Farm to Scarf

One of the things my MIL and I bond over is yarn work.  We both enjoy knitting and crocheting.  She also spins and while she was visiting we arranged to visit an old friend of hers who is in the business of fiber arts.  I tell you, there is a whole world beyond just yarn.    It’s completely fascinating!

Peg has a gorgeous farm where she raises llamas, sheep, and angora bunnies.  She also grows veg and flowers for the farmers markets.  Plus she has a shop called Friends In Fiber on Etsy where she and her business partner sell yarn they dye and spin.  Where she has the time to breath, I don’t know.  So it was very lovely she and her husband took the afternoon to show us round.

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There were two llamas but this llama was hilarious.  It kept marching back and forth, looking imperiously down it’s nose at us.

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I learned so much about the different fibers that can be spun.  Yak and camel are incredibly soft and when you blend it with silk, stand back.  And, of course, they can be spun with your everyday wool.

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I wanted to do something special for my MIL and I had bought a Jane Austin Knits magazine which have some gorgeous patterns inspired by Jane Austin books.  She picked out the pattern called Mary’s Scarf which was a lace pattern.

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To make it more special I asked Peg what yarn she spun would work for the pattern.  It was a lot of fun for all three of us to go through the yarn and various colours.  And, here’s the best part, Peg took the skein and make put it in a ball for me.  You know, the neat and tidy square that doesn’t roll away at the most inconvenient moment!

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The huge shocker for me was I was able to knit the scarf in less than a week.  Not sure how I pulled that off but I did, in time for my MIL to fly home it with her.

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I loved this yarn with the colours of a deep ocean.  I am completely hooked with fibers art and I got positively giddy when I found Peg gives spinning lessons!  My Christmas list is starting to get interesting.  🙂

 

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You Spin Me Right Round….

For those of you who follow my blog know that I enjoy knitting albeit slowly. My mother in law is a fellow knitter but can take it one step further by spinning her yarn. They used to have sheep when they lived stateside so she learned how to spin.

It’s something I have been curious about but viewed it as something intimidating. The kids and I had a lesson from her and the technique isn’t difficult but it will take practice to get it down.

It’s a bit like rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time. And you have to get the treadle timing right or you will reverse the wheel!

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My MIL knows how to do all the steps including carding but she also gets what you call roving. The wool has been prepped for spinning.

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As it is spun it will collect on the large bobbin.

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Because it is impractical to spin everything all at once and there are times where the end you are spinning will get sucked through and onto the bobbin a hook is used to thread it back out.

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The technique itself is easy but it’s difficult to get the feel for it where the yarn is spun evenly. When I was doing it parts of it were chunky and parts got quite thin. Once you get the wheel spinning the left hand pinches the wool at the top and the right hand pulls the wool out.

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Release the left hand and the wool will spin down to the right hand.

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This a continuous movement while treadling. Once you fill the bobbin another needs to be filled. Then you spin both together for a double knit. Otherwise the yarn will curl up on itself.

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I have to say I really enjoyed this. It’s hard not to think of all the possibility with dying the wool!