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, 16 May 2012

Kelly Woolly Wednesday for May 2012

So very sorry it has taken me so, so long to post something for May's Woolly Wednesday.
I have done a reasonable amount of spinning in the past month.  I spun up some darker brown zwartble dawn spent me which was just as lovely a spin as the lighter grey.
And since I had been spinning Zwartble I thought I would spin up some black  Zwartble I have.  It was not as soft and such a wonderful draft to spin as Dawn's grey Zwartble crosses but it was nice to give it a try anyhow.  The wool is black with sunbleached gold tips so a lovely resulting yarn.

I then moved on to spinning some Cotswold - my favourite.  It turned out beautifully and my son has almost finished knitting a dog with some of it.
So here is the black Zwartble, white Cotswold and grey Zwartble cross.  I navajo plied each of these and am really happy with my resulting yarns!

I have also been doing more natural dyeing in the last few weeks.  I had a packet of turmeric gathering dust in the kitchen cupboard so used that to dye some of that Lleyn I spun up.  (I seem to have abandoned spinning up the rest of that second fleece for now!).  Such bright yellow!  Apparently, turmeric dyed wool does tend to fade so not sure what I will use this lot for.
Turmeric dyed handspun

I also had a bag of dried calendula petals in the cupboard and dyed two skeins of Lleyn yarn with that using alum as mordant.  A lovely gentle warm yellow.  Unfortunately, the colour in the picture doesn't reflect the true colour.
Calendula dyed handspun

And finally, with all the fields of dandelions about in the past few weeks, I spent ages picking lots and lots and lots of dandelion flowers and dyed up three skeins of Lleyn.  I resulting colour is a pale yellow/green.  I am not too happy with this so I plan to pick even more dandelions and attempt to dye again and see what results I get.
Dandelion dyebath
We have been adding tufts of wool to the bushes and trees in our garden.  It is lovely to see the wool get taken by birds to add to their nests!

I have now moved on to spinning white mohair.
And that is all from me for now!

Enjoy the rest of May!  Shearing time nearly here!!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Woolly Wednesday May 2012

Welcome to our Woolly Wednesday gathering for May, come and let us know what you have been doing with wool in the last 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. We'll be back soon!

Dawn's May Woolly Wednesday

Well I haven't done a lot of spinning in the last month. Easter holidays in April meant I was out and about with my daughter enjoying the school holidays and since returning to school other things have taken priority. Poor spinning wheels, that will change in the coming weeks hopefully. For the last week or more we have not been well in the household too - ear and throat infections and colds, but we are all on the mend. Tiredness prevails though, so my concentration hasn't been so good.

But I have a couple of things to share with our gathering here. First I have finished my exhibition ring that I have previously mentioned here on Spinspiration. I did share photos recently on my other blog so apologies if you have already seen it there. Here it is

Knitted a circle on this side with some handspun Dorset Horn sourced locally and sewed it over the edges of the wooden ring.  Then with some pure wool tapestry wools I created a wheel to signify the spinning wheel and did the spokes in different colours, like a colour wheel. I was very pleased with how it came out but felt it needed something else. I wanted to embroider a quote on there but couldn't find the perfect quote that was short enough to fit so I embroidered Spin the Wheel instead.

The reverse side is needle felted with British wools. A little sheep in the field with lovely blue sky and wispy clouds. The sheep's coat is some lovely Gotland curls. I have attached this to the knitted edging of the ring using the felting needles, and added a bit of wool padding in the middle. I added a loop of  Lucet cord made with the Dorset Horn handspun too.

In other news I have also acquired another spinning wheel. I know, I really didn't need another one but sometimes things just fall into place.

I saw this wheel after the Easter holidays in my local charity shop, not your usual items in this shop and I had to look twice to see if it really was what I was seeing. In need of attention was written on the label, and yes it does need a little attention and a price of £20. I gave it a good look, and turned and left the shop! Feeling it unnecessary and not knowing what my husband would say if I took it home, I walked away. But this wheel was on my mind from then, and what ifs came to mind - I could take it to Guild, or find another avenue to pass it onto another spinner. My worst nightmare for it was that it would end up in the skip at the rear of the shop, or worse (whispers) firewood!

I returned to the shop the next day to have a deeper look, turned the wheel which moved beautifully, treadled lovely too, other bits just needed putting together to get the mother of all in place and it needed re-aligning too. A couple of bobbins are damaged but replaceable. And now it was down to £10! I know that the next step for the shop would have been in the skip. I still wasn't sure but life sometimes has other ideas. The wheel was reserved for me to pick up and with the help of a lovely friend I picked it up the next morning.

I sought help from ravelry, both before to talk me out of buying it (in case it was an ornament, or craftsman made and not working - which I thought it may be), and then after with photos. I was delighted to find that it was actually a known maker - a Westbury wheel, built nearby in Wiltshire. So a rescued lovely little wheel has been welcomed into our home.  I'll let you know how she settles in.

Here she is
 Wheel without the flyer and bobbin on
Flyer and bobbins - in need of attention

With not being very well, I hadn't done much to fix the alignment until this week - so it is still a work in progress, but she will be up and running soon. Just needs some tweaking now - the treadle bar is sticking occasionally so I need to look at that.

 Wheel alignment before

Wheel alignment after

Once I can see how she spins I am thinking that this will be a gift to my daughter, who would absolutely love her own wheel - something she has talked about in the past ... "when I have my own wheel ...". She hasn't seen it yet, it has been hidden away much to my husbands amusement when it was living in the downstairs toilet room for the first day. It's moved now and feeling much happier.

I am also knitting having finally settled on a pattern for the zwartble x grey yarn spun last year. I have always wanted to get this knitted into something for me, and unsurprisingly have returned to the original pattern I had in mind, despite being tempted by other patterns along the way. More on this next month - I have knitted about 4 inches so far so not a lot to see yet.

Looking forward to seeing other Woolly Wednesday posts, come and share your spinning, felting, knitting, crochet, weaving ... or anything else I may have missed out.

Dawn x