Art Yarn Testing on new Spinning Wheels and Flyers

Art Yarn Testing on new Spinning Wheels and Flyers

I am testing out a Majacraft Aura, an Art Yarn Flyer for my Louet S70, and a new flyer for my original Ashford Country Spinner.  I am trying to decide which way I want to go for my Art Yarn Spinning.


First I was spinning art yarn on the Majacraft Aura with a regular head and the bamboo bobbins that are standard on the Aura.  I tried to spin two styles of yarn.  First I spun a lockspun bulky art yarn.  And second, I spun laceweight yarn in a backwards long draw.

Textured yarn on Aura Bobbin


I have to say I was not pleased with either style of spinning.  I felt that there is just not enough take up and draw in on an Aura when I spin at high speed ratios for a bulky textured yarn.  If I were to spin slowly at a low ratio, it would might be just fine.  I can already do that on my Ashford Country Spinner so no gain there.  


It is a double drive hybrid set up.  But the take up still feels like scotch tension and seems to still suffer from drag and inertia as the bobbin fills.  The constant fiddeling with adjusting the brake as the bobbin filled up was beyond annoying and another fail for my tastes. And trying to spin laceweight in a backwards longdraw on the Aura, THAT was not happening.  Epic fail on that one. End of story.


Second I used my Louet S70 ST using Louet Art Yarn flyer. I was spinning locks and tails in a bulky to super bulky art yarn and also trying for laceweight in a backward long draw. Same two styles that I tried on the Aura.

Textured yarn on Louet Art Yarn Flyer


Art yarn flyer plus lockspinning on a Louet brings out my happy smiles. It was fabulous and worked like a charm. Don’t get me wrong though, I still think the flyer is ugly compared to my beautiful. Oak S70.


Next I tried using fast speed of 10.5 ratio on 3 speed bobbin to spin laceweight in a backwards long draw. It was so smooth and easy.  No fuss and no musd.  Just sit down and spin.  Just how I like my wheels to be. Rather versatlie wheel with simple to work tension and braking. 


Third I plyed bulky lockspun textured singles with my Ashford Country Spinner. I used a new flyer that was sliding rings vs hooks for the first time. So much better for plying large anounts of lockspun textured yarn than fighting those tails on the hooks.  This is getting a yes from me as well.

Plyed Textured yarn on Ashford Country Spinner Bobbin


I did not even attempt a laceweight in a backwards long draw on the Ashford Country Spinner.  I have spun fine singles on the Country Spinner before but it required a lot of holding the yarn back to build up twist with its low ratios.  That is impossible to do with a backward long draw as the take up is too strong on this wheel naturally.  I had too many tests to do this weekend with my borrowed equipment to waste time on a test I knew was an epic fail to start with. The Country Spinner’s super power is art yarn and bulky yarns. It does poorly at high twist fine yarns.

All the test Textured yarns drying on the rack


Altogether after spinning on all three wheels, I am very happy with  the Louet S70 the most.  Happy is probably an understatement, I have found my wheel for most everything.

All my happy yarns waiting to be used
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