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.

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.

A Return to the Ashford Country Spinner 2

A Return to the Ashford Country Spinner 2

I have recently returned to my Ashford Country Spinner 2 wheel and decided to spin some rather fine singles on it.  I know that “they” say you can’t do that but I decided “they” were wrong.  It is a bobbin led wheel and as long as I take my time, I can put in enough twist and make a rather fine single.  I find when spinning on a slower bobbin led wheel as this, that the method of spinning is more important if you wish for a single that is thinner and not of bulky weight.

I carded up some art batts full of merino, silk, milk protein, Angelica, hand painted rovings, Cheviot and other various wools.  I blended these batts years ago with the thought to weave 3 different sweater coats.  I spun some of them at that time on the old Ashford Country Spinner and plied them up into a 2 ply.  Those yarns are waiting to be added to this yarn I am making.  Here is a photo of some of the art batts.  I thought they were just yummy.

Carded Art Batts

I have been using a modified backwards long draft.  By modified, I don’t take it up and way back with my shoulder and arm….that is way to painful.  I keep my elbow snug in to my waist, and instead bring the yarn out straight from the orifice, loop it 90 degrees around an index finger on my left hand and let the twist build up between that position and my right hand drafting backwards out to the side.

It is the best that I can ever hope to do for a backward long draft with the mechanics of my shoulder and neck.  It works and I can get going lickety split as well as I get such fine singles that if I am not careful they draft down to thread and break.  I have been seeing finer spinning out of me using this method in the last few months that I have ever produced in the last 12 years put together.  I know that I said I would NEVER spin fine…but I changed my mind…get over it.! bwhhaaaaa….

Ashford Country Spinner 2 full of yarn

“They” also said that you can put 2-2.2 pounds of fiber on that huge bobbin but again…..”they” were wrong.  I weighed my bobbin and it was 2.4 pds of fiber on it and it was NOT full.  I would need to buy a third bobbin if I plan to spin with the CS2 frequently, as winding that yarn of onto other bobbins to be able to ply it, is rather tedious.  I spiral plied some of the yarn with a mill spun fine 3 ply that I hand dyed…..about 1200 yards of that.  The rest of the yarn, I plied back with more of the same single to make a lovely 2 ply.  I didn’t necessarily ply that in a spiral like the other yarns and did end up with well over 450 yds of that as well.

 

I believe that I preferred the 2 ply to the 4 ply spiral.  I have a lot of this yarn that I spun up and plied into a 2 ply years ago on the regular Country Spinner.  That yarn is much thicker yarn but can still be combined with these yarns.  They were all meant for 1-3 woven jackets that I had planned.  I think I will still make a sweater coat jacket of some variety with these but I do not know if I will be weaving it.  To get the movement that I want and the feel that I want, I think I may use Tunisian Crochet instead.

 

Plied Yarns Hanging to Dry

Altogether, I did enjoy spinning on the Country Spinner 2 again as a regular wheel versus using it for a plying wheel or for art yarns.  I did lament that it was so slow at the top speed of 5:1 and wished it had a few speeds higher, but during this spinning marathon of several weeks I did realize that I truly do prefer a bobbin led wheel.  And I prefer a wheel with a large bobbin that I don’t have to stop and change out all the time.  I prefer not having to fiddle with Scotch tensioning and all sorts of other adjustments that just slow me down.