Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I am a spinner, for those of who do not not know. I do not tend to blog about my crafty pursuits here, which is a little odd as I think that most of you reading enjoy crafting too. Anyway, not much is going on here in Madrid. August is a time when the residents are on vacation and the tourists pour in by the bus load. A lot of businesses (in the non-touristy areas) are closed, and it is a very lazy month. The heat does not help, and it has been in the 100-106F° (38-42C°) range for most of the month.

I plan to go on more adventures tomorrow (if I can get over this breathing trouble/cold that I having first). But today's post will be all about my spinning recently, so if that does not interest you feel free to come back soon for more adventures.

I have been doing a lot of spinning, for some reason in the heat it is easier to spin then knit. Some of these projects are projets that I started a long time ago.

For example this one:
About a year ago I ordered a "tastet box" from a Spanish seller. I felt like spinning Merino and silk and these blends from Ashford are so pretty. I roughly split the “tastlets” in half and then spun the singles in the same color order. I was hoping to get stipes with a pleasing mixture of the two colors in between the main stripes. It did not quite work out like I wanted (I had more singles on one bobbin then the other) so I had to break the singles at one point and do some creative plying.
It is so tweedy and soft, I love it. I got 1024.5 meters out of 200 grams.

It came out heavy fingering weight, and I am making a top down pullover out of it. I think the stripes are turning out just like I wanted them too.

This next yarn is one I might use to finish the jumper above if I need more yardage (and sleeves). I got this from my favorite UK supplier, World of Wool. It is a blended colorway, Lynx. I spun this during the Tour De Fleece and during all of my travels around the world this summer. I took spindles with me in my checked luggage, and did not have much time to spin, so this was basically what I spun during the "tour". I spun my usual spinning method (on spindle or on the wheel) a long attenuated draw. I was enchanted with the yarn as singles, then horrified with it, as I was plying it looked like the industrial carpets you see in public schools in the States! Now after finishing the yarn I am again in love. We shall see how it knits up.

100% BFL wool, in the color-way Safari. I got this wool as a present from a lovely friend. I wanted to do a quick spin so I decided to spin heavier then I usually do. I do not have much worsted weight yarn in the stash anyway. I separated out all of the colors as best I could to make the color runs longer, i.e. I spun all of the purple parts at once, and all off the purple/coral parts next etc.. I spun semi-woolen and chain plied. I have not perfected this method and there are thick spots and thin spots. I should pre-draft more the sections that are dyed with the darker color, they are always more condensed, no matter who the dyer is. (Just to make things clear Three Waters Farm has an excellent dyer and this was by no means felted wool.)

This was another ongoing project. I got this Polworth top at the Carolina Fiberfest the one time I had an opportunity to go (it is a charming fiber festival). I have been spinning this off and on for about 2.5 years. Spun on both, drop spindles and supported spindles, long draw. I used this yarn to test out a lot of spindles that I made. I plied (2 ply)this with a hard twist on my kiwi spinning wheel. It is a lace weight, 576 meters out of I believe 100grams. I think that I will leave this un-dyed and make a lace shawl. The yarn is very soft and perfect for lace with the right grist, plying angle, number of plies, everything.

This next fiber I got as part of a swap. I spun thick and thin singles of the natural colored gray BFL/Silk (75/25%) on my wheel and then plied with heavy (2ply would make worsted weight) Polworth singles (same Polworth fiber as above, just spun thicker) spun on a turkish spindle. I got 195 meters out of 125grams. This is truly a thick and thin yarn and I have no idea what to do with it. But one day the perfect project well come along.

These next yarns I spun from Part of a Rare Breed Fleece sampler from "lanitium ex machina" on Esty a UK Dyer. I got 5 different 50 grams samples from 5 different rare breeds. I picked the "Autumnal" palate and she dyed in whatever Autumnal colors she choose. The colors are beautiful, the Welsh wool was full of wiry guard hairs or vegetable matter and too hard to spin, hence you will only see four types of wool. I spun them all bulky and long draw. Since long draw is my favorite method of spinning I wanted to compare them all using the same spinning methods. All are two ply.

From the cutest sheep of them all, Cheviot. This yarn tended to want to be spun thinner then the others. I like the feel of the finished yarn more then I thought that I would. It is bouncy and yet crisp. This is not next to the skin soft. 61.5 meters.

Norwegian, This wool took to being spun wollen much better then I ever would have thought. It is my understanding that long wools do not spin well using long draw. The fibers have a tendency to stick out more in a woolen yarn, and a long wool has longer fibers to stick out. Imagine my surprise when there was only a fiant halo. I really enjoyed spinning this fiber and if I could think of a project to use the yarn in I would gladly spin more. (It is not next to skin soft either.) 34.5 meters. 

Cotswold, I enjoy the shine of this one. Like the others it is not next to skin soft, instead it has a very stratifying crunchy feeling. It is a lot more bouncy then I would have expected too. The halo is more pronounced. 40.5 meters

South African wool. Very soft, it is in the micron count range that I am used to spinning. The wool spun woolen very well, i.e not much fuzz on the surface of the wool. I would spin more of this yarn in a heartbeat. 40.5 meters.

I had another 100 gram braid of Cheviot from another UK dyer, Dye Spin Knit UK. I decided to spin it bulky, it came out super bulky, in the same manner as the other long wool breeds. Maybe I can make a rug out of these yarns. 61.5 meters

Next, a special blend that they have at World of Wool, the "Glitzy" series the ruby color-way. There is a sizable amount of rainbow angelina mixed in with dyed merino wool. Which makes this a flashy yarn. This yarn I spun Worsted, which is not my favorite method but seemed to be the only way that I could trap the angelina in the yarn. It did come out a lot more even (the same grist through-out) then I am used to. This yarn is aran weight 126 meters out of 100 grams.

I am thinking of starting a Spanish Spinning blog, maybe a business, more on that as it happens.


  1. Ah, they're all beautiful. You've been busy!

  2. Spinning mastery ! You are super skilled at the spindle... and I think you'd do well to teach spinning there. Beautiful fibers, delicious colors, and nice variety of plying. I can't wait to see all knit up.