Fun with fibre blending

I had heaps of fun blending fibre yesterday with my hackles. All of the blends were with British breeds that I blended with dyed Polwarth or Merino. The house looks like a bomb has been dropped on it and there is a thick carpet of Kemp and fluff where the polished floor boards should be but hey I thoroughly enjoyed it. My hands are really sore now though. Here’s a sample of each of the blends I created.

The central Southdown and green Merino I created especially for Sharon it’s her favourite colour. The dusky pink BFL and oatmeal BFL I created especially for Sonia as it is her colour. Both of these good friends encouraged me so much at the beginning of my spinning journey and this is my thanks to them.

The beauty of hand blended roving pulled off a hackle is that the fibre drafts like a dream making spinning effortless. The obvious benefit is that you can make yarns that are completely unique you would never see these blends at your LYS. The downside is that you are left with a lot of short fibres that can’t be dizzed off but they are great for carding.

My hackles are the Majacraft double row set and you don’t necessarily need combs unless you want to blend more thoroughly. I got my hackle set and combs from the lovely Emma at Spunout. My fibre was mostly from R.E. Dickie though their email seems to be defunct. So now I mostly use World of Wool who’s customer service is excellent and if your not up to blending yourself they do have a rather cool make your own custom blends tool that I have used, minimum order for the custom blends is 500g though. Here are 2 blends that I’ve made through them so far.

BFL/English 56s/Shetland/Tussah silk

Shetland/BFL/Merino/Mohair

Of course now I just need to find storage space and clean up. Another 24 hours in the day to spin up these lovelies would be good too!

First spun

I’ve spun, plied and finished the BFL/Tussah silk tops.  It’s mine and Owen’s first yarn together and we are both very proud.  Owen and I are getting along wonderfully, though there hasn’t been much sleep but that’s to be expected when there’s a new baby in the house really.

BFL and silk really are a winning combination, the tops spun like butter and the sheen is beautiful, the yarn looks even more like a wintry walk on Filey beach, when the low, winter sun has come out and the wet beach shimmers grey-blue against the winter sky.  I’m planning to knit it up into my first pair of handspun socks because it’s only right that it should become another first.

Today, I’m dyeing the remainder of my Finn X White Romney/Corriedale a pretty blue green (surprise surprise).  I have it in mind that I want to card it and practice long-draw woollen spun with it, we shall see.  I am also washing a 500g English Leicester part fleece that I forgot I had.  I also have the Wensleydale/Teeswater/Tussah silk rainbow tops ready to spin and Idlewood which just requires the body knitting up and it’s done.  Busy, busy as usual and enjoying every second of it.

ttfn Melanie X