Roving, roving, everywhere, and not a second to spin!

If I could give you a guided tour of our house at the moment, your eyes would pop out of your head. Imagine this, but everywhere…….

Piles of coiled up roving, bags of fibre waiting to be carded, buckets of dyed yarn, sacks of undyed yarn – the house is at bursting point! I need to start getting some of it all into the shop, otherwise we’ll end up sleeping in a tent in the garden.    

Thanks to the help of some lovely Ravellers, I’ve worked out a way to improve my photography, and I tested it out yesterday. I’m delighted with the results, the colours are bright and saturated, just as I’ve always wanted them to be. I’m really excited about doing this week’s yarn photographs now, and I hope that this shop update will be our prettiest yet. We’re still busy twisting all the skeins up, but I can tell you now that Tony has really outdone himself. There are some gorgeously Springlike colourways, mmm mmmmm. We’ve finally taken on staff to help us with our workload, and it’s working so well that I’m wondering why on earth we waited so long. Expect to see some exciting things coming out of the Posh workshop in the next few months!!  

Posh Fibre

Popping my head up to give you a glimpse of the Top Secret Work going on here:

Hand dyed roving, and blended batts, in BFL, merino, Falkland, Shetland, alpaca, baby camel, silk, angora, cashmere, and the all essential sparkles. Starting March 8th. Be there, or miss out on these goodies and oh so very much more.

 

Spin City

I’ve been doing lots and lots of spinning this weekend. Had a go at Navajo plying, it wasn’t too difficult, but I didn’t really enjoy it. Here’s the result:

Unfortunately this yarn feels like rope. The original fibre (Whitefaced Woodland) wasn’t terribly soft, but it definitley wasn’t as rough as the finished yarn has come out. And checking over the yarn I’m spinning at the moment, I’m definitely turning out twine. I’ve checked the amount of twist, I don’t think I’m overtwisting. I’m trying to handle the roving gently. Maybe this is just a stage I need to get through. Here’s what I’m working on at the moment:

This is the twiniest – it’s an alpaca blend. Alpaca is supposed to be soft!!

This one isn’t so bad. And at least my spinning is getting more consistent. And I’m learning how to control the roving so the drafting zone moves evenly over it, instead of taking off madly in the opposite direction from where I want.

This is my first attempt at plying – now this is nice and soft. But there’s a lot of undrafted sections in it, maybe that’s why.    

I’ve got a super busy week ahead of me this week. Lots of top secret work going on Chez Posh. There won’t be much time for chatting or blogging, so don’t worry if you don’t see me around much. It’ll be back to normal next week. Ciao!

More Spinning Love

Are you getting tired of seeing my handspun yarn yet?! This is from Monday, but I thought I’d better insert a bit of knitting content yesterday, in case you were getting bored.

This is the roving that Jacqui gifted me. The fibre is Whitefaced Woodland, colourway Night & Day, from chrispindle.etsy.com. It’s spinning up like a dream. I’m getting lovely consistent yarn, with very little effort on my part.

I’m amazed at how quickly my spinning skills are improving; it makes it extra addictive. I feel like I’ve found my calling, lol. 

If At First You Don’t Succeed…….

….try, try again. And also, practise makes perfect.

Which means I’m getting better at spinning! I spent a few hours at my wheel this weekend, first of all finishing off the yarn I was spinning last week, my first wheel spun yarn. Comparing the two bobbins, I can see a real improvement between them.

The yarn is very overtwisted, and there’s a lot of variation between the two skeins, so I’ve decide to just keep them as pieces of art, rather than attempting to knit with them.

I finished the spindle spun yarn, from David’s fibre, and that came out as a pretty well balanced single, so I’m keeping it as a slubby single yarn. I have 75 yards, 100g, and I’m going to make a little scarflette from it. I’m very, very proud of this yarn, my very first yarn. But I must say, now I’ve got the hang of the wheel, I don’t think I’ll be using my spindle much. The wheel is so much faster – I did 100g of yarn in about an hour yesterday, and that was spun quite fine.

But here’s what I’m really proud of, my second batch of wheel spun yarn, which I did yesterday. It’s consistent twist, even drafting, all except for the bits where I’ve joined in a new lump of fibre, you can see those bits quite clearly. How do you get those bits nice and smooth and the same thickness as the rest of your yarn? This is quite fine yarn, so I’m going to ply it together. I didn’t predraft my roving before spinning it this time, and I definitely found it easier to draft evenly, not getting lots of slubs like I was with the predrafted fibre. I’m surprised how fast it spun up. 100g of fingering weight in an hour.  

I’m letting this rest before I have a go at plying it together. I’ve never tried plying, gulp. Still, up to three weeks ago, I’d never tried spinning, so anything is possible!

I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed anything as much as I’m enjoying spinning. It’s soothing, and meditative, and magic, and utterly thrilling. Every time I do a bit, I see a marked improvement. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?

(and if you are a spinner already, keep your eyes peeled, we have some very exciting stuff coming up!)