Tag Archives: handspun yarns

Handspun Merino Socks: aa120199

handspun socks

These socks are easy to spin and are a great project for using leftover bits of fiber from your stash. I used about 6 ounces of merino top, in 3 colors – peach, royal blue and tartan green.
roving

merino roving

I chose to do the color blending at the wheel, in order to create the definite sections of color. Carding the fibers together would have produced a more heathered type of yarn. To spin, I pulled a 6 inch length from each of the sections of roving, and held them together in my left hand. I then spun from this hank, working back and forth, allowing the colors blend randomly.
handspinning

handspinning closeup

I used the largest whorl on my spinning wheel – a Louet S87 Saxony – as my spinning tends to overtwist a bit. To reduce the diameter of the spun yarn, I use the hooks on the flyer and lace the yarn before threading it through the orifice.

spinning wheel

After spinning, I plied the singles together to produce a 2 ply yarn. The finished skeins were then washed and fulled. I filled a sink with hot water and a bit of dishwashing detergent. I placed the skeins into the hot water, and used a potato masher to give them a good beating. The skeins were then rinsed in cold water. This treatment seems a bit rough, but it sets the twist of the yarn and allows the wool fibers to open and fluff up a bit, creating a more pleasing yarn that is now ready to be knit.
fulling yarn

handspun yarn

The socks are great, but now I have to make more for the other feet in the family.

Knitted Sock Patterns

Sock Knitting Pattern Books

Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers
With patterns divided into two sections by top-down and toe-up construction, Sock Knitting Master Class explores such techniques as cables, twisted stitches, lace, stranded colorwork, entrelac, shadow knitting, and intarsia worked in the round.
UK: Sock Knitting Master Class

Getting Started Knitting Socks (Getting Started series)
From cast-on stitches to binding off, this handbook details the simple steps needed to turn complicated sock knitting projects into enjoyable activities.
UK: Getting Started Knitting Socks

..more Sock Knitting Pattern Books..
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Handspinning – Woollen and Worsted: aa091599

Several years ago, I had the great fortune to learn to spin. I took an intensive 12 week Handspinning course, taught by Judith MacKenzie, through the Kootenay School of the Arts. We learned how to sort a fleece, spin in the grease, and wash the fleece. Wool-combing, carding, blending roving to create heathered tones are all techniques that create different types of yarns. Spinning from quality top and luxury yarns, mohairs, angora, cashmere all added to the range of gourmet yarn creation. Judith now teaches workshops throughout the U.S. If you ever have an opportunity to take one of her classes, do so. I’m sure you will enjoy it.

One of the first things I learned is that wool yarns can be classified into 2 main categories, worsted and woollen. Worsted yarns are smooth, quite strong and long-wearing. They are used for woven clothing such as men’s suits. A true worsted yarn is spun from the longer fibers of the fleece. The fiber is usually combed with wool combs. This removes the shorter fibers and bits of dirt that may be in the fiber. Combing keeps the longer fibers in parallel order. The shorter fibers can be used to spin a woollen yarn. Commercially prepared top can also be used for worsted spinning, when you don’t want to do all the prep work yourself.
worsted handspinning

Worsted Spinning

To spin a worsted yarn, the spinning technique is quite controlled. If you are drafting with your right hand, pinch the thumb and forefinger of your right hand together to control the twist. Do not let the twist travel past the drafting triangle. If you are having trouble and the twist is traveling past your hand and making a nasty lump in your yarn, slow your wheel down a bit by loosening the tension on the bobbin slightly.

Shetland Top – Worsted Spinning

Woollen Spinning

Woollen spun yarns are loftier and softer. The fiber is shorter and is usually carded rather than combed. This results in fibers that go in different directions rather than parallel, incorporating more air into the yarn. Woollen yarns are more suitable for knitting, sweaters or fluffy blankets.

You Tube – Woolen Long Draw Spinning

More about Wool Yarns

  • Wool Processing
    The Sheep USA site describes the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of wool.
  • Coldharbour Mill
    The Coldharbour Mill has been spinning both wool and worsted yarns for nearly 200 years.
  • Turn Wolf Fur into Yarn
    Jerilyn Monroe tells how she turned her dog’s fur into yarn using a drop spindle (woollen spun, I think)
  • Spinners Guild Glossary
    An SCA glossary of spinning terms.

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Ashford traveler spinning wheel single drive

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Antique American Little Saxony Spinning Wheel Beautiful & Complete Working!

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Handspun Yarns: handspun

Angora Scarf Project
Weave yourself an angora scarf with your handspun. This article also describes a core spinning technique.

Handspun Knitting Patterns
A collection of knitting patterns that would be suitable for your unique handspun yarns.

Paivatar Yarns
Handspun yarns: pure merino wool hand-dyed with natural and organic dyes and handknit sweaters made in the Sami tradition.

Five Bags Full
Karen Pfundtner is the proud recipient of 5 bags of llama. Lots of socks to spin and knit.

Knitting with Handspun
Some tips on knitting with your handspun yarns.

Kool-aid Mittens
Linda dyed some wool in kool-aid, then spun and Navajo-plied the yarn. This made some very vibrant mittens.

Romney & Blue Leicester
Stella spun some beautiful Romney dyed in colorful magenta and purples.

Handspun Silk Top
Do you have some handspun silk but don’t know what to do with it? Here is a summer top that I knitted using rainbow-dyed silk.

Variegated Handspun Socks
Do you have bits of fibre left over in your stash? Blend them together and knit up some socks.

Etsy
Look for some of my handspun yarn specials on Etsy.

Blue Heaven Dreams
Blue Heaven Dreams offers custom spinning services for your pet fur. It can be spun into yarn and woven or crocheted into a lasting keepsake.

Caroline’s Yarns
Caroline produces custom yarns from hand picked fleece for both knitters and weavers.

Family Handspun
Gigi Matthews likes to spin unique yarns with unusual fibres such as jute, flax, and soy as well as with eco friendly fibres like recycled denim, sari silk, and plastic bottles.

Horsedancer Designs
Yarns spun by a warm, cozy fire. Navajo plied, drop spindle, hand-dyed, Navajo Churro, wool, llama, mohair, silk, cotton or blends of silver and gold metallic.

ISeeSpots Farm
Mary Ellen’s handspun yarns feature fluffy angora and wool from Jacob sheep.

Marian’s Fiber Items
Marian’s Fiber specializes in blending llama with wool for their unique handspun yarns.

Merriwinds Farm
Merriwinds Farm raises Cheviots, Shetlands and angora bunnies, for your spinning pleasure.

The Mohair Connection
Mohair fleece, roving, yarns for weaving and handspun mohair for the knitter.

Oriental Carpet Pile Yarns
Handspun long staple wool Ghazni from the northwest frontier highlands of Pakistan.

Pam’s Yarn @ Hatchtown Farm
Beautiful, colourful handspun yarns can be ordered to your custom requirements.

Sugar Bush Hollow
Sugar Bush Hollow is a mother and daughter cottage industry that caters to all fiber enthusiasts. You can get Angora wool, Cormo fleece, and llama fiber or if you don’t spin yourself, they can spin it for you.

Handspinning Books

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

..more Handspinning books

Knitting with Handspun Yarns

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Weavette Looms Buxton Brook Complete Small Loom Kit

$100.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Tuesday Nov-26-2019 12:58:01 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom 24 Inch

$325.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-17-2019 6:40:13 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Vintage Little Loomhouse 4 Harness Weaving Loom & 4 Treadle Table Stand BIN

$245.00
End Date: Monday Dec-9-2019 17:36:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $245.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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