Whenever I dye up a new colorway, I always want to spin up a sample of it, just to see how it looks and give customers some idea of what their final yarn might look like. Sadly, I'm not very good about sitting down and doing the sampling, so it doesn't always work out that way.
When I spin at home, I usually open up a bag and start right in with no sampling whatsoever. Sometimes I've got a project in mind for the final yarn, sometimes not. But I don't usually sample unless I'm trying to reproduce a particular commercial yarn (I've blogged about my sampling experience previously) for a project.
One of the best things about Wool House was the opportunity to try out some of the new colorways and do some sampling. I was there for a couple of hours each time, so a perfect amount of time to play around with spinning styles and plying styles and whatnot. I managed to sample three different colorways - today's example is some glorious, truly brightly colored Romney.
In the week leading up to Wool House, I was working on finishing up some Turkey Day Cheviot, with the idea of knitting up some matching socks. I used to knit a lot of socks, but have been feeling rather uninspired of late, so I decided that starting up socks out of handspun might be a good solution.
This morning I went off Allison of Champagne and Qiviut to Somerset House to do a spinning demonstration for the Campaign for Wool's Wool House exhibition. Video was taken and subsequently posted on the Campaign for Wool Facebook page. So if you want to see/hear me, here's your chance!
Alli and I had a great time demonstrating our two very different types of spinning wheels, and it was fantastic to chat with people about spinning. We will both be back on Tuesday morning from 10:00 til about 12:30 or 1:00, but there are spinners there throughout the exhibition. If you get a chance to come by, please say hello!
(I'm spinning some FRET YFP-CFP Romney, just in case anyone is curious...)
I've just finished updating the shop with some really bright new colorways. I think the long, dragged-out winter season we're experiencing here in London is really starting to get to me. I want strong contrasts and warm tones to put on my head, feet and hands.
I've been experimenting with singles recently, and wanted to share some of my findings with you.
A few years ago, I was at a spinning workshop and the instructor was demonstrating how to spin a singles yarn. I asked a somewhat silly question: "How much twist do you add?" The (in retrospect) obvious answer was: "As much as you need to hold the single together." Seems pretty simple, doesn't it?
But this answer gets to the first, and in my mind, most important issue in successfully spinning singles: fiber choice. You want to start with a fiber that will stick to itself, so no silk or alpaca or plant fibers need apply. You also want a fiber that has at least a medium staple length, just for ease of spinning. If you're new to spinning singles, you'll probably be happier if you leave the merino aside for this round.
I started with some Corriedale in the Parakeet colorway.