Sunday, August 16, 2009

Workshop sampler

Some of you have been waiting patiently for me to share the various yarns I made during last weekend's workshop. Thanks for indulging me, it was a busy work week and my sister was in town over the weekend. To top it off, I had a relapse on a summer cold, which is so rare for me. It made getting through the week that much more exhausting.

I'm finally ready to show you what I made. Some of these techniques are really interesting and I want to work on them some more.

First up, the Coils. I used the most fantastic fiber, purchased from Pumpkinmama, called Vibe. Here's what the fiber looked like before it got spun. Eye popping, isn't it? I love it, which is unusual because I lean toward more subdued colors, but when I saw it in her Esty shop, I knew it would be perfect for the workshop!


This being Targhee, it is squishy beyond belief. I do love Targhee! The color breaks make the coils really pop. The Vibe was spun as thick and thin singles and then plied with a gray merino laceweight I picked up at School Products just for the workshop. I like how the gray tones down the Vibe just a bit. The coils were more defined before the yarn was washed, and now they are very plump little babies.

Coils #1

Reflecting back on this project: obviously I need more practice in the technique. But now that I see how the coils plumped up after the bath, I would work on making them very stable in the spinning. There's a part of the technique called 'anchoring' that I need to incorporate.

I see this technique could be really fun in scarves and hats. Also trims around collars, cuffs, that sort of thing.

Next up was Twists . This yarn is a combination of Hello Yarn Air (Merino/Tencel), some Ashland Bay Merino and I can't remember what else. The Twists are interesting in that they create a 'shaggy' look. Properly applied, this could be a fun yarn for scarves. The twists are in the blue Merino, and I threw in some more coils, for fun. This yarn was also plied with the Gray lace weight. Good thing I bought a cone of it! There are also attempts at embedded objects, but they do not look good. Definitely some practice needed here!

Twists, Wrapped Objects #1

How about some cocoons and beehives? These are another way of making coils only with singles rather than in a ply. I would say this will need some more practice, but worth it if you want singles with good fun mixed in. Fibers are combined Hello Yarn Air, some borrowed roving from Donna (a dream to spin, I will seek out this seller at Rhinebeck!!), and bits of fun stuff from the workshop.

Cocoons, Beehives #1

We worked on Corespun, which I really like and want to do more. This was a batt provided at the workshop. My first attempt at batt spinning, very intriguing. There are so many wonderful batts out there and I am now a convert. More corespun in my future! This first attempt is not great. The trick is a 90 degree angle and a light touch. If I recall, put the tension up on this technique so it takes up quickly onto the bobbin. I added an over wrap of sparkle, borrowed from Cathy, (thanks Cathy!!) but it got a bit complicated so I dropped it after a bit. There was enough to handle just getting the corespun to go!

Corespun with Sparkle overwrap #2

We worked on Halos and Circles next and this was fun! The Halos are made from Cocoons that are then twisted into little loops when plying. The circles are similar to a boucle. The first thing is to spin up some singles, using Spunky Eclectic Beach Day (merino/bamboo) adding cocoons as you go, and for the circle section we used some amazing mohair, and spun super thin. This was my first mohair experience - very similar to long wools like Romney, Wensleydale or Masham. I love long wools so I will definitely be working with Mohair in the future.

Circles and Halos #1

Once the singles are made up you get to ply the yarn and that's where the fun really begins. Each cocoon gets twisted up into a little loop, anchored and away you go. When we reached the mohair sections, we angled at 90 degrees and just fed it on, very loosely, anchoring start and finish. I liked making this yarn very much and want to make more.

Circles & Halos #2

Last but not least, Super Coils! This one has sooo much potential, but the result last Sunday is a mere glimpse at what can be achieved. The Vibe was put into use once again, this time the singles we spun as homework before the class - the top bobbin in the photo below.

Coils bobbin on bottom, Vibe singles on top

In this yarn you simply wrap the yarn around a core but unlike a corespun in which you start with a batt, you are working with a spun up single so you get a very ropey wrapped yarn. If I were to do this again, I would want to work with fatter singles, as it would take forever to finish this one!

Super Coils

Did you notice the prop in some of these photos? Yep, my little ottoman! A perfect backdrop for yarny pictures. You will see more of this project as time goes by. I might even sit on it from time to time. Yes, it is sturdy! I want to update you on my further reflections of the Upholstery class, but I'll get to it later this week.

I loved the yarn workshop. I learned a ton and it opened up a kinds of possibilities. And I bought the CD, so I can practice some more. If you want to really explore a whole new range of yarn wonders, I recommend the CD or if you can, take the class. Jacey is fun and encouraging. And she can spin a really mean yarn. Seriously. Inspiring.


LICraftgal said...

Wow you have been busy!! Love the yarns! I havent really had time to do much practicing, but hopefully soon.

Katie M. said...

Wow! I love all of your yarns. I had no idea there was so much diversity in spinning ... obviously, a lot to learn.

Sara said...

I love the way the Targee coils turned out.

Oiyi said...

Thanks for all the pics. You made such cool and funky yarns.

Anonymous said...

oh yay! what a great post - filled with juicy yarn pics. on top of learning all these really cool techniques, i bet novelty yarn spinning teaches even more about the qualities of certain fibers. i love the idea of using these as trim -- thanks again for posting all of your samples -- so lovely.

Knitting Belle said...

Fantastic yarns! The first ones look like candy.