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Topic: First handspun singles (5 images)  (Read 1782 times)
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« on: January 06, 2008 10:17:32 AM »

I was gifted a spindle for Christmas by Mr Craftybernie and it's got to be the best present ever in the longest time.

I'm not yet worthy of Fibre Friday but it's definitely something to aspire to.  Here's my first efforts using some of the 400g of merino roving that I was given with the spindle:

First efforts:

2nd try (left) & 3rd try (right):

First singles plied

First lot wound into centre pull balls, which I love.  I haven't even tried skeining yet as I don't have a Niddy Noddy and when I tried to wind the yarn into skeins using my arm and then a dining chair, the yarn kinked back on itself. I guess if I plied them first that would reduce the kinking... 

This is Little Miss CB having a go on a spindle I bought just before Christmas.  She's loving spinning too and took to it quicker than I did. Not sure about you guys, but at only 36, I feel old when my 10yr old picks up something quicker than me. Harumph!

I love my centre pull balls and will probably use this lot to weave a scarf.

BTW, is there an easy way to calculate how much yardage you've got without any fancy schmancy equipment?

Thanks for looking!

« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2008 10:34:09 AM »

What can you tell me about using this spindle? I'm really thinking about trying my hand at this.  Did you have to buy any other tools if so what? Please tell me your ups and downs. My B/F thinks I'm nuts.
Flowers and Lemons
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2008 10:45:21 AM »

I'd like to try it too, once.
I would love to hear what you think about it.. Is it really difficult?
Besides.. I really don't know where I should get the stuff to do this in my country.. I don't have paypal, so..  Sad
I think your first tries look really nice!

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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2008 12:11:47 PM »

Lovely!  Welcome to the world of spinning.  Grin
Great center-pull balls, too.  Whenever I try those I end up with knots. 

As for finding yardage, I used to wrap the yarn around the back of a chair.  Just measure how long each loop is, then circumference x # of loops.
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2008 12:17:28 PM »

Anneadeline - thanks for that tip.  Will try it next time!  Sometimes the simplest things.....

Lova & Flowers and LemonsI typed up a detailed post about 'my spinning story' on my blogearlier today if you fancy checking that out. 

In the meantime, I think there's a whole section for spinning resources here on Craftster.  Alternatively you could do a Google.  If you have a spinning Guild in your area there might be somebody who could teach you.  Sometimes the guilds will lend out equipment for you to try so that way you don't incurr any unnecessary expenses.

You really don't need much to start out.  Just a spindle, some wool to spin (I'm using Merino as the staple length is quite long making it easy to spin with. I believe that Blue Faced Leicester - BFL - is good to start with too) and lots of patience.

I don't have any fancy equipment, just the two spindles.  One is a 'babe' with two removable discs.  You can turn the spindle into a top whorl, bottom whorl or a balkan type spindle. The second is just a bog standard wooden one that my hubby got me for xmas.

I haven't taken any lessons and everything I've learned is from watching online videos and reading.  If you Google 'how to spin with a drop spindle' you'll find lots of links & sites.

Hope this helps.

Good luck!

PS - If your B/F thinks you're nuts now, wait til you're knee deep in lovely handspun wool and make something lovely and woolly for him, maybe that will change his mind!!

« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2008 12:49:45 PM »

Oh your right he will.  He is just learning to understand being with a crafty person.  And that I just can't sit a take in the TV with out having something to do with my hands. The part that he really thinks is nuts about me wanting to learn to spin is that I want to spin (this is the crazy part) dog fur.  I have been on line looking at all the spinning sites. Even have found how to make a spindle.  And in doing so I have found sites that tell you how to do the fur and that its not so far out there as B/F would like to make me think.  In fact people have been doing it for a long time and it is one of the warmest things.  Beside it would be a cheap source of spinning fiber.  My dog looks like a blank and gray lamb anyway before he is shaved.  I take it that the longer the fibers are the better? Anyway I just haven't felt comfy to start out on this with out really talking to someone that is just starting out and can tell me the ups and downs.  If I get good with this I do know someone in NZ that have a sheep connection...soooooo.....This is why B/F thinks I'm nuts. That and the fact he says thats why they sell yarn in stores. 
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2008 01:26:36 PM »

Granted, yarn is available to buy in store, but there's nothing quite like spinning your own.  Imagine all the love and energy that goes into each spindle full of yarn, etc... (he probably won't buy that, but you never know.)

About the dog hair, do you have to blend it with another fibre as it's too short to spin by itself?

I've got an article and photos in a craft mag somewhere in the house, about people who spin their dog hair and knit clothes out of it.  I'll see if I can find it...


« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2008 01:50:20 PM »

I have seen some sites that say you should and some that said it depends on the fur.  Frodo (my dog) is a mix bread of Deer hound, German Sheperd, Lab, and some other type of Sheperd. He looks mostly like a Deer hound (on a really bad day) But his fur is soft and if let to grow out can be 2 to 3 inches long. So not sure if that will work or not with out blending. Oh, another question, how much fiber does it take say in oz. or lbs to spin a useable amont of yarn? (not sure I'm asking that right)

« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2008 04:46:32 PM »

Y'know, I have absolutely no idea!! Yet. 

But I am in the process of calculating how much yardage I got out of the roving I've spun so far.  It's bound to vary as some of the yarn is spun thick and some spun thin. I'll weight what I've spun, work out the the wpi (wraps per inch) and measure each lot.

I wonder if there's a guide which specifies that 100g of merino wool roving would yield (X) amount of yarn in fingering weight, dk weight, etc...  Just a thought.

There are some great projects for 'handspun' on the web. Items that require smaller quantities of wool would be ideal for handspun, such as handwarmers, hats etc.... 

« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2008 05:00:18 PM »

Thank you so much for talking with me. Would love to see what you find out. I love your yarn that you made. You have given me hope that I can pull this off.  Tell me did you dye it yourself? the colors are wonderful. 
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