Tag Archives: handspun yarn

Spinning In Cowgirl Boots – The Wild Swans

Its a drag when you and all your brothers get turned into birds and your little sister has to save you with magical clothing.

Spinning yarn and spinning tales - The Wild Swans

Its an even bigger drag if you are the little sister.

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Sunday Stitch – How to Chain Ply Yarn

Today I’m chain plying some of my handspun yarn. If all you have done so far is the traditional plying from two or more bobbins then you will love this. With chain ply, you can to turn a spun single, from just one bobbin, into a three ply yarn.

chain ply yarn - a free tutorial

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Taking Some Twist Out of The Noro (and other yarns!)

Love Noro. In my not-so-humble opinion, no one does color like Noro. Of all the yarns they make, Taiyo is my favorite in Colorway No 1.

Noro Taiyo yarn in colorway No 1

Its nice right? Right. But its twisty. As you stitch with it it doubles back on itself and that can be a pain. If you’ve worked with Noro you’ve encountered this. All their singles are overspun. A more generous soul would call them energized singles. I’m not that generous and I want it to stop twisting. So I take the time to “finish” my Noro yarn with steam.

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Spinning in Cowgirl Boots – A History of Red Dye

I’ll never be a dyer of fiber or yarn. I leave that to others. I have a mommy that dyes fiber with stuff she finds in her backyard and a close friend that dyes yarn with commercial acid  based formulas. Mostly I just play assistant and/or appreciative audience. Mostly I just say things like “Ooo! That’s pretty.”

red yarn dyed with cochineal

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Picking a Pattern for Handspun Yarn

My polwarth spinning project is progressing. I have a few finished skeins to show off and, while I’m not done with the spinning, I’m far enough along that I’m thinking about patterns. Any pattern I use for a handspun yarn has to be flexible, workable in any weight of yarn, and easy to modify to suit the amount of yarn I actually have. Here are some patterns that have what I’m looking for.

Four Patterns That Will Work For Handspun Yarn

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Spinning in Cowgirl Boots – The Tale of the Three Spinners

Today I’m plying two strands of undyed polwarth wool and telling The Tale of The Three Spinners (Die drei Spinnerinnen). The wool is from last year’s Yellow Rose Fiber Fiesta in Sequin, Texas and the tale from from the Brothers Grimm. When I was buying it (the wool, not the fairy tale) I got swept up in the excitement of being at a fiber show and I did this: “I need 6 ounces of that polwarth. No 8 ounces. No ten!”

Now I have to spin up all ten ounces of it. This is me at my wheel. I look exactly like that.

The Sleeping Embroiderer by Gustave Courbet (1853)

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Handspinning is not Hard… Except the Vocabulary

If you’re getting into handspinning, or if you want to talk about handspinning with anyone, you will quickly fall into the dreaded mire of spinning vocabulary. Spinners have a lot of vocabulary. To make the experience extra painful, they fight over it. Not fist fights. No one gets a black eye over these arguments (I hope). But if you hang out in a spinning related forum on ravelry long enough you are bound to come across a fierce debate over whether not a bag of fiber is sliver or top, combed or carded (and then slit into long lengths to look like combed). These spinners care deeply if their yarn is from a semi-worsted prep and spun semi-woolen or if its a semi-woolen prep and spun semi-worsted and what it should be properly called.

I, on the other hand, read these debates while throwing french fries at my screen and yelling “Oh just go freaking spin something!”

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Sunday Stitch – Testing a Fiber Before You Spin

I was planning a video (or two) on provisional cast-ons for this week*. But then I came across four or five mentions here and on our Raverly thread made by crafters who have decided to give spinning a try. Well. Since one of my nefarious plans is to turn all my readers in to spinners I had better nurture that hadn’t I?

Testing A Fiber Before You Spin It

Testing various fibers for handspinning

Before I get started with a new spinning project, I test out the fiber to see how it drafts and how it takes twist.

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We Are The Makers Of Things

Wrapping up Our Contest

So our Revive-A-Vintage contest is over and I had a blast. It was so much fun on my end to watch the patterns and projects get added in ravelry. I stayed up past my bed time more than once browsing pictures and reading project notes. But, I have to admit, I had a secret agenda. I hosted the contest so I could find The Makers, the ones who will sit down with yarn and needles/hooks/shuttles/looms and actually make things. And I did.

English showgirls knitting
English showgirls knitting backstage for soldiers during WWII (from Life Magazine)

You all are just like them… except maybe you don’t have those awesome legs. I sure don’t!

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