I recently bought Jacey Boggs’ book Spin Art. I’ve experimented with corespinning and tailspinning in the past, but my attempts at producing beehives have always been a hideous disaster as I was guessing how they were made.
The book arrived at about the time Shiela announced her annual spring competition, based around spinning a yarn inspired by a photo. This year’s photo was of some beautiful white and purple crocus flowers.
Here’s my entry, using a mix of the techniques in the Spin Art book:
I was really pleased with the beehives and got more daring as the yarn went on. I started with small beehives, but when they managed to make it onto the bobbin without getting caught up in the orifice or the sliding hooks on my Ladybug’s bulky flyer, I kept increasing the size. The big white ones do look alarmingly like whitchetty grubs (or alien brains, thank you SulkyCat…)!
I love the look of some art yarns, but always wonder what people actually make with them. There isn’t a huge amount of this yarn, so I am going to try using it in weaving – I’m thinking of a black bag with this yarn making a stripe across the flap?
Back in the spring, I entered Shiela’s competition on the Handspinner website to create a blossom themed project. My hat was selected by the judge as a winner and the voucher I was given has been burning a hole in my pocket for a couple of months.
Now, I love my Ladybug wheel dearly, but have never been too happy trying to ply multiple singles from the inbuilt lazy kate. I tried a four ply. Once was enough… So, I decided to use my voucher to buy an Ashford Competition Lazy Kate.
I’ve only used it once, but what a difference it makes!
I had been working on spinning a consistently fine yarn. About a year ago a group of us on Ravelry were trying to spin 800 yards of two ply from 100g of fibre. I had been spinning for about six months back then and got to about 500 yards and was pretty chuffed with that 🙂 I didn’t start spinning this fibre with a goal in mind, but I ended up with around 550 yards of three ply – so that’s 1650 yards of singles and if I’d made two ply I’d have got just over the magic 800 yards.
The fibre is Whisper from World of Wool – £3.50 for 100g:
It’s the last week of the Tour de Fleece this week and I have saved some luxury fibres for the final sprint.
Shiela from handspinner.co.uk made a ridiculously generous offer in a recent newsletter – she was sending out sample packs, containing a selection of the luxury fibres she stocks in her shop, completely free of charge! I think it was rather a popular offer, and when mine arrived I was delighted (but I also felt rather sorry for Shiela, who must have spent hours and hours doing nothing but stuff fibre into little bags and label them).
In the pack there is around 20 to 25 g of each fibre – white baby alpaca, white angora, white kid mohair, cream camel, coffee coloured cashmere and darker brown yak.
I thought I’d start with the yak. It was so soft and fluffy!
However, Mr Yak and I had a bit of a dispute about forming a yarn that didn’t fall apart. We agreed to have some time away from each other and review things in a few days. If he hasn’t come round to my way of thinking by them, he might have to have a trip through the carder and blend with something else!
The baby alpaca is far more amenable, and is slipping smoothly through my fingers, truly a luxury fibre. I have a vague plan about creating a luxury scarf, perhaps a striped feather and fan pattern?
I hope the weather has been kind to you – I have been enjoying the spring sunshine, and happily crafting away. Shiela, of www.handspinner.co.uk, is running a competition which coincided nicely with my plans – to enter you have to create something inspired by her photo of blossom.
I spun a two-ply yarn, one strand was tencel, the other a repeating colourway of various tufts of pre-dyed merino and some white shetland fibre. In a rare moment of ‘finish-a-project-itis’ I picked up my needles and put together a top-down hat. There wasn’t a lot of yarn, so it’s baby-sized, but that meant that the stripes worked out pretty well (and the only head it would fit was that of a toy rabbit…):
Shiela’s competition is still open, so why not join the fun and games? Click here to find out more!