Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fluffy Fibre......to Knitted Stitches

I am still working out how to spin on my DIY drop spindle.
I began with that 3.5 oz braid of dyed roving that I purchased from a local vendor....after reading tutorials and watching youtube videos, I gave it a shot.....I showed my first "test" subject in an earlier post (here), today I thought I share the process from start to finish.

In order to create plied yarn, I would need 2 balls/bobbins/skiens of spun roving. I broke off 2 equal (roughly) sized amounts of roving and began spinning......once I finished each chunk (my spindle was reasonably full)  I would need to take it off, keep the 2 separate....then find a way to ply (twist) them together to make my yarn.

spun single in progress.

So I decided to make myself what is referred to as a Lazy Kate (or maybe just a "Kate"?)
I happened to have these vintage bobbins on hand (they were simply decorative with my sewing collectibles) once emptied, they would be perfect.

I gathered some supplies.....a sturdy box (gift box from the dollar store) a few knitting needles from my stash of many many duplicate needles (knitters out there know about that LOL!) and some binder clips

 I wound the "singles" off the spindle onto each bobbin

I attached binder clips to an extra knitting needle as guides to keep the fibre from getting all tangled

The spun fibre glided off the bobbins quite smoothly as I plied them together (back onto the spindle.)
Once the yarn was "plied" the next step would be to "set the twist" and to do this I would need something I could wind the yarn onto that would keep some tension and allow me to immerse it all in a warm bath......so I needed to make what is called a "Niddy Noddy"
I went to the hardware store and purchased some PVC pipe 1/2".....2 T connectors and 4 end caps.
note: the grey PVC is found in the electrical dept and is almost half the price of the white PVC found in the plumbing dept)

Because the yarn will wrap around 4 times for each pass.....my center pipe measurement at 12" will give me a 4' long skein. The bonus is that this can be taken apart, laid flat and if I wish, I can create different lengths of skeins by changing the center pipe length

The image below shows the yarn wound on the niddy noddy, along with the resulting skein of plied yarn.

Next I wanted to see if I could set the twist on a single ply. I am so pleased with how it turned out!
how amazing to be able to take fluff

and turn it into yarn with some pretty basic tools, this is a swatch I knit with my single ply yarn, to give you an idea...it was knit on size US 0 needles

This is a slow process, but it is so gratifying. I have found it so relaxing...and when I spin, I seem to loose track of time.

I have to tell you a story.....when I purchased this roving at a local craft/art show, I had asked the vendor how much yarn I should expect to yield from this particular braid. Her answer was that it depended on how thick or thin I would spin it. (okay that makes complete sense) so I replied as an example DK weight??? Well...a customer standing at the same booth, rolled her eyes and basically made a pffffftttt sound....turned to  me and said (insert condescending tone)...."oh...if you are just learning to use a drop spindle you WON'T be spinning anything THAT thin!"  uh .....yeah.... thanks for the encouragement.....perhaps she was trying to be helpful.....but her tone and body language said otherwise.
So as you know, I do LOVE a challenge......don't ever tell me what I can NOT do! But that is me.....someone else might have been so discouraged by that remark that they may have not tried at all and miss out on the of joy this art.


Daryl @ Patchouli Moon Studio said...

Wow Jill you really spun some beautiful yarn and on a drop spindle! I have a friend who spins on a spinning wheel. I tried spinning decades ago and wasn't that good. My friend took some lessons from a woman whom she nick-named The Spinster! LOL! Your yarn knit up beautifully too! Don't you hate when people try to discourage you! Not going to make any sales by telling you that and talking in that tone. The sales person should have been over encouraging after the other woman wasn't.

Robbie said...

Oh my goodness!!!! I am SO impressed!!!! I guess my 70 year old brain is ust wasting away slowly but surely! I don't think I would be able to calculate out all you did and end up with this beautiful yarn!!! It's lovely!!!! You go girl!!!

Jean S said...

Your yarn turned out beautifully! I started with a drop spindle but quickly changed to a spinning wheel and now own three. It is very relaxing and I can sit for hours and let my mind wander while making a beautiful useful product. Very nice Jill.

Glenda said...

Oh my goodness!! You did everything but shear the sheep!!! Amazing as always and so inspiring.

carrie said...

What beautiful yarn! I am impressed with your calculating ability, I cannot do maths at all and just wing it. I am not good with a drop spindle either; kept dropping it lol. I have a Babe wheel which I really need to use - and my yarn is very arty lol. But the Babe is light and comes apart very easily, being made of plastic pipe, and I really need to practise more. I would like a different wheel eventually.

I love your inventiveness also, I think people forget that one doesn't necessarily need to spend much when starting something new...

The Inside Stori said...

Ingenious and impressive!!! Thank you for sharing...

Diane J. Evans said...

I'm going to echo what Glenda said -- you now have to buy a sheep and shear it yourself. Pioneer Woman would be impressed. We're ALL impressed with the way you set about to learn to do something and stay with it until it's darned near perfect. That yarn is so beautiful -- now we know why hand-spun yarn is so costly. Much work and lots of love went into making that skein. Can't wait to see what you do with it.

You are STILL, as always, amazing.


Mar said...

Jill, I am so in love with/impressed by your talent. I don't have a Janome machine. Is there any way I can purchase your machine embroidery designs? Secondly, would you ever consider designing for the Embroidery Library company? (not affiliated).
Thank you. Mar

Createology said...

Oh my goodness Jill you are truly amazing! And how wonderful that you didn’t let some rude person discourage you and your abilities. Your fluff has become gorgeous delicious yarn that is knit into bliss!!! I am late to your spinning party yet I am so glad I didn’t miss it. <3

Copyright Jill Buckley