Tag Archives: handspinner.co.uk

Crocus Yarn

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?

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Test-driving my new toy

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.

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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:

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A little luxury…

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).

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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?

What’s up, blossom?

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!