Become part of the circle sharing inspiration for spinning and other fibre crafting. It is a warm and reassuring place, sort of like a favourite chair near a cosy fireside, where beginners and experts come and go as they please. It's a place to share what we know, learn from each other and display what we've created -- while supporting and inspiring each other on the wonderful journey associated with handspinning and wool-related crafts.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

January 2012 Woolly Wednesday gathering

Welcome to the January 2012 Woolly Wednesday gathering, Happy New Year! So what have you been up to this month? Or have you been busy enjoying the festive season, eating mince pies? So what are you plans for the year ahead? Come join us with any spinning, knitting, weaving, felting ...

Woolly Wednesday falls on the first Wednesday of every month. Think of it as a creative gathering, or a virtual guild meeting. Bring along any fibre-related project, whatever it may be. If you are starting out in fibre arts, share what you are interested in pursuing. Let's show each other our projects, share any tips, tutorials, ask questions, seek advice. Add your post to the Linky below and we can visit one another and share, support, encourage, be inspired!.

Please feel free to add the button to your blog's sidebar with a link to Spinspiration, a lovely way for us all to link together. Just copy the image to your desktop and then in your blog design - add a gadget, add picture - upload the picture and then add the url (http://spinwheelspin.blogspot.com/) and the image will link to here.

Join us with the linky below, link to a recent blog post of your woolly adventures in the last month or to a post in the near future, we look forward to seeing you.

Kelly's January Woolly Wednesday - spinning Lleyn and experimenting with Koolaid

Once again, I am late linking up this month - slowly getting back into the swing of things after the Christmas season!
I have continued to work my way through spinning up the whole Lleyn fleeces.
Although I also took a short break from it just after Christmas and spun up some Bluefaced Leicester wool tops.  I spun it up chunky and then had some fun experimenting dyeing with Koolaid using the immersion method.  I wanted to try and achieve multi-coloured skeins
Here are the results. 
 I am happy with the results which look better than in the pictures.  The greenish one is my attempt at a camouflage yarn for my boy who loves camouflage.  It actually worked out well with light green and beige hues.  The brownish is purple/red/brown/orange colours, very autumnal. I have only ever experimented with natural dyeing so it was interesting to me how quick Koolaid is absorbed into the wool.  I found this site really informative and thorough and I bought my Koolaid UK source from here.
I have also been enjoying this little book which I received as a gift.  It is 'British Sheep and Wool' published by the British Wool Marketing Board.  It covers the history to British Wool, the role of the Wool Board and the various breeds and wool types of sheep throughout Britain. My children and I have enjoyed admiring all the stunning scenic shots featuring all the different British sheep breeds.  A lovely gem of a book!
 And now back to spinning up the Lleyn!  Happy New Year everyone!
Apologies for being late in linking up!

Dawns January Woolly Wednesday - back to the wheel!

Well with all the excitement of Christmas, this could be a quiet month for Woolly Wednesday, I wonder how many will be joining in this month?

I have a few things to share. Firstly some knitting projects that were Christmas gifts. Here we have two novelty knits made for my husband Alex who enjoys playing Angry Birds from time to time, Imogen does too when she sees him playing it. They have already been introduced to Imogens other toys and enjoyed a tea party or two.

Angry Birds

Easy to follow free patterns from Ravelry, there is a third (the green pig) in progress but unfinished at present. Also unfinished (but working on them) are the house socks for Alex from some handspun Dorset Horn. Lovely chunky wool so these will be lovely - a few more rounds on the foot and then the toes to do and they are completed. I want to knot more socks and like that these have been done 2 at a time on one circular needle - they grow at the same rate so you know they will be even and it avoids the Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) where the 2nd sock doesn't get knitted straight away if at all. Anyway, hopefully I can reveal these finished next month.
Alex's socks from Handspun Dorset Horn

Also knitted some animals for Imogen to go with her Gruffalo toy so she has a play set - I have knitted an owl, fox, snake and a mouse. We bought her the Gruffalo hand-puppet for Christmas too so when The Gruffalos Child was on the BBC on Christmas day evening, it was re-enacted with her puppet and toys - her Gruffalo toy she has had for years was acting the role of the Gruffalo's child. I do intend to knit her a Gruffalo toy too from a pattern I have and am going to adapt it to make her a Gruffalos child. Another watch this space for results.

Gruffalo storybook characters

Almost finished knitting A hat and scarf combination for Imogen - just adding a few more rows to the scarf to make a kind of pocket to pop cold hands into. Here it is so far.

Hat and scarf combination for Imogen

So on now to spinning, and yes this month there has been some spinning - yay! We were away staying with family for Christmas but on return I had the urge to spin, and have been getting back into the rhythm of it.

2 skeins Portland 2 ply

Here are two skeins of Portland rare breed (classified as at risk) fleece. This is a lovely soft bouncy fleece, creamy white in colour. Two skeins 2-plied, each weighing approximately 200g each - 168 metres (183 yards) and 170 metres (185 yards). I'm thinking of dyeing these. Really want to get more dyeing done this year.
Icelandic grey Single Ply

Next is some Icelandic grey wool that I started spinning in September at the Romsey Show - it was still sitting there on the bobbin waiting to be completed so it now has been. Here is 100g of single ply which I think I am going to set as single ply as it's a nice long staple and a good strong yarn as it is.

Icelandic Grey/Brown (grey in background)

Inspired by finishing the Icelandic grey, I dug out another 100g bag of another Icelandic fleece - a slightly different shade - of grey with a hint of brown. It's only to the naked eye you can see the difference in them. Again keeping this as a single. I did consider plying them together but think something would be lost in doing that. Still on the bobbins - awaiting winding off onto the niddy noddy to set the twist, so no idea on length spun.

Lincoln Longwool navajo plied

More spinning - this time some White Lincoln Longwool fleece that I have - approximately 100g spun into a single and navajo plied, resulting in quite a chunky yarn here. I have more of this fleece but think I will two ply it in future. A lovely soft fleece, another rare breed at risk. Lovely long staple and a great lustre to the wool too. I have borrowed the Guilds combs to prepare the rest of this fleece as it is too long really for carders. Hopefully no injuries will occur using these instruments! They are pretty mean looking.

Dorset Horn on the wheel - spinning my way through a whole fleece

Phew I think that's it. So really quite busy in just over a week but it has been great getting back to the spinning wheel. I am now working on a Dorset Horn fleece - remember the post about the fleece with a break in it? Yep, that one - it has washed and dried lovely and is in lovely locks ready to spin, I am carding it too and it is so fluffy and bouncy and soft.

I am in the process of organising the fleeces I have and will be sorting out some to de-stash, always meant to do this with the last lot of wool but have not got around to it - so if anyone is interested in a fleece I shall pop on a post soon with what I have. It is all unwashed raw state fleece, skirted of any rubbish but still with some vegetable matter (VM) in it and in need of washing but lovely wool for spinning or felting, free for postage at cost.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been doing, or what are you planning to start soon?

Happy Woolly Wednesday x