Thursday, April 17, 2014

spinning winterberry farm fibers

A few weeks ago, I went to the Wayland Farmers' Market for their fiber day. Before I tell you about the fiber I got there, I just want to say, that we had a great time looking at locally grown fibers, yarns, and locally made finished products. It reminded me of the farmers' markets I used to go to growing up in France.

There were a lot of choices, but my heart settled on fibers offered by Winterberry Farm.Winterberry Farm is a small farm in Colrain, MA. Jill and Jim raise sheep and  angora rabbits. Jill hand dyes beautiful carded fibers as well as locks and sells raw fleeces.

I fell in love with her beautiful carded rovings. The roving I picked was a blend of cormo and polwarth in a heathery blue colorway with little flecks of softly contrasted colors.

It took me a little bit of time to figure out how I wanted to spin the fiber. Being more of a worsted spinner, I first had to accept that the finished yarn would be textured. After sampling, my Roadbug wheel and I  settled on a short backward draw, with no smoothing of fibers, with intention of keeping the yarn as a lightly fulled singles. The short backward raw allowed to have a little more control over the diameter of the yarn.

After I was done spinning the singles, I really liked the yarn but felt it still had too much twist for a singles. I ran the yarn again through the wheel but in the opposite direction to take some of the twist away. Pleased with the result, I finished the yarn lightly fulling it.

Here is the result, about 450 yards of super soft dk singles with character!

I have started knitting the yarn. I am working on a simple, natural, button down vest for the tiniest man in my life.

Monday, April 14, 2014

groovy socks free pattern

The Groovy Socks are back! Same great, easy, and fun chevron, but with some improvements to the pattern.

The pattern layout is completely different, this time a pdf with very clear step by step instructions. The pattern comes in multiple sizes from child to large adult. The rib flows smoothly into the chevron pattern, and the heel is an afterthought heel so you can zoom through the socks keeping you chevron groove!

I used my own handspun for the model: Malabrigo Nube in the Solis colorway and navajo plied but of course any striping, contrasted handdyed, or striping sock yarn will do.

The pattern is available as a free download on Ravelry. Click   Groovy Socks to download.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Handspinning Nube

I have been spinning a lot lately. Spinning then knitting my handspun, and unfortunately being lazy about sharing my progress. This time, though, I took the time to photograph the spinning in progress.
Malabrigo's Nube fiber is beautifully colored, easy to spin Merino. This colorway is Solis. I decided to spin as a very fine singles to be chain plied later for a scrumptious sock yarn...

I am already done with the spinning and plying,  but could not wait to start knitting with the yarn long enough to take a picture. I am using the yarn for the re-release of my Groovy Sock pattern. But that is the topic of another post.

In the mean time enjoy a bit of spinning goodness!