Tag Archives: hand spun

In which I ply you with crappy pictures

This week's play time accomplishmentsIt’s been a productive week here at Casa de Yarn Love. So far I have:

*Knit one complete pair of Noro socks

*Finished one Vinnland Sock in Trekking XXL and completed 30% of the second.

*Dyed 5 ounces merino/tencel roving in three solid colors. (1.6 -ish ounces each color) Spun the singles and plied them into a single skein. Destined to be mittens for my No Hum Drum Mittens swap partner.

* Dyed two more skeins of yarn for the mittens once I figured out the hand-spun wasn’t going to be nearly enough. Now I have a solid skein of merino/tencel fingering weight yarn and one variegated skein. They’ll be held together as I knit so that it mimics the hand spun yarn. We’ll see if it works.

 And all that was just in my “play time” – it doesn’t include any yarn that I’ve dyed for the business. Thoughts about said projects in no particular order:

 Mitten Swap

Not going like I’d prefer. Mostly because I forgot that the tencel content of the roving really makes this yarn dense and heavy….with little yardage compared to spinning 100% wool or the wool/bamboo blend. That means I have a lot of work into a skein that weighs 5.2 ounces and only contains 175 yards. Not nearly enough for the project. Oh well, that’s where the two newly dyed yarns come into play.

We’ll see if I end up combining all three yarns. I like the hand-spun by itself. I like the two hand dyed yarns, too. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to combine all three. Oi. Now onto the design phase. Here’s the pattern that won the most votes for the base pattern: Spooky Cabled Armwarmers. Now to swatch, knit and design the flip top.

 Noro Socks

I love the look of the Noro sock yarn. The color repeats and color combination are amazing. However, this yarn is not as soft or elastic as other sock yarns I’m used to working with. We’ll see if they grow on me. The upside is that because I prefer shorter length cuffs, I only used 50 out of 100 grams in the skein. I’ll get two pairs from a single skein. That makes a girl happy. I anticipate that I’ll be using this yarn again because the color is too amazing to get past. However I’ll probably attempt to spin up some “Noro” sock yarn on the wheel out of a softer fiber. I’d like a bit more elasticity. My current pair, while it fits, tends to slouch through the cuff more than it ought.

 Vinnland Socks in Trekking XXL

Bad yarn/pattern combo here. The pattern is gorgeous, and I thought the Trekking would look like the Noro when it knit up. It doesn’t. It’s very tweedy or marled looking and the color takes away from the beauty of the pattern. I have some mostly solid spring green Scarlett sock yarn dyed up to knit this again. I want the pretty pattern to show! Vinnland is a great pattern, and I want another pair in a solid color.

More later, I have to go dye now. I gave myself until the Jet album was done burning to blog….and it’s just finished.

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Hi, I’m your designated dyer this evening.

Hand painted Yarn Love rovingI’ve been a busy girl lately. Lots of spinning in the evening going on. Spinning is so wonderfully relaxing, and zen-ish for me. It’s even better than knitting in the sense that it’s less complicated. It’s a wonderful craft to have when you’re still really busy in the post-Christmas rush. I’ve been spinning so much that I’m out spinning my ability to knit. That might not be that hard for some spinners, but I’m pretty slow. That and I’m spinning two ply fingering weight, so that’s some serious singles yardage. Not nearly as much as a Navajo plied fingering weight, but still pretty good.

 I’ve also been dyeing up some roving…..which I’m then spinning and plying. I’m hoping that the roving Cherub - roving from Yarn Lovewill go out as samples to our retailers and can be another Yarn Love goody that easily found. Roving has always been in my thoughts for Yarn Love (Notice how our tag line says “fibers” and not “yarn”.) but until recently, our retailers have not carried roving as a product. So I’m busy dyeing up a variety of rovings, and then spinning them up so that I can wow the vendors with a cute package of roving samples and accompanying hand spun yarn. I think that will offer them a good way to visualize how the fiber spins up, and what they can expect from the yarn, post spin.

 India Spice singles on my Jensen bobbinMy main wheel is a Jensen Tina II. She’s my first wheel, and I just can’t get past how wonderfully she spins. I’ve had her since I was a sophomore in High School. I sold my French horn and worked many hours at the local McDonald’s to save money for her. Then my dad taught me how to stain, and I stained and finished the cherry wood myself. I feel a deep sense of personal connection to this weel. There’s something so rewarding about saving up for a beautiful tool that you can invest yourself in and reap many years worth of satisfaction from. Plus, she’s amazingly beautiful. What I consider a kind of fairy tale wheel. I know the more ornate style isn’t appreciated by everyone, but I love her just the way she is. Plus, now that the original wheel maker has retired, she’s probably gone up in value…..not that I could get rid of her in the foreseeable future…

India Spice roving from Yarn Love Up for your perusal: Amy March roving in (brand spanking new!) colorways of India Spice and Cherub. The India Spice might have to be renamed before going into the catalog to better reflect the romantic nature of the company, but that’s what the singles reminded me as I spun them. You can see the difference in color blending between the original roving and the singles. The singles all seem to be steeped in tea – deep, rich colors with a sepia tone to them. I haven’t spun up the Cherub, but that’s definitely next.

Amy March is a medium-fine wool fiber with a great staple length. A great choice for a  newer spinner and certainly a very rewarded spin for a more advance spinner. She’s super-wash treated, so easy care is an added bonus.Spring Morning hand spun yarn

The yarn cake and sock is Spring Morning, super-wash merino spun up into a light sport weight sock yarn. It was originally intended to be fingering weight, but the fiber is so fluffy that it really increased in size when I plied it. I might actually have to take this sock out and redo it, as it’s a bit stiff. Plus, the toe yarn has some very pink parts to it, and that’s what I intended to have for the contrast instead of a marled pink/burgundy. It’s not exciting me. What’s a few hours of knitting frogged between friends, anyway.

 More pictures soon. I have a pair of Valentine’s themed socks to show you, knit from hand-spun but they’re still wet and currently un-photogenic.

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