and navajo plied. The singles were spun on a 28g Golding antique rose, and plied on a 36g Cascade Mt St Helens. The resulting yarn is roughly 20WPI, 262m from the 48g. The fibre is 80% merino/20% silk from All Spun Up. I've got over 150g left to spin but I won't need all of that for the project that I've got in mind, probably less that 80g more is needed. The rest I'd like to do on the wheel as a barberpole 2 ply, and maybe make into socks.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

October's here...

and the Christmas knitting and spinning has really started in earnest. There's less than 3 months to go until C day and I really want to get everything finished in time. I'm taking knitting into work as if I can do two rows at lunchtime that should add up. Plus there's also half term in a few weeks, and that should mean a good chunk of knitting and spinning time.

I was really flattered when the lovely Helix asked if she could use one of my photographs of the yarn I spun from her fibre on her blog. She's written a lovely little piece about how much she likes it, which made me blush! You can read the post here.