Category Archives: Wool

Where to find pure wool yarns: merino, romney, churro and more

Knitting – Shetland squares 2

As I travel on the train to work in London every day, the journey gets quite long and tedious. A 2 hour commute is a long time. Knitting helps to make this daily grind a bit easier. I have found that knitting small items is quite easy to do on a train and doesn’t disturb other passengers too much. I do get some funny looks sometimes as I pull my handspun yarn and knitting needles out of my bag.
I use circular needles so that I don’t stab whoever is sitting beside me with the end of the needle. I invested in a set of wooden circular needles from Knit Pro – they are fabulous to knit with.
UK: Knit Pro Symfonie
Knit Pro Symfonie Wood Circular Needle Interchangeable Deluxe Set

US: Knitters Pride Cubics Symfonie
Knitter’s Pride Cubics Symfonie Rose Deluxe Interchangeable Circular Needle Set

This is the knitted square that I designed yesterday as I travelled into work.

Rib Twist knitting swatch

I knitted this with the gray Shetland yarn that I handspun earlier this week.
Shetland Squares No. 1

I cast on 26 stitches and knit this square on quite large knitting needles – 8mm – because I want the finished piece to be very light and airy. I will be putting all the knitted blocks together into an afghan. You can adapt this pattern to just about any yarns that you have on hand. Just continue knitting until the piece is square, or reasonably so.
This pattern is knit as a simple 4 stitch rib, with a bit of a cable twist added to it.

Knitting Chart ‘Rib Twist x1’

Rib twist knitting chart

Legend

1/1 LC
Slip next st to cable needle and place at front of work, k1, then k1 from cable needle

Knitting Pattern ‘Rib Twist x1’

Row 1 (RS): k1, (p1, k4) x 5.
Row 2 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 3 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 4 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 5 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 6 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 7 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 8 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 9 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 10 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 11 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 12 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 13 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 14 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 15 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 16 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 17 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 18 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 19 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 20 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 21 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 22 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 23 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 24 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 25 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 26 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 27 (RS): (k1, p1, k1, 1/1 LC) x 5, k1.
Row 28 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.
Row 29 (RS): k1, (p1, k4) x 5.
Row 30 (WS): (p4, k1) x 5, p1.

Knitting Charts

Shetland Square Charts
Holey Lace
Riblines
Shetland Squares

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Shetland Squares

I recently purchased some Shetland wool roving samples from World of Wool. The sample pack was 100 grams each of 4 natural shades of Shetland wool – White, Grey, Moorit and Dark Brown.
Sample Pack of Shetland Roving
Shetland roving

I thought that I would spin these yarns up and knit an afghan consisting of different knitting patterns.
Here is the first one:

Single Ply Shetland Handspun Yarn
Single ply spun at 22 wpi

2 Ply Shetland Handspun Yarn
2 ply spun at 8 wpi
approx. 600 ypp

Knit Sample – Cable Wobble

Knitting Chart – Cable Wobble Pattern

I cast on 26 stitches and knitted this in a modified cable pattern over 4 stitches using 8mm knitting needles.
I have knit this on fairly large needles because I want the finished afghan to be quite light and airy.
If you are using handspun yarn of a different weight, follow the pattern along until you have formed a square.
This square uses approx. 20 grams of handspun yarn.

The knitting chart was designed on my new knitting design software – Knitting Chart Editor from Cathy Scott’s Stitch Mastery
I am very pleased with this software – I have searched for some time for knitting chart design software that is intuitive, easy to use and has the flexibility to also add your own stitches.
The software produces the chart and also the text form for knitting patterns – for those of us who find this easier to follow.
Also, Cathy was very helpful when I had a few hiccups with installing the software.

Legend

2-2RC knit swatch

2/2 RC
Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and place at back of work, k2, then k2 from cable needle

-2LC knit swatch
2/2 LC
Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and place at front of work, k2, then k2 from cable needle

Knitting Pattern – Cable Wobble x4

Row 1 (RS): k26.
Row 2 (WS): p26.
Row 3 (RS): k26.
Row 4 (WS): p26.
Row 5 (RS): k3, (2/2 LC, k4) x 2, 2/2 LC, k3.
Row 6 (WS): p26.
Row 7 (RS): k26.
Row 8 (WS): p26.
Row 9 (RS): k3, (2/2 LC, k4) x 2, 2/2 LC, k3.
Row 10 (WS): p26.
Row 11 (RS): k26.
Row 12 (WS): p26.
Row 13 (RS): k2, (2/2 RC, k4) x 3.
Row 14 (WS): p26.
Row 15 (RS): k26.
Row 16 (WS): p26.
Row 17 (RS): k2, (2/2 RC, k4) x 3.
Row 18 (WS): p26.
Row 19 (RS): k26.
Row 20 (WS): p26.
Row 21 (RS): k3, (2/2 LC, k4) x 2, 2/2 LC, k3.
Row 22 (WS): p26.
Row 23 (RS): k26.
Row 24 (WS): p26.
Row 25 (RS): k3, (2/2 LC, k4) x 2, 2/2 LC, k3.
Row 26 (WS): p26.
Row 27 (RS): k26.
Row 28 (WS): p26.
Row 29 (RS): k26.
Row 30 (WS): p26.

This is the first of the knitting swatches from my new handspinning project. I still have several grams of wool roving to spin and more swatches to knit, so check back soon for more.

Knitting Charts

Rib Twist – Shetland Squares No. 2
Shetland Squares Charts
Riblines
Holey Lace

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ANTIQUE UNIQUE WORKING SPINNING WHEEL SIGNED

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Carding wool: blclipart15

American Memory Collections
A comprehensive database of sound and image files.

American Memory and Copyright
Lists information about the rights of use of American Memory collection materials.

Spanish American Woman Carding Wool

WPA Project in Costilla, New Mexico

Photographer: Russell Lee

Published: WPA Federal Art Project photograph 1939

Digital ID: fsa8b22830

 

Carding wool

Spanish American Woman Weaving Rag Rug

WPA Project in Costilla, New Mexico

Photographer: Russell Lee
Published: WPA Federal Art Project photograph 1939
Digital ID: fsa8b22892

Weaving rag rugs

Female Peasant Carding Wool, 1875
Camille Pissarro

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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

Page 16: Clipart – Hopi Basket Weaver

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Ready-to-Use Illustrations for Holidays and Special Occasions (Dover Clip-Art)
Japanese Designs CD-ROM and Book (Dover Electronic Clip Art)
Chinese Designs CD-ROM and Book (Dover Electronic Clip Art)

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Fantti coiled basket: aa012905

Fantti yarn is a new type of yarn from Finland. Fantti yarn is wool pencil roving that has been slightly felted. It can be used for making baskets, woven as weft for flat or tufted rugs, tapestries or other creative textile projects.

fantti-3.jpg, 25513 bytes

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  • Cut 6 strands of 12 ply hemp (white) each 24 inches long
  • Cut 6 strands of 12 ply hemp (natural)each 24 inches long
  • (Substitute strong linen or cotton yarn)
  • Weave (interlace) them together to form the base for the basket
  • If you find them a bit tricky to weave together you can use tape to secure the yarn ends to a table while you are weaving them.

fantti-6.jpg, 99709 bytes

  • Using the Fantti yarn begin to weave the yarn in a circular fashion around the woven square base of the basket, leaving an end of approx. 2 inches. This end will be woven into the base of the basket after you have finished.
  • Each alternate “warp” hemp thread goes under the Fantti “weft” thread, loops around and back under around the Fantti “weft” thread. This forms a loop around the Fantti yarn The alternate “warp” thread is simply looped over the Fantti yarn.
  • On the next row of the alternate warp thread is looped around the Fantti weft thread.
  • Once you have worked around a couple of rows, pull and tighten the hemp “warp” threads.
  • Continue weaving in this fashion to complete the basket.

fantti-8.jpg, 28880 bytes

  • Weave the basket until you have approx. 1 inch of warp threads remaining. Wrap these around the top row of the basket.
  • Weave the end of the warp thread to the inside rim of the basket and trim. I used a small crochet hook to tuck the ends in.

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Fantti Yarn

Fanttilanka
Where to find Fantti yarn.
Fantti Yarn Rug
An example of a rug woven with Fantti wool yarn.

Finnish Weaving Techniques

Raanu
Rya rugs
Takana
Poppana
Handiscola

Basketry Weaving

Pine Needle Basketry: From Forest Floor to Finished Project

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Hand Knit Hats: blstellafay

“The skeins of yarn are Romney wool from “The Royale Hare” here in Northern California. the blue hat and tiny sock are my handspun also.”
handspun romney

The Romney was dyed when I got it. www.royalehare.com is the site of the shop, but I got the wool at Stitches West. It was an off-dye lot with different colors than she intended. The wool had a long staple, and was very smooth and shiny. Having never worked with Romney before, I made some mistakes, but I finally ended up flicking each lock, then drawing them into pencil rovings before I spun. the color variations in the skein make them really nice. I think another hat is called for, since that’s all there is of the yarn. oh, and I immediately noticed that the skein ties looked awful! they showed up a LOT more in the photo.

by StellaFay

knit hat

The blue hat is from a pattern in Spin-Off magazine that i modified. it was the issue about Blue Leicester.I think I used a different pattern for the band, but not sure about that either. That yarn was a blend of natural charcoal grey fleece carded with black llama and rainbow-dyed fleece in the blue-purple-magenta range. It’s darker in real life, and has kind of a shimmery quality from the changes in color. I spun the yarn after a long break from spinning, so it’s pretty inconsistent.

Knitted Hats

Knitted Hats
Knit Hat Patterns
Seed Stitch Hat

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

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

..more Handspinning books..

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How to Select a Fleece: aa011501

Here are a few things that I look for when choosing a fleece for handspinning.

Clean

The fleece should be fairly clean and free of vegetable matter and other dirt and debris. It is possible to clean and card the debris, but it is a lot of work, so take this into consideration in your purchase and in the price that you pay.

Crimp

Different breeds of sheep have varying amounts of crimp or waviness in the fibre. The amount of crimp affects how the fibre will spin and what type of yarn is spun from it. There are 2 general categories of crimp. Some are noticeably wavy such as the Romney, and other breeds have a more distinctive and closer together crimp, such as the Merino or Cheviot breeds. These are more suitable for spinning for light, fluffy sweater weights.


Photo comparing a Cheviot fleece(Left)

and a Romney(Right)

Washed (Bottom)and Unwashed (Top)samples

Lustre

Different breeds of sheep have varying amounts of lustre or sheen in the wool. The lustre affects how the light is reflected and what the finished product will look like. Some wools are more suitable for blankets, and others are better used for finely spun, and woven fabrics.

Staple Length

If you are a beginner spinner, look for a staple length between 2 – 3 inches. It is more difficult to spin longer staple lengths of 4-5 inches.

Strength

When checking a fleece, check for breaks in the staple. Give a few of the locks a gentle tug. It should not break easily. If you find that the tip breaks, this fleece is probably not suitable for handspinning. The breaks will work their way loose in the finished product and cause pilling.

Washed Sample

Ask to see a washed sample of the fleece. You can easily wash a small sample of the locks, in the kitchen sink. Just add a few drops of dishwashing liquid and wash the sample in warm water. This will remove most of the lanolin and you will be able to get an idea of what the clean fleece will look like. The yellow colour (the lanolin) should wash out. If the washed sample is still very yellow, then it would be best to look for another fleece instead.

More about Handspinning

Handspinning Info
Handspun Yarns

Handspinning Books

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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Sheeps Wool Fibre: sheepswool

lamb-mudchute336.jpg, 7860 bytes

Wool
Not all wool is rough and itchy.

Woolen and Worsted
What is the difference between woolen and worsted yarns?

Apple Hollow Farm
Apple Hollow has a wide selection of looms, spinning wheels, yarns, fibres and weaving tales to amuse including Shetland, Highland and designer wool yarns .

Borgs Weaving Yarn
Sweden’s Borgs Vavgarner has a wide range of weaving yarns: linens, wools, cottons in 1000’s of colours.

Cornerstone Fibres
Angora blends, Romney wools, for the handspinner or have it spun for you.

Falkland Sheep & Wool
A truly delightful site, filled with lovely wools and lots of info about this unique region of the Falkland Islands.

Halcyon Yarn
Mail-order handknitting, machine knitting and weaving yarns. Spinning fibres, silks, wools: corriedale, coopworth, romney and domestic wool tops and rug-hooking kits are also available.

Hawks Mountain Ranch
Naturally coloured Icelandic sheep’s wool is their specialty.

Harrisville Yarn
Harrisville wool tweed and Shetland yarns. Available on cones for machine knitting or weaving and washed skeins for handknitting.
Louet
Louet has a good selection of wool yarns, suitable for blankets, woven cloth or delicate lace.

MacAusland’s Woollen Mills Ltd.
This family-owned spinning mill produces wool yarns in several weights: 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 ply.

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

Peace Fleece
Peace Fleece is committed to helping historic enemies cooperate and prosper through trade. Peace Fleece offers yarns made from Russian/American, Israeli and Palestinian wools, suitable for knitting, weaving and rugmaking.

R & M Yarns
R & M has an ever changing selection of mill-end wool, cotton, rayon and acrylic yarns, suitable for machine knitting and weaving.

Spring Creek Organic Farm
Award winning organic Romney fleeces are raised with spinners, handweavers in fiber artists in mind.

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.

Thirteen Mile Lamb and Wool Company
At Thirteen Mile Lamb and Wool ranch, the sheep are raised in a predator-friendly atmosphere. Happy lambs growing happy wool.
Weavers Loft
Weavers Loft has a wide range of wools and spinning fibres: merino wools, angora, cashmere, silks, alpaca and other gourmet delights for the handspinner.

Webs Yarn Merchant
Webs is a mail-order supplier of specialty weaving yarns ranging from rayon chenille, to mohair and wool blends.

Wool Qualities
Why wool is good for you.

Yarn Barn
The Yarn Barn has lots of wool, rug yarns, cottons and linens in addition to their weaving equipment.

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

more Handspinning books..
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ANTIQUE UNIQUE WORKING SPINNING WHEEL SIGNED

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End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 16:44:57 PST
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Ashford traveler spinning wheel single drive

$187.00 (2 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-24-2019 17:00:01 PST
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Ashford Kiwi-3 Spinning Wheel - Folding Treadle / Natural Finish - FREE Shipping

$479.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-17-2019 12:29:32 PST
Buy It Now for only: $479.00
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Wool Characteristics: aa043097

Contrary to popular belief, not all wool is rough and itchy. There are many different breeds of sheep, each with their own characteristics. Some wools are better suited for rugs and others for fine lace.

Sheep’s wool is classed by its thickness or diameter in microns (1 micron=1/1000 millimetre), by the amount of crimp it has (how wavy it is), by the length of staple (how long the fibers are) and by its lustre or shine. Crimp is a natural and permanent feature of the wool. It doesn’t wash out; rather it is restored when the wool fibers relax in water and it gives the wool yarn its loft and bounce. So a crimpier fiber will produce a yarn that is more springy and lively. I will reference only a few of the breeds, just to demonstrate the wide range of wools that are possible.

The fleece of the Churro sheep is nearly straight, coarse and long. The Churro sheep was introduced to America by the Spaniards. It is used by the Navajo in making rugs and blankets.

Romney is a medium diameter with an average staple length of 6.5 inches. Romney is one of the major sheep breeds in New Zealand. Other ones include Perendale, Coopworth and Lincoln, to name a few. Romney fiber can be spun worsted with a light twist making a soft yarn for sweaters, or clothing fabric. Coarser Romney wool, when spun with a tighter twist is suited for furnishing fabrics. Romney fiber dyes well, producing yarn with good colour.

Merino wool is the finest of all. It’s average diameter is 15 – 25 microns and staple lengths are 2 – 4 inches. Merino has a very close crimp, and can be spun into a very fine yarn, suitable for lace, fine clothing or baby blankets. Merino is naturally a very white fiber, so when dyed, produces light coloured, pastel shades.
Looking for a project to spin with just 6 ounces of merino? I used up odd bits of fiber from my stash, to spin these variegated socks. Or check in our ever-growing pattern library for a project that you can weave, knit or crochet into clothing, shawls, baby blankets or rugs.
Wool SuppliersWhere to find wool fiber for handspinning.

What kinds of fleece do you like to spin best?

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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
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Ashford traveler spinning wheel single drive

$187.00 (2 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-24-2019 17:00:01 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

Ashford Kiwi-3 Spinning Wheel - Folding Treadle / Natural Finish - FREE Shipping

$479.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-17-2019 12:29:32 PST
Buy It Now for only: $479.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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