Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Rise to the Challenge - Yarn

Well, I've had a productive couple of days. First we took this:
North Ronaldsay Roving (apparently a rare breed from the Orkney Islands in Scotland)

Then we had a single:
Then 2 singles:
And finally we had yarn!

In fact, we had two separate lengths of yarn.... As the first single was so much thicker than the second, I ran out of it first, so I plied together the two ends of the remaining single to make a bit more yarn.
This is the first skein of yarn. As you can see, it's a bit thick and thin, but that's normal for a first handspun right? (Now you're all going to tell me your first handspun was spun from gold silk thread and went to make a hat for the queen it was so perfect, aren't you?)
 And the second skein (a bit smaller):
But much more even!
In total, I have about 36.5 yards of yarn, and I have no idea of what weight. I'll try figure out an average weight when it's dried.

I have to say, I would highly recommend this learn to spin kit. It's from Hilltop Cloud on etsy, and it's really good. The roving is apparently great for beginners as it has such a short staple, and drafts really easily, and though I can't actually comment on this claim as I've only spun one thing, I did find it a lot easier than I thought I would! I had no problems drafting at all, which seems to be what most new spinners get stuck on, and there were clear instructions on what to do, with a link to videos on the seller's website (though I didn't really need them, though I did check them to make sure I was doing it right). Plus, the fibre is gorgeously squishy, and I love the fact that you get some plain North Ronaldsay roving to begin on, and then some Hand blended British Blue Faced Leicester and Merino Roving and some Handcarded Merino and British Shetland Batt in your choice of colours. It means you get to try different fibres and different ways of buying fibre all in one kit, as well as having a bit of colour in your yarns. You get a lot for a very inexpensive kit, and what you get is very good.

And now, I'm off to research dying yarn with food colouring (and maybe a bit more spinning) since browny grey is such a boring colour!


  1. Ah! You've started the spinning bug! Just wait until you want a wheel...

    I never got very good with drop spindles (I have a couple top whorls and a handmade Turkish drop spindle - the kind with the big cross at the bottom)...and I pretty much skipped the drop spindle entirely (though I still have three) and went right to a wheel. I love my wheel. I think the problem I had with the drop spindle was the constant stopping and starting when I had to wind my singles onto the spindle or when the spindle hit the floor. I don't have that problem with the wheel because I can just keep going until I run out of fiber in my hands...

    Just wait. You'll want a wheel...

    1. I already do, but there's just no way one would fit into our little house. Sitting and spinning without having to stop sounds amazing though! I've definitely caught the bug though, I've already started spinning the rest of the roving from the kit.

  2. I bought a drop spindle before the holidays for myself (and gave one to my Mom for Christmas), and I am enjoying mine. My yarn is not as even as yours yet, however! It looks great.

  3. It looks great - congrats! I half want to try spinning and half don't - I don't have the time for more hobbies, let alone the space for a fibre stash :)

    I have, however, clicked on your link, so who knows, you might have started something!

  4. Dyeing yarn with food colouring is an awesome process, and I hope you have as much fun with it as I do!

    And oh my gosh, your spinning is so inspiring! I'm hoping to learn, and your yarn looks great to me, really chunky and fun! I adore the thick-and-thin look, actually. :D

  5. I'm impressed! I find drop spindling so tedious, I always just quit after the first ply.