Spinning experiments

I’ve been very busy of late – but I’ve been trying to keep up with my spinning.  At a recent guild meeting we practiced long draw spinning from a cloud of yak down.  I ended up with 3/4oz and 80 yards of lovely soft plied yarn.

I have spun some thick and thin singles and plied them together.  I now have two huge skeins of black and white Shetland (I plan to make a hat and scarf from these).


I also hope to do some weaving with my handspun.  For this I’ve spun a single – long draw – of handpainted Corriedale (Birds of Paradise colourway from yarnscape).  I’ll be using this as a single for the weft.


I’m also spinning some BFL worsted style (colourway Violetta also from yarnscape).  I will be plying this to make a (hopefully) strong warp.


There’s quite a difference between these three yarns:


Spinning my own hand-dyed tops

I’ve been spinning my hand-dyed tops today.  I was at a local spinning meeting and received some compliments on the colours.  I’m pleased with how the singles are coming out.  I’ve split the tops lengthways so that the colours will blend from one to the next.  I’ll see how successful I’ve been when I ply them together. 

The slight felting that the wool suffered when I dyed it has resulted in a few noils.  I try and pick these out when I get to them.  I’m trying worsted style spinning for a change.   

I’ve also been using my new sliding hook flyer for the Ashford traditional wheel today.  I’ve applied three coats of finishing oil to the wood to seal it.  So far I like it.  It’s resolved the rattle that my wheel had and is easy to use.  The bobbin is also an impressive size (apparently 30% larger than the standard bobbin).

I’ll post a picture of a bobbin of singles and the sliding hook flyer tomorrow (when I have daylight).

First use of my Haldane

I’ve been oiling all the key parts of my Haldane since she arrived.  However, today is the first chance I’ve had to do any spinning on her. 

I found a few bobbin ends of singles (all Jacob) I’ve spun on my Ashford Traditional and decided to ply them together and empty all the bobbins.  I had fun while trying the Andean plying technique to use up the last bobbin – I lost one of the ends (I had images of a birds nest of unusable singles).  Fortunately I found it and was able to use up all the singles.  Here is the result:


Another Wheel

I’ve just bought another wheel.  I’ve not seen it in person yet.  It’s a Haldane Hebridean – which is a double drive wheel.  It’ll be joining my two Ashford Traditional wheels.



Dyeing top

I’ve spent a good part of today dyeing some Shetland top.  It’s dyed with Ashford’s dyes.  I used purple, teal and yellow.  However, the purple looks more like pink to me (I’m going to check the bottles tomorrow and make sure I didn’t use the hot pink by mistake).  I “painted” the top with the colours – mixing them where they met.

The top’s currently drying and I’m hoping I haven’t felted it during the process.  I’ll be able to check when it’s dry and I’ll post up a picture too.