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, 7 March 2012

Woolly Wednesday March 2012 - share your woolly adventures!

Welcome to Spinspirations Woolly Wednesday gathering for March, another month goes by - come and let us know what you have been doing with wool this month. All crafts and inspiration welcome.

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 month ahead, we look forward to seeing you, no time limits just join us when you can.

Dawns Woolly Wednesday March 2012

Hello March, hello Spring ... ah spring lambs all around too, gorgeous aren't they?

Cotswold fleece

Well February saw me spinning several things. Firstly I started spinning some of a lovely Cotswold fleece that Kelly sent me last year. The raw fleece is just lovely and has a great lustre. As I had stored it a while I do think it had compacted a little so tried a few things in the preparation of it. 
 Preparing the Cotswold to spin
Cotswold single (so far)

Carding was not so easy as it is quite a long staple. Spinning it was lovely, although I found it was bumping a little at the curly ends. I then tried just flick carding and combing it and this seemed better to then spin from the open locks.

I have a project in mind for the Icelandic wools I have previously spun (grey and grey/brown) and wanted to add to those the white, brown and brown/black Icelandic roving. So I have spun the 100g of white Icelandic and have started on the brown one. The project is a bag for spinning items that I hope to felt, unless I change my mind by then which isn't unheard of!

In other spinning news, firstly a confession to having added another Spinning wheel to my home. She actually came to live with us last year, bought 2nd hand from another spinner who hadn't used it in a while. She is a Wee Peggy, a lovely little wheel that I had admired for a while. Here she is next to my much loved Louet.

My other girls - Louet on the left, Wee Peggy on the right

Late last year I started trying to get used to this wheel as it is a Double Drive wheel which I had not really tried before, previously I had only used Scotch tension on the Ashford Traditional and Irish tension on the Louet. I could not get the balance quite right and it wasn't drawing the yarn onto the bobbin properly, no matter how I adjusted it. I wondered if it was just me, having heard that many people say they can't get on with DD wheels, whereas some spinners love them and can't get on with Scotch or Irish tension! So I switched it to scotch tension and got it working pretty okay, but still felt the wheel wasn't quite right.

So in February I gave the wheel some more attention - a thorough cleaning, oiled the wood and oiling the moving parts, a bit more spinning and suddenly she felt like she was singing. Leaving it on the scotch tension for a while she was spinning nicely so I thought I would switch it back to Double Drive an try again. A few adjustments and it seemed the balance was there, yarn was pulling nicely and winding onto the bobbin smoothly. I had cracked it, and I love it. I have it set at a level that works for me, having been used to the strong pull of the Louet Irish tension.

So there we are, confession time over, yes I have 3 spinning wheels here. Although one is much neglected, my first wheel so I have a sentimental attachment to it, but I think it may be time for it to go to a new home.

So having now successfully got the Wee Peggy working for me, I have spun some multicoloured roving I had and have two lovely bobbins of bright colours (you may need sunglasses for the next photo). I have decided I don't want to ply them together but will ply them with something else - I have plans to dye some wool in a contrast and ply with that, a project for the coming weeks.

bright roving (colinette)

I have moved onto spinning some more pre-dyed roving and am loving how she spins.

Latest roving spinning on the Wee Peggy

I will return to the Cotswold on the Louet when the Icelandic is spun and then a couple of other samples Kelly sent me. I washed some of my grey zwartble x fleece last week, I intend to wash more and wash some of the pure zwartble ram (darker but not black) too; oh and I washed some merino too - more on that another day. Then there's some curly longwools waiting ...

So what have you been spinning? (or knitting, felting, weaving, etc)

Kelly's March Woolly Wednesday

Still spinning my way through my Lleyn fleeces. 
 I am tempted to switch to something else but I am equally determined to spin up all this wool from the two fleeces and have all that yarn ready for a bigger project.  So far, I have finished the first fleece and have 800g of spun wool from that first fleece (it wasn't a complete fleece as I gave some away and used a bit for something else) and 200g from the second.

Apart from spinning, I have done some natural dyeing.  Using alum as mordant and beetroots I produced a vibrant orange.  I diced the beetroots, bought to the boil and then simmered for some hours and then left to stand for a day before adding the mordanted wool.  I have dyed with beetroot before and it is a pleasing dyestuff always giving good results.

So short and sweet from me for March!  My aim is to finish the Lleyn by April and move on to other projects.  Here are a couple of Texels enjoying today's early morning!