Dyeing and teaching

I dyed a fleece:

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I bought several Finn x Texel fleeces to use in spinning classes. The wool is coarser than pure Finn, and easier to prepare and spin. This one I’ll spin myself. The bright colours I’ll use in a sweater for my granddaughter, the pale red and green in socks.

The spindling class last weekend was great fun! Seven ladies and a young lad got a first glimpse of the wonderful world of spindles. I love the new crafters house at Stundars. It’s built and decorated with the great skills you can expect from dedicated crafters. As always when teaching, I forget to take pics in class. I took this one, though:

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I showed my spinning wheels also, as an introduction to an upcoming wheel spinning class in the autumn.

 

Spinnkurs! Kehruukurssi!

Kom på spinnkurs! Det är roligt att spinna på slända. Med slända kan du kan spinna alla de vanliga garnerna, och många inte så vanliga. Du kan leka med färg och struktur och olika fibrer. Välkommen!

Tule kehruukurssille! Värttinällä kehrääminen on hauskaa. Värttinällä voit kehrätä tavallisimmat langat, ja myös monia ei niin tavallisia. Voit leikkiä väreillä ja rakenteilla ja eri kuiduilla. Tervetuloa!

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En av mina elever spann det här garnet på en tidigare kurs! Yksi oppilaistani kehräsi tämän langan aikaisemmalla kurssilla!

A note for my English speaking friends: the skein above was spun by one of my pupils at a spinning class.

Spun, crocheted, and knitted

It’s been a rather hectic January. I had articles to write, and a spindling class to start planning, but I have also spun, crocheted and knit. I want to show you some of what I’ve done.

In the autumn I suddenly saw how I should knit a sweater I’ve been thinking of for a while. I spun the yarns from different fibers, mostly Swedish Finull but also Merino, silk, and cotton nepps during several years without a special project in mind. One day, as so often happens, I picked through my yarns in search for something, and saw these skeins together in my mind, laid them out, and started the sweater later that day. Here it is:

Min bässe Apila gav ullen för det röda garnet

 

I also took part in a spin-together event in the Swedish spinning group on Ravelry. I spun green, lilac, blue, and red fine 2-ply yarns from Swedish Finull. I dyed the wool last spring, and carded it during the summer. The grey and black skeins are Norwegian Pelssau, a very nice and soft wool. The yarns are part of a project where I try to spin different fibers on different tools, trying to make yarns I can use together. I used one of my old Finnish Saxony wheels, Louet Victoria, and Hansen Minispinner for these and the brown and red skeins below. The yarns in the sweater where spun on Kromski Symphony, Louet Victoria, and Hansen Minispinner, and they are much thicker.

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The red skeins has company from a natural brown Finull skein.

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I wanted to test the yarns i one of my favourite techniques, tapestry crochet. This purse is now on its way to a spinning and dyeing friend in Sweden:

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The sheep are my version of stranded knitting sheep you can find in many patterns. I already know my friend likes them, even if she doesn’t know they are hers. I showed the purse on Facebook the same day I had sent the package, and got a positive comment from her. I hope she’ll be happy when she opens the parcel! She’s a skilled dyer. As you can see, the colours in my yarns are uneven, which is what I’m after when I dye. I think it makes the finished item more vivid.

This is an experiment: white cotton and purple silk noils. I had a high quality cotton sliver that I wasn’t able to spin into a nice yarn. So, with an aching heart, I took my hand carders and turned it into punis. I had just seen Sarah Anderson blending cotton and silk, so I wanted to give it a try. I’ll use it as an effect yarn in a woven scarf one day.

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I’m looking out on a white world. We have snow, which is wonderful this time of the year. It makes the world lighter. The morning sun gives a golden glow to both snow and creatures!

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Happy New Year!

 

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A Swedish Finull and silk yarn, woollen spun. First I’ll knit a pair of long wrist warmers for my husband, then, well, we’ll see! It’s been a good year for me. I’ve spun a lot, I achieved my master spinner title, I bought a new old Saxony wheel, and a loom. I’ve gotten several new friends in the spinning world, and also met some of those amazing people in real life. I’ve got many good books for my textile library.

There was also sorrow: my lovely mother in law passed away a few weeks ago. She had a long and productive life, and she was the same sunny person until the end. We miss her, and we remember her with love and gratefulness.

I hope your year has been good, and wish you all a Happy New Year!

“Spin like an Ancient”

A comment to my earlier post about the supported spindle I made took me here: Spin like an Ancient and this: Spin in the Wilderland. Beautiful, aren’t they? I love the photos – and the tool :)

This time we live in. Despite all the bad that happens all over the world, there are also good things that connect us. Thank you Rebecca! Your posts made me so happy!

I made a supported spindle…

…all by myself! Well, hubby split a piece of firewood for me, to be honest :)

First you need to search your house: is there a suitable stone hidden somewhere? When you’ve found one, try to figure out how to start working. I chose to make the hole first, because without a hole it wouldn’t be much of a spindle. The hole also needs to be exactly in the center, and I thought it would be easier to work around the hole than to try to find the center of a circle, if you see what I mean. So my nice Swiss multipurpose tool, a crafter’s best friend by the way, came in handy once again.

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It’s soapstone I’m working with. Easy to carve with a knife and finish with a rasp or sandpaper. I used both. I also used the miniature saw blade to cut off the ends of the stone:

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Then I took my coarsest sandpaper and a rasp and worked on the corners to make a somewhat circular shape, and also thinned out the thicker parts of the stone. It doesn’t matter if the whorl isn’t perfectly circular, as it’s a supported spindle.

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Then it was time for the shaft. I wanted a Russian style shaft. So off to see what I could find in the firewood supply. I found birch, which is what to expect here where I live. Not hard enough, but will do. I can always make a new shaft when the old one is worn out. I used the biggest knife blade and the same coarse sandpaper, as I have found that very smooth shafts don’t give you the best grip because they’re slippery. I test spun cotton, and the spindle was good!

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I’m satisfied with the result. The spindle rotates quite fast. The whorl + shaft weighs 23 grams and it’s 25 cm long. I may try other types of shafts later, but for now I feel like I shouldn’t do any more woodwork. Wood is one of the materials that may swallow me, and I really don’t have time for that!