Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Day Two: 29th March. Skill + 1UP 2KCBWDAY2

Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

To be honest, I constantly feel the need to push myself to learn new skills. Hence why my first lace project was a shetland shawl in cobweb weight black yarn. In terms of knitting and crochet, in the past year I learnt to knit toe-up socks, and crochet the cardigan that has not been documented.

However, the main skill I've learnt is spinning.

Oh yes, this time last year, I was spinning on a spindle. And whilst I didn't hate it, I wasn't exactly enamoured with it.

But then my nan bought me a spinning wheel. An Ashford Joy, who I named Joyce after my nan, and she came from a wonderful home (PuddytatPurr).

There I am spinning on her. Thats the first day I got her, and look at me go! I'm spinning some Blue Faced Leciester, and whilst I don't have an actual finished picture, I do have one of it on the bobbin.

Spinning on the wheel was a completely new learning curve to spinning on the drop spindle. I needed treadle, draft and make sure there was enough twist all at the same time. With a drop spindle you can spin, put it down, draft, and then make sure there is enough twist. Do that with the wheel and you just end up with a mess hahaha.

What I call my first real project was the BFL that PuddytatPurr dyed that came with my wheel. The colourway is called Menace, and I forgot to take a picture of it still in the braid.
You can kind of see it though. Black, red, with white splodges that made a nice grey. After I spun that, I asked PuddytatPurr to dye me a plain black so I could ply them together.

And there we have my first yarn. Overspun, overplied... its so energised as I knit with it that it twists back on itself and becomes a little ARGH. But I don't care. I made this yarn, and I love it. And its becoming a Harry Shawl, and I need to take an updated picture because its nearly finished.

Oh the prettyness of the yarn! Yum! I had a total of around 700 yards (200g), which isn't bad for such a overspun/plied yarn!

And so here we are, nearly a year after I got my wheel. My last completed yarn was a merino/alpaca mix from The Thylacine, as I joined her fibre club and double dosed, I had 200g of this beautiful colourway called Walkabout.

And it was an absolute dream to spin. It was soft like butter, it was easy to draft... I repeatedly said I didn't want my spinning on this to end! But I am so happy with the end result. Take a looksee!

Its so even! And not over or underplied! And it so soft and smooshy! And for 200g, I got 1040 yards.

I love spinning, I love the friends I've made because I'm now spinning, I love making yarn! This is definitely one skill I'm the most proud of.

xxx Elle xx

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I am AMAZED by your spinning skills! Well, yu know fomr my blog that I'm not a hiugely skilled knitter, but in this las year I have crocheted a blanket, a learnt to knit cables and on DPNs! My next project has already got me puzzled, but I agree with you - I always seem to want to learn new skills in the Knotty Arts :)



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