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.

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.

Golden Lemon Lock Spun Textured Yarn

Golden Lemon Lock Spun Textured Yarn

Golden Lemon Lock Spun Textured Yarn. New and just listed in the shop.

Golden Lemon Textured Art Yarn

This particular colorway is subtle and gentle gold. I hand dyed these locks using the Greener Shades Dyes. There are Leicester Longwool, Teeswater, and Border Leicester x Gotland locks mixed in this blend. The Border Leicester x Gotland locks in particular are a crisper more defined lock that has created a lot more curls in this handspun yarn.

Look at those curls and texture

I really like the texture of this handspun. A bit crisp and still soft makes for a very interesting textured yarn.

Golden Lemon Textured Art Yarn

I kept several partial skeins for myself to use in some weavings. I can’t wait to play with this lock spun yarn.

Golden Lemon Textured Art Yarn

This is the first colorway I spun completely on the vintage Louet S71 Single Treadle spinning wheel I picked up about 6 weeks ago. It sure was fun to spin this art yarn. I know it will look wonderful in your next project. Go HERE to get some while it is in stock.

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.

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.

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