Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Spindrift swirl and tempest tossed

That's a line from the Ode to Newfoundland (provincial anthem) by the way. I was thinking about spinning this morning, and looking out at the blowing snow (yea! Finally, some snow!), and it just popped into my head.

So, yes I have been spinning. I was given this Schacht Hi-Lo drop spindle for Christmas, and I have been slowly figuring out what to do with it.

It came with a pile of combed wool (top, I'm guessing - still learning all the fibre lingo). The problem is that I have no idea what kind of wool they are, so when it comes time to buy more fibre, I don't know what I've already spun. And boy does it make a difference! The first lot that I started with was white, fairly soft wool. It was hard to get the hang of drafting, so mostly I pre-drafted all of it, and came out with a fairly lumpy bumpy first spindle full. I managed to wrestle it into a two ply skein:

It's pretty thick and thin, and a little ropey looking, but I love it all the same. It was certainly a learning experience. It's about 3 oz, somewhere between bulky and super bulky. It may have a future as a hat. We'll see.

The second pile of fibre looked much like the first, just a darker colour, maybe a little less soft.

But when I started to spin it, it was so much easier to work with. The fibres (staple?) are longer and smoother, and I could draft them easily into long, thin singles. Beautiful. Why didn't I start with this?! Last night I finished off the fist half of the pile of wool, and then taught myself to Andean ply while watching tv. And like magic, I had yarn that actually looks like real yarn:

It's 60 m, about 1.75 oz., and I'm getting around 11 wraps per inch.

So far, I'm enjoying spinning, even though it is cutting into valuable knitting time! Up next, I have the reamining half of the darker wool still to spin. And I also have these:

100 grams of hand dyed Blue Faced Leicester from Fleece Artist.

I have thoughts of buying silk hankies to try out, and am still confused about all the different types of sheep out there, and which are the best for fairly easy spinning. From Ottawa, I will basically have to mail order or buy fibre on eBay, because there are no shops in the city that sell much fibre (these Fleece Artist Slivers being the exception). I would really appreciate any tips, or referrals to retailers, websites or books that may be of help to a very beginner spinner. Has anyone got an opinion about the new book Spin to Knit? I have read most of the back issues of Spindlicity for starters.



Blogger Sarah said...

This looks amazing for your first go at spinning, I can't believe how good both batches look. Well done!

10:49 a.m.  
Blogger Glenna C said...

oOOOH, look at you gettin' your spin on! Sometime when I make it back out to Ottawa or you come here you'll have to demonstrate all of this magic for me.

Lolly, among others, had some "blog book tour" posts a few months ago on the Spin To Knit book - if you try a google search I imagine that would yield a few posts.

Ps - snow is AWESOME!

11:34 a.m.  
Blogger Marianne said...

Oooh WOW...beautiful! Oh my gosh! no kidding 'look at you gettin' your spin on" well put, Glenna.
Kelly, that is looking sooo good.
I got myself one of those spindles before the holidays and I've not played with it yet, the silly little thing remains intimidating to me, I'm really going to have to get over that.
None of the lys around here have fibre. I found the spindle and the fibre I have from the Yarn Barn in Lawrence, Kansas...www.yarnbarn-ks.com I think.....that or google. they have 'some' fibres. Wanda at Fiberjoy (check my links) knows about spindling and silk hankies, and on the Jenkinswoodworking...that's Ed, her husband, he makes Turkish spindles, on that site I do believe there's a link to a fibre type online store....
I don't know anything about the book but have been thinking I should find out so I'll be keeping in touch with you about learning more.
Seriously, how cool are you! (way way cool)

8:17 p.m.  
Blogger Jo said...

There's a workshop for silk hankies online at knitty.com if you do a search for it, there's also a website for the Spin to Knit book, I recommneded it to another new blogger who got a spindle for Christmas and she thought it was great!

6:31 a.m.  
Blogger Marianne said...

I forgot to mention this...but when my vision cleared enough from seeing your yarn..and the darker fibre, and then...the BFL...no kidding my heart did a skip jump stopped then kick started again, I almost feel like a 20something year old....again.
Beautiful stuff, I dream about that fibre.

8:18 a.m.  

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