Thursday, May 31, 2007

Polwarth: Shawl Pattern TBA

Hello -- Thank you for allowing me to spin and knit with you. This is my first KAL -- so I am very excited. I have been spinning for a couple years. Now while the real challenge for me would be to spin this shawl on my drop spindle, I think this is going to be one for the spinning wheel.

Here's my plan: I have some beautiful, white polwarth locks:

They are soooo soft. I am going to card them with my hand carders into rolags. Spin them on my wheel. And then dye them with indigo. I don't exactly have a shawl pattern in mind but I can't wait to poke around and see what I find!

Lots of new things!

Hello everyone! Here is my shawl!

Yeah, not quite done yet.

I'm processing my first fleece for this project. I was surprised that so far, it was pretty straightforward. Even handcarding is not too bad.

It's border leicester wool in a really nice light grey. I love spinning from the fresh rolags! I have almost a full bobbin now, of what I hope will be around DK
once plied.

To make it more of a challenge I'm going to make the crocheted 'Four Generation' shawl from the spring Spin Off. Did I mention I can barely crochet?

Oh, and I'm buying a house in 15 days and moving in 20. I would love to have the spinning done, but really I'd be happy if I get the first 2 bobbins plied.

I'll post my hardware over the weekend. I have a 'vintage' Lendrum wheel from the 80's you may be interested in seeing. At least something in this project isn't new!


Hi there!

I was so excited when I read about this KAL on Margene's blog because it fit perfectly with a project I was starting. A shawl (design yet to be determined) from handspun (and dyed) yarn.

Violet BFLNavy BFL

I'm a new spinner and I've been trying out different fibers as part of my learning process. A while ago I got a bit of Blue Faced Leicester and dyed it up in shades of violet. As I spun it I fel in love. It's much finer than anything I've spun to date. Suddenly and idea was born. I decided to get more and dye it in dark blue and ply the 2 colors together and against itself and turn it all into a shawl.
Shawl to be

Here's where I'm at so far. I've completed 3 bobbins and there is still a little left to spin. The trick will be to figure out just how much I have in the end and find the perfect pattern to show off the color changes.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's getting cold outside

Funny enough - whilst the premise is to spin something out of your hand spun by the end of summer I would be getting a huge advantage of time on you all cause that would be next March 2008! So I'll take it that I should aim for the end of our winter.

I was recently gifted some Lisa Souza Roving and had a spin of it the other day - lovely lovely lovely stuff.

I use an Ashford Traditional and here's the results .I was really pleased with amount of yardage - 10gms = 60yds - for me that is great! And it knit up so nicely.

As to a pattern - I am not sure yet - only have 100gms of rovings so it won't be big - anyone got a suggestion?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

On My Way...

Hi everyone! I joined this group to inspire me to continue spinning what I already had on my wheel, which is some blue Colonial. You know what? It worked! Last week I finished my second bobbin of singles.

And over the weekend I plied one bobbin full of a 2-ply yarn. At first I thought that I'd never get that bobbin full, but perseverance paid off.

I haven't decided on a shawl pattern yet, but I still have time as there's still about half a bobbin's worth of singles left to ply on the two bobbins of singles.

I'm really excited to be a part of this group and I've been really inspired by everyones posts.

the Akamai Knitter


Hi everyone,

Thanks for letting me to join in the fun :-)

This KAL has come along at the perfect time for me. I have just finished spinning this

This is part of 650 m of laceweight Alpaca Silk.
This was a spinning experiment where I spun one ply of alpaca and another of silk and then plied them together.
I'm really pleased with the result :-)
The plan is to knit this up as an enlarged Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave. I just need to swatch to decide on needle size, work out how many extra repeats I need to do of the first chart to get the pattern right and I'm all set.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone else is doing :-)


My yarn is coming along slow but sure. I love spinning the Merino silk. It's so easy so ply into lace weight yarn. Although, I've found that winding the finished yarn into a skien to be soaked is quite difficult. I've tried it with a sample spun yarn and I kept breaking it. I'm too vigorous I guess.

But, on a good note, I bought a new book.

The Victorian Lace Today, my husband bought me Lingerie Style. :D (He's already marked the ones he likes..of course).

I found this one. I LOVE it. I love it so much I wanted to knit it up right away. But, I remembered that my mother was going to be the recipient for the shawl since she travels to either Greece, Turkey or Italy almost every year. (Must be nice, I've been to Canada once and one of them followed me home..he was pretty cute so I thought I'd keep him. ;D) There's usually a place having a "formal night" and she's been dying for a lacy shawl.

So, I gave her the book to look at, she didn't suspect anything since I always show off my new books to her. Lo and behold this is the one she picked out that she just loved so much! It's going to look good in the lichen green. Though, I highly doubt that 2 ounces will knit up this beauty. So, I'm thinking I might break down and buy a whole pound of it. Spin the heck out of it, and then ply it up.

Here's another picture of it, though I'm afraid it's a little blurry.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Hey all, I just joined, and I'm a very new spinner. So new in fact that today is the first time I tried it. I have had some roving stockpiled because I knew that I was going to try it soon, I just haven't found a spindle yet. Anyway, after I saw that spindolyn in the post below I knew that's what I was going to get first.

I did however (out of impatience) fashion myself a spindle. There are tutorials on making your own out of cd's but I had only the dowel and the cds so I had to improvise. I used rubberbands above and below the cd's to hold them in place, and I actually sat and carved a sort of hook into the end of the dowel. It's very crude, but it seems to work as long as I keep the yarn thin. Otherwise it pops off.Here's what I got done in about ten minutes of messing with it, to get the feel for how the whole spinning thing works. I was surprised that mine even worked at all. Anyway there is a pic of what I was spinning. Some grey wool of unknown type with some pretty blue firestar mixed in. This is the roving that I'm saving for when I'm better, or get better hardware. I'd love to be able to get enough spun to make something with it! The top one is just wool, and I believe the blue is a wool, tencel mix. It's the most fabulous stuff ever. It's also a little darker than my flash shows. I'd like to get that spun up for a shawl.


Hi, all. I'm super excited to be participating in this. I have been spinning for about 1.5 years, and I'm still working on getting an even yarn on my Lendrum. I decided that I would speed along the process with a couple of private lessons, so while I figure out what I'm going to spin into laceweight (!), I'll practice, practice, practice. I should be ready by mid-June to commit to a roving.

Thanks, Kirsten and Teresa, for hosting this! I blog here and will post some of my practice spinning soon!


I'm finally getting around to introducing myself, just as I joined the KAL I left for a well needed vacation!
Hi everyone, my name is Robin and I'd like to introduce my friend...Sonya Sonata!

I've been spinning for about 6 years now, I started with a drop spindle and quickly went to the wheel. In fact, I owned a wheel prior to learning on the drop spindle! I had "approach anxiety" when it came to sitting down to the wheel. I bartered with a friend for one of her "extra" wheels...a single treadle Ashford Traveller, which I still use for my interpretive work at Virginia's Explore Park and various other Living Histories I volunteer for.
I ADMIRE those who will be using a drop spindle to create their yarn for this KAL...I like speed and I love my new wheel!!
I've chosen a fiber for this KAL that is, in my opinion, stunning...

This colorway, "Setting Sun", was created by a local "Color Guru", Mr David Simpson at Simpson & Co. Now, unfortunately he doesn't have these colorways on his website but if you email him maybe he'll let you in on his latest color creations! I'm not teasing you guys, I've been trying to get him to take pictures of his latest to put on my blog for sale...bare with me, I'm still working at it! If you live close enough or want to plan for it there's a Spinning Retreat that takes place at Hawks Nest State Park in West Virginia, where Mr. Simpson brings loads of his "fluff" for sale! Email me or check my blog for past events...they are held twice a year in March and September. The dates for the fall event this year is September 27-30th!

Thanks for letting me come "Play" with you!

Keep on Spinnin' & Knittin'!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Introduction and Personal Goal

Greetings from New Jersey! I'm still climbing the learning curve, having started spindle-spinning a year ago. One of the many things I learned during last summer's Tour de Fleece is when one spins laceweight, the roving looms large and the output seems puny and [cough] distractions abound.

Blue Face Leicester roving, singles, and 2-ply

My goal for Spun Stitches is to spin and ply sufficient yarn for a shawl and to knit said shawl by the end of summer. I plan to use the pictured never-ending coils of beauteous Blue Face Leicester from Cloverleaf Farms and my Made By Ewe spindle. I spun some of the roving for TdF, but progress since has [cough] slowed. More on my blog, Jersey Knitter.

I'm looking forward to having your good company on this quest, with thanks to Teresa and Kirsten for organizing the KAL. Also, kudos to the button-maker – they're so pretty, it's a shame to display them small.

Found something cool!

I just had to share this. This Spindolyn is on my "to buy" list. It's great for sitting in cars and working in limited spaces. Knitting anyway has a video up on how it works. It's great for beginning spinners or people like me who have babies fascinated in drop spindles. :D

An introduction

I'm new over here but excited to join you all! I'm hoping that being a member of the group will motivate me to finish the yarn for and actually knit my first lace from handspun.

Right now, I'm almost finished with two ounces of Merino/Silk that I bought at the Southern California Handweaver's event last year and seriously wondering about the yardage. Soon, I will know. Here it is in its roving form.
And as singles (a few days ago):

Now I have about a quarter ounce left to spin. I will wait a day or so to ply, to allow the twist to set a bit, and then it's off to the races!
I do have two more ounces of this if the yardage is small, but spinning this thin (the singles are about the thickness of sewing thread) takes SO LONG. I will probably have to take a break and spin some (more) sock yarn before tackling the other half.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

a bit of a challenge!

Well, I am a glutton for punishment, I think. I am not sure what I will spin into a shawl yet, but I know it will be interesting. Why? Well, I just bought my spinning wheel - a super pretty Lendrum double treadle folding wheel of delightandsupremehappiness!!!!! It was delivered on Tuesday and while I HAVE a drop spindle, I just haven't done much with it. It frustrated me. So, here I am, jumping in with both feet. Learning to spin and turning it into a shawl. I couldn't be MORE EXCITED!!!!!


I went to pick up my very first, very new spinning wheel today! Yeah! Look what I found! It's the "software" I'll be using for the shawl, if I can spin it fine enough. Isn't it beautiful? I'm so in LOVE with this roving. It's Merino/Silk 80/20 in Glacial Green and Lichen. I hope it will be enough. It will take me a while to be able to spin this, but I had to show you. I'm so happy I found this! Have to go now, and put together my wheel! Tata! Monika
supplemental: O.K. welcome the Ashford Traditional! Hardware is in the house! Fully assembled and ready to go. But I'm not quite. I'm scared, help me!

Hello Everyone

Well, here's my spun roving. It's slow but steady, my son has gotten a fascination with that pretty whirring thing I play with so it's a little stop and go with the spinning. The roving I'm spinning is a merino/silk blend. I'm loving it so much. It spins so nicely and is incredibly soft.

The color is a little washed out due to the lack of flash. Here's a better picture of it. It's the one in the middle.
The rest is Merino. Except for the teal which is Colonial.

I'm loving the green/yellow/red merino blend. My husband spoiled me and bought 14 pounds of roving for I'm ok for roving for about 2-3 years...but that won't stop me from buying more!!! I got all of my roving from a wonderful lady from Blue Goose Glen.
I love her stuff. Who knew spinning your own yarn could be so fun! The yarn above isn't long enough to really make anything besides a coaster, so I wound them up into balls and then put them into neat looking glass jars and put them on my shelf. I figured if I can't knit it up into anything, I'll make decor!

I haven't decided on a shawl yet. I've just ordered Victorian Lace Today (I've oogled it enough in the store I figured I might as well buy it. I'm excited to see it in the mail. I'm intending to knit a shawl for my mother as a surprise. It's going to be hard letting it go, but I know she'll love it. :D

Hullo, I'm Sarah

And here's another shawl in the making: That's 50/50 alpaca/silk from Handweavers' Studio in London. I started spinning it on a Kundert spindle and soon realised a) it would take forever aka a very long time to spin 1200m; b) I really enjoyed spinning. So I started again. The skein is my first 150m of 2-ply, spun on my new Louet Victoria, with a 20p coin for scale. I love the raw fibre, which looks like smooth steel wool and is incredibly soft; I only noticed that there's still some guard hair in there when I started spinning it in bulk. The singles were a bit disappointing, as I thought I'd over-twisted them, but plying and washing seems to have corrected that (as far as I can tell). I'm spinning it slowly with a bit of Jamieson Shetland Spindrift untwisted on my knee to remind me of what I'm aiming for, as the current plan is to knit the Diamond Lace Shawl from Simply Shetland 3 as a gift for my mother. I'll need 600m of light fingering-weight 2-ply. When I finish that, I have some silk top from The Silkworker as a reward. This is far beyond my comfort zone, but so beautiful I had to try it. I'm sure I can find a relative who'd like a sunset-coloured shawl.

But this is mine, all mine.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Stuff

Okay so hi, I'm Andrea and this is what I'll be working with. (I would have included a pic of the actual spinning but my camera batteries died earlier today)
my soon to be hand spun laceweight
My drop spindle is an Ashford of unknown weight because I've just never weighed it and the fiber I'll be using is 50g of merino and 25g of tussah silk fibre dyeversity in "Rosehip" by Rachel Meek in Australia that a secret pal sent me (by the way if anyone knows if she has a site or not please tell me.)
predrafted and ready
The predrafting made me worry a little because the orange just popped out more than I'd like but as I've been spinning it up I really think plying it would help dull it out.

The Post With No Title

ok I finally got around to dealing with photos. This is the first yarn that I have spun on my wheel which I got for Mother's Day, its an Ashford Traveller from the 70's. The Roving is some that I got at the markets for $7, I think it is merino. Oh and I borrowed Special Knits by Debbie Bliss from the library and have decided that I am going to knit "Shawl" from it, it is probably more of a blanket but hey, I have a friend having a baby and have to make something for her so why not kill 2 birds with one stone?

The Hardware

The Software

The End Result

Sing a song of spinning wheels . . .

Can I tempt the enablers in the group?

I know I'm really new at spinning, but I'm quickly getting addicted. I'm going to start socking away funds to buy myself a wheel, but I have no idea which one I'll want to buy. My plan is to have enough saved up by next years MDSW to go there and buy one after I've tried a few. I want to see if I can find someone to show me how to spin and let me try a few wheels either at another fiber fest, but I don't know if we're going to any more this year. In the mean time, I'm gathering as much info as I can.

Ok, all that rambling leads up to this: Would any of you wheel spinners like to sing the praises of your wheels? Why do you prefer the treadle style you have? What kind of tension do you love?

teh crazeee attacks...

spun stitches 1

Forgive the cruddy photo -- it's storming here and I'm indoors (obviously), so light was eluding me.

I've managed to get about half a boobbin done of this -- which is a dyed BFL roving by the Yarn Pirate -- which should ply up to just about fingering weight. Which is right where I wanted it, so things are going swimmingly.

Teh Crazee, though, comes in when I start thinking about what to knit with it. See, I had thought I'd just spin this 4 oz. up and find a pattern to work with it. It'd be more "big scarf" than "shawl", but that was okay with me.

Then I had the sudden revelation that I have more BFL in my roving stash. That if I spun a bunch of different ones -- like six 400 yarders or 12 200 yard skeins -- that I could totally do a Keepsake Shawl with them all. Blend them all together. Have a great big lace colorful bit of yumminess with a bunch of my roving-y bits. Granted, the Keepsake was the first big thing I ever knit myself, and it took a whole long time and wasn't even remotely knit to pattern (one side kind of looks like it has some lace to it; the other side kind of just looks knit with some yarn overs placed un-strategically in various random places.). It took me SIX WEEKS. And that was with Beginner's Motivation.

I'm still debating it, because a shawl like that, made totally of stuff *I* spun *myself* sounds pretty delicious. But hooboy -- the commitment.

Or maybe that should be translated as "I should BE committed." One of the two.

New member

Hi everyone and thanks for allowing me to join in! I was planning on spinning some laceweight yarn next so this is perfect for me. I have 8oz of luscious alpaca fiber which should spin up to be a heathery gray color (it's not dyed) which I am considering using. Or I may wait to see what this month's Spunky Eclectic fiber is and use that if it's appropriate for lace spinning. I'll make a decision soon I promise.

Here's my "hardware" - a Kromski Sonata wheel

I've been spinning since December and was instantly and totally addicted! I love my wheel and hardly ever use my drop spindles anymore.

I'll post some pictures of my "software" when I make my final decision.


To Ply or Not to Ply. . .

Yesterday I set the spin of my singles. I'm still trying to decide if I want to ply this yarn or not. I guess it's swatching time for me.

What are your plans? Are you plying or not?

Spinning Samples...Craziness!

I know this flies in the face of everything we hold dear, like not knitting a gauge swatch and praying for good results, but I went and spun up samples to see what I'd like the finished yarn to be. This even involved water and twist setting. I get dizzy just thinking about it :)

In all seriousness, I thought I'd take a departure from my usual "let's see what happens" approach and actualy plan a project from start to finish. I still haven't nailed down a pattern, but there has been definite progress. I spun three different samples, all laceweight, in an attempt to figure out what I liked best. I went finer or thicker to compensate for the plying method, so they're all roughly the same weight. Pictures were taken in the middle of the night, so they may be a little dark.

First, we have a Navajo ply,


then a 2-ply,


and finally a single.


I could espouse the minimalistic glories of the simple single, but really, it means when you're done, you're done. I do feel drawn to one other thing, but I only have 2 ounces of these gorgeous golden green flecked maroon mohair locks and that's not nearly enough for a shawl. Here's a sample of one of the locks spun up, though. It's finer than the single shown above (I really need to include something for scale).


Of course, I'm still undecided.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm certifiable

Thus far I've spun about 40 yards of two ply that varies between fingering and worsted weight from the icelandic roving that came with my drop spindle. And here I am trying to spin for a shawl . . . I must be nuts.

Hardware - basic drop spindle bought at MDSW
Software - 4 oz. of black alpaca silk blend
Pattern - not sure yet

Progress so far??

At least it's kinda even. I think plied up it will vary between lace and fingering weight. Actually, I've probably spun almost double that amount now. I'm taking my sweet time. Since the silk is white, I was thinking about dyeing the finished yarn a deep blue or wine. I'm also contemplating some of these beads. Perhaps something triangular with beads spaced along the bottom edge, or maybe a rectangle with beaded borders on the short ends. Just not sure yet. Wish me luck!

So Excited!

I'm really happy to have found this KAL! My pattern will be the Swallowtail Shawl from IK for my grandmother for Christmas. My hardware is my Ashford Traveler. The software is yet to be determined. At the moment I'm working on some undyed Angora-Silk Merino. I'm not sure if I have enough of that for the shawl if I 2 ply it the way I want to. Oh well, it's not shopping for fiber is drudgery or anything! Can't wait to see everyone's projects!

~ Rebecca

Monday, May 21, 2007

pattern ideas

I need to find some good patterns for a first time shawl maker, preferably free but I don't mind paying a few $$ for a pattern I'd just have to convince the owner of the credit card that I really need to buy a pattern LMAO.

Anyone know of any nice patterns?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My hard and some of my software

This is the spindle and some of the fiber I've decided to use. The fiber is a merino viscose blend. I love the colors but I want to tone down the intensity just a little so I'm going to ply with either one or two singles of plain white viscose and merino. you can see more detailed pictures at my blog.