Last winter I discovered art yarns and homespuns and found myself getting back to knitting again. The more I worked with those hand-spun chunky yarns the more I got to thinking about giving spinning a try myself and as a result I found myself browsing etsy a few weeks back, looking for some wool roving to spin. I originally intended to buy some plain colouredroving, something I could practice and learn with. Then I spied these beautiful hand-dyed spinning fibres in Elfenwolle’s etsy store and I knew that they were what I wanted to work with.I ordered the rovings, one is a merino, merino superwash, baby alpaca mix and the other a Polwarth wool with milkfiber and linen mix, and while waiting on them to arrive I spent some time researching the art of drop spindle spinning. I picked up some supplies at the craft store and got my husband to build me a simple drop spindle and once the rovings arrived I was ready to start.
I started with the merino/alpaca roving and while it took me a little while to get started I found that once I did I quickly got into a nice rhythm and was soon winding spun yarn round and round the spindle. I only spun about a quarter of the roving and then I decided it was best to stop and test out my yarn. I set the twist in the yarn by soaking it in hot water and then, because I knew I had over-spun the yarn in places, I weighted my skein while it hung to dry. As soon as the yarn was dry and wound into a nice little ball I got the needles out and got to knitting. I decided I would make a hat using my home-spun yarn for the bottom band.
I quickly knit up all of the wool I had spun on large 10mm needles, then increased the number of stitches, decreased needle size and switched to a blend of Schulana’s Kid-Seta and Kid-Paillettes, one of my favourite combinations from last year’s hat knitting.
It didn’t take me long to finish up this simple hat and I am more than delighted with the result. My homespun wool has knit up beautifully, is so wonderfully soft and makes for a lovely feature band on the hat.
I will definitely be spinning up plenty more yarn now that I feel I have started to get to grips with the basics. Being completely self taught I’m sure that my technique is far from perfect but I’ll continue to muddle on, to research and read and to figure out how to get the best results I can. If I can keep improving on what I consider to be a really excellent start then I’ll be one very happy knitter!