Tag Archives: spinning

Tour de Fleece 2016 – round up

The Tour de Fleece ends today, and as Chris Froome crosses the line in Paris to be awarded his third yellow jersey I earn my own third virtual yellow jersey with the completion of my third Tour de Fleece. I went from a stretch target of 1.55kg of fibre, to a finished yardage of 5,896 yards of new handspun.

From

13467274_1690430354541955_386513602_o

to

with only two of the fibres unspun.

It all got spun up like this:

  • 206g Dinorwic – (50% Merino, 25% Shetland, 12.5% Mulberry Silk, 12.5% Baby Alpaca) became 1,022 yards of light-fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/dinorwic

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/dinorwic

  • 206g Pembroke – (50% Merino, 25% Shetland, 12.5% Mulberry Silk, 12.5% Baby Alpaca) became 1,072 yards of light-fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/pembroke

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/pembroke

  • 204g Sheep – (50% Merino, 25% Shetland, 12.5% Mulberry Silk, 12.5% Baby Alpaca) became 918 yards of fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/sheep

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/sheep

  • 209g Organic Polwarth became 1,036 yards of light-fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/polwarth

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/polwarth

  • 100g Southdown became 284 yards of sport weight chain plied yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/southdown

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/southdown

  • 197g Marvellous Mauve – (40% Corriedale, 30% BFL, 30% Bamboo) became 760 yards of fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/marvellous-mauve

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/marvellous-mauve

  • 199g Tudor Dress – (45% Merino, 25% Finn, 25% Silk, 5% Stellina) became 804 yards of fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/tudor-dress

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/tudor-dress

See the gallery below for a day-by-day replay of the Tour.

Cold Sheep 2016 – March progress

March saw more good progress on my cold sheep stashdown challenge.

It began with turning 1,212 yards of hanspun into a long-sleeved sweater with some interesting design features which the stripes showed up well.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/zebra-tee

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/zebra-tee

I then dug into my commercial yarn stash for the first time in the year to work on a new version of an old pattern, making a gauntlet version of my old diamond wristers pattern. This longer version used 231 yards of yarn.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/diamond-wristers

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/diamond-wristers

Whilst I got that into testing I spun up 200g of white Shetland fibre into 934 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn.

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/white-shetland

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/white-shetland

 

I also made the shorter version of the revised pattern, using up another 131 yards.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/diamond-wristers-3

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/diamond-wristers-3

Then it was back to the handspun, knitting up this tunic/dress and using up 1,334 yards of yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/laneway-2

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/laneway-2

A brief pause in the knitting to spin up 338 yards of chain-plied fingering weight Manx Loaghtan fibre (a rare breed)

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/manx-loaghtan

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/manx-loaghtan

And also some black Jacob, 464 yards of fingering weight 2-ply

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/black-jacob

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/black-jacob

I also finished off another Shetland gradient jumper/tunic which used up 1,094 yards of yarn.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/elfe-2

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/elfe-2

Total monthly yarn out: 4,002 yards
Total monthly yarn in:  1,736 yards

Net monthly yarn reduction: 2,266 yards

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 400g.


Total yarn out year-to-date: 8,108 yards
Total yarn in year-to-date: 4,686 yards

Net yarn reduction year-to-date: 3,422 yards

Fibre stash reduction year-to-date: 1,210g.

Cold Sheep 2016 – January progress

The year of cold sheep started well with no yarn or fibre purchases in the month of January.

I managed to use up 162 yards of commercial yarn in a pair of mittens

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/ladybird-mittens

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/ladybird-mittens

and another 1,248 yards of handspun yarn in a short-sleeved dress

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/laneway

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/laneway

I also spun 200g of fibre into 766 yards of fingering weight yarn.

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/jane-seymour-2

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/jane-seymour-2

Total yarn out: 1,410 yards
Total yarn in: 766 yards

Net yarn reduction: 644 yards

Fibre stash reduction: 200g.

It’s a start.

Shetland sweater pack – part 2

I have previously posted about what happened to the first part of the Shetland sweater pack from Hilltopcloud that I spun up into 2,396 yards of fingering weight 2-ply yarn. The first part was turned into a sweater and I liked the pattern Chantalle so much (and having already paid for it) I decided to turn the remainder of my sweater pack yarn into a cardigan version of the same pattern.

This pattern is worked top-down, so once I had completed the yoke I was able to work the arms to the desired length and then just keep on knitting until almost all of the yarn was used up, finishing with some ribbing. I am very happy with the result, and look forward to using up some of my other handspun yarn on similar large projects such as this.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/chantalle-2

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/chantalle-2

I love how the variegation in the dyeing is shown off by the simple stockinette majority, but is not lost in the lace sections.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/chantalle-2

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/chantalle-2

 

Shetland sweater pack – part 1

My favourite indie fibre dyer, Katie Weston at hilltopcloud, offers Shetland sweater packs in 500g continuous strips. I spun mine up as part of this year’s Tour de Fleece, but only recently got round to working with it. The idea is that 500g should be enough to allow you to knit or crochet an entire sweater. I spun my fibre up to a fingering weight (my preferred weight of yarn to work with), managing to create 2,396 yards total.

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/shetland-sweater-pack

 

I wanted a simple pattern to show off the variations from the dyeing and spinning, so picked Chantalle by Vanessa Smith. This pattern is mostly stockinette with a lace collar in a v-neck. It knit up nice and quickly and only used 231g (1,092 yards), under half of the sweater pack.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/chantalle

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/chantalle

I plan on using the remainder of the pack to make the same pattern, but this time in a cardigan.

Iceland!

I am going to Iceland for a few days in December to celebrate my sister’s 40th birthday. As well as planning to leave space in my luggage for Icelandic wool to bring back, I thought I would take this opportunity to knit a traditional Icelandic cardigan to take and wear whilst there. Just to go that extra mile I also spun the yarn from Icelandic fibre in natural colours (and the pattern I worked from was written in Icelandic, which I can’t read, but the colourwork had charts).

It went from fibre:

To yarn:

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/brown-icelandic-top

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/dark-grey-icelandic-top

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/black-icelandic-top

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/white-icelandic

To cardigan:

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/lett-lopapeysa-me-stuttum-munsturbekk-og-hettu

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/lett-lopapeysa-me-stuttum-munsturbekk-og-hettu

 

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/lett-lopapeysa-me-stuttum-munsturbekk-og-hettu

Hilltop Cloud stashdown challenge

Things have been a little quiet in the Designs part of Doggrell Designs recently. This has been because I have been taking part in Hilltop Cloud’s stashdown challenge. A deadline of 24th of April was set and we set out challenges starting on 1st March. I was running a half marathon that day, so didn’t get started until a few days later. I had set myself the challenge of spinning up these 10 different braids of fibre, over 1kg in total:

SONY DSCYesterday I finished plying the last of the braids, 110g of Masham that was the Hilltop Cloud BoB club fibre for January 2015. It dried in the glorious sunshine (and wind) today, to complete my challenge with a couple of days to go:

SONY DSCYou can click on either photo to go to my 2015 Spinning photo album for more shots of each fibre and its progression into yarn.

I now have time to spend knitting (and a lot more yarn to knit up) and shall soon be working on a couple of new designs (a hat and matching set of mittens) which I hope to have published (unseasonably) by June.

 

 

 

Spinning wheelapalooza part 2

I haven’t had much of a chance to play with my mystery wheel yet as I’ve been revising for an exam and in training for a half marathon (I wasn’t about to pull a muscle learning to treadle). I have managed to hook it up with a new drive band and got it drawing a leader, but could only consistently treadle whilst standing up. It’s an old wheel that hasn’t been used in a while so I’ve been feeding it bits of oil to loosen everything up.

I have still been keeping an eye out for the wheel I actually want, an Ashford Joy 2, though. After the exam and half marathon were over I found a really good deal on one with a double treadle and a carry bag from a store up in Sanday. I ordered it on Monday and waited for a tracking number to come through (they are sent from a mainland distributor). I’ve finished off a couple of knitting projects recently so decided to finish off some spinning I was working on, getting my hands reacquainted with drafting, and just as I got some fibre on the spindle there was a knock on the door. My new spinning wheel had arrived!

Rather spookily I had watched a video on how to assemble an Ashford Joy about 10 minutes before sitting down to spin, so I cracked open the box, unwrapped the components and set it all up. Everything was where it was supposed to be, the only thing I had to do was attach the brake band and tension it to draw in a leader. Treadling is nice and smooth and I am loving the double treadle already even though I haven’t spun anything.

I have two big plastic crates of fibre, so will pull out something from the undyed crate to learn on, probably some Shetland. Just as soon as I finish the merino I have set aside for this other spinning project (project monogamy can be such a trial).

Here it is folded up:

 

Ashford Joy 2and unfolded ready to go (well, when I pull the spare bobbins out of the way):

Ashford Joy 2Excited!