Tag Archives: handspinning

Spin Flora not Fauna

I am very pleased and delighted to hear that my workshop is full for the upcoming AGWSD Summer School 2017. This summer school will be held at Sparsholt College in Hampshire, August 13 – 20, 2017.
The Summer School is hosted by the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, UK and is a bi-annual week long event where participants spend their days working in intensive workshops on their passion. Here is a diary of the AGWSD Summer School 2015.

Kukka Transparency Hand Spun Flax
Kukka Transparency Hand Spun Flax

My week long workshop will focus on handspinning flora not fauna – so plant fibres instead of animal. I will try to cover a number of different plants, depending on what will be available at the time. Spinning fibres such as flax, hemp, soya, banana, bamboo, seaweed, ramie, corn, rose.

Over the coming weeks as I make samples, I will try to write a few preview articles about spinning and working with these new fibres.

Spin Flora – Banana Fibre
How to spin using banana fibre.
Spin Flora – Rose Top
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Spin, Weave and Knit with Flora
Spin, Weave and Knit with Flora

Handspinning Books

The Practical Spinner’s Guide – Cotton, Flax, Hemp (Practical Spinner’s Guides)
Spin Flax & Cotton: Traditional Techniques with Norman Kennedy

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Charkha book style spinning wheel Vintage, Nice Condition!

$130.00
End Date: Friday Dec-20-2019 22:12:35 PST
Buy It Now for only: $130.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Ashford traveler spinning wheel single drive

$227.50 (6 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-24-2019 17:00:01 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

ANTIQUE UNIQUE WORKING SPINNING WHEEL SIGNED

$149.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 16:44:57 PST
Buy It Now for only: $149.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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Wool spinning: blclipart9

Wool Airing on Line Before Spinning

Digital ID: Digital ID: fsa 8c27610

Photographer: John Collier
1942


Wool drying
 

Woman Running Spinning Wheel

Digital ID: Digital ID: Digital ID: fsa 8c51650

1935

Photographer: Ben Shahn

 

Woman spinning

Icelandic Wheel

A lesson in spinning.
Digital ID: Digital ID: ndfahult c206

Detroit Publishing Co. 1910

Icelandic spinning wheel

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More Clipart

Page 1: Drop Spindles, buttons

Page 2: Dye vats, Mechanical looms

Page 3: Clipart- Silk Moths

Page 4: Clipart -Yarn balls, cotton bolls

Page 5: Clipart -Tapestry weavers

Page 6: Clipart – WPA posters

Page 7: Clipart – Weaver at a loom

Page 8: Clipart – Weaving room, Distaff Wheel

Page 9: Clipart – Icelandic Spinning Wheel

Page 10: Clipart – Silk Reeling, Cotton Gin

Page 11: Clipart – Flax Retting

Page 12: Clipart – Lowell Mill Girls

Page 13: Clipart – Salish Woman – Emily Carr

Page 14: Clipart – Backstrap Loom

Page 15: Clipart – Spanish Woman Carding Wool

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How Long to Knit a Sweater

I often get asked “How long does it take to make a sweater?” That’s a complex question as we know. How long is a piece of string? It depends on a lot of factors. How big is the sweater, how complex is the pattern, what type of yarn are you using? How good is your knitting?
As I’ve been designing my latest handknit sweaters and jumpers, I have been considering this question a lot, so that I can price my work accordingly.
How Long Does it Take to Spin Yarn

Kromski Spinning Wheel
Kromski Spinning Wheel

How long it takes to handspin yarn depends on a lot of factors. How fine is the yarn that you are spinning? Finer yarn takes longer to spin. What type of fiber are you spinning? Some fibers are more difficult to spin and take longer. Are you also plying the yarn? How energetic are you today? Is your foot pedalling fast or slow? Handspinning is a physical activity, so how you are feeling affects the amount and type of yarn you can spin.

On a good day, I can spin a bobbin full of yarn in an hour – so about 100 grams. I also like to ply my yarns as it gives them a balanced and well finished look. Plying a bobbin takes about another half an hour.
An average sweater, depending on the size, uses approx 700 grams – 1000 grams of yarn. So to spin enough yarn to knit a sweater would take about 10-15 hours to spin, in the weight that I use for my handknits.

If the handspun yarn is also dyed, this is done after the yarn has been spun. I use natural and organic dyes with my yarns so this can be a long dye process depending on the dye that is used. The dyebath often has to be made the day before. The yarn is then mordanted and put into the dyebath. The dye process can take several hours. The dyed yarn is then removed from the dyebath, rinsed and allowed to dry.

How Long Does it Take to Knit a Jumper

Knitting
Knitting

Knitting depends on the skill of the knitter, the size of the sweater, and the complexity of the design. I have been knitting for a number of years, so I consider myself to be a fairly fast knitter. I usually knit in the evenings while watching TV, as I don’t need to concentrate a lot on the work. And I can watch TV without feeling guilty.

For an average cardigan with a simple design it takes me about 4-6 hours to knit the back of the sweater, about 3-4 hours to knit each sleeve and about 2-3 hours for each front piece.
How Long Does it Take to Weave

Sami Band Weaving
Sami Band Weaving

For my latest sweater, I am also adding a Sami style woven band as a trim. The band is handwoven on a Sami style weaving reed. Each row of the pattern is handpicked and woven according to the drafting plan. It takes a lot of concentration to pickup the correct threads and to weave with even tension. Again, how long this takes depends on the pattern width and the complexity of the design. For a simple design, I can weave about 25-30 cm per hour.

Isin Hand Knit Sweater
Isin Hand Knit Sweater

Sweater Finishing
When all the pieces have been knit, the work is not complete yet. The secret to a well made handknit is in the finishing. All the pieces must be carefully pressed and blocked. They are then handsewn together. And the edges, trims and buttons are then sewn on. Finishing can take up to another day to complete.

As you can see, making a jumper from scratch is a long and complex process. Surely we could invent a machine to do this faster for us… But then it wouldn’t be handmade, now would it?
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Knitting Patterns

750 Knitting Stitches: The Ultimate Knit Stitch Bible
The Knitter’s Book of Knowledge: A Complete Guide to Essential Knitting Techniques
The Knitter’s Book of Knowledge: A Complete Guide to Essential Knitting Techniques
Knitting For Beginners: The A-Z Guide to Have You Knitting in 3 Days (Includes 15 Knitting Patterns) (Knitting Patterns in Black&White)

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Handspinning Info: spininfo

Charkha Spinning
Information about and suppliers of charkha spinning.

Dolly’s Sweater
The sweater knit from Dolly, the cloned sheep.

A Yarn Tells a Story
A 3 metre piece of yarn tells of Norse explorations

Fibre Information
A collection of useful knowledge about various fibres and their characteristics.

Handspun Hats
A free hat knitting pattern using handspun yarns.

Handspun Merino Socks
These socks are easy to spin and can be made from leftovers in your fibre stash.

Dog Hair Spinning
Information about spinning dog hair or chiengora.

How to Spin a Cabled Yarn
You can easily spin wonderful novelty yarns by cabling any plied yarns together.

How Your Spinning Wheel Spins
How you can control the twist and tension on your wheel.

How Your Spinning Wheel Spins
How the scotch tension and brake work on your spinning wheel.

Pop Goes the Weasel
Is this a spinning song?

McMorran Balance
A McMorran Balance is a useful tool for figuring out how much yarn you have left.

iTunes App

iSpin Toolkit – Michael Golden
Shows you the angle of your twist and calculates the WPI of your handspun yarn. Brilliant!

Seed Stitch Hat
I knit this hat using handspun Corriedale rovingand machine felted it.

Selecting a Fleece for Handspinning
Some things to consider when you are selecting a fleece for your handspun project.

Spider Silk
Have you ever wondered if the silk of the spider can be used?

Spinning Equipment
A photo gallery of old spinning equipment found at the Science Museum in London.

Verulamium
A visit to Verulamium to see ancient Roman spindles, artifacts and other archaeological textile finds.

Woollen and Worsted Yarns
Wool yarns can be classified as either woollen or worsted.

Woolly Dogs
Wool dogs were bred by the First Nations people of the Pacific northwest and used for weaving blankets.

Spinning and Weaving Tips
Helpful tips submitted by our members.

Handspinning Techniques – How to Join the Yarn
How to begin spinning and to create a smooth join.

Handspinning Techniques – Semi-Worsted Spinning
How to spin a semi-worsted yarn.

Handspinning Techniques – TPI and Wheel Ratios
What do twist per inch and wheel ratios mean and how do you control the yarn that you spin?

Handspinning Techniques – Crimp and Twist
How does the amount of crimp in a fleece affect the yarn that you spin?

CBC Radio – Ken Cavanagh – Jan. 7/03
An audio clip of an interview by Bill Richardson, with handspinner and weaver, Ken Cavanagh.

Certificate of Excellence in Handspinning
Gwen Powell has developed an excellent webpage showing her HGA COE Handspinning samples.

Nostepinde Instructions
How to wind yarn onto a nostepinde, (nystepinne, nostepinne)

Sheep Breeds Swap
As part of a CompuServe spinner’s effort, Deanna Johnson compiled information about spinning 32 different kinds of wool.

Spinning Wheel Sleuth: FAQ
The transition from hand spindles to mounted spindles and flyers is described.

Styles of Spinning Wheels
The Joy of Handspinning site describes the common types of spinning wheels.

Straw Into Gold
Gwen Powell describes her attempts at spinning gold leaf.

Tips Before You Shop
Cooper Woodcraft provides some excellent tips on shopping for a spinning wheel.

Turn Wolf Fur into Yarn
Jerilyn Monroe turns her four-legged friend’s shedding coat into yarn.
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Charkha book style spinning wheel Vintage, Nice Condition!

$130.00
End Date: Friday Dec-20-2019 22:12:35 PST
Buy It Now for only: $130.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Ashford traveler spinning wheel single drive

$227.50 (6 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-24-2019 17:00:01 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

ANTIQUE UNIQUE WORKING SPINNING WHEEL SIGNED

$149.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 16:44:57 PST
Buy It Now for only: $149.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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Hand Spindles

roman drop spindle

Spindle Spinspirations
Kat Walton is an accomplished spindle spinner. Her work shows what can be done with a Turkish spindle.

Turkish Spindle – Product Review
A Turkish spindle is an ingenious invention that allows you to create a centre-pull ball while you spin.

Verulamium
A visit to Verulamium to see ancient Roman spindles, artifacts and other archaeological textile finds.

Hatchtown
At Hatchtown, they spend a lot of time thinking about spindles. They come in all sizes and styles: low whorl, high whorls, supported, Turkish.

Lollipop Spindles
Lollipops are highly decorated, handpainted top-whorl spindles, and threading/sley hooks. And you can see how the lollipops are made.

Woolly Designs
5000 years ago, yarn for clothing was spun on hand spindles.This firm makes a variety of spindles.

Drop Spindles

How to Spin Using a Drop Spindle – You Tube

Spindle Spinning Books

Productive Spindling
A look at top whorl, bottom whorl and Turkish spindle methods to boost your techniques for efficiency and make productivity fun
UK: Productive Spindling

Spinning in the Old Way
A guide to readers in the fast-track, low-cost, high-quality approach to spinning. No spinning wheel required.
UK: Spinning in the Old Way

Learn to Spin Drop Spindle Kit – Dyed
A drop spindle and spinning fiber, everything you need to get started with handspinning.

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Handspinning Tools: spintools

Comfort Combs
These wool combs, made by Don Contraman in Montana have a more comfortable handle.

Earth Guild
Located in Asheville, NC. They carry mini-combs, wool and cotton cards, drum carders, and drop spindles.

Ewesful Creations
Jude Pilote makes a tensioned lazy kate.

Louet
Louet has both Dutch combs, that clamp to the table, and Mini-combs in single or double row as well as hand and drum carders.

Running Moon Farm
Hand crafted tools are made from whatever wood is dry in the shed, niddy-noddys, orifice hooks, nostepinde, shuttles, and tapestry beaters.

Shady Haven
Shady Haven is a dealer for the Roberta Electric Spinner.

Waterproof Yarn Blocker
A waterproof plastic yarn blocker lets you wind dry yarn onto the blocker and then wet it. Much nicer.

Verulamium
A visit to Verulamium to see ancient Roman spindles, artifacts and other archaeological textile finds.

Used Equipment
Thinking of buying recycled wheels or looms? Here are some places that offer used equipment.

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Charkha book style spinning wheel Vintage, Nice Condition!

$130.00
End Date: Friday Dec-20-2019 22:12:35 PST
Buy It Now for only: $130.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Ashford traveler spinning wheel single drive

$227.50 (6 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-24-2019 17:00:01 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

ANTIQUE UNIQUE WORKING SPINNING WHEEL SIGNED

$149.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 16:44:57 PST
Buy It Now for only: $149.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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Book Store: Handspinning Books

handspun Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning (Teach Yourself Visually Consumer) This visual guide shows you the basics, beginning with the tools and fibers, and takes you through spinning, plying, making novelty yarns, using exotic fibers, dyeing, and more.

UK: Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning

The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn This covers almost every sheep breed in the world — from the longwool breeds of the United Kingdom to the Tasmanian merino, the Navajo churro, the northern European Faroese, and dozens and dozens more. It also includes goats, camelids (such as alpacas, llamas, and vicunas), bison, horses, musk oxen, rabbits, and even dogs.

UK: Fleece and Fiber Source Book

The Whole Craft of Spinning: From the Raw Material to the Finished Yarn
Everything you need to know from set-up to finished product in order to create distinctive yarns for use in knitting, weaving, crocheting, needlepoint, embroidery, and macrame.

UK: Whole Craft of Spinning
In Sheep’s Clothing
A comprehensive look at the characteristics of wool of 100 breeds of sheep, this guide gives special attention to fleece characteristics, methods of preparation and spinning, and best end use.

UK: In Sheep’s Clothing


The Knitter’s Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber

The vast world of sheep and their wool into the language and context of knitting.

UK: Knitters Book of Wool
The Intentional Spinner
Offering a blend of technical knowledge, history, and easy-to-use tips, this inspiring collection of spinning wisdom deftly explores the three fundamental areas of yarn production: understanding fibers, managing yarn structure, and making yarns that precisely meet the spinner’s needs.
UK: Intentional Spinner
Spin Control Focusing at first on the spinning wheel, emphasis is placed on the importance of adjusting and customizing the wheel for best results.
UK: Spin Control

Intertwined: The Art of Handspun Yarn, Modern Patterns, and Creative Spinning (Handspun Revolution)

Experimental, handspun yarns, and includes recipes for handspun yarns, project ideas for knitters and crocheters, tips on how to use one-of-a-kind handspun yarns
UK: Intertwined

Spindle Spinning

Productive Spindling A look at top whorl, bottom whorl and Turkish spindle methods to boost your techniques for efficiency and make productivity fun

UK: Productive Spindling

Spinning in the Old Way

A guide to readers in the fast-track, low-cost, high-quality approach to spinning. No spinning wheel required. UK: Spinning in the Old Way
Respect the Spindle
UK: Respect the Spindle
Respect the Spindle

With step-by-step instructions, this essential manual details the basic steps of spinning and then advances to the more complicated spinning wheel,
Learn to Spin Drop Spindle Kit – Dyed
A drop spindle and spinning fiber, everything you need to get started with handspinning.

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Spindle spinspirations: aa052401

I had the pleasure of visiting with one of our Chat and Forum members. Kat Walton is an accomplished spindle spinner and here are some projects that she has spun and knit. These have all been handspun, on a Turkish drop spindle. Proof that you don’t need expensive equipment to make fabulous things. Kat also demonstrated how she spins on her drop spindle.
handspun shawl
This shawl was spun using a drop spindle, and dyed with natural dyes.


This pillow cover is a blend of wool and llama, spun using a drop spindle, and dyed with natural dyes.

.
This knitted hat is made of spindle spun yarn


This knitted vest has been spindle spun from dog hair. It is delightfully soft and warm, similar in texture to angora rabbit wool. The color shading is natural.

Rigid Heddle Looms

Spindle Spinning

Verulamium drop spindles
Hand Spindles
Handspinning Tools
Charkha Spinning

Handspinning Books: Wool Spinning

Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning (Teach Yourself Visually Consumer)
This visual guide shows you the basics, beginning with the tools and fibers, and takes you through spinning, plying, making novelty yarns, using exotic fibers, dyeing, and more.
UK: Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning

The Whole Craft of Spinning: From the Raw Material to the Finished Yarn
Everything you need to know from set-up to finished product in order to create distinctive yarns for use in knitting, weaving, crocheting, needlepoint, embroidery, and macrame.
UK: Whole Craft of Spinning

In Sheep’s Clothing
A comprehensive look at the characteristics of wool of 100 breeds of sheep, this guide gives special attention to fleece characteristics, methods of preparation and spinning, and best end use.
UK: In Sheep’s Clothing

The Knitter’s Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber
The vast world of sheep and their wool into the language and context of knitting.
UK: Knitters Book of Wool

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XXL Extra Large Weaving Loom Kit (89cm x 87cm) | Professional Tapestry Loom

$100.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-12-2019 18:31:08 PST
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
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Vintage Table Top Loom

$169.00
End Date: Wednesday Dec-18-2019 13:41:35 PST
Buy It Now for only: $169.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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