Archive for June, 2009

Winter Knitting

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

The title of this post says it all. Winter. Knitting. What else is there to say?

First up… a hat of my own design made from Hello Yarn Fat Sock - one skein each of “Navy” and “Silver”:

Hat - Hello Yarn Fat Sock2

3-ply Bulky socks made from Spunky Eclectic Romney - one ply each of “Sangria”, “Dinosaur” and “Gin and Tonic”:

Socks - Spunky Romney

Fingering weight socks made from Spunky Eclectic Yarn Club yarn in “Soul Windows”:

Spunky Yarn Club - Soul Windows Socks

2-ply Worsted weight socks made from Southern Cross Fibre Romney in “Fields of Gold”:

Socks - SCF Romney Fields of Gold 2-ply

2-ply Worsted weight socks made from Hello Yarn Fibre Club Superwash BFL in “Night Sky”:

Socks - Hello Yarn Night Skies

Teeny tiny 4-ply sport weight socks made for my dear Boogie from Spunky Eclectic Panda in “Hidden”:

Socks - Spunky Panda Hidden 4-ply 

My very first (and definitely not last) cowl - made from very gorgeous Hello Yarn Shetland in “Turkey Attack!”:

Turkey Attack Cowl1

Batt Stacking

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

See this post for basic batt spinning information.

Next up… batt stacking! This is a great method for getting a lot of colour into your yarn. It is also a wonderful method for getting so much colour into your yarn that the barber-poling effect practically disappears.

First… lay out your batts into rectangles. Give them a good stretch so you end up with a reasonably thin layer of fibre.


I’m using a blue batt, a brown batt and half a yellow batt in this example. I’ve stretched the yellow batt out *really* thin to match the size of the other two batts I’ve chosen.


Now I stack them on top of each other:



Z-strip them or tear into strips, being careful to tear through all three layers as evenly as possible.



This is one case where a little pre-draft can help - it meshes the layers together and makes drafting the colours evenly a little easier. Work your way slowly along the length of the fibre, being careful at the ends of the “Z”’s if you chose to Z-strip. If it breaks, no drama! Just continue on.


Even after pre-drafting, the width of all three layers is about the width of two fingers.


And wound into a ball, ready to spin!


The singles on the bobbin (in front):

Batt Spinning

And the finished yarn on the left:

SCF Merino Silk - Earth Yarn

Batt Spinning 101

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Here are some newbie batt-spinning tips for you. Batts come in all shapes and sizes and there are many different approaches to take depending on the type of batt you have and what you want out of it. These tips are intended to get you started with the type of batts shown below:


One of the first things you’ll notice when you look at a batt is that the fibres are jumbled up. They’re not laying in perfectly neat little rows like in top. If you’re not sure of the differences between top, roving and batts, see Abby Franquemont’s excellent article from Spin Off here. Also, see Boogie’s blog post here.

Once you release the batt from its knotted-up form, you’ll have a long sausage of fibre:


Sometimes the batt is folded before rolling up, so check for a fold line in the batt (sometimes, but not always present):


Your aim is to lay your batt out in a nice big rectangle before proceeding further:


One of the most basic ways to spin a batt is to tear it into strips. Once you have your strips down to a size you find manageable (not too thin!!!) you can take them to the wheel/spindle and start spinning. How thick or thin should the strips be? Thin enough so you can draft easily and comfortably, but not so thin that you’re not drafting at all when you get to the wheel. The strips in the photo below are about the width of two fingers (to give you an idea).



Another method is known as Z-Stripping - tearing the batt into a big long zig-zag to create one continuous length - much like you did to create the longest strip of paper in the world when you were a kid with a piece of paper and scissors :)


You can also turn your batts into rolags - see Boogie’s blog post here for details.