Rolags, Blending Boards and Textured Yarn Spinning

Rolags, Blending Boards and Textured Yarn Spinning

I made a new colorway on my blending board of my Rolag Hybrid. I am calling it Silver Gray Sparkles.

Silver Gray Sparkles is a smooth sparkling rolag batt. No locks or chunky bits….just tons of sparkle and various smooth fibers. My Rolag is a hybrid of a layered batt and rolag.

Silver Gray Sparkle Rolag

I layer my fibers on my blending board without packing them down into the blending board teeth. I use the dowels to roll up the rolag without drafting through the inner fibers. I only draft at the end of the roll to secure the rolag closed. It is best spun from the end in 2-4 inch rolled up sections pulled off the roll while still rolled up. Picture taking a BIG piece of a jelly roll cake…but still rolled up. I have found sections larger than that a bit much to handle in my hand. If temperatures or humidity is high, there is a risk of felting that is possible while holding a large rolag for a longer period of time.

On the blending board

I let the rolag sit for a while trying to decide if I wanted to spin, felt or sell them. I decided to spin these all up this week into 2 large skeins. Each skein is a 2 ply and spiral plyed. Each skein has one of the plys as this silver gray sparkle rolag hybrid. It is a blend of numerous fibers such as Merino, Black Dyed Tussah Silk, Gotland, Masham, and White Firestar.

Each of the 2 yarns is one ply of the above rolag with the other ply being different in each skein. The lighter color skein was plyed with a 2 ply fine silk thread and done as an extreme spiral yarn. The darker skein was plyed with a handspun bamboo ply. Both skeins are a textured yarn with that homespun feel.

Dark skein
Light skein

I am a bit stunned how intensely different the two skeins look and feel. The darker skein with the bamboo ply is very heavy weight wise. And with so much bamboo in it, it took forever to dry! I have been staring at them for a while now trying to decide how to use them.

I need help. What do you think?

I really think I want to weave a wider scarf on my 16 inch rigid heddle loom. But past that I am stuck.

I think if I use one skein for weft and one for warp that the difference between the skeins will be lost.

So do I warp up with :

1. A white warp and weave strips?

2. A white warp and weave 2 separate scarves?

3. A white warp and weave 2 scarves alternating both skeins and afterwards seam 2 scarves together and make a shawl?

4. A white warp and weave 2 scarves with just one skein in each. So have a light and dark scarves than seam those into a shawl??

5. A dark warp and than where the heck do I go?

6. Just keep staring at them and weave nothing?

See why I need help?? Comment below your thoughts.

White Sands Handspun Textured Yarn and Weaving

White Sands Handspun Textured Yarn and Weaving

White Shifting Sands Handspun Textured Yarn is a new colorway I started to create. I decided to try something different using a photo for my inspiration for this next new art yarn. A whole back story and idea created before starting the project.

Inspiration Photo

I blended these highly textured art rolags all night long. This is the prep before the spinning and weaving. I made a huge batch of hybrid rolag art batts. Somewhere between 40-50 as I planned on this being a bigger amount of art yarn.

White Sands Rolag Art Batts

Spinning took quite a bit of time. I have been working on it for a while already and have 1.75 Country Spinner Bobbins spun up into singles. Each of the Country Spinner Bobbins on the Ashford Jumbo Espinner can hold as much as 2-3 pounds of fiber!

Part way there

I am done spinning for a while now but over the next few days, let the next step….the plying magic begin. I enjoy plying the best I think. A spiral yarn that is handspun and just a joyful textured yarn. It is where I start to see the real structure and character of the yarn come to life. Little runs of sparkle and glitz, with delicate curly locks popping out here and there adding in texture in between all the lofty softness. If you use a silk thread or fine yarn for spiral plying as I did on this handspun yarn, it just gives an extra pop of sparkle and glam to your art yarn.

After spinning it, I washed and set the twist and let it dry by the fire for several days ….which turned into nearly 2 weeks. I stared at tthis homespun yarn thinking of what to do with it next. I spun it originally as a new art yarn for the shop. But after spinning it all, I just wanted to keep some of it….most of it….alright, all if it! Trying to decide if I want to share or not. My Precious!

I finally decided about how to use a little bit of the White Sands Textured Art Yarn that I handspun. A small wall hanging! It has been a long time since I wove a wall hanging for myself, a bit of wall art for my house. I plan to keep this one but there is some yarn listed in the shop if you want to weave your own textured yarn weaving. Not too much left but you can get yours by shopping HERE.

White Sands Woven Wall Hanging

I just wove several other wall hangings last week featuring some of my other handspun textured yarns. Weaving this White Sands weaving led to me pulling yet another all nighter. This was the 2nd or 3rd this week alone. ….but I have been creating and can’t stop!! My head is exploding with ideas right now.

When I first started weaving and spinning, I never dyed my fibers. I was obsessed with natural color wool for years. There are so many sheep and goats with lovely natural colors I did not even want to expierment with dyeing wool for years. Even now with all the dyeing that I do, I am always drawn to some natural wool every few weeks or month. I never seem to really tire of the wide range of natural colors and tints in fibers that animals grow all by their own without our interference. I did raise angora rabbits and angora goats for a while. And the color variances with them was incredible.

White Sands Handspun Textured Art Yarn

The small weaving that I wove used some of the White Sands Textured Art Yarn and a few other handspun yarns. I also wove in some prime kid mohair locks, and added fringe on the top instead of the bottom which is the normal location. I wanted this to be very textured and a super tactile weaving. So tactile, that you would want to ignore a hands off sign just to pet the wall art.

White Sands Woven Wall Hanging
Hygge Collection What is Hygge?

Hygge Collection What is Hygge?

Hygge Collection is nearly finished. Are you ready? Want to see a few? Part is live in the shop already. So….. what is Hygge?

A light in the woods…my backyard

Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. There is no direct translation in English, but hug and cozy are a start in the correct direction.

Sitting by our French Doors, having a moment with my Sassy. My Hygge!

Pronounced “hoo-guh,” this Danish expression is an attitude towards life that emphasizes finding joy in everyday moments. Rather than drudge through the winter, hygge is about celebrating coziness, warmth and family, as well as practicing mindfulness.

All snuggly and cozy. Scarf is in the shop.

I have always tried to have this sort of mindset being I usually have lived in locations with rather inclement weather. Born in Michigan, as a child I was mostly bundled up and outside building snow forts, burrowing tunnels through the snow. In the summer, I built my forts out of blankets and climbed up the trees and to the roof of our buildings.

Wrap up. Hygge Collection.

As an adult while living in Scotland and later in a cabin in the Colorado mountains, I snuggeled down into sweaters, layers of clothes, blankets and scarves. I loved a bowl of popcorn while all wrapped up in a blanket, or a mug of hot cocoa with extra marshmellows please! Puppy dogs all around and snuggeled with me….pure Hygge.

Wrap yourself in some Hygge.

Apparently, I have been living Hygge all of my life….before I even knew what it was. Older now, I try to make a point to Hygge. As adults, sometimes we forget to live in the moment. Breathe, relax, take pleasure in every day simple, appreciate, to be grateful…. To Hygge. This is what the Hygge Collection means to me and what I felt while creating it.

Selling My Used Spinning Wheels

Selling My Used Spinning Wheels

I have decided to sell a few of my spinning wheels. I don’t use these three very much and gathering dust is not what they were meant for.

Update: The Ashford Country Spinner 2 is the last lightly used spinning wheel that I have for sale. All the other used spinning wheels have been sold. The second hand Ashford Country Spinner is boxed and ready to ship to you.

  1. REDUCED PRICE and boxed for shipping. Ashford Country Spinner 2 for sale. Barely used. 1 bobbin. Assembled and nicely finished with wood butters and light wax. Boxed up and ready for shipping from 49446 at buyers expense. Wheel is still assembled. Bobbin was the only piece dissasembeled which uses just 4 screws. Instructions included and in the box for the wheel and the bobbin both. Reduced to $550 down from $650.
Ashford Country Spinner 2

2. SOLD – Majacraft Little Gem Spinning Wheel package with Extras – SOLD

-Double Treadle
-Seven (7) bobbins
-Quick change flyer
-Ratios: 4.5:1, 6:1, 8.5:1, 10.5:1, 12.75:1
-Weight: 10 lbs.
-Wheel diameter; 8.25″
-Orifice height is adjustable 26″ – 28″
-Delta Orifice
-Sealed bearings (no oiling required)
-Sliding flyer hook, both regular and jumbo
-Sensitive scotch tension
-Custom Designed Shoulder Bag in Silver
-1 extra bottom drive band
-2 extra top drive bands
-All the instructions and papers
-Spins like a full-sized wheel with an easy rolling treadle action
-Separates into 2 parts, packs into its bag and fits in a suitcase or overhead bin locker while flying
-Compatible bobbins and flyers with Majacraft wheels and accessories
-Brand New Never Used High Speed Whorl on the Gem: 10.1:1, 12:1, 14.5:1, & 19.5:1
-My Ashford upright lazy kate, which works with both this bobbin size and the bulky/jumbo.

My Little Gem and upright lazy kate were bought in Scotland back in 2005. It is 1 of the first 2 wheels I ever bought at my first ever fiber festival. It is a Little Gem 1 which has had the Majacraft upgrade installed by a Majacraft dealer who also repairs spinning wheels. Changing the bottom drive band, is now done the same way as a Little Gem 2. So I think of my Little Gem as a 1.5. It has a lovely wood with beautiful wood grain. The flywheel is the original and is one of the prettiest woods that they used in the past. It is not warped and has no cracks.

Retails at $1200 and $270 for all the extras. At nearly 45% off Retail, it is all For Sale at $800. Will ship anywhere in USA for an additional $50.00. Outside USA, buyer pays shipping. Otherwise local pick up.

Heavenly Handspinner Spinning Wheel

3. SOLD and picked up.

Heavenly Hand Spinning Wheel with Custom Design. (Tree of Life Commission) Customized and Finished with extras.

Wheel comes standard with a spring clip weighted flyer, set of 3 super D Dooper bobbins, orifice hook and drive bland.

Extras: spare drive band, spare leather tension strap, 5 extra spring clips to allow for 3 per side of flyer if you wish to lace the flyer for finer spinning, and 3 extra super D Dooper Bobbins.

Bobbins

Three of the Bobbins and the laser cuts on the wheel I finished with chalk paint and sealed with dark wax. The rest of the wood was sealed with Dark wax to protect the wood and bring out the grain. I provided the design that was laser cut into the fly wheel on both sides. The 3 larger symbols in the center of the wheel laser cut into both sides of the wheel are Fortitude, Gratitude and Inner Peace. the symbol that repeats at the edge on both sides of the fly wheel is Passion. These symbols are the Zibu Angelic Symbols for healing.

Three of the bobbins are still left unfinished for you to choose your color and design. NOTE one bobbin slipped off and fell to the floor. It put a small crack in the end bit that was repaired by my husband. I provided a close up of the bobbin so you can see it is barely noticeable.

Repaired Bobbin

Single drive – Irish tension
Beautiful hand crafted spinning wheel, with hand-selected Red Oak, Maple and Walnut (in the flyer).
Double Treadle
Precision ball bearing wheel for ease of use and maintenance.
Bobbins that hold approximately 6ozs
Ratios of 6:1, 9:1 and 13:1
Each bobbin has a nylon 66 impregnated bearing – for no wear on the flyer shaft.
Spring clip on the flyer – for ease of even yarn distribution on the bobbin.
Weighs less than 13.6 pounds.
Orifice height is 24 inches and the diameter is 9/16ths of an inch.
Height is 28 & 1/2 x 16 & 1/2 x 14 inches

Price is $450.00 reduced down from $650.00 and FREE USA shipping to lower 48 states. I have it boxed in the original box and packaging with even extra padding that it came with.

Heavenly Handspinner Spinning Wheel
Wild Flower Textured Yarn Now in the Shop

Wild Flower Textured Yarn Now in the Shop

I just listed a new art yarn colorway in the shop. I have been working on this colorway for a while now.

Wild Flower Textured Art Yarn

The inspiration of this homespun yarn was a giveaway in honor of Honey bees and Beekeepers. It reminded me of the Wild Flowers that bees use to create honey.

On the spinning wheel

The dominant color through out the handspun yarn is honey, gold, and greens in various shades with small bits of yellow and orange. This represents the bees and their honey. There are pops of pink and white with a little pale purple and blues here and there to represent the wild flowers in a field.

Closer view of Wild Flower Textured Art Yarn

This yarn has so much texture and color. It is a Super Bulky weight, a textured yarn that is very workable on a set of needles for knitting and hooks for crochet. It would also be wonderful for use in textured weaving. I can picture this woven into a shawl, scarf or a wall hanging.

In fact, here is a scarf I wove using Honey color yarns that I dyed and a partial skein of this textured yarn. Look at the wonderful texture and contrast with the smooth lace weight yarns. So much fun.

Wild Flower Honey Art Yarn Scarf

Use it as the main art yarn in your piece or as an edging or accent for effect. Listed in the shop now and avaiable for purchase.

What is my favorite wheel to spin yarn?

What is my favorite wheel to spin yarn?

What is my favorite wheel for spinning yarn? Does it have to be one? It really does vary depending on what weight of yarn I want to spin, where I want to spin, and what will be happening around me.

Goddess ready to spin fluff and fiber

I was asked recently what wheel was my favorite so far after embarking on a major test driving of many different wheels with various types of tension systems. I replied this:

It really depends WHAT I am spinning, WHY, and WHERE.

Art yarn production….hands down Ashford JUMBO E spinner.

Ashford JUMBO E Spinner

Demo out in public for a festival where I am spinning locks for a long time, stopping and starting a lot…..Ashford Country Spinner 1. CS1.

Ashford Country Spinner 1 at a demo festival

Putzy for fun on my own or a spin circle locally for an hour or 2…bulky to thin….a vintage Louet.

Vintage Louet S70

Putzy but feeling funky and weird…spinning for an hour or 2….Moswolt M1. Medium to Bulky.

Moswolt M1

Hanging at home and spinning super fine…I prefer a supported spindle.

Goddess, nostepin, and companion

So what weight of yarn, where you want to spin, as in carry or move it far, all that does matter.

The single most common thing of all these wheels is that they are all simple tension and 1 or 2 speeds. Bobbin led or Irish tension for all of them.

Lockspinning on a Ashford CS1

If you want to spin most all weights of yarn but probably won’t do production yarn spinning, still want a portable wheel and don’t require bobbins to hold 2-3 pds of fiber at once….. You will need a versatile wheel.

If you do want to spin both fine and bulky capabilities…. I think I would suggest a Louet. If you are like me and prefer antiques or traditional looking wheels, try hunting for an older style. Maybe you would like a Louet S70 as much as I do.

Vintage Louet S70

A Louet is the most versatile out of the box with no extras wheel. Simple tensioning, uncomplicated wheels, accessories to spin fine or bulky if you want more past their regular accessories, and still portable and sturdy.

Most important….a Louet will NOT break the bank while you are learning and are easy enough to even pick up second hand. Parts are easy to get and not very many working parts to break to start with.

I am not a distributor for any dealer, so my suggestions are based on spinning a lot of wheels and seeing many comments of other people about their wheels and frustrations they have while spinning.

All of those wheels, I just sit down and spin without much fuss. Just how I like it.

Mozzie, the Moswolt M1 Spinning Wheel

Mozzie, the Moswolt M1 Spinning Wheel

Last week I test drove a unique old artisan spinning wheel. A Moswolt M1 Spinning Wheel. Meet Mozzie…..

Moswolt M1 Spinning Wheel

Mozzie is a bit clunkity and talks and chatters, but he is a workhorse beast. It is the first single treadle wheel I have ever owned. He has one speed ratio of about a 4:1. His orifice is a half inch and my lockspun bulky yarn just slide right on through. The flyer has hooks all down each side and surprisingly my lock spun yarn rarely caught on any hooks. It seems one does not HAVE TO HAVE a giant orifice or sliding ring guides to spin bulky lockspun yarn. One has to have smooth hooks with no burrs or sharp bits.

Big bobbin

His bobbins are super big, holding approximately 10-12 ounces of yarn. The take up is strong and most times I spun with the brake off. Even at this slow ratio, I was able to do a modified backwards long draw down to a rather fine yarn. It felt faster than my Country Spinner 1 which is also a 4:1 ratio. I was able lockspin finer and backdraft long draw, which I just don’t seem to be able to do on my CS1. So being all things equal ratio wise, I have no idea why I can spin fine on Mozzie. I guess he did not read the spinning book rules and has his own ideas.

Mozzie Art Yarn

Mozzie really shines doing a 5 Bulky Art Yarn. The strong takeup creates a bulky weight lockspun art yarn quickly. I spun up a bobbin of my favorite locks and than thread plyed them off with a lace weight angora yarn. I had approximately 69-70 yards of Mozzie Spiral Art Yarn. Not too bad for a first Art Yarn skein.

Mozzie Textured Lockspun Art Yarn
Leicester Longwool Sheep at Alba Ranch

Leicester Longwool Sheep at Alba Ranch

The Leicester Longwool Sheep have arrived. Just a handful for fiber since I have become enamoured with spinning Leicester locks.