Sample spinning

Remember the fiber I bought at the sheep market? I’ve been wondering how I wanted to spin the variegated top on the right, so I decided to get all scientific about it and at least try out all the usual varieties (knowing full well that perhaps in the end I’d have 50g of samples….)


So a split lenghtwise 2-ply, a chainply, a fatter single and a 2×2 cable for starters. As well as knitted swatches!! Then afterwards, depending on the results, I might look into new to me spinning methods…

Well, I got as far a 2×2 cable, real thin, as I thought it might emulate a thicker, longer yarn using the whole top. And realized that all the plying would just make me an orange yarn. (of course I could try 3×3 chain ply, but no, not this time)

flat cable

Then I thought I was real clever, and brave too, deciding to waste all my yarn on something really different (to me). Never mind all that sampling!

I split it in half, then one half split into a thick rope and a thin. The idea was to try and match the lenghts/colours when plying the two. Well, it works in theory. Except I haven’t spun for ages and I’m prone to underspinning – even when I think I’ve added extra twist. The fiber is superwash. Can you see where this is going? Yes, everything pretty much drifted apart when I tried to ply. Some bits are looking really good, but it’s definitely not the same type of yarn at both ends! I will however try this again some other time as I think it could be a really cool feature in a woven item of some sort.

The other half I spun fairly thin, and then I wanted to make a coiled yarn. Well, duh. After 20 cm or so plying, I learned that to make coils, your single should probably be somewhat thicker than your core unless you want serious corkscrews as well! I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on how to make the coils though, I just have to figure out what to do with a thin, variegated, orange single now….

superwash merino


Jeg har gået længe og funderet på, hvad jeg skulle spinde af mit orange fiber fra fåredagen. Spekulerede i mange nye eksperimenter som jeg ikke har prøvet før, lavede en lillebitte test med kabeltvinding, som bare gjorde det hele ensfarvet orange og kedeligt.

Så jeg endte med at finde på noget for mig rigtig vildt og uvant. Og selvfølgelig mislykkes med begge dele, men til gengæld har jeg lært lidt af hvert. Det er lidt ærgerligt, at jeg ikke fik noget direkte brugbart ud af de fine fibre, men sådan er der så meget….

Den ene halvdel splittede jeg op på langs i en tyk og en tynd tot, som jeg så forsøgte at spinde lige lange, så det, når det var tvundet, ville være en tyk og en tynd som fulgte samme farveforløb.

Det virkede også rimeligt i teorien, bortset fra jeg ikke har spundet meget længe og har en tendens til at underspinde. Fibrene er desuden superwash og meget glatte og kan ikke filtes hvis det kniber med sammenholdet! Og ja, det hele skred jo fra hinanden gang på gang da jeg begyndte at sno det den anden vej, ikke?

Godt så, næste lektion bestod i at lave “coils”, kan vi kalde det fjedergarn på dansk? Jeg spandt en tynd single, for så tænkte jeg at det færdige garn ikke blev så massivt. Efter 20 cm tvinding fandt jeg så ud af, at det ikke er en smart ide at kernen er samme tykkelse som garnet, men skal være meget tyndere, ellers kommer der så meget sno på at det ikke bare ligner en fjeder på den ene led, men at selve garnet også er en grisehale. Så nu har jeg en lang tynd single i orange nuancer jeg skal have fundet på et eller andet sjovt til!


Originally this post was drafted to show and talk about “designing” yarn. (see how I had to put that into quotation marks, so as not to come off too presumptuous 😉 ) And then as usual I got sidetracked from the yarn ideas I had so they still live in my head.

The first yarn that I "designed" shortly after I started spinning, 4 shades of merino blended on my homemade hackle
The first yarn that I “designed” shortly after I started spinning, 4 shades of merino blended on my homemade hackle

The funyarns are figments of my imagination, not so much planned for or even suitable for knitting, but spun just because. Because the colour concept appealed to me, to resemble something I’d seen (such as the half done rowan tree yarn), or just to experiment. I won’t call them art yarns, because I’m just not that good. It’s not that I don’t enjoy spinning yarn for a purpose, but it’s a different joy. Funyarns are really more like painting.

So anyway, I’ve spun almost a pound of wool in the last couple of days for absolutely no purpose at all, it’s colourful and random, so I thought I’d kick off this category now and keep adding once in a while.

jungle2 jungle1

It started out with a challenge on Ravelry, theme “Safari” (which incidentally was my own suggestion). I had a couple of batts that I bought a long time ago before I knew the difference between a real woolen prep and “just” combed top blended on a drumcarder, still running perpendicular. One is not better than the other, just different spinning, different purpose. I thought one set of batts looked quite like a piece of rainforest, so off I went spinning a fat single.

I have all sorts of things going through my head while I see the fiber run by my hands, goes something like this: “I wonder if I should have included some pink tufts for orchids in a jungle, no, all that yellow is enough. So would this resemble the amazonas rainforest or this turquoise, where do they have those mineral lakes in old sinkholes, Indonesia? Hmmmm, this is turning out a bit muddy and earthy, a bit Mexican inspired colouring with the strong greens and yellows? Do they have jungles too? I should make some South American themed colourways. And Chinese inspired drawings (oh, don’t be silly, not in this lifetime. I thought you wanted to be the new Otto Frello?). And definitely look up something on Celtic symbols as well as old Scandinavian. And do a palette of the garment colours used in various times in Europe for some project. But something oriental would be cool too.” Yes, that IS pretty much what the inside of my head looks like more often than not.


Turned out much more blended than I wanted, I liked the batts better than the yarn, but such is the way of those things. In any case I decided to spin ALL the batts to practise getting that thickness. Whoosh! All gone, one empty box. And the red and purple with gold thread took me on a trip to India, so around the world in a few hours isn’t half bad, is it? I must be getting better at it too, since each yarn ended up shorter than the previous colour. I don’t normally thwack my yarns, because I don’t want the halo, but these got a severe beating because I wanted them to felt a bit and bloom as much as possible.

Bollywood collection 😉

Which leads me to my second mission: fiber stash bashing. When I first started out I bought all sorts of random stuff to try out, then I had a bad spell and didn’t spin for something like 8 months and now I just want something completely different. I still love to OGLE all the pretties that are offered for sale on Etsy, but I do love to make my projects from scratch, i.e. dyeing my own fiber. I also need more space for my paint supplies now, so I’m going to try to spin all that random fiber and in the future keep just a stock of undyed fiber in a few varieties that I like.

This was originally named Sea & Sand when I dyed it – but it actually could go in the savanna category all spun up, yeah? Smallest braid spun this week also.seasand14



In an ideal world and a bigger house I’d have all the yarns and all the fibers (and all the paints, inks, papers, cameras, horses, greenhouses and…). But then I do like my sleep, so I think the current plan is probably the wisest. 😀



Jeg kunne godt tænke mig at tømme lidt ud i mit fiberlager, så jeg kun har ufarvede fibre i mine yndlingssorter liggende. Dels mangler jeg plads til andre hobbyting, dels fordi mit fokus har ændret sig lidt siden jeg begyndte at spinde.

Og da jeg har rigeligt med strikkeprojekter på venteliste, vil jeg bruge den næste tid på at spinde garn som ikke har noget formål, men bare er skægt, har en flot farve eller fordi jeg har en tosset “design”ide.

Så jeg startede med en fletning jeg selv havde farvet, i superwash BFL. Bagefter kom turen til Ravelrygruppens februarudfordring “Safari”, og da jeg var godt i gang med at øve tyk single tog jeg lige de resterende batts i den kasse fra samme leverandør, købt den gang jeg ikke kendte forskel på rigtigt karteflor og kæmmede fibre kørt en gang på kartemaskine for at blande farverne let. Det gik let og gesvindt, og hvert garn blev lidt kortere end det forrige, så lidt bedre til at spinde tykt blev jeg da, selvom det ikke er super-bulky.

Normalt tæver jeg ikke mit garn, for jeg kan bedst lide det glat, men singlerne her har fået rigtig mange bank, så de kunne filte lidt og puffe så meget op som muligt.