Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Spin It Good

Hi Knitters (and Spinners),
I have been spinning a bit here and there. Last week I pulled out a Loop Bullseye Bump that I purchased a few months ago. I have been anxious to try this one out as it is kind of unique. The bumps are one of a kind and self-striping.

The fun thing is that it is a center pull bump with a generous weight of 5.4 oz. The colorway is named a very fitting, Mediterranean Sun. I adore spinning this one as it doesn't need any pre-drafting and it is just nice to have it come to you and be ready to spin right off the bat (or batt). It is spinning up very fine.

I'll keep you posted as I finish this. I have a new thing I am trying for the plying so it should be interesting. My first bobbin of singles is full and so I had to start a second bobbin but pull from the outside of the bump to keep the striping in order when I ply. That made me stop and think for a minute to work that out.

Click here for the Loop etsy shop!

Here is another fun spin that I finished up. One of my favorite indie dyers, Rachel, of Dyeabolical Yarns, put up these sparkle batts and I just had to try one out. I haven't spun from a batt or with sparkle fiber before so this was a new experience. The batt contains 4 oz. of bfl wool, merino wool, tussah silk and firestar (the sparkly stuff) all blended together.

I just pulled the batts apart into strips and started spinning, no pre-drafting. I used the larger whorl on my Ladybug to get a heavier weight yarn. I envisioned something kind of rustic and textured and that's what I got.

This is the first half spun up waiting to by plied.

And here is the final product! I did a simple 2-ply. Isn't it gorgeous? It really turned into a bouncy, squishy worsted weight yarn. After I gave it a long bath in Soak and let it dry for a couple of days it plumped up so much. It is almost like a different yarn after the wash. It smells sooooo good, too, Sola Soak Wash.

The colors are fun and interesting. I especially like the peeks of orange and the lime green, spectacular! I got 186 yards of worsted weight out of the 4 oz. I spun this up so fast and furiously. I just love the end result. It's funny because you really can't see the sparkle in the photos at all, it is subtle in person as well but if the light hits it just right you can definitely see the firestar throughout the yarn.

I caked it right up and cast on a project. That project is already done and I am writing up the pattern. I also cast on another version worked up in Malabrigo worsted so there is a comparable easy to find yarn to make the pattern. As soon as that sample is done I will get the pattern up and available for you!

At the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival last May of 2011 I purchased some braids of roving from the Dyeabolical booth. It was so great to get to see everything in person. Rachel, the owner and dyer, suggested combining these two different colorways and I thought that sounded pretty interesting. The best part of spinning for me is trying all kinds of new things and techniques.

Above are the two 4 oz. braids I spun as singles and then plied together to make a gigantic 2-ply hank of yarn. Both braids were 100% superwash merino wool top.

I pre-drafted to make these gigantic wound balls to spin from.  They are so fluffy and weightless to hold  when wound up like this.

Here are the more purple/blue/magenta singles on the bobbin.

 Here are the more tan/green/blue singles on the bobbin....

Well, here is what I ended up with! It's a gigantic, fun, amazing hank of 1,056 yards of fingering weight handspun! TC made the tag for me which I love.

This was an epic spin for me because of the huge yardage. I am going to make La La's Thin Ice Shawl with this. I've purchased the pattern and have it printed out and ready to go. The pattern calls for around 800 yards of a fingering weight so either I will make it bigger to use up the yardage, but it is already a super big shawl, or I will make a hat with the leftover.  We'll see. I will cast on as soon as I finish up a couple of shawls I am currently working on.

I love the end result. It is pretty crazy. I think the main color turned out to be blue which I didn't really get from the braids. It's sometimes surprising what the end yarn looks like compared to the roving at the start.

Here are my two spun babies together. You can see how gigantic the fingering weight 8 oz.  hank turned out when next to the 4 oz. worsted weight. Whoa.

Click here for the Dyeabolical Yarns and Spinning Fibers website!

Is anyone spinning anything out there? I'd love to hear about it!

Guess what? I'm almost done editing my manuscript for the first run. Whoot! I am on the last pattern this morning. I still have so much work to do on this book that I can't even think about it. So. Much. Left. To. Do.

Book making is an incredibly slow and long process so patience is a good thing.

Happy Tuesday, Knitters and Spinners!
best, susie


Kanani said...

Those are some awesome yarns! I just learned how to spin with a drop spindle and spun a 100 yards with my first batch of fiber. I am looking forward to learning on a wheel some day. How do you like the ladybug? Do you have a preferred wheel that you would reccommend?

Susan B. Anderson said...

Kanani, I love my Ladybug more than I can say! I highly recommend this wheel:)

Jessica said...

Susan, all that spinning is AMAZING!!! Wow 1,056 yds- That's incredible! I can't wait to see how your bullseye bump turns out!
jpeled on ravelry

Wooly Knits n Bits said...

Your spinning is wonderful. I've been spinning my cria (alpaca) fiber this week and hope to start on a shawl as soon as I ply it!
Thanks for the great links to the fiber too.

Ana said...

So beautiful. As a non-spinner (for now!), I am impressed. Your first pictured one looks like the new green growing on the oaks outside of my window. An amazing 'fleeting' sort of shade. I'm seeing it already here in Florida...

Joanna said...
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Joanna said...

Beautiful! And I love the tags, too. I have been borrowing our daughter's wheel and spinning a lot, too. I love how our youngest son keeps me company while I spin! I got some merino from Enchanted Knoll at the Loopy Ewe and spun @ 800 yards- it will be a shawl, I hope! Thanks for sharing those great links! They are in my favorites now!

Rae Lynne said...

I've seriously had to hold myself back from even considering a wheel. I want to learn so badly (watching the KnitGirllls show their progress each week never helps...lol). I'm still holding out. When I decide to get serious about it, I'll start looking at wheels. Who knows...perhaps in October I'll pick up fiber in Rhinebeck and then I'll just HAVE to get a wheel! :)

Aimee said...

I got my first wheel for my birthday last December & have been spinning up a storm!

Thanks to The Knit Girllls, I've spun Shetland & found Unwind Yarn Company. Dana has a good variety of fibers & is very careful when she dyes. Her fibers are so fluffy, with no predrafting required. I just finished spinning a 4 oz braid of her BFL/silk blend - so smooth & drapey!

I also have a few partial fleeces and some alpaca that I am eager to begin spinning.

I want to spin all the fibers & knit all the things!

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

I've been eyeing the bulls eye batts on Etsy for a while now... but I have so much roving around here I should really see if I could make my own.
I'm glad you had a good experience spinning from batts - they're my go-to for spinning now, since the drafting is really already done. And, I love all the "extras" - sparkle, sari silk, different textures.

Faith said...

WOW - I love your handspun! Thanks for sharing the before and after pictures; I love these progress posts, and it inspires me.

I learned to spin on a friend's wheel a couple years ago, and I hope to purchase a wheel of my own in the next year or two. I'm thinking I want to take a class, though, to learn more about spinning different fibers, plying, etc.

kelly-ann (on ravelry) said...

I just started spinning last Friday, but it is on a drop spindle. I am trying to practice a little each day. Not sure if it will ever click, but I am enjoying it thus far.

I love those rustic yarns - beautiful job!

loop said...

Hi! I'm Steph from Loop and was so excited to discover your blog! Thanks for sharing your Bullseye Bump spin. Can't wait to see how it plies. :)

loop said...

Hi! I'm Steph from Loop and was so excited to discover your blog! Thanks for sharing your Bullseye Bump spin. Can't wait to see how it plies. :)

loop said...

Hi! I'm Steph from Loop and was so excited to discover your blog! Thanks for sharing your Bullseye Bump spin. Can't wait to see how it plies. :)

loop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa H. said...

I'm really interested in learning how to spin! Thanks for sharing the process pictures. I was wondering how long you've been spinning? (I guess I want to know how long would it take for someone who is a beginner to really be able to spin something?)

thewalshfam said...

Susie, your yarn is absolutely gorgeous!!! You are such an inspiration! Each time you post on spinning, I just feel like I have to try it ASAP! I don't have a wheel and it is surely not in the budget at this time. Or, the time budget, either! You remember those days- I have 2 active little boys and baby sister will be joining us in June :). For now, I guess I'll just try to keep knitting as much as I can! I am truly enjoying knitting for this baby girl! I have several Itty Bitty hats in mind! I can always get my spinning fix from your wonderful blog - for now! Thanks so much! Your crafting posts make my day!

bitten78 said...

I'm so excited to see all the fun stuff your spinning. I am hoping to track down a ladybug wheel with my part of the tax refund, it really looks like it will be good for a beginner moving from a drop spindle to a wheel, and hopefully have enough extras and add on capability to last me through the years. with your seal of approval it has to be wonderful! thank you for all the great links, I can't wait to play with my own rainbows of fluff.

Brandi Schoch said...

Your spinning is divine. I already have collected 2 wheels an ashford joy and sequoia(which I highly recommend). I love seeing what others like to spin.