Become part of the circle sharing inspiration for spinning and other fibre crafting. It is a warm and reassuring place, sort of like a favourite chair near a cosy fireside, where beginners and experts come and go as they please. It's a place to share what we know, learn from each other and display what we've created -- while supporting and inspiring each other on the wonderful journey associated with handspinning and wool-related crafts.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Woolly Wednesday November

Welcome to our Woolly Wednesday gathering for November, whether you are a regular or a new visitor - come and share with us all what you have been doing with wool or fibres in the last month. All crafts and inspiration welcome.It's a little quiet here some months, we would love to hear from you. Have you been spinning, knitting, felting, crochet, etc

Woolly Wednesday falls on the first Wednesday of every month. Think of it as a creative gathering, or a virtual guild meeting. Bring along any fibre-related project, whatever it may be. If you are starting out in fibre arts, share what you are interested in pursuing. Let's show each other our projects, share any tips, tutorials, ask questions, seek advice. Add your post to the Linky below and we can visit one another and share, support, encourage, be inspired!.

Please feel free to add the button to your blog's sidebar with a link to Spinspiration, a lovely way for us all to link together. Just copy the image to your desktop and then in your blog design - add a gadget, add picture -  upload the picture and then add the url (http://spinwheelspin.blogspot.com/) and the image will link to here. Join us with the linky below, link to a recent blog post of your woolly adventures in the last month or to a post in the month ahead, we look forward to seeing you, no time limits just join us when you can.

Dawns Woolly November post

 Autumnal fibres - more on that later

Hello November! Hello fibre lovers. What are you up to?

October has seen a flurry of activity spinning, knitting, and felting. First off I have finished spinning the Romney Marsh fleece I was spinning last month. I ended up with several bobbins full, so many that I forgot to leave one of the Wee Peggy bobbins free for plying! Doh! I pondered plying it on the Louet wheel, but instead I sat and wound off one of the bobbins onto a spare ashford bobbin I had. Plying commenced and took quite some time. I have a lovely bundle of skeins of this 2ply yarn - decided to ply all of the remainder as a 2 ply and it has resulted in a lovely yarn approximately 4ply with 14 wpi. All together I have about 630m, enough for a decent sized project. Awaiting washing still, but it's on my to do list!

 Romney Marsh skeins

 A few weeks ago was our local Guild meeting, a much anticipated meeting as we welcome Wingham Wool Works to the guild with all of their lovely wares to feel, to sample and to buy. I haven't previously taken my wheel to this day as I get involved in other things and never get around to spinning. But this year I was determined I would take the wheel and sample some fibres not spun before, and colourful combinations to get an idea of things I would like to spin again and also inspiration for colour blending. I had a lovely day, sampled lots of different things and have resulted in a lovely sample skein still patiently sitting on my niddy noddy. I was so busy having fun I only took one photograph at the beginning of the day. Ah well, my skein of finished samples is pretty to look at and shows what sort of day I had.

 Sampling bobbin
Sampling results n-plied and on the niddy noddy

We did have a committee meeting in the afternoon that went on for quite a while so some samples were finished at home. I made a few purchases, but not a lot, I have enough fibre and fleece at home to be getting on with for now (whoa, did I just admit that!?!).

Finishing the romney and sampling got me thinking about all the skeins of yarn I have sitting waiting to become something, so since then I have spent time logging my handspun in a book - what the fibre is, yardage, approximate thickness. The idea is to then look at projects I'd like to do and see what skeins match the project. That's the plan anyway. Among all the larger skeins, I had several small skeins or balls of handspun samples or bit left over from other things, and lots of bits of my early uneven spinning. So I set to using these up, firstly making a cover for a tablet we have (my pattern database!), and for a kindle (on loan to us) and a couple of bags. A great way to use up all those scraps, oh no I can't call handspun yarn scrap, even just a little bit - all those bits and bobs.

Since the wheel was empty, I have started spinning some superfine merino roving from the stash in lovely Autumn Burnt Leaves colourway, beautiful bright colours for those grey days - holding onto a little autumn beauty. Pondering whether to 2ply or navajo ply.

 Seperated the roving lengthways to spin
Spinning started 
(have now a full bobbin and almost full 2nd bobbin but no updated picture)

Will show you this next month when it's finished.
 I'm still knitting my tunic jumper - need to pop it on to see if the length is okay, so maybe that will be finished soon-ish. Knitting a few other little projects too, and this week I have cast on 2 pairs of 2-at-a-time socks too, with others in the planning.

Falling in love with silk

Lots of woolly things happening again here, but what to talk about?

I could tell you the story behind a custom order for a macBook cover, using handspun wool, but it's very similar to things I have said before.
 I could tell you about using up odd bits of handspun wool to make brooches, hair grips and bobbles for a stall the Guild are holding this weekend and Compton Verney, but that too gets a bit repetitive.
 So how about I tell you about a series of talks we've had a Guild recently?  One of our members grows her own silk, and gave us an amazing talk about the history of silk, the different kinds of silk, the different properties of silk, and had samples upon samples of all these different silks, from tussah to mulberry, from cocoons, to hankies.  And it was the silk hankies that really excited me. 

A hankie is a stretched coccoon.  It has to be processed to remove the sericin (the glue the silk worm uses in making the cocoon), but then can be stretched into a square and dried.  This site  http://www.wormspit.com/mawatas.htm shows the process in more detail.
 Once you have these hankies you can seperate them out and then , whilst sticking your thumb through the centre of it, you stretch it.  Keep on stretching and stretching (there is a lot of fibre in these hankies), and yyou end up with a long loop.
 Break the loop, and you have a pure silk yarn.  No spinning required, you can knit or crochet with it as it is. 
Needless to say, I had to buy myself some hankies.  I've had a little play, but would like to dye them first and then have much more of a play. 
This coming month we are learning how to make paper from silk.  I am very much looking forward to learning more about this wonderful silk.

Lydia's Woolly Wednesday

Back in April after Wonderwool Wales, a big fibre event in the UK, there was a thread on Ravelry where people displayed their purchases. I saw one of these lovely plaits. I hadn't seen the plaits at the show, I was too busy on my own stand.

The combination of colours really grabbed me. I found out the plait came from Adelaide Walker. I was delighted to find the Adelaide Walker stand at Fibre East, so of course a plait found its way into my bag (after I paid for it)! It isn't really a plait, it's four lengths of top twisted together -dark brown, light brown, grey and white Shetland wool.

It seemed a shame to actually spin the fibre, it looked so lovely just twisted together. But the temptation of ready prepared fibre was too much and I separated the four lengths. I really wanted to preserve the effect of the four distinct colours. I decided to spin two marled singles. I debated which colours to combine. In the end I decided to spin the dark and light brown together:

and the white and grey:

Then I plied the two marled singles together. The contrasts are less subtle than when the fibre was in the plait. I think maybe if I increased the amount of white there would be more contrast. Even so, I'm pleased with the effect.

Do join us for Woolly Wednesday and let us know what you have been spinning. If you add your blog I will come and visit, I'm looking forward to hearing about your fibre adventures!