Tagged: DIY

I made yarn!

Today was a dreary rainy day in St Louis so what better way to brighten it up than by dyeing and spinning some yarn! I bought some natural cream roving on Etsy a few months ago but I’d never found the time to do anything with it. After spinning about 1/2 of it, I got kind of bored so I decided that Id try dyeing it! I found this handy tutorial on Knitty.com
I bought three packets of Koolaide and prepared the roving.


Then I mixed the Koolaide and water making sure not to add any sugar to the mix. The roving went into the pot and I heated it for about 10 minutes. I then let it sit and absorb the dye for about 25 minutes when the water was mostly clear.


I rinsed the roving in warm water (making sure not to felt it) and hung it up to dry. I turned out to be a beautiful purple color. The color isn’t even but I think it gives the wool some character.

After separating out the roving and laying it out so it could finish drying I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I just had to try spinning it today. I used a top whorl drop spindle that I got on Etsy for pretty cheap. It takes a long time to spin any decent amount of yarn but for the amount of spinning I do I can’t justify buying a spinning wheel. They’re so expensive! I spun about 1/3 of the roving this afternoon. I’m still deciding whether I want to ply it. The yarn I made is a DK/ thin worsted weight so plying might make a bulky weight yarn. I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to make yet so I think I’ll hold off on making that decision for a bit.


After spinning, I wrapped the yarn around a chair back, spritzed it with water, and now I’m letting it dry under tension to help smooth it out.
It was really fun to take the yarn through the entire process of dyeing and spinning- I really want to work on my spinning skills in the future. My yarn today actually wasnt too thick and thin which was a bit surprising as I need to work on my roving handling skills while spinning. All in all, I’m really excited to use this yarn and to make more in the future.
So what do you guys think? Do you spin as well as knit? Do you have any helpful tips or resources for beginners like me?


Circular needle case


Over break, the plastic case that my Knit Picks circular needles came in fell apart so I asked my mom, who’s an amazing sewer, to make me one. I spent some time on Etsy getting ideas for a design and we figured out a combination of features that would be best for the case. After that, we made a trip to JoAnn’s fabrics to pick out a quilted fabric for the body of the case and a pattern in a corresponding color for the lining. My mom wrote out her own pattern using paper bags and sewed it together. Im so impressed by the results! There are pockets for the needles and for four different sizes of cables. There’s also a little zipper pocket for miscellaneous things. The case folds up in thirds and is held together with a button.
I love how it turned out. Its very practical and helps keep all of my needles in one place. I love the colors in the fabric too! Maybe someday I’ll learn to sew too but for now, I’ll just stick to knitting (sewing looks really hard). Thanks again mom!




Adventures in Spinning

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted for so long. I’ve pretty much only been working on the sweater and I still have 3 inches left before I do something new on the back so I haven’t had anything exciting to post about. However, since I needed a break from that, I decided to try my hand at spinning. I bought a top whorl drop spindle and 8oz of New Zealand sheep roving from The Joyful Sheep on etsy. After a few YouTube videos, I decided to go for it.

20130416-020530.jpg The Roving
Of course, when I first started, I had troubles keeping the yarn an even diameter but I’ve gotten quite a bit better at that now (I’ve spun about 6oz so far). I’ve mostly been doing single ply yarn since I tried to double ply and the yarn ended up super thick and took up a ton of wool.

20130416-020824.jpgYarn drying under tension
Like I said, I’ve spun, soaked, dried, and wound about 6oz so far- it’s nice because I can do other things at the same time which is harder with the complicated pattern for my sweater. My yarn isn’t the softest though and I think it’s a bit over twisted but practice makes perfect, right? I want to get some colored roving next to make things a little more interesting.

I’m using the yarn I’ve made in these fair isle mittens on the lionbrand website. I’m using up some dark blue wool ease thick and quick yarn that I have left over from the beard hat for the pattern.
Have you guys ever tried spinning? Do you have any hints that might help me out? Also, where do you buy your material for spinning- especially roving that’s been dyed/ do you dye your own?

Happy knitting!