Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spin Love

How I love to make yarn. Its the whole deal too. From purchasing the undyed (and often direct from the animal) fibre, to washing, dyeing, carding and finally spinning. Normally I spin skinny yarns for weaving fine shawls and scarves. But I've been exploring fat, sleek yarns, at least 10ply weight. yarns to knit cosy things with from good wholesome New Zealand sheep such as the Romney,Gotland,Halfbred and Polwarth as well as our lovely Merino.
Sheep such as these from Black Hill's wool (photo from the website here ).
You can go onto Beverley Forester's website to purchase the gorgeous wool from her sheep above already spun.
I have a good pile of naturally coloured wool myself. But I also love to overdye it since the undertones of the pale greys, browns and moorit give the colours a soft tonal quality without having to resort to black dye.
Sometimes I do the blending on the carder mixing my pre-dyed white fibre with the naturally earthy colours of the sheep and alpaca wool.
Several members of our co-operative textiles shop spin yarns to sell. Most of these yarns are bought by tourists traveling around NZ from abroad. I rarely list these yarns online as they sell so well in the physical shop or I have used them myself for finished items. But I have plans to list some of them online soon so watch this space.
Luscious spiral plied wool with glitz.
Smooshy organic merino.
Saturated colour on fawn halfbred.

Pearly green on the same organic merino.

I spin nearly all my yarn at home on a Majacraft wheel, although my travel wheel is a single treadle Joy wheel which I won in a raffle at the Cromwell Creative Fibre festival several years ago (lucky me). A very portable robust little wheel. Wheel preference is such an individual thing. I like to have big bobbins so I can spin and ply at least 200g skeins. A double treadle is a very comfortable way of peddling. Being able to adjust the height of the orifice is important too as it helps the body find that position to spin which is easy to maintain and causes least strain. I spin nearly every day even for 10 minutes or so. The cat has got adjusted to the slight roller coaster effect when she comes to sit on my knee.