Thursday 9 May 2013

Spinning Away on my Bogway

I am seriously addicted to hand spinning.  It's hypnotic and I love it.  I'm also loving the yarn that I'm producing.  It's improving as I move forward.  The most recently completed is the fibre from Picperfic.  I think the yarn was actually more like a chunky/bulky weight than the aran I originally thought it was.  I decided that as the yarn wouldn't go very far, I would make it into mitts.

I used 5.5mm needles and got a nicely dense and even fabric.

Hand Spun Mitts 03

I cast on 25 sts and slipped the first stitch of each row .  Knitting in stocking stitch for 8”, I then cast off on the right side row.   I sewed the cast on and cast off edges together leaving a gap for the thumbs, using a simple whip stitch.

Hand Spun Mitts 04

The slipped stitch edges form the top and the bottom of the mitts and makes the edge slightly curl under.  I decided not to block the mitts because it would then probably lose that curl.

Hand Spun Mitts 01

Ooops, just noticed a woven end escaping.  I must trim that!  I love the fabric this yarn has made.  It is beautifully mottled and subtle in it's colour variations, but there are almost visible stripes.  When I wear these mitts they make me happy, not just because they are pretty and very warm, but also because I made the yarn as well as the mitts.  It feels closer to the origins of the knitting craft, to make the yarn you use.

I now have a full bobbin of the first ply spun with The Yarn Yard's BFL Superwash.  It's much finer than the first plies I created.

Superwash BFL 01

I love how this fibre is spinning up.  The different colours are elongated by spinning so finely.  I am approximately three quarters of the way through my second 50g braid of this fibre.

Superwash BFL 02

Whilst I am enjoying hand spinning tremondously, I have found the Bogway to be a bit heavy on my wrist when I'm spinning for a while, especially when it is getting close to being full.  I decided to give a Mayan Spinner (also known as a Rakestraw Spinner) a go, as they look much lighter.  They are also very pretty.  I got mine from Hand Spinner.

Mayan Spinner 02

It comes in two parts, unlike the Bogway which is fixed together with a nail/screw.  The handle is inserted in the hole and the forefinger and thumb hold the paddle in place.

Mayan Spinner 01

I like the idea of being able to take the handle out for ease of transport, even when fibre is wound on to it.  I can't wait to experiment with it, but I am going to be strict with myself and only spin on the Bogway until that fibre is all spun up and plied.  Then I will allow myself to experiment with the Mayan Spinner.  If I get on with it, there are so many beautiful versions available.

This is looking to become another hobby where I could spend lots of money!  Luckily I barely leave the house these days, so I have some savings.

I actually spoke about the contents of this post in my recent podcast.  Episode 2, went live last night, if you are interested in listening to me talk about this and lots of other things.

As I become more confident in the spinning, I think I will be able to stop focussing so completely on it, and be able to ease some more knitting time into my day!


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