Dyeing Roving For Spinners

Dyeing roving is a little bit magical!


The colors always seem to play so nicely.  Roving is carded fiber that is reading for spinning, in this case, a very fine Merino. The addition of color makes it beautiful, but can be a little tricky.  Roving requires very careful handling to avoid felting the fibers, and a nice, slow drying time, followed by some gentle fluffing to loosen up any fiber that has become compacted while wet.

This roving is going off to a friend for spinning.  I can't wait to see what she does with it.  It's always unpredictable — you can't quite imagine how the roving will spin up (see an example here).  Handspun yarn is so pretty that I often  keep a skein on my desk just for its looks.  But it deserves to be knit with and one of my knitting resolutions is to knit with my handspun more often.  The results are always wonderful.  I have some of this yarn sitting around, waiting to become something.

image from joycevance.typepad.com

And I'm hoping to use the yarn from the roving pictured at the top to trim a gray hat and mittens set.



Roving Into Yarn

If you've come here looking for the Yarn Giveaway, Click Here, to be take to that post.  Leave a comment by June 30 and be entered in the drawing!

I played around with some Blue Faced Leicester roving several months ago, using leftover, random dyes.  There wasn't a plan for it, just eight ounces of pretty wool that had never made it into a dye bath.  When it was dry, I asked Momofana on Ravelry if her spinning services were for hire, and indeed they were.

Spun yarn

She is such a lovely spinner!  This yarn is everything that I could have hoped for and has a wonderful texture that goes from fingering to sport and should work to emphasize the colors when it is knit up.  The colors are unintentionally reminiscent of the tall garden iris in my front yard and the way they have been plied makes them exceptionally luminous.

This yarn is next in my queue, although I don't have a project in mind.  It would make a lovely infinity scarf or perhaps a hat and pair of mittens.  I can't wait to find some time to search for the perfect project that is worthy of this yarn!


Splendid Mail Day. Splendor Handspun Yarn.

Splendid handspun

This was in the mail today!  Six beautiful skeins of handspun from Laura and George at Splendor Yarns.  Isn't it lovely?


If you've been following along, you'll know that this was once some hand-dyed roving, here, and that Laura was kind enough to spin it for me.  Although  I have a gracious plenty of holiday knitting that needs to be completed, this yarn is so special and so pretty that it's calling me.  It's irresistible!  I think I'm off to look for patterns that would be nice for handspun.  If you have any suggestions, please chime in in the comments!



Ann’s Handspun

Ann's handspun

My cousin Ann, who sews, knits, and quilts amazingly decided to take up spinning last year.  Her spinning is really beautiful.

Ann's handspun 2

You have to see her yarn up close to appreciate how neat of a twist she puts on it and how quickly she has become a fine spinner.  I have always been amazed by her — the woman manages to knit intricate Kaffe Fasset sweaters while stopped in traffic on her morning commute in LA — but her spinning really elevates an every day item into something of extraordinary beauty.

Ann's handspun 3

I'm going to see if I can get gauge with this yarn to do a square for Ellie's Barnraising quilt.  I tend to hoard and pet my handspun, but one of my new years resolutions is going to be actually knitting with it, so I'm going to try and get a headstart here.  This "string" is spun from Merino roving in the Elliebelly Copper Patina colorway.

I'll leave you all with a quick cat-update.  With cooler weater, Harry and Hermione, our Maine Coons, have become increasingly adventureous.  They seem to have an un-catlike knack for getting stuck high up in scraggilly trees that can't quite hold their weight.  On the plus side, they have been busy making friends (or at least achieving detente) with our new Doberman, a pony-sized dog named Hannibal.  Apparently, all of this has been too exhausting for Harry, who has decided to become dining room decor.  Isn't he handsome?



Fiber to Yarn


I have a lovely little stash of unspun roving, both Merino and BFL, in my studio.  As much as I always thinks I'm going to find some time to spin, it never seems to happen.  My sweet friends at Hyena Cart, one of my favorite places to buy hand-spun and dyed yarn and other handmade goods, suggested a number of spinners to me, so I'm sending some of my fiber off to be turned, as if by magic, into yarn.


This first batch is going off to the lovely Laura at Splendor.  Her yarn is so beautiful and I hear such nice things about her, that I can hardly wait to see it!



My fiber is off to Washington state, one of my favorite parts of the country.  I can't wait to see what it is going to look like when it comes back to me!



A Bag of Hand-Dyed Roving

It looks so pretty, all packaged up in a little drawstring bag with a tag so it can be returned back home after it's spun into yarn.

Dyed roving

I couldn't resist sharing a picture of it before I put it in the mail.  I can't wait to see the yarn it's going to put into.  The Baby Alpaca seems to be a very long, but extraordinarily soft, draft fiber.  I bet it's going to make a lovely yarn!


Knit Night

Last night was knit night at my local yarn shop, In The Making.  It’s the first time I’ve made it there — in fact, the first time since last spring that I’ve made it out to knit with the girls.
It was wonderful!  Suzanne, the Sock Queen, was there, knitting socks in the most beautiful shade of blue Jitterbug from Colinette.  Shirra, a/k/a Purl McKnitty, was there with her Mom.  You have to go check out the little Pirate Hats she made for a swap! MJ a Ravelry friend who owns a very cool sounding yarn store in New York was in town for business and we got to meet there!  MJ was knitting Monkey socks in a really pretty blue to purple colorway of Jitterbug that I forgot to ask the name of.  She has motivated me to pull out my Purple Rain Yarn and cast on for Monkey. 

MJ brought me this fabulous Schaffer Yarn.  It managed to slip its label so she didn’t know the colorway and had to just give it away.  Lucky me!  It is even more beautiful in person!


Instead of working on Rock and Weave, like I had planned, I started Ellie’s superwash socks.  I dont knit with my own yarn enough! (so much yarn, so little time)  It was a real pleasure to watch the colors take shape.


I’m hoping to  make a lot of progress on these socks at Nutcracker rehearsals tomorrow.

My project for tonight is to give sheep a bath.

My friend Joyce Darby brought me over this sack of fleece a few weeks ago.


  I put it aside, not quite sure what to do with it.  But, Stephanie had a great tutorial on how she washes roving on her blog, so I adapted it to some things I had on hand.  I put it in a big plastic tub and have been putting it through rinses to get the muck out.  Tonight, I’m soaking it in some mild soap.  Look at how pretty its little curly pieces are.


I think this is a sheep Joyce is thinking of acquiring for her farm, so I’m hoping to find some time to play with the fleece this weekend and see how it spins up.