My First Handspun (from the Wheel)

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This is actually a long time coming. I finished spinning this yarn weeks ago (back in June). I just hadn’t been able to bring myself to take the newly spun yarn off the bobbin. It looked so pretty there!

I decided the time was right on Wednesday. Along with a lot of yarn and a pompom maker, I ordered a Niddy Noddy from Knit Picks, and everything arrived on Wednesday. I assembled my Niddy Noddy and got right to work winding my yarn onto it, which was much easier than I thought it was going to be. I’m used to winding my yarn off onto the back of a kitchen chair, where you have to make sure it doesn’t slide down and get stuck or start to unwind as you’re going. The Niddy Noddy made this process much faster and much easier.

The fiber is Blue Faced Leicester (BFL), undyed this time. I bought the fiber from Three Waters Farm almost a year ago. I’m used to spinning taking a good two weeks on my drop spindle, so when I finished spinning this in a day on my new spinning wheel, I was just flabbergasted. I let it just sit on the spindle, like I said, until Wednesday.

I have no clue what I’m going to make with it. I might go for something simple like a cowl or hat as I don’t know how much of the yarn I have. Somewhere I have a yardage counter device doohickey, but I haven’t really figured out how to use it. At least neither a cowl nor a hat take up much yarn, and a cowl could take up as much as I want it to if I decide I want a really big cozy one for the chilly winter days.

While I love (love love) Three Waters Farm’s roving, I think it’s time to expand my reach. That and I have only spun with BFL. I have the gorgeous rovings I bought back at the DFW Fiber Fest, but they were so expensive that I’d rather wait until I’m more comfortable with my technique.

What fiber/store suggestions do you have for a fairly newbie spinner?

Have a happy Friday!

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14 thoughts on “My First Handspun (from the Wheel)

  1. I tried spinning a year ago. What wheel do you have? I liked it, but I needed to get so many accessories it became unaffordable. I like spinning merino. I tried sea cell and soy silk – they were hard to spin ……….

    • I have a very basic one treadle called the Hitchhiker. It’s not fancy, but it seems to work quite well and is portable.

      Oooh I love merino. I should try that.

    • Corriedale is loads of fun–springy, full of life, great to spin. And excellent for beginners! Merino is nice, but the staple can be a bit short…still, mix it with a bit of silk and you’ll have an easy-to-spin fibre with a great luster and drape.

    • Corriedale is loads of fun–springy, full of life, great to spin. And excellent for beginners! Merino is nice, but the staple can be a bit short…still, mix it with a bit of silk and you’ll have an easy-to-spin fibre with a great luster and drape.

  2. My second spinning project was a merino/silk blend from Ashland Bay. It was really easy to draft, and silk has such long fibers that it helps the short staple merino stay together.

    • I was going to say something very similar. I wish I’d tried silk earlier in my spinning life. I felt guilty “wasting” it, for some reason.

  3. Pretty!!! I think you should try a artsy, loosely knit neck cowl. How many ounces was that? Your niddy noddy might be a 2 yard one–those are kinda standard. But measure it with something non stretchy, and then you’ll just be able to count it as you wind it.

    • Mine is 60″ so it worth checking the length of the niddy noddy. I find counting the way you do Leah to be the easiest way to calculate yardage. Lovely first wheel spinning Anastasia!

  4. I think a cowl sounds like a lovely use of the yarn. In terms of fiber vendors I started buy purchasing a small variety from Paradise Fibers, they ship pretty quickly and usually have a great variety of different fibers to try. In terms of smaller venues I really like Edge wood Garden Studios on etsy. Best of luck and congrats on your first wheel spun yarn!

  5. I’m pretty new at spinning, but I enjoyed “Full Circle Roving” from Knit Picks, a lot more than I would have expected for “recycled” yarn. I also enjoyed alpaca quite a bit, because it turns out so soft, though I’m not sure of a good place to find it that’s not a fiber festival.

    • The first thing I spun after BFL was Norwegian Moorit. I found that even easier to spin than BFL and then I tried an English carded wool in a beautiful deep ruby colour that I just loved (it was super springy). I bought it from a supplier where I live in Italy but the prices and the quality of their tops and yarns are so good (even with the currency exchange) that I would say it was worth ordering from them. Take a look here: http://appnet.thewoolbox.it/mastershop/vetrina/VetrinaPlus.aspx?cmd=cmdfam_003__
      it’s all in Italian but you can just e-mail them (or me for that matter :). with any question in English as there’s a British fellow in the office. I just ordered some of the ‘Lincoln luster wool’ and some Mohair. I look forward to seeing what you make out of your first wheel spun yarn!

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