First hand dyed yarn

My first dye job is all spun up…

My goal was to get a thin and consistent single and I definitely achieved that. There are a couple thicker or thinner parts and a few small sections that were slightly over spun, but it was best single to date.


For the amount of roving I had I thought that I would have more…


I hesitated on whether to leave it as a single, ply it with something else or navajo ply it (3 ply which you basically ply it on itself)

I finally decided to Navajo ply it.

I call it “Sea glass”… isn’t it pretty? 3ply, 99 yards (about 295 feet) 8-9 WPI

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And the reason why I though that I had less than I should… well, I was right. half of the roving fell behind a desk so I had only done half. I spun it up and navajo plyed a bit which I will splice onto this skein and then I plyed the rest with my leftover coffee dyed single.

By |April 12th, 2014|Spinning|0 Comments|

First attempts at Dyeing

A stone troll trying to burst out of my crock pot? No… roving soaking up coffee. This was my first attempt at dying roving.

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To be honest, it didn’t work out as planned. Not that the colour didn’t turn out, but my roving felted which is not a good thing when you are wanting to spin. Luckily it was a small batch so I tried again right after with a new batch and got a better result. It turned out a light caramel colour which I thought was a perfect addition to that purple that I still had.

What do you think? 210 yards of Worsted weight (8 WPI) in purple and coffee dyed merino…
My 2nd (or technically 3rd) attempt at dyeing was done with food colouring….

Here is the roving soaking in water and vinegar to prepare for dyeing (I was so nervous someone would come by and throw something into the sink… I think I will use a container next time!)


The roving is next spread out out on the table on plastic wrap….


Then I added the dye. I used four colours. Teal, brown, orange and green. Before wrapping it up I did press the dye down and make sure it was all covered but looking back, I should have used higher concentrations of dye.


I then steamed it for 30 min and at the end, most of the dye was exhausted but the coloured broke (which I expected) and I don’t think I left enough time for the green to really set.

This is what it looked like after coming out of the steamer…


And then the result once dried…

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It turned out a bit more pastel than I wanted but I am pretty happy with the result… I can’t wait to spin it up and see what it looks like and I also can’t wait to try again!

More Spinning and a New Wheel….

I wanted to write this post 2 weeks ago… wow… so many things to do and it is hard to sit down and take the time to write.

My first spinning wheel didn’t stay in the house for long. I bought it on a friday and by Monday I felt the limitations and I also confirmed to myself that spinning was something that I wanted to do. That was part of the hesitation of buying my coveted wheel in the first place. With that hesitation gone, there was nothing left keeping me from buying the wheel I wanted. A wheel that I would not only be able to grow into but I may not grow out of soon and as a bonus, would be able to fold so that it would come with me when we head onto the bus.

This wheel is the Lendrum wheel.

Made in Ontario by Mr. Lendrum for the last 30 years, this wheel is loved by many. I ordered it from a distributor in Ontario on the Wednesday and on Friday, it arrived at my door. Exactly 1 week after I bought the Kiwi 2 (which is now sold and in someone elses home as their first wheel)

I got the Lendrum Complete Kit. It has a double treadle and came with the regular flyer, 4 bobbins, a Lazy Kate,  a fast flyer and a jumbo flyer and bobbin. It folds into half for easy transport and spins beautifully.



Here it is all set up and ready to spin!

My first thing that I spun on it was this purple…. 

Which I then Navajo Plyed… not my favourite but it is all practice…

I then made another attempt at this colourway which I love… I needed to make more because I wanted to then knit it up into something wearable.


Isn’t it pretty?

Then I made this pretty yarn using a orange merino and plying it with white merino…

This is one of my favourites… it is 163 yards of DK weight (13 WPI) I call it “Creamsicle”


It’s yarn!

Yesterday I decided to work on making a thinner single with that amazing northern Lights wool that I have. Once I had what I thought was enough (and ran out of what I had put aside for the purpose), I then decided on making a white single to ply with it.

I am so happy with the results!

Here it is on the bobbin. At this point it was a little more than half full.


Here it is off the bobbin and onto the Niddy Noddy. If you don’t know what a niddy noddy is, it is a device used to make skeins and measure length…

So there it was… 88 yards (80 metres) of worsted weight yarn…. My first real usable yarn on my third day of spinning!


Isn’t it pretty?


This yarn and experience made me realize that this is not the wheel for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great wheel and easy to spin on, and has a lot of potential. but I can already feel its limitations down the road.

I had jumped on the chance to get it because it was not too expensive compared to the wheel that I really want, especially because I was having hesitations with a more expensive purchase not knowing if I would like spinning. But now that I know and I know what the other wheel could offer, I have decided to buy the other wheel and sell this one!

So I have a new wheel on the way! yay!

Anyone local (Near Montreal) want to buy a Like new Ashford Kiwi 2 for 300$?

By |March 18th, 2014|Spinning|0 Comments|


I have wanted to learn how to spin for a while now. I have looked at wheels and spindles and I love getting new fibre for needle felting and always wonder what it would look like if it was spun. I narrowed my choice down to one wheel and saved up for it. I was just nearing the amount but then last week a found a wheel that was being sold locally that had only been used a couple of hours at most. I jumped on the chance right away and picked it up last friday.


It is not the wheel that I will ultimately want but it is a great starter wheel and I will be able to easily resell it once I want to upgrade which may be sooner rather than later.

With the extra money  I bought a bunch of new fibre and a blending board which will come in handy for both spinning and felting.

On Friday night I decided to use the longest staple length wool I had on hand which also happens to be the one that doesn’t felt very well and it a bit drab. But it got me started and I am pretty happy with the results.

I was gone all day Saturday to give an EC workshop at Bummis and out for supper with some old friends but On Sunday morning I sat down at the wheel to try my hand at some soft Merino.  This is the blue I made….

Then I made a brownish rust colour and decided to try plying for the first time… It is a bit chunky at some places and a bit thin at others but it is yarn!!


Next I decided to go for the gold…. I actually bought this wool to spin. Not felt. It is a Louet Northern Lights in Popsicle colourway and I loved it the moment I saw it. I spun it and then did my first try at a Navajo ply… I am so happy at the way it turned out!

My next goal is to get my yarn thinner.

I knew that I would enjoy spinning… I didn’t think I would enjoy it this much. I am already addicted!