Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My first handspun

Yes, this is my first attempt to hand spin yarn on a drop spindle. I chose the steamed method to dye my roving using food colouring. First, I soaked the roving from Ashford in a pail of tap water with a drop of dish washing liquid added. After one hour, I poured away the water and squeezed the roving gently to get rid of excess water. Laid some newspapers on the table and placed two pieces of cling film on top of it. Next, I placed my rovings on the cling film and squeezed my prepared food colouring of my choice over it. To make the colouring, put a drop of food colouring with 2 tablespoon of vinegar and add 1 cup of water into a container. Stirred it well and poured into squeeze bottle.

Make sure that the colour is absorbed and no white patches on the bottom. Wrapped up the roving with another piece of cling film and rolled it up like a swish roll. Placed it in a steamer and steamed for one hour.

Let the dyed roving to cool completely before cutting out the cling film. Next, rinsed the roving in tap water several times until the water ran clear. Hung it to dry but away from the sun. It took almost 2 days for it to dry completely.

When it was dry, it's time to draft and spin on my drop spindle. Spinning was fun but arm breaking because I have to constantly lift my left arm up to draft and spin. I've learnt that in order to spin finely and evenly, drafting is the most important process in spinning. Drafting it real fine helped in spinning fine and even yarn. I dyed half the roving variegated colours of yellow, red and apple green and the other half was a solid lime green. The two yarns are then plied together using a pepper container. Didn't know that a pepper container is so handy :)

Ta-da! My first 2 ply handspun is done. I was so thrilled seeing my labor of love. I want to thank my friend Aw for teaching me to dye the roving.

What should I knit with it, eh?

Leafy Raglan

This raglan was inspired by a stitch pattern with some modifications. I love variegated yarns, so I decided to knit stockinette stitch on both sides of the leaf design and... it is much faster to knit too :) The photo does not capture the true colour of this yarn. It is much orangy in colour. Originally I intended to knit seed stitch for the sleeves but I changed my mind and decided to keep the leaf design. My decision was turned out well.