Friday, August 10, 2012

Spinning my Hand Dyed Roving

This is what I have been dreaming about for so long... dyeing my own roving and then spining it into yarn. As soon as I started dyeing yarn myself, I realized that you can combine colors in so many more ways if you start with the fiber itself. In the following video, you can see my first experiences with dyeing wool fiber.

Some notes right off the bat: 100% silk is MUCH easier to spin than wool. Wool splits a lot more easily. For the first time, I am really learning how to draft the fiber. I think the silk helped give me confidence going for a really thin spun fiber, and now I am learning how to draft, pinch and slowly let the twist go into the fiber.

This makes me really want a spinning wheel. I don't have the most coordination, but I think that being able to keep both of my hands focused on twist and drafting while using my feet to keep the wheel spinning will be easier than using 2 hands where I want three. (By the time I prepared this post for publishing, I have had the opportunity to try out a spinning wheel. I love it, and I really want one!)

Clockwise Clockwise Clockwise. In some of my previous spinning I got confused about the direction to spin my spindle. Spin clockwise, ply counterclockwise.

The most striking thing I realized while winding this skein onto my handmade niddy noddy is how much I have improved over the course of this 100g of fiber. My spinning is getting much more even, and I think that with plying it would be a very regular yarn. (I don't have bobbins or a second spindle to use for plying, so that is another beast that I will save to learn at another time.)

When winding up my yarn I broke the strand twice, producing two knots. OH well, still not bad for my biggest spinning project yet! 198 Wraps around 4 ft niddy noddy (handmade woot woot) - 264 yards of yarn. I am waiting for a WPI tool to know what size the yarn actually.

This is by far the prettiest skein of yarn I have ever made (which isn't saying that much since my spinning projects are limited.) I love the muted colors and how there are so many twists of color. I am so proud of this yarn that it is going to be hard to find a project where I want to knit it!

Before I spun my hand dyed roving, I figured out how to turn it into a pretty braid. This is a great way to store your fiber if you aren't going to start spinning it right away.