Category: 'spinning'


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Mondays are for spinning

Miss Crabtree on my miniSpinner. Luckily I had a card telling me how I was spinning it – cuz its been a while.



Spinning Socks

Sock yarn in progress

I have acquired quite a bit of superwash merino roving in the past year or so. In an attempt to use it up (and then get to knit fabulous socks out of it) I’m working on spinning more sock yarn.

This roving started out as two 4 ounce bumps; the colorway is Water Lilies from the Loopy Ewe ( here). Because it’s a duo, you have two strands of roving in each pack, each one a different color. In this case it was blue/purple and purple/green.

this means I had 50% of blue/purple and 50% purple/green. This presents a problem when you want to make a three ply sock yarn with even color distribution. I had thought I’d just split it all in thirds; but didn’t like breaking the green off so it’d be only in part of one of the plys. I have other roving from this same dyer; and found a pile of blue/purlple that matched that I hadn’t used yet.

Are you with me? I’m lost too.

Each bag in the picture represents one ply of a three ply yarn. Two of those plies will be blue and purple. (those are in the back of the picture). The third ply will be the green/purple. I divided them by weight +/- .1 ounce.

Because I added more roving to the pile, I will end up with 12+ ounces of sock yarn. I can normally knit a pair of socks from 4 ounces of my handspun. So I’ll either knit 2 pairs plus a small pair (maybe for one of my kids) or one pair plus something else.  Actually I seem to remember each bag weighing around 5 ounces. This is going to be a LOT of sock yarn :)

Peacock yarn (again)

Peacock yarn (by Nancy Walsh)

Finally got the yarn washed and dried. 8 ounces of fingering weight, three ply yarn in superwash merino. The singles were spun on a drop spindle, Ashford Joy (single treadle), Lendrum, Ashford joy (double treadle) and plied on a butterfly electric spinner.

I can’t wait to knit with it!

Peacock Yarn

Peacock Yarn

A much better view of the colors in my latest handspun yarn. This one skein is 7.2 ounces of Superwash merino dyed by The Dyeing Arts, bought from the Loopy Ewe (using a gift certificate from my wonderful friend Marta). Another 0.8 ounces left to ply up. This was all done on ONE bobbin on my butterfly espinner using a Woolee Winder. Yowsa!


Merino/Bamboo yarn (by Nancy Walsh)

Fiber: Merino/Bamboo 60/40
Source: (bought at a local LYS)
Colorway: Masquerade
Drafting technique: Worsted
Plying Technique: 2 ply, a bit over plied to make a nice round yarn
Yardage: Approx 500 yds
Weight: approx 7.8 ounces

My goal with this fiber was to practice spinning thicker yarn. I do pretty well at the thin yarns; but I wanted to try something other than my current ‘default’. I drafted worsted style to keep the shine from the bamboo in the yarn and it really worked. The yarn has a wonderful glint to it as the light catches on it. It’s not completely uniform; but I’m really happy with how well this came out. The colorway isn’t one of my usual; but I couldn’t resist the variations in the purples, from light lavendar to a light blue. I was worried that the colors would be too barber-poled, but they work really well together and I think it will be interesting to see how it knits up. What will I knit it as? No idea.

You might be wondering if I knit anymore. The answer is yes! I’m working on a new sock design; I just ordered yarn to knit up a stranded colorwork cardigan for my daughter. I’m still working on the blue cabled cardigan for me that has only been dubbed the not-CPH sweater so far.  I also cast on the Morning Glory wrap from knitspot this morning with my red/black handspun.  I wanted to design something myself; but I don’t have the patience right now for something that large.   The Morning Glory wrap has the type of look I was thinking of; but I don’t have to work anything out. My yarn is lighter than the pattern calls for – so once I’m in a few inches I’ll see if I think it’s wide enough.  A friend accused me of neglecting some wonderful kits I ordered earlier this year; and she’s right! I’m waiting until it gets cooler to work on those.

I’m traveling next week and the big question is what is coming with me knitting and spinning wise.  My drop spindle definitely. A few bobbins for the matchless; yes – because the destination I’ll be visiting happens to have a wheel there.  My knitting- maybe all of these projects; who knows. I’ll be there a full week and a day; with lots of waiting around time to fill.

Not quite yarn yet

Thanks to everyone for their wonderful words on my red/black seawool. I’m trying to knit up a swatch with it; but haven’t settled on anything yet. My current project is now this:


This is a bobbin mostly full of singles of bamboo/merino. Spun worsted; I’ll do a two ply that will come out thicker than my normal yarn.

Spinning that took for-ev-er

I’ve been working on this sea wool forever it seems. I started it on my Schacht Matchless, which is now my home wheel. So I couldn’t work on it at my spin-ins; and only when I was at home and wasn’t doing a zillion other things. I had finished the first two bobbins fairly quickly; but the third took a bit of time.

SeaWool - ready to ply (by Nancy Walsh)

SeaWool Handspun (by Nancy Walsh)

I finally plowed through it a week or so ago and did the plying last weekend. I did a 3 ply; when my original idea with this was a 2 ply lace weight. I decided I would like the three ply better. Plied up, it’s fingering weight, and fairly bouncy. I’m pretty pleased with how the colors distributed themselves. I tried to capture the variety in this picture by laying all three skeins out next to each other.

Spindle Spun

Handspun camel/silk (by Nancy Walsh)

After a class with Amelia from the Bellwether, I am much more confident in my spindle spinning. I took my spindle along with me to the fireworks on the 4th of July to pass the time while waiting for it to get dark.

I couldn’t wait to ply it, so I plied it on my Lendrum yesterday at my group’s spin-in. A quick wash in the sink and this is 40 yards of camel/silk. Here is a an up close shot with a dime to show you size (it’s lace weight) :

Laceweight Camel/Silk (by Nancy Walsh)

Wheels go in, and wheels go out….

Remember this?


I own a lendrum again! I sold that one in the picture because I just wasn’t using it at all. My spinning group didn’t meet very often and when they did; I liked to have my Schacht with me. Plus it was the wheel I loaned to other people.

So this weekend – One of the women in my spinning group had decided she liked her Little Gem better than her Lendrum and I got a great deal on her barely used 2 year old Lendrum.  So then I was looking for a buyer for my Ashford Joy (Single Treadle) and another woman in my spinning group who owns a Matchless was looking for a more portable wheel. I hooked her up with Joy; she hooked me up with some cash, and now I only have two wheels again. Basically the two you see in the picture.

Pretty funny!

I’ll still be on the lookout for an Ashford Joy Double Treadle used, cuz that’s a really sweet little travel wheel and one I’d take with me if I had to fly somewhere.


Tinker Toy spindle lazy kate

I thought up this idea to use weaving bobbins and my bobbin winder to store singles off a drop spindle. You can wind the singles into a center pull ball with a ball winder – which isn’t great because the center will collapse when you take it off the winder; and the singles can get tangled.

It’s best to keep the singles under tension the whole time. I learned from Amelia ( about felted balls to wrap the singles around; but that’s pretty slow and I haven’t managed to make any felted balls yet. Gee, I wonder if I have any fiber around here to do that with…

So I pulled out my bobbin winder, and some empty bobbins, and setup this contraption. The bobbin the spindle sits in is held in place by a tinkertoy stick that comes out of the little orange thing. It’s short so there’s plenty of room for end of the spindle to stay in the bobbin and spin freely as the yarn winds off of it. It also keeps it at just the right height to go straight across onto the bobbin. The bobbin winder is an accelerated deal so as you turn the handle around once, the bobbin goes around a bunch of times.

I did have a problem with the tinker toy contraption tended to slide towards the bobbin winder when I got going too fast with winding off the spindle. A little more weight on the bottom of it would have been great.

Special note: These are tinkertoys that I used to play with when I was a kid. My kids play with them now; and I think that’s so cool. We even still have the book that came with them that shows you a 101 things you can make with tinkertoys. Every household should have a tin of tinkertoys in it.

(Don’t forget you have until this friday to enter the contest to win the Peter Teal book!  See previous blog entry for details)