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Old 07-29-2012, 10:28 PM   #1
BunnyMaz
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Any spinners on AW?

I've been teaching myself how to spin on a drop spindle since Crimbo, and have just these last couple of months started getting finished pieces that look any good!



This one is my latest - 100% merino spun and 2-ply to worsted weight.



This is also merino, plied with silk thread, spun to fingering.



A much earlier one, also merino plied with silk threat, spun to a bulky. It's an earlier one - took me a while to get the hang of spinning lighter weights!

I recently discovered that I hate trying to spin icelandic yarn. I now have 300g of gorgeous white icelandic fibre that is basically going to be used as doll stuffing, it's so frustrating to spin with.

***

Anyone else spin? Any tips for working with Icelandic?
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:46 AM   #2
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I don't spin, but I am a yarnie, so I had to pop in and drool over the handspun porn, lol!
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:46 AM   #3
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Your spinning is wonderful! I have an Ashford Traditional wheel, and spin frequently on that. I am interested in learning spindle spinning. I am Cerdwinspins on instagram, where I have started posting pictures of my spinning and knitting.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:10 AM   #4
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Very nice! I find the using spindle to be harder than using my wheel. I have an ashford wheel, double treadle, and have been spinning since 1993.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:33 AM   #5
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Love the colors! Do you do your own dying?

I started on a drop spindle and still use it once in a while to do demos at shows. Mostly I use my Babe electric these days, though a friend** just gave me her double treadle (forget the name) that I've been playing with.
I spin mostly alpaca , though I'll blend it with anything I can get my mitts on.


** I forgot the name of the spinning wheel, not my friend!
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:45 AM   #6
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Majacraft Pioneer! That's it!
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:57 AM   #7
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Thanks guys! I don't do my own dying, because it just works out too expensive to experiment right now and risk losing a load of yarn. But I DO buy custom blends from a supplier online that lets you play around with different yarn combinations.

I've never used a wheel - the spindle seemed like a sensible low-cost newbie choice and I'm loving it, so far. Been spinning up a lovely deep, purple blend that is impossible to photograph true-to-colour, and have just started knitting with it.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:13 AM   #8
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I learned to use a drop-spindle decades ago, but I can barely remember how to now. We joke that if we get a large fuzzy dog, I'll be spinning again.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:29 PM   #9
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Lovely yarns, Bunnymaz. I love your plying. I suck at plying. It helps that I enjoy knitting single yarns.

I keep thinking I really need to take up my spindle again, but I sort of lost my touch from lack of practice. I really want to get into it again. I have an Louet double treadle wheel that needs rehab as well. And of course, lots of fibers waiting.

Have you tried different fibers? What are your favorites? Wool is a constant pleasure. When I lived in Vermont, fibers were plentiful, and I had a blast especially with merino, alpaca, and bison. I once even got my hands on some yak roving. That was nice. I enjoy silk, too, but cotton is a real challenge. Never did get the hang of it.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:32 PM   #10
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Gosh that looks lovely. How long does it take to learn, though? I remember wanting to learn when I was in my 20s and being told I was too old....
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:44 PM   #11
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Well, I'm 28, I got my spindle a little over a year ago and all the above yarns were spun within about 6 months of me starting to learn, so I'd say whoever told you that you were too old was talking complete shite :P

I like the spindle because it's great fora low-cost startup. You can buy drop spindle kits for like 20, which include a spindle and a few balls of fibre, usually merino since it's easy to work with. And then you can just check out youtube for the many, many awesome videos other spinners have posted. I'll post in this thread with links to some of the ones I learned from if you like.

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Originally Posted by muravyets View Post

Have you tried different fibers? What are your favorites? Wool is a constant pleasure. When I lived in Vermont, fibers were plentiful, and I had a blast especially with merino, alpaca, and bison. I once even got my hands on some yak roving. That was nice. I enjoy silk, too, but cotton is a real challenge. Never did get the hang of it.
So far I've mostly worked with merino, Icelandic, silk hankies and silk thrower's waste. Merino I love, but I really want to find some more ways of extending the yardage I get for my weight, since it always seems to come out so dense. Possibly fibre with a longer draw length would help. I thought Icelandic would be great for that, but I HATED working with the roving I got. It's possible the roving wasn't any good, but it's put me off trying. Silk hankies are fantastic. I love spinning with them, I love how satisfying and easy the process is of turning hankies into roving and how thin and strong the yarn is. It's made me want to try working with raw cocoons and unwinding them into thread, just for the fun of it.

That's about it, so far. But I am planning on blending some different fibre types together when I buy my next custom roving - probably start with silk and merino blended, and I might buy some pure mulberry silk brick to play with.

I am really excited, though. The FIL's getting some tiny Ouessant sheep soon, and he's going to let me have the wool from them, so I'll get to try spinning in the grease!

*

You guys that spin or used to... do any of you know how to incorporate nepps into handspun? I know it can be done with a wheel, but all I have is a drop spindle. I got 8 packs of different coloured nepps with my last fibre order and so far every technique I've tried for working them into the yarn has failed spectacularly. One attempt, where I held a clump of nepps in my hand and let the fibre pass over them while spinning just resulted in a puff of nepps exploding out my hand and all over one of the cats.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:04 PM   #12
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Soo...

Here's a bunch of the videos I learned from!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxQmp...hGW8l7hCgiMHzh
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:39 PM   #13
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Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:34 AM   #14
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I learned to use a drop-spindle decades ago, but I can barely remember how to now. We joke that if we get a large fuzzy dog, I'll be spinning again.
I can't remember if it was something I read, or if it was from a spinning/weaving demonstration I went to a number of years ago, but....

They said dog hair worked well, especially the undercoats of the arctic breeds like Huskies and Malemutes. But to not bother with cat hair, it was too fine and delicate. And I remember reading about a place (I think in TX) you could ship your dog hair to and they would spin it for you. Talk about a niche business.

MM
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:41 AM   #15
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Hello! I just joined and wasn't expecting to find spinners on here - though of course we all spin yarns, don't we?

I have an Ashford Traditional I bought by accident at auction a year ago. When I say 'by accident', what actually happened was, I wanted the carders that came with it for carding wool gathered from hedges to wad a handpieced quilt I was making, so I put in a low bid and got lucky. And of course it turned out I had bought the wheel that many people recommended as the best for learning on.

I learned to spin with a drop spindle twenty-five years ago but I'm not as good at that as I am now with the wheel.

Filigree - talking of doghair, I recently inherited some spinning books from a neighbour's mother who was a keen spinner, including her notebook recording what she had spun and how it came out. The hair of several family dogs was represented. It's fine, you just have to card it with some longer fibres
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I can't remember if it was something I read, or if it was from a spinning/weaving demonstration I went to a number of years ago, but....

They said dog hair worked well, especially the undercoats of the arctic breeds like Huskies and Malemutes. But to not bother with cat hair, it was too fine and delicate. And I remember reading about a place (I think in TX) you could ship your dog hair to and they would spin it for you. Talk about a niche business.

MM
Aye, but you can felt with cat hair, apparently. So far I've managed to resist the temptation to go full Cat Lady and pick up this book, though.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:28 AM   #17
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I've spun English Sheepdog, years ago. But the only problem with spinning is finding something to do with the fibers. I don't have a loom anymore, my crochet is nothing spectacular, and I'm awful at knitting.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:57 AM   #18
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I've spun English Sheepdog, years ago. But the only problem with spinning is finding something to do with the fibers. I don't have a loom anymore, my crochet is nothing spectacular, and I'm awful at knitting.
Some sort of surface embellishment? Don't know if the finished fiber is sturdy enough for embroidery, but could it be needlefelted onto a backing? Like a line-drawing, only in wool? White hair figures on a black wool jacket!
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:58 AM   #19
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I just want to say how much I admire all you spinners, getting a useable, even thread out of raw materials. I can barely get a useable ball from my wool-winder. (Which is still better than my doing it by hand - my first efforts were good'n'tight, so much so that the yarn never did get it's elasticity back.)
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:27 PM   #20
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I learned to spin well into my thirties, and only because I saw a blog on someone spinning dog hair. I figured our Samoyed would enjoy the extra brushing and I needed a hobby. You're never too old to learn!
I've spun cat hair as well. I didn't notice any problems with it. I've used all if it on my loom as weft. I also have used handspun for warp, but not dog or cat hair.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:05 PM   #21
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Just a little bit of fibreporn for my fellow spinners. Designed myself a custom blend using the World of Wools blend maker and got given a mound of it for my birthday!

It's 50% merino, 38% tussah silk and 12% rainbow trilobal nylon. The merino and silk are mostly black, with some purple and blue mixed in - the idea is for it to have that oily black sheen like a raven's wing. Worked out rather well!

Because of the high silk content, the fibre is a dream to spin. Really light, incredibly smooth. I didn't need to predraft it at all - could just tear off a piece the length of my arm, split it in 4 and then draft as I spin. I'm trying to spin it to about a fingering weight so I can make a beaded shawl with it.




Arg, photos are bloody huge. I'll try and resize them.

In the meantime, if anyone likes the look of the blend and wants some for themselves, here's the linky.
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