stash and spin

Today was the second of the two-part spinning class with Diane Mulholland and much fun was had by all.  This time we learned the basics of fibre preparation and of spinning with a wheel, which is harder than it looks – or maybe not as it looks pretty damn hard! We also had a chance to try out spinning with a variety of different fibres – it’s amazing the difference in the feel of spinning silk in comparison to bluefaced leicester, for example.

I also brought along the yarn I have been practice spinning over the last few weeks.  I had a visit to the Handweaver’s Studio as it is down the road from me and I wanted to buy some different fibres to have a go at spinning.  The 20g of alpaca I picked up for 75p spun so that it plyed to a 14 wraps per inch thickness. Then I knitted up a swatch to see how it looks using 3.25mm needles and I am thrilled with how it turned out.  I have a feeling that I shall be buying some more alpaca and knitting enough for a garment of some sort.

I also bought myself another spindle, this one lighter so I can spin more delicate ply. It was made by IST Crafts on the Isle of Wight and is made of reclaimed Honduras rosewood. It’s truly a thing of beauty!

Whilst watching tv I spun up quite a bit of the dyed bluefaced leicester that I got from the first class. I am planning to finish spinning the rest and then seeing how much yarn it makes so I can work out what to knit it up into. It’s two-plying to a thickness of 18 WPI.

Today I also purchased some fabulous sock yarn from Socktopus as we had the class at Alice’s flat. Her yarn room is amazing and I totally caved when I saw some of the gorgeous colours available. The Malabrigo has some gorgeous colourways and I was really impressed with the range of colours from The Knittery.

I also nabbed some of Karat Stix adorable notions: a wrap per inch tool and stitch markers.

Two weeks ago I joined various crafters from the Oxford Bluestockings and their families [Katie, Kim, Liz, Ellen, Ruth, Hilary and Jacqui] on a visit to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham.  I spent a lot of time explaning that quilting is not my craft which cased great amusement, epsecially to the stallholders on the Button Company/Eternal Maker stall. I got some cute fat quarters of Kokka Japanese fabric and ribbon from them which I plan to make into bags and/or purses or some sort. I may even make a knitting project bag from some of it.

I also got a silk brick from Oliver Twists in a really beautiful golden brown tinged with blue. It’s hard to do it justice in a photograph but I can’t wait to see how it spins up.

Finally, I am currently knitting an alpaca vest for my friend Deborah from a classic pattern I found at work [and one day I may explain about where I work].  I am almost at the decreases so it’s coming along nicely and should help to see her through the winter at her place in Brittany.

I also started yet another Midwest Moonlight scarf, this time in a gold silk I got at last year’s I Knit London Day. It’s for my Auntie Barbara, who has had a rough time over the last couple of years and who was admiring my orange version. This one got stalled when the yarn got horribly tangled but now, having untangled it, I am on a roll and hope to get it finished soon.

4 thoughts on “stash and spin”

  1. Ooh. The Midwest Moonlight scarf is lovely! I like the colour and pattern both. And I’m intrigued by your newfound passion for spinning. Never say never, I know, but at the moment it seems to me that it would be more of a barrier in the way of knitting than a cool step of the process. Perhaps I will someday become less enamoured of the yarns I can buy and more desirous to control that step of the process?

  2. @alteridem: The Midwest is a really fab pattern and I am now on my third version – this time in silk! The spinning is a joy and I am really enjoying it. I bought some fibre on Saturday and am in the process of spinning up 100g of Black Wenselydale which is gorgeous. I think you are right about controlling the process – I love the idea of being the drive behind what I knit from start to finish. I woould say give spinning a try at some point. If it doesn’t do it for you then you’ll have at least given it a go. It may amuse you to know that there seems to be a book on how long I hold out before I buy a wheel. 😉

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