Posts Tagged ‘handspun yarn’

I have one little skein, only about 1/4 of what I’ll need for my socks but I am very proud  of it and it was hugely satisfying to create. These socks will certainly qualify as “Slow Cloth“.

I am only just learning that there is a movement toward and a name for my own philosophy and passion in the my Fiber Art. I love the notion of slowing down in order to have quality rather than quantity in life. The idea that Fashion should be less dependent on rapidly changing trends and colors (fast money for the rich) and more about quality, sustainability, and thoughtfulness in design and materials. The things we create we  should make with care and there should be an expectation that they will have meaning to us. Herein lies great Joy in the creative process.

Slow Cloth

From Elaine Marie Lipson Red Thread Studio

Joy Slow Cloth has the possibility of joy in the process. In other words, the journey matters as much as the destination. Contemplation Slow Cloth offers the quality of meditation or contemplation in the process. Skill Slow Cloth involves skill and has the possibility of mastery. Diversity Slow Cloth acknowledges the rich diversity and multicultural history of textile art. Teaching Slow Cloth honors its teachers and lineage even in its most contemporary expressions. Materials Slow Cloth is thoughtful in its use of materials and respects their source. Quality Slow Cloth artists, designers, crafters and artisans want to make things that last and are well-made. Beauty It’s in the eye of the beholder, yes, but it’s in our nature to reach for beauty and create it where we can. Community Slow Cloth supports community by sharing knowledge and respecting relationships. Expression Slow Cloth is expressive of individuals and/or cultures. The human creative force is reflected and evident in the work. My Sock Yarn

I prepared a wonderfully soft and bouncy Polwarth fleece from New Zealand by a method I learned from Judith MacKenzie. You can read more about how I washed the fleece to prepare it for worsted spinning here and here.

Each lovely clean lock was flicked open at both ends and hand spun with the tip end toward the wheel to a very fine strand of yarn wherein all of the fibers were not only presented tip end first but all lined up parallel with just a bit of tension on the fiber as it twisted so that it would always be trying to regain the crimp that is natural to it, thus producing a nice elastic thread. When I had 3 bobbin done I plyed them together which resulted in a yarn that is a 3 ply worsted. It is elastic, soft and very durable. It is a little finer than my commercially spun sock yarn @ an average of 16 – 18 WPI.I can’t wait to cast on for my socks!

Polwarth wool laid out in preparation for washing the worsted way individual Polwarth locks showing the 4 + inches of staple length The raw Polwarth fleece before any washing. Isn’t it wonderful, so clean.

I thought it was time to post an update to “Spinning the Spotted Fleece”.

The sweater now has a name. It will be called Jacob. I will probably do a pattern for it after I’ve knit it in another colour pattern for variety.

I’ve had quite a few orders for handspun yarns so the knitting is coming along rather slowly. I’m at the neck shaping. We tried it on and it’s within an inch of exact measurements which makes me very happy. That can definitely be worked out with washing and blocking.

I am working really hard to get some of my special hand knits listed here on the web site and in the Etsy store.

Today I got 2 more really special Angora garments listed that would be perfect for baby gifts. One for a baby boy and one for a baby girl.

These are both one of a kind garments. There is no pattern available yet and I have not knit them again in any other form. Each was designed specifically for that particular special garment. They are both luxury items  which would be perfect heirloom gift.

Ok, enough talk, lets see the pictures!

Little Boy Blue

Whisper Angora and Silk Baby Shrug

Sneak Peek Angora baby sweater coming next week for sale here in the shop and on Etsy.

Angora Rabbit Fiber: Spun, Dyed, and knit by hand

Now Available to order

One of a kind Angora rabbit baby sweater handknit in the softest and finest handspun and hand dyed angora yarn. This is definitely next to the skin soft! An original design that I created just for this cardigan so it is truely a One of a Kind (OAK) garment. The front band features 5 handmade buttons. A very special little sweater that would make a wonderful heirloom quality gift.

SIZE: The sweater will fit a baby or toddler of approximately 6-12 months. It measures 21 inches around and 11 inches in length. weighs 144 grams or 5.1 ounces

order here

Choosing a fleece with contrasting colours. This one has just black and white in what seems to be equal parts – that’s very dark brown and cream, of course

The testing and planning for this project may just be the most fun part. I have now washed, carded or combed, spun and knit swatches (or small projects) from 4 of my stashed fleeces. I’ve been working with the multi coloured fleeces this time because I wanted some colour texture in my sweater. This one is a Jacob from Great Britain. It’s for Earl. I considered my choices for working with the stark contrast of the colours in this fleece. I could do a relatively homogeneous blending for a smooth mottled look, I could keep the colour separate and ply a white with a black for a ragg look, or I could try to keep the colours separate and use them to form some kind of colour pattern. I decided on the later and choose a random colour pattern as I felt it would be closest to the true nature of the fleece as it appeared on the sheep’s back. There are lots of grey fleeces out there, why make this one look like them?  In order to keep the colours separate they had to be plyed by the Navajo method. This produces a 3 ply yarn. I made mine a worsted weight (4 Medium) about 35 yards/ ounce and about 9-10 WPI. Although I love to card or comb by hand, I do use my roving carder for larger project where I really want to get on with the task of knitting it so that is how I’ve been preparing this one for spinning. I knew I had to be careful with any stark white areas as they would pop out visually so most of the white has some degree of black mixed in. Each time I load the carder it has some of each colour. It is in the carding, to a degree, but more so in the separating and arranging of the bats for spinning that the “painting” of the colour pattern takes place. I’ve been knitting each ball as it comes from the spinning wheel so that I have a feel for how I want the next colour pattern to work out. Updates Here

Woot! My Alpaca arrived today and I’m in heaven.

I ordered a few bags to start with just to see how I liked it and I will definitely be going back again. This is beautiful fiber from ladyolivia Alpaca Avenue  by Kerstin Kerr on Etsy. So soft and clean and very fine. It was easy to spin into a fingering weight yarn as 2 ply so I’m sure I could do lace or DK with ease even if I had to go to a 3 ply for Worsted weight.

Now, I just have to decide what to knit with it. Mittens or fingerless gloves maybe? ideas?

I’m still working on the wool fleeces. I brought 4 of them in and only one was un-usable. It just has so much chaff embedded in the fleece that I find I don’t have the patience or desire to work with this one at all.

I’m trying to decide which of the other 3 fleeces I want to use to make the man’s sweater that I have in mind. I need gauge swatches for the measurements but I also need them to see how each of the yarns will perform for me. I know what I want in terms of softness, drape, body, colour and attitude. For my gauge swatch I decided to make a new hat rather than a little knitted square. Here is pattern.

Very easy, very quick (just a few hours to make), and very warm.

Order the handspun wool yarn from us here. “Design it yourself” custom handspun yarn. Or contact me with a specific request if you don’t see your yarn listed.

Lots more wool yarns coming soon. I am working on Rare Sheep Breeds and Breed Specific Wool Yarns now and hope to have them available to order soon (Feb – March 2013)

Swatch Cap

Size Adult Medium

Gauge 4.5 stitches per inch, 5.5 rows per inch

Needle Size and Description: 5mm needle 16 inch circular and a set of same in double points

Materials: about 100 yards of Worsted weight handspun wool  (approx 3  ounces)

Finished Measurements: 20 inches around. 8 inches high

Brim:

Cast on 80 sts. Place marker, join. (you know the routine, be carefull not to twist) Beginning with a purl row, work in garter stitch for 10 rows 5-6 ridges. Increase 8 stitches, evenly spaced, over last row. (88 sts.)

Body:

Work in rounds with stocking stitch (knitting every row) until you have 6″ (or desired length)

Crown: (about 2 inches)

Round 1: *Work 6, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [77 sts remain]

Round 2: Work even

Round 3: *Work 5, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [66 sts remain]

Round 4: Work even

Round 5: *Work 4, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [55 sts remain]

Round 6: Work even

Round 7: *Work 3, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [44 sts remain]

Round 8: *Work 2, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [33 sts remain]

Round 9: *Work 1, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [22 sts remain]

Round 10: *K2tog. Repeat from * around. [11 sts remain] Finishing:

Break yarn leaving a generous tail. Draw tail through remaining stitches on the needle. Pull gently to close hole. Weave in tails.

Don’t laugh, there were no other heads around and I wanted to show it to you on someone! More photos below :0

Unlike you, I am not very fond of knitting a gauge swatch so  …  after I spun up some of the fleece I got out yesterday … I decided that I would knit a hat to determine my gauge. I really, quite like it. Great fit and not likely to give me “flat head” and definitely very warm. The textured look from the slubs in the handspun give it a wonderful personality. The simple designs helps to showcase the “hand spun-ness” of the yarn.

Order the handspun wool yarn from us here. “Design it yourself” custom handspun yarn. Or contact me with a specific request if you don’t see your yarn listed.

Lots more wool yarns coming soon. I am working on Rare Sheep Breeds and Breed Specific Wool Yarns now and hope to have them available to order soon (Feb – March 2013)

Quicky Rolled Brim Hat

Size AdultMedium

Gauge 4.5 stitches per inch, 5.5 rows per inch

Needle Size and Description: 5mm needle 16 inch circular and a set of same in double points

Materials: about 125 yards of Worsted weight handspun wool  (approx 3  ounces) Try the Handspun Eastport Alpaca. (More wool yarns coming soon)

Finished Measurements: 21 inches around. 9.5 inches high with brim rolled up. For a hat that fits (no slouch) make body 1″ shorter for total length of 8.5″

Brim:

Cast on 94 sts. Place marker, join. (you know the routine, be carefull not to twist) knit around for 4-6 rows for the st st rolled brim. work 4 rows of K1, P1 ribbing for a better fit.

Body:

Work in rounds with stocking stitch (knitting every row) until you have 7″ (or desired length) from the bottom with the brim rolled up just as you would be wearing it. **For a hat that fits, at the top, with no slouch at all just do 6 ” here.

Crown: (about 2.5 inches)

On the next round (work 13 sts, k2tog) 2 times. Then (work 14 sts, k2tog) 4 times. [88 sts] Work one round even. Round 1: *Work 6, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [77 sts remain] Round 2: Work even Round 3: *Work 5, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [66 sts remain] Round 4: Work even Round 5: *Work 4, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [55 sts remain] Round 6: Work even Round 7: *Work 3, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [44 sts remain] Round 8: Work even Round 9: *Work 2, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [33 sts remain] Round 10: Work even Round 11: *Work 1, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [22 sts remain] Round 12: Work even Round 13: *K2tog. Repeat from * around. [11 sts remain] Finishing:

Break yarn leaving a generous tail. Draw tail through remaining stitches on the needle. Pull gently to close hole. Weave in tails.

Loving this wonderful top I just purchased on Etsy from threewatersfarm !

I had recently signed up for a class on Craftsy Spinning Dyed Fibers on how to spin these wonderful tops and so, of course, I had to buy some. I got these 2 amazing colourways and a bar of homemade goat milk soap.

I got on the iPad and watched the class and practiced. It was my first time to try Navajo plying and I can’t believe how easy it is after I’ve been avoiding it for all these years!

I only have 4 ounces of each colourway so I started with a pair of mitts. I found the pattern on Ravelry, Cruiser by Cailyn Meyer. When the mitts were finished I still had quite a bit left but not enough for a hat so I made this headband to match the mitts (just made up the pattern as I went).

This set is for Libby and I gave it to her today. I really think she likes it a lot.

 

I’m making my Christmas presents and wanted to work with some cashmere so I thought this would be a nice little project that would work up fast and give the recipient some wonderful warmth and luxury this winter. It was really fast and such a treat to knit. This one’s for Bethy.

I love this cowl and it was so fast and easy, a perfect “knitting as meditation” project.

BLOCKING: I blocked it with wires and pins and Wow, what a difference. I really stretched it to it’s max when I blocked and probably wouldn’t have stretched it quite as wide now that I see it dry. I think I prefered the fabric with a little more bounce and a slightly tighter fit. But that is personal taste and it’s nice to have a choice. Different blocking choices can give you such different looks.

Pattern coming soon, check here to see if it’s out yet.