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Cherry Bomb Spin-a-thon!

 

Well here I am again, and who would have thought 2 posts in a row would be about spinning? It’s not that all I have been doing IS spinning, but for the moment the things I’ve been working on I can’t share with you … y’know… top secret and all that jazz 😉

In my last post I talked about how thrilled I was with the result of my spinning ( having not spun for a long time, except to teach a spindle class in December ). I was super happy with the results of my Punk Pansy spinning, the only disappointment was that I was going for ‘sport’ weight yarn and ended with DK, and a pitiful 150m.

I thought about it a while, then asked some of my spinny piers for their advice to achieve the illusive ‘fingering weight /300m’ mark with my handspun. A few conversations later (thanks Marieanne) and I realized there was a simple truth to my lack of length to my spun yarns …. I wasn’t checking my WPI in my singles. Had I done this way back when, I would have been a lot closer to my goal a long time ago. Going by ‘eye’ doesn’t cut it with spinning I’m afraid, well not for me anyway, I needed to see just how fine my singles needed to be to achieve the perfect fingering weight yarn.

So with much pride and a little delay in my ‘once a week’ blog post promise … welcome my first ever Twinkle Fluff (extrafine Merino/ Silk / stellina) spin – Cherry Bomb

 

95g / 280m / 16wpi 3-ply medium/light fingering weight. Spun on Mach II

Cherry Bomb, is my first real ‘fingering weight’ yarn… and with a whopping 280m in the 95g skein here, by far the longest I have ever ever spun any yarn. I feel like this marks a turning point for me and my spinning, achieving fingering weight has hung over me like a shadow for a long while in my spinning life, and if I’m honest, at times kept me away from my wheel.

Now I’m not saying that this is the best spinning I’ve ever done, by far it is not. IT has thick and thin moments, and the plying was a little ‘iffy’ in places as my wheel and I had a little falling out (don’t worry we’re friends again now)… but as far as length and weight go, I’m pleased as punch, and ‘Cherry Bomb’ will go a long way towards restoring my confidence on the wheel. Also spinning a blend of Merino/silk for the first time too, made me more confident with spinning new fibres.

It feels good to set a challenge and make it a long way towards achieving it in 1 spin, so before I loose momentum, I think I should publicly set myself another challenge…. and after this mornings success at counting the best yardage I’ve ever achieved… I can afford to critique myself a little. I love my latest handspuns, but what I feel my handspun yarn lacks is ‘loftiness’ and ‘air’, although I’ve achieved a great length, I still feel my yarns are too dense and compact. An answer to this is simple, well it’s simple to say, but possibly not to achieve, longdraw – EEEP!

The next time I post about spinning, I will have spun 100g of fluff in the longdraw method, from chats and youtube videos I’ve seen that it is all about technique and style, and just ‘going for it’, so that is what I will do. Wish me luck 😀

Oh.. and for those of you wondering what is going on with Mummy Mitts, being knit out of my Punk Pansy spin from the last post? Progress has been made and will continue slowly while other more urgent projects take over for a while… but it’s cute huh?

Mummy Mitten

More News and updates from the dyepots and wheel next week folks 🙂

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Spin, Span, Spun

Hello, gosh is it 2012 already? I look back and see I haven’t posted in the longest time… oh dear.

Well I’m making a resolution today, you can do that right? It doesn’t ONLY happen at new years, surely? From today I will post at least 1 blog post a week, regardless of how little I feel I might have to say, or how uninterested you most likely will be, deal? OK, good, lets move on.

I hope you all had a fabulous festive season, I certainly did, it was my 30th birthday and I celebrated in style with my gorgeous husband whisking me around the world for 17 days of adventure and sightseeing… but that is all things I can share with you in quieter weeks on the blog right? 😉

I have finally gotten back into the swing of dyeing again, after a long break over the holidays it took me a while to find my mojo again, I started off gently, dyeing up colours I know and love to dye, replacing out of stock items on the shop etc. But this week, I felt more like my adventurous old self and got busy with the Deeply Wicked, which as always has been very well received.

But today I want to share with you my delight, and overwhelming smugness with my latest attempt at spinning.

For the longest time, I have run hot and cold with spinning, going at it like crazy for weeks then not touching my wheel or spindle for months… but in 2012 I’d very much like to change that. This week I dyed some roving in a new and unusual way, because I had a thought, maybe a finished spun yarn doesn’t have to resemble the fibre it started out as. For some of you more seasoned spinners, this may very well be old news, but for me, it was an exciting ‘lightbub’ moment.

I set to work on dyeing my fibre in the new more adventurous way, and was really quite happy with the finished results, really acid bright and contrasting flecks of colour on a snow white backdrop… like a multicolored Dalmatian.

Punk Pansy dyed fibre

Then I set to work spinning it up, wanting to get the best result I could, I took my time and sectioned the fibre into 3rds, and then each 3rd in half, pre- drafting to get a nice smooth even roving that would slip through my fingers nicely. The spin took just 6hrs over 2 evenings, and the plying a further 2.5hrs.

I was so happy with the final result, if not a little miffed that the yarn is quite short, just 165m. I thought I was spinning to a fingering / 4-ply weight, and when I checked the final WPI of the singles and the finished yarns, seems my singles WERE 4-ply, but x 3 made for more like DK/Worsted weight.

No matter …. it’s pretty, and it’s even and it proved that fibre and finished yarn can look much MUCH different, and it is wound and ready to be cast on as mittens for mothers day. I think I may line them with a baby pink soft alpaca yarn I’ve laying around, even though the Merino/Nylon fibre is deliciously soft, more just to spoil my mum and make them extra special for her, watch this space for progress photos soon.

Punk Pansy spun yarn

There are three more braids of Punk Pansy available along with many more delicious spinning fibres in the easyknits.co.uk shop right now here…. more coming next week in the ‘punk’ range with splashes of colour that blend and soften with spinning.

Chat to you all next week.

 

Jx

 

 

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New Website Launch


Well what a roller coaster of a couple of weeks we have had here at Easyknits.co.uk HQ.

We’ve been so busy cataloguing and counting and photographing and updating that we’ve had little time for anything else.

But I hope you will all agree it has been well worth it in the end? Last Friday we hit the switch and launched our new website, but what is different? Well LOTS!

On the new site we have:

  • stock control
  • shopping cart
  • postage calculation
  • discount codes
  • new product images
  • search functionality
  • order tracking

… and that is to name but a few of the new functions our new ‘ecomms’ website has allowed us.

We’re still very much in the learning stage with the new site, but each day we’re finding new and exciting things that it will enable us to offer you. Hopefully within a month everyone will be as familiar and at home on the new site than they were on the old one.

Why not head on over there now and have a mooch? It’s really clean and crisp and super easy to navigate your way around the shop.

One of my most favourite functions has to be the search field, if you type a colour or a fibre content, every skein of yarn available for purchase that relates to those colours or criteria will pop up in front of you… fabulous eh? Perfect for browsing for yarn for that certain project.

Also if you’re looking for a pattern for a particular garment, simply type the garment type in and a list of all of our patterns available will pop up for you, but as you all know me well enough by now, that will mainly be socks/shawls or scarfs 🙂

We hope you enjoy the new shop and of course we welcome your feedback on every detail of the site, there are a few ranges we’ve had to remove from stock for now, but most of these will be returning with a re-vamp in coming weeks, so keep checking back for news on those.

To celebrate the launch we’re offering a 10% discount on orders placed before Sunday 2nd Oct, simple quote the discount code ‘easynewlaunch’ at check out to apply your 10% discount.

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