Crafting / Knitting / News / Spinning


What’s going on? I’ve hardly knitted anything this year… somehow, since December last year, I’ve been hooked on spinning instead. I did try to participate in the MOCK CoExist in the beginning of the year, but when the socks just did not fit right, I frogged them and didn’t feel like starting over. I decided to knit a different sock pattern, Pamina, but only knitted the leg of one of the socks and the cuff of the other before they ended up in hibernation. I did finish them in the end (a couple of weeks ago) when the Dutch Karma Swap group organized a sock knitting KAL.

Pamina socks
Pamina socks

This was only my third knitting project for this year, and the other two were both in my own handspun. Commercial yarns seem less interesting to knit with now. I do still have plans for nice sweaters and cardigans in Wollmeise or Wol met Verve yarn, but somehow I just don’t start.

Spinning, on the other hand, is going fast and I’m enjoying it so much! I finally got the hang of spinning on supported spindles in December, and now I’m hardly touching my Turkish spindles anymore. I do still usually bring my kuchulu on my train journeys, but at home I’m spinning on my supported spindles, especially the Malcolm Fieldings.

It turns out that I mostly love the lighter spindles  (15-30 grams) with thin shafts (or tips) so that setting them in motion is almost effortless. Most of my Malcolm Fielding spindles are perfect in that way, and so are the Enid Ashcroft, Neal Brand, Silly Salmon Designs, Woodland Woodworking, and Texas Jeans Tibetans. On the other hand, I still have many MirkwoodArts spindles, which are beautiful and which I’ve used a lot, that are now not my preferred spindles anymore. Their shafts are too thick, and some of them are too heavy as well. My wrist starts hurting after spinning on them for a while.

That’s quite a shame. In the beginning, when I just discovered them, they felt good and I did not have any problems with my wrist, but now that I spin more, I guess I went over some kind of threshold and overexerted myself a little. Fortunately I don’t have that problem with lighter spindles, so I’m just destashing the heavier ones.

I’ve spun some nice fibers lately, for example, a braid of fiber dyed by Passe-Partout. It’s a mixture of merino and silk, and the colours are amazing. I made a skein of fingering weight yarn out of it. I don’t know yet what I will knit with it, so for now I’m just enjoying looking at it.

100g/428m merino/silk (dyed by Passe-Partout)
100g/428m merino/silk (dyed by Passe-Partout)

Last week I finished spinning some pure baby camel fiber. That was an interesting spin. The staple length of this fiber is quite short, but it is rather “sticky”, so I spun directly from the fluff. I used my Malcolm Fielding spindles for this one, and the Pu Yok and the Dyavol turned out to be the best match for this fiber: they both spin fast and rather long (especially the Pu Yok).

392m/100g baby camel
baby camel (before n-plying)

I’m now working on the purple merino that I bought at the Dutch Knitting Days. It’s such a lovely colour, I’m enjoying every inch!

Merino from AdrianArt on a Silly Salmon Designs Tibetan spindle
Merino from AdrianArt on a Silly Salmon Designs Tibetan spindle

We still have two months to go, but looking back, I’ve been a spinner more than a knitter in the past year. I’m used to my interests shifting a bit from time to time, but this is by far the longest period of time since 2009 that I have not been knitting that much. I’m not disappointed, though, it will come back (or not), but either way, I’m doing things that I love to do, and I’m enjoying it!

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