Finished: TdF glitter rolls vest

Using Debbie Vest by Aethalia O’Connor as a template. I’ve rewritten the pattern to be knit continuously, without cutting yarn too much. By now it’s a basic pattern I can use and re-use with any aran weight. Handspun is ideal! And it only takes 200 grams max.

This one too 185 grams of the green rolls I made and spun this Tour de Fleece.

Ahh, what a nice project. From the visit to wool studio Spinspul on the first day of de Tour to making more rolls at the cabin to spinning it while watching Tour de France.

Knit in just one week, handspun does knit faster!

Here are some pictures from fitting the vest. There’s a bit too much fabric at the back, I’ll need to decrease there even before I reach the underarms, on a next vest.

A next vest will certainly come. I’ve got about six finished now and two more on the needles. It’s just ideal to wear over one of the many dress shirts I surely will be sewing this year.

Just 200 grams is all I need. 430 meters. Needles 3,5 mm, gauge 19 st per 10 cm.

I’ve found some new treats to keep me going:

Shortbread! The best version of sprits-boterkoek-koekje that I can think of.

During Tour de Fleece we got a recipe (in Dutch, on Ravelry) for shortbread from Cjadam, a wonderful spinner from Amsterdam, and maker of the cardemom (!) shortbread and wonderful batts, of which I’ll soon talk more.

Before I found the shortbread this gave me a head ache:

Licorice chocolate. And whiny cat.

Both delicious but preferably enjoyed in little bits at a time. Which is impossible. With either.

TdF day 10: Fiber prep and another WIP bag

Today I carded the other green Merino into rolls. With angelina for sparkle:

I enjoy making rolls on the drum carder. Mine are not very tight. Best for spinning on a wheel, I think, not so much for precision instruments such as supported spindles.

For the Angelina there’s a bit of a trick to it, to ensure nice spinning later on. First you lay down a layer of wool. Then you add the sparklies but you give them a little blanket of wool at the same time. This prevents the sparklies flying around and being grabbed by the smaller carding roll:

I was so glad to have the drum carder out -I had installed it on the porch- that I took on that other carding job that I’ve been meaning to do. The Swifter into batts. Last year I tried to dye part of it sap green, which I failed at.

Enough time has passed and I’m ready to take this into a different direction. I had picked the wool earlier this year. Today I carded the white with the lightest colours, for just a little hint of color throughout the garment.

I was thinking vest (=200 grams) but I was carding away happily and now I have this:

450 grams. That’s an adult sweater/ pullover/ cardigan.

I did a little test spinning and there’s a problem there. It’s not a nice 2 ply:

The wool doesn’t draft to my liking. Too much kringle; too much nepps and bits and there’s also a little too much lanoline in it. I won’t enjoy spinning a sweater’s worth of this.

I do love to hold the batts. They are so lofty and smell so nice. So now I’m looking to see whether Swifter can be felted. First google seems to indicate so.

Now I have to think about that… what it would become then. My head is still at “garment”. Light coloured, winter warm, snow princess….

Annnnd this morning this happened:

I made another pyramid WIP bag! This one’s for me. Made from darling cat fabric and matching zipper that I got for my birthday last year:

Isn’t that a great gift for a crafty person?
It has been inspiring me the whole year and today I knew I had the skills to do the fabric and zipper justice.

Tour de Fleece day 1: party at LYS Spinspul

Today the Tour de France started and with it the Tour de Fleece, when we let our spinning wheels and spindles whirl as the cyclist whirl their wheels.

I went to Spinspul in Almere which had opened a brand new brick and mortar store.
Spinspul Almere wol spinnen Ashford spinnenwiel kaardemolen De Blauwe Reiger rolletjes van merinoSpinspul Almere wol spinnen Ashford spinnenwiel kaardemolen De Blauwe Reiger rolletjes van merino
Spinspul Almere wol spinnen Ashford spinnenwiel kaardemolen De Blauwe Reiger rolletjes van merino
From this wall I took some merino and bfl and angelina to make some rolls.
I played with a good Ashford drum carder to try and make them:
Spinspul Almere wol spinnen Ashford spinnenwiel kaardemolen De Blauwe Reiger rolletjes van merino

Steep learning curve, that’s my first attempt on the far right.

Spinspul Almere wol spinnen Ashford spinnenwiel kaardemolen De Blauwe Reiger rolletjes van merino

Spinspul is dealer in spinning wheels by Ashford, Louet and one other brand. I tried out an Ashford Kiwi. That’s a fine wheel. Does everything it’s supposed to. Very easy going.
Spinspul Almere wol spinnen Ashford spinnenwiel kaardemolen De Blauwe Reiger rolletjes van merino

Filling my bobbin:
Spinspul Almere wol spinnen Ashford spinnenwiel kaardemolen De Blauwe Reiger rolletjes van merino

Finished:
Spinspul Almere wol spinnen Ashford spinnenwiel kaardemolen De Blauwe Reiger rolletjes van merino

I put it on a temporary holder (known as TP carton centre or “wc-rolletje” amongst non-spinners) to transport it home.

Making the rolls on a drumcarder is really nice to do. After a wonderful lunch I made some more, to spin at home:
Spinspul Almere wol spinnen Ashford spinnenwiel kaardemolen De Blauwe Reiger rolletjes van merino

100 grams of rolls and another 100 grams in the bag.

At the end of the day I took home the handspun, the green rolls, some fibre to make more and a mysterious box…
Spinspul Almere wol spinnen Ashford spinnenwiel kaardemolen De Blauwe Reiger rolletjes van merino

I’ll show you tomorrow.

On a roll!

These are the little fibre candies I send to two fellow spinners:

Each “blob” of fibre is 20 grams. There’s Merino and Shetland and BFL and Silk and Baby Camel and a particular soft blend of Alpaca and Silk from Coldharbour mill in Devon, UK.

I dragged all the boxes of fibre I have from the wool room and spend a lovely day sorting them and making rolls:
Untitled

I tried making rolls directly on my blending board but I found out I do better when I first card a batt on my carder. Then I put it onto the blending board in bits and make it into a roll using two dowels.

It is such fun to do!
I couldn’t stop and made some rolls for me too:

Merino, silk, glitter and bits of mustard coloured textured silk.

Previously I found out that I don’t particular like to spin from batts -fibre flying everywhere- but rolled into rolls I quite like it! On a spindle that is, spinning rolls on a spinning wheel is not my cup of tea, I prefer rollags or roving.

Can’t wait to play with these:

Because I so like the subtle colours in the rolls from Sasssefras I showed yesterday I tried my hand at a batt (and rolls) in warm greys in some of the high end fibres for me too.
Here’s a soft, soft cloud of Silk, Baby Camel and Merino. It’s so soft you can barely feel it! I still have to make it into rolls but I wonder very much how it spins up on my Turkish spindle.

I put little streaks of lilac in it, to mimic the magic Sasssefras made.

Spinning mad

I’m spinning on my Turkish spindle every day now.
With some Dutch spinners we started a group where people make small bundles of fibre for each other. Batches of 20 grams. In nice colours, nice fibres.
This arrived in my mailbox the other day:


5 x 20 grams of various fibres from Sasssefras, a person who’s famous for making excellent little rolls.

The green silvery rolls made me squeek with joy and I put them on my spindle immideately.

They go fantastically well with my ring! It’s a big old rock, nearly an inch high, caught in faux gold.
It’s my Secret Mountain Fairy Queen ring.
I wear it this time of year (Feb thru May) and it makes my spirit travel to the mountains of Norway. It’s also an hommage to Frau Holle, that ancient European goddess (from before Celts, Vikings, Romans) who resides in a mountain and spins the threads of life.

Ooops, is my personal tag of madness hanging out again?
A more rational person would have rephrased it like: “spinning great fibre with good tools is as much a spiritual experience as it is one of skills.”
And we would all nod understandingly and not feel the flurry of fibre butterflies around our hearts 😉

Look at this roll, who thinks off adding a bit of lilac to a roll that’s all warm greys and warm greens??
Sasssefras would. She’s a master of colour.

Every thread I wind upon the turtle gives such delight. The fibres, the softness, the glitter, the colours. The precision with which I add twist. Pure delight.

I spin on the couch. I spin outside. As long as I manage to catch the rays of sunshine on my spinning thread, it’s all good.

So many subtle colours… going through a roll is like a journey through colours and textures.