Wild Flower Honey Lockspun Textured Art Yarn

Wild Flower Honey Lockspun Textured Art Yarn

Recently Alba Ranch was part of a giveaway with 5 other artists.

Wild Flower Honey Art Yarn Kit was Alba Ranch’s part of the Grand Prize for the Sweeter Than Honey Giveaway.

Wild Flower Honey Yarn Kit

The giveaway featured six artists in various mediums all celebrating bee keepers, bee keeping, and the honey bee. The Grand Prize was a $300 value.

Sweeter Than Honey Giveaway Grand Prize

I was so inspired while creating the Wild Flower Honey Art Yarn Kit, that I created a new colorway just for the shop which is coming soon to the Alba Ranch Shop.

And with even more inspiration, I decided to weave a scarf on my rigid heddle using a second Wild Flower Honey Yarn Kit.

Wild Flower Honey Scarf

If you want to make sure you know when the next giveaway, sale, or new collection will be released…. Sign up for the Alba Ranch Email List at Bit.ly/AlbaRanch

Wild Flower Honey Scarf
Carnival  and Purple Passion Lock Spun Textured Yarn

Carnival and Purple Passion Lock Spun Textured Yarn

Got my shawl photographed this evening. I used a giant Tunisian Crochet Hook and a modified double crochet made up stitch I created to get that lacey open effect.

My Shawl all lockspun and hand dyed

Tunisian Crochet Textured Yarn. All homespun yarn was lock spun and hand dyed. The fiber is Leicester Longwool. I lock spun and thread plyed with a fine 2 ply pure pink Angora Rabbit yarn. The spirals and curls are so pretty.

My Art Yarn Shawl

It is a mix of Summer Forest, Carnival, and Purple Passion Lockspun Textured Yarns.

Purple Passion and Carnival Lockspun Textured Art Yarn
Art Yarn Collection

Art Yarn Collection

I have been spinning and spinning art yarn on my new Ashford JUMBO Espinner since January. I wanted to create an Art Yarn Collection of colorways I dye myself and can duplicate close enough for mutiple skeins to work together while still keeping each skein its own unique self.

1st part of collection released

I have been enjoying using the new Ashford JUMBO Espinner so extensively. It has pushed me to be a better spinner and to spin bulky art yarn at a much faster pace than I ever thought would be possible.

Another update and portion released

Most of my yarns are falling in the 5 Bulky category, which is 6-8 WPI. A few are a tad bulkier and pop over into Super Bulky which is 5-6 WPI.

Another release

It is best for knitting or crochet on a larger hook with a simple stitch to show off the texture, spirals and curls, and color.

Such a cozy neutral, could be overdyed

Recommended size 17+ knitting needle and size Q or larger crochet hook for a more open stitch and drape.

Overdyed version, undyed version in shop as well

Weaving with these yarns as weft is also another great option and you can be as creative as you please.

Collection of yarns and pieces all from just ONE CVM fleece

Some skeins are 50 yds and others are 100 yds. Most have a few mutiples although one skein is never exact same as another. The skeins in a colorway will work together color wise.

Merino and Lockspun Merino

Hand wash cold with (LIKE) similar colors. Hang or lay flat to dry.

Iced Sangria Textured Lockspun Art Yarn

Iced Sangria Textured Lockspun Art Yarn

I created a new colorway of Textured Art Yarn for the shop. This is definitely a farm yarn as the beautiful chocolate Argentine llama fleece was grown here at Alba Ranch. I lockspun white mohair lockes into Sangria’s fleece and thread plyed it all with a fine laceweight alpaca boucle yarn. There is so much texture and softness.

Iced Sangria Textured Art Yarn
Drying outside

Sangria is an Argentine llama. There are less than 400 registered Argentine Llamas in the USA. Argentine llamas are very heavy fleeced llamas…she has tuffs from the tip of her ears all the way down to between her toes.

Sangria right before her annual haircut

The fiber is soft and uniform over her entire body. The first year I sheared her, I had 6.4 lbs of fleece to spin into yarn. That is a very serious haircut.

I hand shear the llamas each myself. I take my time and blow the fleece out prior to shearing. This makes for a nicer and cleaner fleece for spinning as well as removes a large portion of dirt and sand. Llamas adore rolling in sand which gets a lots of sand in their fleece. That sand, if not blown out before shearing, will dull the blades quickly.

CVM and BFL Lockspun Textured Art Yarn

CVM and BFL Lockspun Textured Art Yarn

Do you remember this CVM and BFL Lockspun Textured Art Yarn?

CVM and BFL Lockspun Art Yarn

Well that yarn is now this…..

CVM and BFL Lockspun Scarf
Spring time…….

Spring time…….

What I was spinning last night is now skeined off into 6 skeins getting ready to wash and set the twist. Do you want this yarn? GO HERE TO SHOP

Spring Bouquet Textured Art Yarn

Snapped a couple of quick pics.

Spring Bouquet Super Bulky Art Yarn

Help me name the new yarn.

What to call it? Spring Flowers. Spring Blossoms, Spring Bouquet. Comment below which one?

Spring Bouquet Textured Art Yarn
Spring Bouquet Textured Art Yarn on the Ashford JUMBO Espinner

Update: Spring Bouquet won the name! Do you want this yarn for weaving, knitting or crochet?

GO HERE TO SHOP THIS YARN

Spinning Artyarn on Ashford’s Jumbo E Spinner

Spinning Artyarn on Ashford’s Jumbo E Spinner

Ashford Jumbo E Spinner with Artyarn
Ashford Jumbo E Spinner with Artyarn

I just received my new Ashford Jumbo E Spinner. I thought I would do a little review of this new E Spinner. I have never used an e spinner before but I am already used to spinning artyarn on Ashford’s Original Country Spinner and the Ashford Country Spinner 2… so how hard could it be, right?

Spinning artyarn on the new Ashford Jumbo E Spinner
Spinning artyarn on the new Ashford Jumbo E Spinner

I spun this colorway on all three of the Ashford Country Spinning wheels… on my Country Spinner, my Country Spinner 2, and my new Jumbo E Spinner that is the electric Country spinner. Three wheels…..playing on them all. Believe me when I say, the new Ashford Jumbo E Spinner is really just an electric Country Spinner. I did not feel I had any real learning curve on it at all.

The tension on the Jumbo E Spinner was exactly the same as the treadle Country Spinners. It is Irish or bobbin led tension with a leather strap for a brake band. Spinning artyarn felt the same minus the treadle part with my feet. The foot pedal that comes with the wheel has two settings. One is a click to turn on and a click for off. The other you already have your foot on it when you turn it on, so when you let your foot off it stops. You essentially need to hold your foot on it like a sewing machine or gas pedal. I chose this method. That allowed me a bit of a connection with my feet while I was spinning artyarn and to me felt more like a treadle wheel than I had hoped for.

I found that I spun with the brake band off entirely just as I do with my original Country Spinner until I was about 3/4 of the way full through the 3 lb. bobbin. I only used the brake lightly on the last 25% of that bobbin. When spinning artyarn singles, I usually spun between 50-75% speed. When plying, I was always at 75% or a tad faster for speed.

The motor was quiet enough for me to spin on the Jumbo E Spinner and watch shows on my tablet without struggling to hear. It has a lovely slow start and slow down so there was no jerking or sudden stops which can cause tangles in your yarn. It only took a few hours and my bobbin was jammed packed with another well on it’s way to being full also.

Spinning artyarn with spirals
Spinning artyarn with spirals

This is the second color way that I have recently been spinning to stock the store with artyarn. I have photos of the artyarn on the bobbin and newly skeined. Also more photos as they have been washed, the twist set, dried on the rack and am about to box up…. thought you might like to see them all pretty.

Artyarn drying on the rack by the fire
Artyarn drying on the rack by the fire

9 new skeins of art yarn…spirals, thick and thin, and baubles. Thread plyed with 2 threads held as one…a silver rayon and a turquoise metallic. I spun all of this artyarn from hand carded Art batts I made on my Louet drum carder which contained bamboo, silk, milk, alpaca, llama, and dyed medium sheep wool. Most of the fibers are from our Colorado ranch and a friend’s CO ranch before we moved back to Michigan. I thought it time to spin them.

Ashford Jumbo E Spinner with artyarn
Ashford Jumbo E Spinner with artyarn

Updated May 10, 2020:

What else do you want to know about the Jumbo e spinner? After more than a year spinning on my Ashford Jumbo espinner, I still like it. A lot. It has made me a faster spinner. I draft much faster now and spin on 75% speed orca tad faster. I can go faster, I make myself stay there so I do not tax anything because most times I settle in for 2-6 hours of spinning and barely move. I know…horrible for ergonomics! I have spun an even smooth traditional 2 ply yarn on it. My most favorite yarn to spin is handspun yarn of the textured yarn persuasion. I lock spin frequently and even if spinning art batts, the textured yarn is generally created from locks squished in here and there and everywhere.

Bobbin holds nearly 2.5-3 lbs fiber. Has slow stop/start. Strong take up for art yarn. Foot pedal has 2 ways to configure using. Has 2 reducers. Uummmmmm…unsure what else one would want to know. I use battery almost exclusively but have car charger and wall chords as well.

I have fallen asleep more than once while spinning but since I have my foot pedal set so I need to apply pressure to go…like a gas pedal…no disasters. Haha

I have taken it to meetings or left it set up at home to spin at any time. I demonstrated it at the Michigan Fiber Festival in fall of 2019. I have spun for hours…4-5 hrs without hardly moving even once…which was fine for the spinner but heck on my body. Very little adjustments or tweaking required. Sit and spin.

I did not want to like it. Hated idea of using an electric…eck pleughy….but found I love it. It is afterall only a tool. And tools are as good or bad as you make them. I do still prefer to treadle and I CAN treadle, so I just decided 2 days ago to sell my Ashford espinner and down size my wheels even more. I have not been spinning as much and have 3 other jealous wheels. I will buy another espinner later if I ever get to point of no longer able to treadle.

I decided a month ago to go back to spinning for me and my weaving and not spin production so my current stable of 3 Country Spinner in different versions is a bit over kill. I have the original CS in the A frame, CS2, and Ashford espinner jumbo which is an electric CS.

I decided to sell my CS2 and my espinner Jumbo. Keeping only my original CS. It was my 1st wheel so I am sentimental about it.

I got the Jumbo Espinner because I was having hip issues and worried I would no longer be able to treadle. Turns out I need to move more…no more spinning for 6 hrs without moving, and I needed a different chair higher because I am so tall and long legged. Those changes mean I can still treadle which I prefer to do. It’s my meditation.

I have no delusions I will most likely buy another espinner down the road…but I have made peace with using them and will gladly buy another when needed…hopefully years away.