You spin me right round

With all the talk of the Tour de Fleece lately, I thought now would be a good time to share some of my spinning adventures. I wrote an entry quite a while back sharing my experience with building a DIY spindle. I couldn’t wait to give it a try, so I went to Knit Picks and grabbed a pack of their Bare Wool of the Andes roving.

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My first spinning attempts were awful. I ended up with a blobby, unusable mess that couldn’t have been salvaged even if I wanted to try. I was a little discouraged so I shoved my roving and spindle into the back of the closet. I knew I’d eventually be bitten by the bug and want to try again so I let myself forget about it for a few months. Sure enough, I saw some handspun yarn on Instagram and that was the inspiration I needed to break out the roving and spindle again. The thing that amazed me the most with this second attempt was that, despite not working on it for months, it was actually okay! I guess the months of letting the spinning knowledge stew in my brain really helped? (Does that even make sense?)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of my first spinning attempt. (I threw it away to run away from the failure, ha ha!) The second attempt was definitely better though! It was thicker than I wanted, sure, but it was more consistent. Once I got the hang of it, all I wanted to do was keep spinning. In fact, I spun half of what I had before I even noticed!

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Eventually, I went online and bought a new spindle. I suspect that my little DIY spindle isn’t balanced very well so I wanted to try something that was professionally made. It was a little overwhelming looking at all of the spindles available, but I finally decided on a Schacht Hi-Lo spindle. I liked that I had the option of spinning high or low whorl, and it had good ratings. I used up the last half of my roving the first day it arrived, and it was my best spin yet, though it wasn’t great by any means. But you know what, that’s fine. It was just cool to know that I’m capable of getting better at this after that terrifying first attempt.

My latest goal is to try plying my little pile of singles into a finished yarn. I’m also wanting to give dyeing a try so I’ve been doing a lot of reading on that. I think my first attempt will be dip dyeing, but I’m really excited at the prospect of handpainted yarn. It’ll be a while before I’m feeling confident enough to try that, but until then, I’m going to have a lot of fun spinning my own special yarns.

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Close up of my latest spin

I’ll definitely be back to talk about my plying and dyeing attempts, but until then feel free to leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve ever tried handspinning or dyeing your own yarn. I’d love to hear any stories you have about your first attempts.

See you next time! ❤

Let’s try some Fair Isle knitting!

During the holiday gift-knitting rush, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to learn this year in regards to needlework. Up until now, I’ve only knitted with one color and avoided all patterns that require anything with multiple colors. (Unless it’s made with variegated yarn and such.) The idea of knitting with multiple colors excited yet terrified me, so I ended up putting off Fair Isle and Intarsia in the past.

While I was visiting with my parents earlier this week, I got a wild hair and decided to try knitting a small swatch in the Fair Isle style. I even happened to have a couple balls of Sugar’n Cream in my bag! I thought back to the videos I watched on YouTube and dove right in. (I used this video and this video, in case anyone is interested.)

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I used the two-handed method where you hold one color Continental-style and the other English-style. It was actually pretty easy! I had this little swatch worked up in just a few minutes. It may not look that nice, but the fact that I have the technique down makes me very happy~

I’m currently making some long delayed socks for my dad, but once I finish, I really want to try making a hat with a colorwork design. I haven’t knitted a hat before so combining that fact with my lack of colorwork experience will make this my most complicated project to date. I can’t wait to get started on it!

Now that I have the basics of Fair Isle down, I think my next goal will be to try Intarsia. I’ve heard it’s even easier so I’m feeling positive about it. Can’t wait to see what I can make now that I have these skills down. 😉