Thursday, May 05, 2011

Handspun Heaven

Hi Knitters,
I have a little handspun fun to share this morning. This is Maine Woods Yarn & Fiber, soft 100% wool blend roving, 4 oz. colorway Hyacinths. Click here to see the Maine Woods Yarn site. I received the roving as part of a swap on the Itty-Bitty Knits group on Ravelry. I love the colors in the yarn so much. This hank is juicy and bouncy and squeezable.
This is my first 3-ply yarn attempt. I am trying different techniques as I continue learning. For a 3-ply I broke the roving into three sections and spun each section into singles on a separate bobbin. Then I plied the three bobbins into the finished yarn.
I reached 194 yards of 3-ply in a dk weight. I had a tiny bit left over and made a 12-yard mini-hank of a 2-ply yarn. It is tiny and sweet.

I am surprised every time how twisted and curly (especially on the 3-ply) the yarn can be before washing and drying. Then everything seems to magically relax and drape evenly when it is completely dry. I was worried this one was way overspun but it really relaxed and worked out beautifully.

What should it become, a hat, mittens, a cowl, a toy? I have no plans as of yet.

You know, I like the 3-ply but I am more so loving the 2-ply yarn in the end. The 3-ply is a little denser as expected but what I really want is to make more socks with my handspun so that's my next goal. A 2-ply fingering weight is already being spun out of some Dyeabolical roving. Click here to check out this gorgeous etsy shop filled with yarns and roving!
The fingerless mitts are another handspun project. I used the Navajo plying technique which also makes a 3-ply yarn through chaining the yarn as you ply the singles together.

As for the pattern, I really just made these up as I worked so I don't have anything to share with you for the pattern.
You know I love the mismatched look every single time and the handspun plays into this so well. It has been so cold around here that these mitts have already gotten some wear-time this spring.

There is something so satisfying about spinning, plying, washing, knitting and then wearing something you made from scratch (well, almost from scratch). It is hard to put into words. I am glad I started spinning. When I can't knit and design a minute longer during the day (brain-exhaustion) or after I've completed something work-knitting related, spinning has turned into a treat or a reward for me.

Spinning is so light-hearted. I don't need to be perfect or even close to perfect at spinning. I don't know all of the ins and outs or technical terms or the proper techniques and that's what I love most about it. I don't even know about ratios or how thick the yarn will be in the end, nor do I worry about how the colors will mix at this point. I just spin. It is called freedom.

I think we are a match made in heaven.
best, susie

8 comments:

Miss Julep said...

WOW! Gorgeous! LOVE the blue!!

Erica said...

(I just started spinning, so please bear with me if these questions are stupid)

How did you wash the yarn before you knit it....after you plied it? while it was in that cute little hank?

How did you twist the yarn into the hank? I'm self-taught and still obviously don't know all the intricacies of spinning....!

Sara said...

This is what I love about you - it doesn't have to be perfect, you just have to love what you do! You are such an inspiration!

Tiphanie Wong said...

Gorgeous yarn and beautiful fingerless mitts. I can't wait to see what you knit up with your yarn. You continue to amaze me with your talent.

Kepanie said...

Would 3 ply make the yarn thicker and a heavier weight? I love your mitts! I like mismatched as well and roll my eyes when knitters get so anal about matching hanks and all.

sauceyjill said...

I can see why spinners say to keep your first attempts, because it changes so quickly! You've come a long way in such a short time!

I love love those fingerless gloves! The stripes are so sweet and whimsical! Nice job Susan!

Creative Design said...

Simply gorge!

Sheila

Grandmatutu said...

I love your description of spinning--it says what I am feeling exactly! I've been at it about a year, and I'm learning, but it's the spinning that I find uber relaxing! I heart your designs!! xoxo