Seeing double

I am sure I didn’t ply two cakes of yarn! Both Cathy and Sheila O thought they’d had brain fade and somehow magically plied two cakes of yarn. Twin cakes of such similar colours they are so confusing! The yarn was spun quite differently. The photo shows how Sheila arrived at her yarn by plying two strands of different colours. Cathy had spun a wool plait which Alexis had dyed and then plied it with some English Leicester she had dyed with Earth Palette cold dye. And there you have it! Great minds think alike but the process is different for each individual. Cathy’s is on the left and Sheila O’s ,with a bit more pink is, on the right.

Show and tell

balaclavas beanies   mexican kiln weavingsocks, spun wool, felted purse

Cold again today but sunny. Inside the club it was a hive of activity and chat to the extent it took us quite some time to notice the wall clock was running half an hour slow . We were busily creative and full of ideas and plans.

Show and Tell

Sonya: brought in a woven kiln from Mexico tapestry which was very interesting.
Sheila: 3 beanies ready for next year Beanies Festival, one long tail, one bright orange and one brown.

Anne: 3 knitted balaclavas brown, black and blue.

Karin: 2 pairs socks. One in spun wool spiral design, 4 spun balls of mixed fibres, large ball in pale orange, one in brown,one grey  and one blue/white mix with silk.

Cathy: a small felted purse from the felting workshop.

Alexis: a large skein of dyed wool in various shades of blues & pink.

Spinning camel hair

spinning camel hairChristine was spinning camel hair on her little Eel wheel. Camel hair is so soft, will pick up a dye well and is a good alternative to wool. You can read all about it on Wild Fibres. It is particularly good when mixed with silk and then has the feel and look of a luxury fibre and , in addition, it is totally sustainable.

It is not really hard to spin but we recommend an apron because it can get fluffy. Not always. Some people , like Christine can seem to spin it without the fluff!

Spinning wheel drive bands

Glitter drive bandWe loved Jan H’s glitter drive band on her electric spinner. It was really fun. You can try different twines and yarns on your spinning wheel to see which ones work the best. Stretchy bands are popular but you have to be confident attaching them to get the rubber to glue together. They do not always adjust with the same precision as a string band but they provide a reliable band for lots of the same sort of yarn or bulkier yarns. You can see how evenly  Jan’s glitter band is spinning. You can use cotton yarn, string, some jewellery twine, builder’s line. Pays to play around sometimes to get the right drive band for your purposes and a little bit of superglue on the knot will stop it coming adrift. The video gives you sensible advice for fitting drive bands and some ideas as to what to use. A good drive band will make a difference and you need to replace them , especially if you are using your wheel a lot. The other thing you might need as a beginner are a few tips about getting your wheel to behave itself. Bluprint has a few usefuls tips.