kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's NOT working...!!!

In my last post I had written about finding a cool pattern to make a sweater vest.
Since I have all this wool roving lying around, I decided to spin my own yarn to make the vest.

I decided to dye the roving a dark blue since I wear jeans most of the time. Yesterday morning I got up early and started on the project. Zip and I had a lunch date with our friends Willa and Chuck so I wanted this done before we had to leave for Chambersburg. I wanted to start spinning as soon as we returned. I am very impatient!!!

Here the roving is in the dyepot.
I used cheesecloth so I could lift it out easily without disturbing the fibers.
Rinsing in the kitchen sink. The color looks OK.

The cheesecloth also made it easy to wring and squeeze a lot of the excess water out of the roving.

Hangingn by the woodstove to dry.

There were enough areas that had dried for me to pull off a small portion to begin spinning. I had this idea to include little blips of color into the yarn. I planned on using some silk fiber. First I tried pulling off small pieces from the silk caps, but silk fibers are so long that it was difficult to just get little pieces. I then cut off little pieces about 3/4 inch long and tried spinning them in with the blue roving. That didn't work well either. The ends stuck out like eyelash yarn. Didn't like that!!!

So I got out this pink wool that I had used for needle felting. I tried spinning it in a little at a time. Seemed to be working better.

Still was unable to make it look like little blips though!
I spun about 1/4of a bobbin full and then decided to see what the yarn would look like knitted up.
Here i'm plying the yarn. I use the hand wrap method when I only have a small amount of yarn to do. You may (or not!) be curious as to why I would put two strands together. When you spin yarn it gets twisted together to make it stronger and keep the fibers from coming apart. It will curl back on itself when you take it off and try to wind it into a skein or ball. When you try to knit with this single strand of yarn, the knitting is distorted on the diagonal due to the twist. When you ply the two strands of yarn together, you twist them together in the opposite direction. Voila! Your yarn comes out straight and ready to knit.

The samples. And I don't like the look of the finished knitting! Too blotchy looking or something!!!

I was trying to get a chunky yarn since that is what my pattern called for. I'm not good at chunky yarn. Every spinner has their comfort zone. Their own individual 'ME YARN' that you spin without thinking. Mine is thin! I have to work at getting a heavier yarn. So I'm going to start over today and just make my 'me year' and ply three strands together and that should give me the right thickness. And there will be no pink blips. Since this is a pattern that is all done in ribbing, I think the blips distract from the pattern.

When I was digging out the pink wool, I came across my ONLY needle felting effort. I took an hour-long mini workshop a few years ago. We made a needle felted egg. You all know that I'm usually not a person to make cute things that will sit around and get dusty...and dustier! But Easter was coming soon so I made a few more eggs and a bunny. Just for practice.

He did turn out kinda cute!

OK! Been there and done that!
It was fun for the moment, but I don't want to do it again. OH, did I mention that I bought a load of felting needles and foam to do it on, before I decided that it wasn't my favorite thing???
Maybe I should just stick to rughooking....


  1. Hi Pat, I love the blue color! I need to come and visit you and see you do some spinning..this is all new to me. I LOVE the rabbit and the eggs! I have been talking about you to a lot of my customers and I have been telling them about Grant Street Woolworks...some have said that they are planning on stopping by.
    What a windy rainy day..good day to sit by the woodstove and do some rug if only I knew how to rug hook! LOL
    Have a wonderful day!

  2. What a labor intense endeavor! Wow! The blue of the roving is beautiful! I agree with you on the pink... but, then again, I'm not a pink person? LOL! Cute needle felted Easter gathering! Thanks for sharing all these pics on dying and spinning the roving... very kewl! :-)

  3. Im soooo Jealous!! Why cant I be half as good and creative as you!!! I WANT that bunny and those eggs!!! :(!! I guess Ill stick to cooking and eating!!

  4. Those eggs and rabbit are adorable! You are amazingly talented my friend! I love the blue color of the wool too! Wish we lived closer I'd be over there watching you spin! Cathy G

  5. Pat you are one of the most talented people I have ever met - love the bunny and the blue roving is just beautiful. I wish I had the energy top get as much done as you do. Happy spinning

  6. I, too, love your bunny and eggs ~ but I would never want to make them! I like to needlefelt into fabric ~ that's much easier! So save your needles and foam and maybe you'll do that! I'll be watching your sweater progress ~ you don't mess around, do you? You are the perfect example of 'from sheep to shawl'!!

  7. The little rabbit is cute, just in time for Easter

  8. Pat ~
    You are simply A ~ M ~ A ~ Z ~ I ~ N ~ G!!! Spinning your yarn to knit your vest. WOW! I like the color of the blue, but the pink does nothing for me.
    Your felted bunny and eggs are very sweet. I generally don't do "cute", but those could be an exception.
    Keep us posted on your spinning, dyeing, and knitting progress.
    Pug hugs :)

  9. Pat, You just gave the greatest explanation on why spinners need to ply if they are going to use their handspun for knitting!!!!!!
    I love the color of your yarn. Looks great knitted up.
    The needle felted bunny and eggs is very cute!!! I have the felting needles too but not the foam. Just isn't my thing.

  10. Pat, I know several spinners that just spin one size yarn and ply together 2,3 or 4 plys for the thickness they want.


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