Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hand spinning a super chunky yarn

I've been having a lovely time this week, going back to my roots and doing some hand spinning in the conservatory.  All that light in there makes it the perfect place to sit and craft.  I'm so lucky!

Earlier this year we were on the lookout for accessories for the conservatory and we saw some very nice chunky, hand knitted cushions in Laura Ashley -

They were also £55, and 100% acrylic... Now, buying something that's been hand knitted with 100% acrylic just doesn't sit right with the natural fibre snob in me, and so I decided to hand spin some yarn so that I could knit something in the same vein, using a lovely shade of merino hand spun.

I chose to blend together teal and lightning dyed merino tops from World of Wool to get this very pretty shade of light teal. I hand carded my colours to blend them and, it was after the first 2 rolags that I really wished that I'd paid that £3 blending charge!  Never mind, I'll know for next time. 

I knew that I wanted to make a yarn that had a similar gauge to Rowan Big Wool, but with a hand spun feel to it.  It's been a long time since I've tried to spin to a particular gauge (I usually just go for it and hope for the best), so it was a bit of a trial and effort affair.

I decided that the easiest method would be to try to get the same wpi (wraps per inch.)  I tend to spin to a consistent gauge, so I just needed to work out how many plies of hand spun I needed.  After trying 4 plies and realising that it just wasn't thick enough, I added a 5th ply and gently twisted them between my fingers, wrapping them around my ruler until they reached the full inch measurement.

So, by my reckoning, Rowan Big Wool and 5 plies of my hand spun both have a gauge of 6-7 wpi.  I just need to get spinning now!

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