In June 2012, I got some help from my friend, Carol S., in dyeing some yarns I’d spun. Three of the skeins are from a sheep named “Lizzy” who is mostly Ile de France. And the fourth skein is a blend of alpaca and Cormo wool. You can find details about these yarns on my blog, June 28, 2012.
I’ve been experimenting with combining wool and mohair locks with rovings and tops to make yarns. Here are some of the results. I’ve used locks of mohair, Teeswater wool, Wensleydale wool, Lincoln wool, and Bluefaced Leicester wool. All fun!
In March 2012, I spun this skein from a roving that is a blend of Coopworth wool and mohair. I got the fiber from one of my favorite fiber sources, Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill.
Lucy & Lacy
“Lucy” and “Lacy” are two sheep that reside in Duluth, Minnesota at Church Road Farm. I have purchased Lucy’s fleece several years in a row. I do love Lucy. I finished these yarns near the end of 2010. Then I designed a sweater, “Tattoo”, out of the yarn. There is a picture of the sweater in my Knit Gallery (see link to the left).
For a few years now, I’ve spun lots and lots of Shetland wool in a wide range of natural colors. I have then used the yarns to make Petoskey stone projects. You can see pictures of a wall hanging and an afghan in my Knit Gallery (see link to the left).
This is a yarn from two different handdyed combed tops, one of Merino wool and the other of Rambouillet wool. The slubs and the colors are on the grape-y side. You can find more information about the making of these yarns on my blog, December 7, 2010.
Knots & Snarls
I took two different handdyed combed tops, both of Polwarth wool, and made four different yarns. Two yarns are smooth, one yarn has knots (I call them “pill bugs”), and the other has snarls. I am knitting a wrap out of these four yarns.
I like to combine commercial (aka, “mill-spun”) yarns with roving. Here you see one example: I re-spun a commercial rayon yarn and plied it with a handspun singles that is a blend of Corriedale wool and silk. The roving is from Handspun by Stefania.
I got a gorgeous light moorit Merino fleece from Tina Ulbrick at Ewephoria Farm in Lawrence, Kansas . The sheep's name is "Babes". I washed it, and then hand combed the fibers. The yarns I spun are three different thicknesses. Leftmost is approximately 49 yards per ounce; the center yarn is approximately 84 yards per ounce, and the rightmost yarn is approximately 150 yards per ounce. Later, I spun more yarn from Babes and then made a shawl. You can see a picture of the shawl in my Knit Gallery (see link to the left) and you can read about it on my blog, April 21, 2012 .
3 X 3 = 10
If you have 3 colors of fiber, and you want to make 3-ply yarns, there are 10 possible combinations of colors you can ply. The yarns below were spun from Cormo wool (white) and "Cormo-like" wool (MerinoXCorriedale wool; medium grey and brown). I knitted a shawl from these 10 yarns. And I wrote an article for Spin-Off magazine about it (Fall 2011).
Spin a Grand Strand, Convergence 2006
I submitted three yarns to the "Spin a Grand Strand" exhibit at Convergence 2006 (the biennial conference that is sponsored by the Handweavers Guild of America). The conference that year was held in Grand Rapids. Two of my yarns received awards: "Terrarium" (on the bottom) is a 4-ply cabled yarn in which 3 of the plies are bombyx silk and one ply is Optim -- a streched out, super soft version of Merino wool. It won First Place. "S'Mores" (on the top) is a 3-ply marl yarn with one ply Merino wool (the marshmallow color), one ply alpaca (the graham cracker color), and one ply American bison down (the chocolate color). It received "Honorable Mention".