Welcome

Welcome.

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.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Woolly Wednesday ...

Please follow the link below to join me for this months Woolly Wednesday, hope to see you there x

May Woolly Wednesday

... and then the next Woolly Wednesday gathering will be on 5th June!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Changes

Hello to everyone who reads and joins in with Woolly Wednesday. I have really enjoyed posting Woolly Wednesday and visiting blogs to read what others are up to, what they are spinning or creating, being inspired. I hope to continue to enjoy all that but want to let everyone know of some changes that are being made.

This blog came from an online friendship a few years ago, an idea to create an online space to share inspiration, wise words sometimes and projects in spinning mainly but also any other woolly adventures. Last year there were changes when Kelly moved back to her home land and was less able to join in writing on the blog, and new authors joined. Due to other commitments and time, which is understandable as we all have busy lives, it has just been myself writing recently.


Due to this and also because I have another blog, which sadly gets neglected at times so as not to repeat myself, I am going to merge Spinspiration with my other blog which can be found here. I would really love to still link up with you all so will be posting the Woolly Wednesday linky there so please do visit and update your links to join me.

As it is the 1st May tomorrow it would normally be Woolly Wednesday but I am going to post it next week instead - 8th May over on www.raisingseedlings.blogspot.co.uk
During the week I shall hopefully merge the 2 blogs (fingers crossed!) and change any necessary settings.

I hope to see you there next week, in the meantime have fun with your woolly adventures, I know some of you have been to Wonderwool, as have I, so look forward to reading all about it on your blogs. I shall be sharing my experience of Wonderwool on my blog for Woolly Wednesday for next week.

Thanks again to you all for your company, inspiration and online friendship. This isn't goodbye, just see you soon in another place x

Dawn x


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Woolly Wednesday April 2013


Welcome to our Woolly Wednesday gathering for April, sorry we are a week late but now also a day early!
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, or plans for the month(s) ahead. All crafts and inspiration welcome.

 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 April Woolly Wednesday


Well with the current Spring (really?) weather here in the UK, there is still lots of knitting going on - we need those woollies! Complete contrast to the Easter holidays of the last two years; in fact around this time 2 years ago we were enjoying days on the beach! We have had a few nice warm days now, but could do with a lot more, and a lot more sunshine.

Ah well, we can only hope the Summer will compensate. Those wee lambs are being welcomed into the world with a bump of coldness. I wonder whether the ewe's fleeces will be affected by the extra cold, and perhaps extra stress in lambing ...


So I have finished a project I can't share pictures of just yet, so we'll just skip over that. Here is my cushion that is in progress that I forgot to photograph last time - it's not far from the right size but I haven't knitted it for a few weeks - should really push to finish and sew a zip in it. Then I can start the next ones, which are a lot smaller so I can knit them up quicker.


I knitted myself a new phone cover for my new phone, finally joining the 21st Century with a decent one. This was knitted using Judy's magic cast on - a lovely invisible cast on - and knitted in the round - just worked out how many stitches I thought it would need to be a snug fit, knitted in smaller tips for the yarn for a dense fabric.


The yarn is all sorts of blends from our Guild fibre day where Wingham Wool visit with all their goodies to sample and buy. I sampled lots of different things and chain plied it all to retain the colours and have a lovely skein of variation. Some has now been used on this and the rest is going to be used on the Guild challenge project this year I think.

Another photograph I forgot last time was the Merino I spun from fleece from Queensland, here it is, no plans yet - I may dye this now.


Other recent activity has been finally getting around to cleaning up and oiling the Westbury wheel I bought last year from a local charity shop. A little rough in places, I sanded her lightly and cleaned all the parts removing a little rustiness off the metal parts and then gave her a good drink of Danish Oil on the wood (this prompted me to give the other wheels a clean and coat of oil too). The leather bearings on the Mother of All were in a sad dry state so have had a good soaking of oil too. Now she is spinning like a dream - a little noisier than my other wheels but that just adds character! The wheel is for my daughter to learn on really, which I think will happen this year more and be much easier on this spinning wheel. The treadling is so light and responsive and as the wheel is weighted it starts straight away and stops smoothly too. She may well go out on loan briefly first, but does need some more bobbins which are hopefully in the making soon when my Dad can get to use his lathe ... when the weather is warm enough to be out in the shed!


Spinning this month has been a roving/tops of merino dyed in deep purples, pink, blue, green which I want to make a 3 ply yarn with a grey - so I need to spin the grey for this soon.


Other spinning has been spinning my way through lots of samples I have of different breeds, a bit of this and that from various places - Winghams, gifts, part fleeces, odds and ends from Guild, etc. I'm building up lots of mini-skein samples, and trying to record notes on breeds and samples too, kind of a spinning journal - a work in progress!

 I have a long term project mentioned previously on this blog I think, using as many breeds as I can spin so these samples are perfect for that - for all the breeds I spin I am going to weave a square on my Weavette loom and they will all be sewn together for a finished project to show the variations in breeds, natural colours, etc and have it at demonstrations and open days for people to see. I previously used some of these to make this cushion. 

Next Woolly Wednesday I shall have tales of my adventures to Wonderwool! I can't wait x

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Happy Holidays!

Easter holiday break? ... or alternatively "Oops I forgot to post the linky!"

Sorry folks, back next week for April's Woolly Wednesday, hope to see you there to catch up with all your woolly days.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Dawns Woolly Wednesday - March

Sorry for late writing and linking, I actually wrote all this last night and only needed to add the photos but didn't get a chance and have been busy elsewhere today.

March already ... where does the time go?

Still spinning away the days when I can, and knitting too. Now this is not an easy post to write to day as some projects are *secret* and I need to make sure I don't show too much of them online in case the recipient sees it - they don't now things are for them so until they are gifted they need to remain un-shared online. So apologies for some lack of detail or photos.

What can I share?
Well I spun a 2ply Merino from raw fleece all the way from Queensland, Australia. Ah, woolly gifts are the best! This was quite short so spun semi-woollen/semi-worsted (work that out if you can!). Washed and carded into lovely fluffy rolags. There were some short bits in this which I tried to pick out the worst but grew to live with some of them. Awaiting final wash and measurement. Will possible dye this I think. These are the rolags but I haven't photographed the yarn yet so will add this another time.

Merino rolags

I did a little dyeing recently and produced this ...

 From the dyepot to drying

Which is now all spun up, some has been blended with to create a few shades. More on this yarn another time!

Finished yarn ready to knit

Knitting a tunic for my daughter with handspun from last year, slow progress - just keep leaving this to do other things but one day I'll just pick it up and knit, knit, knit.

My Monet yarn is wound into yarn cakes now and ready to become a knitted and felted bag.

I'm still also knitting scrappy using up odd-balls cushion covers, long term project, you'll see these throughout the year. Not handspun so far but I can see some handspun coming into some of these cushion covers in the planning.

What else? Ah yes, I've finally succumbed to the Sheep Heid pattern, having seen some lovely examples recently on ravelry, and a flock of them knitted by a friend at the guild. Another friend at the guild bought some fibres to spin for this (edited to add she's finished hers now too!) and in chatting with her about it I remembered some Icelandic yarns I spun last year - there are 5 shades there already - approx 4ply so perfect. They are spun and set as singles so not sure if that will create any issues with stitches leaning but they are not high spun singles so I'm going to knit it and see how it goes.

I have therefore spun 4 other yarns in different shades to complete the set. Wow was this a test - making sure there was enough colour variation to see the different sections, and working out replacement shades for those in the pattern, it made my head hurt! I will add a picture later (sorry not prepared was I?!).

I think that's it for now, more spinning planned to work through the fibre stash. Looking forward to warmer drier days to get some fleece washed. Another long term project in the planning for the Guild challenge for 2013 - 'The Second Time Around' Guild Challenge' -  'upcycle', 'revamp' or 'reinvent' to breath new life into something. So I have a plan!

Look forward to seeing what everyone else is up to x

Lydia's Woolly Wednesday - March

The first Wednesday of the month soon comes round. I'm glad to see there are definite signs of Spring after a miserable Winter, the poor sheep have had so much mud and wet wet to put up with. My current spinning project is something a bit different. When I bought my Lendrum I treated myself to some ready prepared fibre so I could get straight on with spinning. I bought a blend of baby camel fibre and silk:
The fibre is so soft and the colours are spinning up into an oatmeal effect. If you've never encountered camel fibre before it is quite like alpaca - not surprisingly as alpacas are camelids. This baby camel is extremely soft, fine and on the short side.

It is taking quite a long time to spin this blend. Partly because I am spinning finer than usual and partly because it is a fiddly blend to manage. The camel fibre separates from the silk so you end up with a mostly silk yarn and a heap of camel fluff in your lap if you don't pay attention. I'm having to keep working the camel fibre in with the silk as I go. However I love the results:





Have you ever spun this blend or worked with camel fibre? How did you get on?

Woolly Wednesday March 2013

Welcome to our Woolly Wednesday gathering for March, 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, or plans for the month(s) ahead. All crafts and inspiration welcome. So what are you up to as Spring approaches?

 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.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Late to the party

 Apologies for having been absent these last couple of Woolly Wednesdays, and then late to this one.  The only excuse I have is life getting in the way!  I have a completed project to show you.  Every year, our guild have a light hearted competition to create something, and then we vote on our favourite one at the AGM.  This last year we were to create a cushion.  I found a pattern I liked over on Ravelry, ie the Aran Leaf Pillow by patons.  And thenset about creating the yarn.  I have a real trouble in creating anything much thicker than a DK weight, but tried to spin a bit thicker than normal anad made a three ply yarn, one bobbin was a blended merino I got from World of Wool in their lapwaste bags, and the other two were from the alpaca I got from our local farm shop.  I tried to have one bobbin of lighter fibres, and one of the darker fibres.  And then plyed all three bobbin together to create this wonderful yarn that I am so proud of,
 What drew me to the pattern was the design on the flap.  There were various knitting techniques I had never tried before, so I wanted to challenge myself.  I started and finished the flap on the way down to the Guild exhibition in Hampshire at the end of July 2012.  I figured that 6 or so hours on the coach with no children to distract me was the perfect time to tackle those stitches!!

Then the rest of the cushion was finished, also whilst travelling.  It was my travelling knit, as the pattern was simple and repetitive, so easily worked on when travelling as a passenger in the car, or on the train.

 I finished it off with a covered button, instead of the tassle they suggested in the pattern. 

 
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the AGM, but my cushion did!  It didn't win, I didn't expect it to, as there is so much amazing talent within the guild, but I learned a few things along the way, and created a cushion that I am very, very pleased with.


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Dawn - a busy month at the wheels!

I've had the spinning bug so far in 2013 and longing for that to continue, lots of fibre and fleece to work through. Of course that means there is lots of handspun wool building up too, so there are projects in mind or in progress too.

So since finishing the Autumn Garden View shawlette my next spinning was to finish off some black Hebridean fleece with a little bamboo lightly blended through it, that I started in December. It's a bit darker than the photos show, but hard to get that on the camera in recent daylight.

Hedridean fleece handspun

This has spun up lovely as a DK/Worsted yarn that I think will make lovely socks, and there is 369m of it that will go a long way.

Once this was off the wheel it was time to spin some of the lovely fibre I received in the Secret Santa swap on Ravelry. I decided I wanted to spin the Shetland blue/green roving, and the lovely Romney batt (with silk, firestar and glitz) and ply them together. There was more of the Shetland so the remaining I made into a 2 ply yarn to complement it. These are the fibres

 Shetland roving above and Sparkly batt below

These are the skeins.  I love these, and have plans for a shawlette/scarf with this. There is 224m in total of these skeins.


With Christmas decorations being packed away, my Louet wheel made a re-appearance and so I could have both wheels working on different projects again. I hadn't used the Louet for a while so we got reacquainted and it was lovely. I spun another batch of Hebridean fleece on her, this being slightly lighter than the other one above and a lovely amount of yarn 347m. So good to see those huge bobbins full again!

Hebridean fleece spun on my Louet wheel

Once the Wee Peggy was free I finally got around to plying some rainbow merino singles that had sat on bobbins for a long time ... I hadn't realised how long until I looked back at some pictures and realised it was 18 months (oops!). The problem was I didn't know what I wanted to do with it. So I decided to n-ply it into a nice bulky yarn, it went curly as anything as the singles were so stale but after a wash it was perfectly balanced.

 Rainbow yarn n-ply

My daughter Imogen saw the yarn and put in a request for something for her, and asked for a close fitting cowl. So a cowl was knitted. There was still just less than half the yarn left so she asked for a hat. I wasn't sure there was enough for a hat but hey presto there was. I enjoyed knitting it so much I knit it twice! Yep, it was too small so I frogged it and restarted only a little bigger.

 In her cowl and modelling the first hat - 
she's wearing the new bigger hat today (looks pretty much the same just fits better!)

Phew, that's quite a bit to share already but hey I'm not finished yet. Ready for some more? Good because I have some lovely pictures to show you!


This was some more off my swap fibre, some Merino/Silk blend from Winghams. I split this in two and spun the singles and plied together.


Merino/Silk blend - single bobbin and plied skeins

And finally on the spinning was this lovely fibre from my stash - some Colinette fibre which is lovely and soft and drafts beautifully. I've heard and read some bad stories of their fibre (felted, etc), some recently on a ravelry post, but the fibres I have had from them have all been lovely. This one was inspired by Monet's Waterlilies which I think you can see from these pictures.

Monet's Waterlilies painting
 Monet painted fibre
 Nests of fibre for spinning

I separated this into pencil thickness lengths to spin and also separated the darker parts from the lighter ones so that some of the yarn comes out in darker shades. I have ideas of this being knitted and felted into a bag so this will work well with that - more on that another day. Here is the yarn which I am so pleased with.

 Monet Inspiration handspun


I told you I had the spinning bug this month. As I sit here typing this both wheels are empty, waiting for the next fibre.

Now I have cast on a couple of new knitting projects, nothing to really show yet, but one is the shawlette/scarf in the sparkly Shetland blend yarn above. The other project is a tunic top for my daughter using some blue yarn I spun last year, some she helped me dye.

I think that is most of it, there are some other knitting projects going on too, using up odd balls of this and that yarn - mostly becoming new cushion covers so these will take a while and a lot of yarn, and some other fun projects I'll show you sometime over the next few months.

I'm not sure if I can keep up with this kind of productivity but we shall see, and I am having so much fun with it at the moment and have plenty to keep me busy.

Lydia's Woolly Wednesday - A Puzzle for You



Firstly, apologies for January, Woolly Wednesday completely slipped my mind, what with being out of routine. Now I'm back and I have a question for you. Last summer I went to Hereford. In Hereford I visited The Old House, which dates back to 1621. 
I was tempted to hop in that rubbish truck and drive it out of picture but I didn't want to spend the rest of my holiday in a police cell


The house is furnished as it might have been in Jacobean times. Upstairs I discovered a Welsh Great Wheel:



The first thing I noticed about this wheel was the tilt. I have only had a few attempts at spinning on a great wheel, the one I used was a replica and the wheel sat vertically, with no tilt. Every time I've used a great wheel, I stood with my right shoulder to the wheel. I have heard great wheels can be built with the wheel tilted but I thought the wheel was supposed to slope away from the spinner.

Can anyone explain why this wheel would appear to slope towards the spinner? Could it possibly be a wheel for a left handed person? As a left hander myself I was very excited to think this wheel may have been made for a long gone left handed spinner but there may be some other explanation. Do share your views!

Woolly Wednesday February - link up

Welcome to our Woolly Wednesday gathering for February, 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, or plans for the month(s) ahead. All crafts and inspiration welcome.

 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.


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

A little update on my shawlette

Rather than waiting until February, I thought I'd post some pictures of my finished shawlette from the Autumn handspun yarn you've seen in previous posts.

From Colinette roving spun in November

Here is the whole length indoors, followed by pictures taken  outside in slightly better light.




Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Dawns woolly round-up and plans ...

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas time, filled with happy days and maybe some lovely gifts.

First I would like to share a picture of some inkle weaving that I couldn't put on the blog before Christmas otherwise the recipient, my husband, would see a sneaky peek. New to actually using my inkle loom I wanted to run ahead and learn to do lettering on it and produce a personalised strap for his ukelele and his ukelele case.  Here they are with his socks.

Handmade gifts for Christmas

I'm really pleased with the results, need to work on those edges a bit but looking forward to more inkle weaving. I had a lovely book on Inkle weaving patterns for Christmas so watch this space for more.

My new book and lovely bangles too!

Socks were knitted aplenty in December and all three of us had a pair of handspun socks from the same fleece prepped from raw fleece under the tree. This was spun a few years ago and had sat as skeins for long enough.  We are all very pleased with our house socks.

Family of socks

So Christmas Day afternoon I could wait no longer to cast on the Autumn handspun - remember this in my December post? I decided on the Garden View Shawlette pattern on ravelry, with plenty of yardage to knit it and extend it.

Garden View shawlette cast on and knitting

Here it is just a few days later, I would imagine it will be finished and blocked and being worn by the next Woolly Wednesday.
Garden View shawlette progress

On the spinning wheel is this still, which I have done a little more of since Christmas. I want to finish spinning this fibre before starting something new, which is unbelievably hard when you see below what I received in a ravelry group secret santa swap.


In the swap my swap gift was being sent late due to family illness so the organiser arranged some angels to send me some gifts. I received so many wonderful packages from my secret santa and a few angels. I was overwhelmed and delighted by these gifts, I shall put my name forward as an angel next year to pay-it-forward. One that made me smile so much was a keyring of a sheep that was bought from a very lovely blog friend - Shell at Handmade Haven - maker of delightful felt creations, and supplier of lovely felt. Take a look at all these lovely fibres waiting to spin, I gotta get a move on with this black alpaca mix so I can get spinning some of this.

all the secret santa gifts ...
from my secret santa swap partner ...
from the angels

Looking forward to seeing everyone else's blog posts, seeing what everyone has planned for the year.
2013 for me ... I don't really do resolutions but aim to spin more, knit more, knit more from handspun to work may way through these lovely yarns I have spun - some in these baskets with other fibres waiting to be spun, and others stashed away elsewhere. I have plans, many plans ... including more socks!