Hand-pulled roving results.

My mom is a studio-trained artist with an honours Fine Arts degree. Growing up, and particularly in recent years, we have had many conversations about creating and inspiration for said creating. Recently, on a Woolful episode, Ashley’s guest mentioned that crafting is particularly satisfying because it uses both the left and right brain. In knitting, I can think of many situations in which I am engaged with both my left and right brain: Envisioning a finished object and the colours, then switching seamlessly to the math needed to create said object. This is just one example but I’m sure we can all think of many situations in which this happens: Spinning a particular yarn and thinking about creating the finished object, what we want it to look like, and then figuring out the whorl ratios and twist angles needed to get there!


Small sample of handspun woollen yarn from hand-pulled roving.

I have found recently that I am quite UN-inspired. I am tired a lot of the time, which is to be expected from raising two children under three. Often I am trying new things. This is a drain because I am trying to figure out how to create the thing, figuring out the process and then deciding whether I like said item (which is totally what happened with this project!). When I am feeling uninspired, I tend to rush things in an effort to just keep creating. Do you do this? Sometimes I think it would be better to just walk away, do something else for a while or think about other things completely (ie. read a book, go on a walk) and put the uninspiring thing aside for a while. Right now my uninspired thing is spinning. I am so wanting to spin all the things, make all the yarns, get my Lendrum spinning fast fast fast (as James, being almost 3, would say). Buuuut … things just don’t seem to be working out that way I planned in my head …

I wanted to try making some hand-pulled roving off of my drumcarder as I had seen some really neat effects on Instagram, Ravelry and YouTube. It’s a very cool technique and I used a punctured milk bottle cap to make a diz, which was brilliant.


Left :: Original combed top from Sweet Georgia Yarns.

Right :: Hand-pulled roving off Brother Drumcarder (72tpi licker-in brush, 120tpi drum – perfect for smooth batts).


When it came to actually spinning, the airy roving was fast. It created a lovely, light and airy yarn. I really rushed when spinning this for many reasons (ie. see above! haha) and the resulting yarn is not particularly consistent or really what I was hoping for. Equally, I recently spun up 80gm of a natural BFL from my stash, which I have over 2lbs of, and again, I’m not particularly happy with the finished yarn. It’s over spun, rope-like and inconsistent in a way that bothers me.  Am I being too hard on myself? Probably. Am I holding myself to too high of a standard? Maybe. But when I have so little time to spend on my crafting, I look forward to projects and items that I am excited to knit with or am happy with the finished yarn to dream about future projects with. I want to take my time and create items I am really happy with, rather than rushing through and being disappointed.


Fibre :: Sweet Georgia Yarns’ Superwash Merino – November 2014 Fibre Club

Yarn :: 2-ply, ~90yrds

Tech :: 15:1 ratio for singles, 17:1 for plying


Here’s a video I took while pulling it off of my drumcarder ::

I find events like Tour de Fleece really suck the inspiration from me. They get me into a frame of mind that says, “Finish, finish, finish.” I’m not sure why. I’m not a particularly competitive person – I think this comes from me wanting to blast through things that I see as larger projects. “I’ll get it done because it’s Tour de Fleece right now.” This isn’t particularly helpful!


For the rest of the Tour, I’m going to focus on one project that I’ve been excited about for a while and haven’t made any progress on. It’s from deep stash and a local dyer. I’m excited to focus on one thing for the next while with the goal of spinning for 15-30 minutes daily for the remainder of the Tour.


How’s your Tour de Fleece going? Are you feeling inspired by your projects at the moment? How’s your summer been thus far?

Here is a small taste of the shenanigans that haven been going on around here ::



Happy Spinning :)

Join the Conversation

  1. I hear you on the being tired, rushed, uninspired…….. My children never stop talking, needing, etc. making it hard to get anything going.

    1. Yes, it seems to be a parents life, huh?! :)

      1. I have a discussion with my husband often regarding all the pressures society puts on parents and how involved they have to be and the expectation to be perfect parents. I know this can’t help matters. In a way it became worse as my children entered school. Some weeks my youngest spends almost as many hours at the school as his older siblings because of the school’s expectation for parental involvement. (Rant over……needed that! :) )

        1. Oh man — the number of times I’ve heard this from my friends with kids in school!! I really hear you :)

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