WnS Ep. 233: Casting on, Fit & Empty Wheels!

WnS Ep. 233: Casting on, Fit & Empty Wheels! | This week on the Live, we are looking at some finished yarns, exploring what to put on the wheels next when you’re feeling less-than inspired and new cast ons! #woolnspinning #useyourhandspun

Dear Spinning Circle,

Live Stream: Tuesday, February 8th @ 1pm Pacific // 4pm Eastern

Direct YouTube link here

Thank you for being here today, especially those who were able to make it to the Live Stream. I appreciate your time spent here in this place with me. You are most welcome. I hope you feel most welcome because you are welcome here. 

Enjoy the show!

Live Chat Assistance here.

There is a lot going on in our community! Ketchup & Pickles for January 2022 here.

If you are curious about what happens in our community, please click the links below, reach out to me: rachel @ welfordpurls (dot) com, or Instagram/Ravelry/Slack (for Patreon members, @welfordpurls_admin)

Spindle Spun Stitches

Long-Term Goal: To Spin for a Sweater

Sarah Elizabeth Fibre Works Cormo // Processed by Kingdom Fleece & Fiberworks – supported spindle spun

On & Off the Bobbins

SweetGeorgia Yarns silk puff (40% merino, 40% SW merino, 20% silk) ‘hearth’ – Ashford eSpinner 3; continuous backwards, lots of twist @ 1430 on speed knob

SweetGeorgia Yarns BFL+Silk (85% / 15% silk) in ‘Tofino Roadtrip’ – Lendrum Saxony, 18:1, 3-ply fractal

Australian flax strict – Kromski Minstrel, 18:1

On & Off the Needles

In Progress – Knitting

Wool and Honey by Andrea Mowry – Disdero Ranch Copaca (camel colour) – Corriedale & Alpaca blend (80/20) – 3.00mm // US 2.5

Lunenburg Pullover by Amy Christoffers – Dominion Fleece & Fibre North County Cheviot, naturally dyed in Indigo, Marigold, Madder

Community Inspiration // Participation

Ask Anything 

Amber asks: Question about estimating handspun grist. I’ve been spinning for about 6 months now. I have a yardage counter and niddy noddy. So, I’ve checked my yardage two ways. According to the wpi/control card I have to check my yarn size (I check as I’m spinning to stay consistent), my 3 ply is fingering weight/14 wpi. However, in 116 grams of fiber, this 3 ply I’m doing for socks only came out to about 165 yards. Does that sound normal? If I was buying a commercial yarn, that would be more like a worsted or even bulky yarn. My brain is apparently missing something. I’m spinning this for socks so I did short backwards with fairly high twist and then plied with high twist (about 45-50%). So it is dense. I just wasn’t expecting that to be the yardage. Could be the heaviest socks ever.

Laura asks: I’d like to buy a fleece source book, but I can’t decide which one! Rachel mentioned a few book in the last Spinning Purls video (the spinner’s book of fleece, the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, the field guide to fleece). Does anyone have any recommendations?

Breed & Colour Study – Shetland

Crystal shares: I couldn’t decide how to use my Shetland Breed and Color study once it was spun up. I had spun each braid into a 3 ply using different techniques to see what happened. When I saw the year of Gnomes knit along, I had it.   I am going to knit a year of gnomes to see how much they differ or are similar using the same 3 skeins of yarn.  These are my January gnomes.  I knit 2 since they were small. The beard, nose and hands are leftover commercial sock yarn.

Debbi shares: Hi everyone yes it’s been a while but have still been following you all silently in the background, beautiful work all of you! I have finished my breed and color study from the first half of 2021 Shetland wool, and I love it! Spun it up as a 3ply fractal worsted DK weight yarn, long backwards from the fold. I also bought a natural grey and black rovings from a local seller spinning that up as well and ended up with a sweater quantity of yarn. So squishy! I was very happy with the outcome of the yarn that I had to do sweater or cardigan which I could cosy in to.  I received yarn-i-tec-ture (Jillian Moreno) as xmas present and saw the Tetris sweater pattern in it and thought perfect! The pattern is written for a sport/fingering weight but after a bit of sweater math I knitted it up in my Dk weight, and must admit it is one of my best sweaters yet! so comfy,cosy and colorful!

Spindle Spun Stitches

Dorothy shares: Happiness is…

Diana shares: Here are 10 spindles that I’ve been playing with and learning more from. I’m getting closer to finding the spindle style that makes the yarn I like to use. And that doesn’t hurt my hands. Photo on right is naked spindles so you can see their shape.

Luxury Fibres ALONG 

Natural Shades ALONG 

Alison shares: I just finished a mystery breed spinalong that my Guild did. Here are my 6 samples. We had to spin them then guess which breed they were (we were given a list). From #1 on the left: Cheviot, Devon Closewool (long wool), Hill Radnor, Welsh Mountain, Herdwick and Finn. The last three I mostly identified by color; in addition, I was familiar with the kemp and wild hairs in the Herdwick, and the Finn had a shorter staple, was fine and soft. The two I got wrong in my guess was Cheviot and Radnor; they were both really close in color, staple length, and both come from dense fleeces with blocky staples. I really don’t know how to tell them apart. It was a fun experience, and I enjoyed the challenge of the long wool as well as taking on the Herdwick that I’d read so much about.

Elizabeth shares: My first month of the Long Way Homestead breed study is done! Three ply Shropshire, about 335 yards. Super puffy and bouncy. It will be knit into a pair of socks. Confession: I sent it back through the wheel to take out some ply twist. I tend to put too much twist into my sock yarn. The first time it came out super ropy and rougher. I like it much better with a little less twist.  It was worth taking the time to make it right.

 Zero to Hero // #sweaterspin #useyourhandspun #spinallthethings #weavewithhandspun

Josee shares: Taking advantage of daylight to snap shots of my progress on the Shift cowl. Handspun is mostly from Inglenook Fibers Pie Blend. I am loving this!

Sample Spinning // PLAY

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct. – Carl Jung

Elisabeth shares: This is some Rambouillet that I finished a couple weeks ago that is so squishy! I just realized that I never posted my finished sock yarn. After a bath a lot of the kinks relaxed so I’m excited to knit with it. Now I just need to figure out how to calculate grist!

Alisha shares: Finished this last week Friday. I really enjoyed spinning and plying this. It’s a blend of merino, silk and bamboo 2ply and got around 480yards. Now, I’ve never used bamboo before but should I use a hot bath like I usually do or should it be like a warm bath to finish the yarn? And the other question, what should I make out of this yarn ideas are very much welcomed.

Shauna shares: My sock spinning adventure with bfl/silk! It’s been through the wash but js still drying (second photo). First photo shows unwashed. I managed about 300 yards in 87g if traditonal 3 ply in the big skein and 70 yards in 27g for the contrast. The smaller two are 10g and 3g of chain plied leftovers. I’m excited to start my socks when this is dry!

Megan shares: What’s that they say about sampling?? Let me tell you, it’s a real thing.  :) In this wool’s defense it had me as its owner, and I was new, like a week into owning a spinner… I didn’t know much. Now this braid was beautiful, and I, as it’s proud owner, thought…. 2 ply (as most new spinsters do)… however I wasn’t consistent, didn’t know about rewinding to ply from the first ends… and I think I may have even got the ends swapped as nearly the entire skein was barber-poled…. Problem with that was that two of the colors together just didn’t sing to me. So, this story really is about the metamorphosis of an ugly (to me) duckling reinventing itself to become a swan. So, this little barber-poled 2-ply (let’s call her Barb) sat on a shelf for weeks, she’d come out to play every once in a while, perhaps get knit into a wee swatch to say “hey, what could I one day become?” to only later that day, be ripped back out, wrapped back around the ball and put away in the shadows again. Until a week ago that is…. Barb finally spoke up and said, “no more”, so off she went to get un-plied. She found herself in a bit of a tangle, and was all worked up, so she went for a wee soak to relax. From there, as she was overspun in a few spots, she went back through the spinner for a bit of an un-twisting, then back into some hot and cold water for a bit of a fulling as she decided she needed no other and was happy to be single. Barb’s been hanging out in the sun enjoying her new life until she finds her forever home in whatever knitted form she becomes.

Felipe shares: My swatches are now dry, and I can draw some preliminary conclusions from them. The one figuring on the left was knit with a yarn plied from three separate bobbins, each of which containing one rolag pulled from the same load on the blending board. The target here was to check how consistent my drafting was while spinning the singles: the length of each color should have ideally been identical to create a smooth transition among colors. Of course, having only one strand (and even two of them) in a certain color either (a bit) shorter or longer than the other(s) wouldn’t be a big problem as it was my intention to also have a hazy color transition, with bits of the previous (or the next) shade poking through and popping up. My goal was achieved in this swatch up to the transition from the red to the orange where one ply in scarlet was long enough to turn the whole thing into just a marbled yarn. This happened because either I could not keep track of my consistency while spinning one of the rolags or because one of them ended up having a considerably larger chunk of scarlet fiber as I pulled it out of the board. The swatch on the right was knit with a yarn chain plied from a rolag with the same colors. As I already expected the color transitions emerged more evenly, almost like horizontal stripes. This effect was softened at certain spots where I was able to draft out two colors simultaneously as they shifted in the rolag. Analyzing both swatches, I do prefer the right one knit with the chain plied yarn. What’s your favorite?


Amanda shares: I’ve been playing with a 12/1 flax warp for some linen towels.  After 4m of same weft as warp I decided I wanted to actually be able to see the twill pattern for a while so I have been playing with some of the random yarns in my stash.  SO MUCH FUN.  I can already tell that this navy blue 85:15 Alpaca:merino has changed the hand of the cloth by quite a bit.  I look forward to seeing what it will do when it hits the wet finishing stage!

Thank you so much for joining me today! 

Until then, Happy Spinning!

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