Hurray, it works! The fiber preparation that I’ve been working on and testing seems to perform the way I intended it to: easy drafting, easy spinning and a fun and interesting yarn!
This is a 3-ply yarn spun from the roving I showed in my previous post. Even though ther was some thin spots in my test-roving it was a pleasure to work with. I spun the singles on a spindle with the roving standing besides me in it’s paper-cover. Worked just perfect! It didn’t break (only in a few places where the roving was very very thin..) and it didn’t collapse when I got to the outer layers of fiber.
After spindle-spinning it I n-plied the yarn on my Kromski Symphonie wheel. the resulting yarn is soft and tweedy. With its 4 colors it would be good to use for a cowl, a hat or something like that. 80 grams and 174 meters. To knit this I would pick up a needle size 4 or 4½ mm, as a starting point.
So, now I have made some more Magic rolls of roving. Of course 🙂
This one is allready sold.. It has 8 soft spring-like colors and weighs about 80 grams.
The next two are currently for sale in my Etsy-shop:
They both have 8 colours. The first one weighs approx. 80 grams, the next one 86 grams. The fiber content in both of them are mostly merino, but also a little shetland wool, alpaca, BFL and some locks from an unknown Scandinavian sheep-breed.
I’m trying to figure out how to make a spinning roving that has built-in color progression and is super-easy to spin from.
Now I think I almost got it..
This roving pulls from the center of the roll and should (at least in theory) allow the spinner to spin a continuos thread with long color sequenses. There’s about 80 grams of fiber here and 4 different colors – also different types of fiber! Mostly merino, but also Bluefaced Leicester and a little bit of wensleydale (locks) and flax.
It’s going to be sooo interesting to spin this! Will it be easy to pull out the roving – or will it break all the time? And what happens when I get to the outer layer? Will the whole thing collapse and turn into a sorry tangled mess? I guess I just have to give it a go.. 🙂
Silk Hankies are so easy to spin, and makes a beautiful, textured yarn.
I would like to show you how I go about spinning the hankies (after I dye them, of course – no fun spinning white stuff.. 😉 . The silk hankies shown here are dyed in my “Juneberries” colorway.)
I will show the spinning done on a drop spindle, but a spinning wheel works equally fine.
Silk Hankies are fiber squares (about the size of a hankerchief, hence the name) made up of many very thin layers of silk. The silk from the cocoon is stretched over a frame to dry, layer by layer until it has a certain thickness. A typical Silk Hankie weighs about 5 – 10 grams.
Use some handlotion to soften your hands before you begin working with the hankies, otherwise the fiber will stick to your hands and be difficult to control..
Peel off a very thin layer from the hankie. It’s like a spiders web.
Poke a hole in the center of the thin layer. That turns it into a ring of fiber. Pull the ring gradually to thin down the fiber thickness.
“Snap” the fibers a bit if they are difficult to draft, and make sure your hands are wide enough apart. The silk fibers are very long and does not draft easily. You decide how thin you want the strip to be – it should correspond with the desired thickness of your thread.
Then pull the ring apart and wrap the silk strip around your fiberholding hand (or make a small nest and set it aside).
Now to spin it: Make sure you have a generous overlapping area. Minimum 10 cm (4 inches). While spinning there’s not much, if any, fiber drafting to do. Just add twist and maybe use your fingers to even out the irregular spots that, because of the textured nature of the fiber, will show up here and there.
When I use the drop spindle I usually prepare and then spin 1 thin layer at the time. When using the spinning wheel it could be more practical to prepare several “nests” of fibers so you have a supply handy when you sit down to spin.
After spinning you can ply the thread, with itself or with something else. I’s also great as singles yarn. The long silk fibers doesn’t require much twist (or any twist for that matter) to hold together, and that makes it perfect for single ply yarns.
I’m plying my silk, however. I’m using it for a modular knitted vest, that has been in my project bag for ages.. I’ll post pics of that some other time, so stay tuned for more!
Silk Hankies are a joy to work with and the resulting yarn is beautiful, both shiny and textured at the same time.
This shows my way of handling them – how do you spin yours?
That’s fun! I love sampling. I really enjoy knitting swatches, too. Sampling and swatching are activities so full of anticipation, curiosity, and the results are full of promises of beautiful things to come. Or maybe they are not.. Anyway, is’t an exiting process!
Today I spun a sample of one of my new monochromatic colorways, “Savoy”. A rich, strong, warm green hue. The fiber has both light and dark places, at times almost black.
I spun the fiber (Blue Faced Leicester, not shetland which is actually the fiber shown in the photo above.) using one of my supported spindles, a russian style spindle from Aaes. Then plied the two strands together using another beautiful Aaes-spindle:
– Now it needs a hot bath (the yarn, not the spindle..) and afterwards I think it will become wristwarmers.
By the way, another new colorway is on its way: a deep dark blue.
You are looking at the colorway “Turmeric” (“Gurkemeje” in Danish). This color is one in a series of monochromatics or semi-solids that I’m working on right now. I have 6 coloursways ready by now which can be seen on the page of that very same name – see menu on top.
Another new one is “Dark Fuchsia”.
I hand-paint these colorways on first quality wool top from various breeds or on luxury blends like wool/kidmohair, wool/silk, wool/bamboo and several other combinations.
The hand painted “wheels” are great for spinning and felting. If you would like to try one out please go to my website (no real web-shop yet, I’m afraid, but I’m working on that..) and check the in-stock list. You can also email me with your request. I accept PayPal or bank transfers.
Drying outside right now in the (rather chill) spring weather hangs one of my older colorways, a multi-colored named “Gypsy”. There’s a little bit of this one reserved for my own spinning pleasure – can’t wait untill it’s dry!