January 29, 2012

Want to Make Yarn?

So have you been thinking about making yarn?  If not why not?  It is lots of fun.  Once you learn it can be relaxing and you can get very creative with the process.   It is possible for you to learn how to make yarn.  If you knit or crochet you can use your handspun yarn.  This is a great way to make a truly one of a kind piece.  You can't just go to some big chain store and pick up handspun yarn.  There is something special about working with handspun yarn and even more so if you made it yourself.

My first handspun yarn.

So are you just a little excited to learn how to spin?  I sure hope so!

One great way is to learn on a drop spindle.  That is how I learned to spin.  My first drop spindle was from a CD and a dowel not very fancy but guess what it works.  This is a relative inexpensive way to get started.  Also you can take your spinning with you when you travel.  Another way to spin is on a wheel.  Wheels are great, that is what I spin on now but can expensive to purchase.  I love how I can create yarns very quickly on a wheel and I can create easily spin textured yarns.  You can spin the textured art yarns on a spindle but may need a little more coordination and practice.

My CD drop spindle with some yarn I spun.
My ladybug spinning wheel.

Fibers are fabulous.  There are so many different types of fiber to spin from sheep's wool, rabbit, ox, camel, you can even spin dog hair!  You want to start with some easy to spin fibers such as Bluefaced Leicester sheep wool.  You can find some in our online shop.  The first fibers I spun was Corriedale sheep.  Stay away from slippery fiber such as alpaca and llama as well as short fibers like cotton.  Once you master the basic fibers then you can move to the fun stuff like art batts.

Hand-dyed Bluefaced Leicester from Hello Purl

Fiber art batt from Hello Purl

There are lots of instructions on the web on learning to spin.  Personally it is hard for me to learn something just by reading it but that is great way to give it a try.  There are lots of online videos as well, but they can't just answer questions and you may have to do some searching to find the answers you are looking for.  I prefer to learn by someone who knows what they are doing.  So take a class.  Talk to your local yarn shop they may know of a yarn making class or even offer some.  We offer spinning classes through the D.I.Y. Studio and Gifts or if you want a private spinning lesson we can do that too.  Just send me an email (melissa@hellopurl.com).

A recently spun handspun yarn.

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