Spring Meadow Handspun {handmade}


If using sticks to turn string into clothes is magic, spinning is pure alchemy.  It’s not particularly difficult once you’ve got the knack, but taking fluff and coming out with good usable yarn makes you feel like you’re being very very clever.

My spinning wheel has mostly sat quiet since the babies started arriving; a spinning wheel in full flight has far too many little gaps irresistible to tiny fingers to say nothing of two rows of metal hooks whirling around on the flyer and it seemed far easier to stick with knitting and crochet for a while.  I’ve had it out for them occasionally; mostly to demonstrate ‘Wind the bobbin up’; if you’ve ever wondered what on earth that nursery rhyme it about, it’s spinning.  First you wind the bobbin up; the spin.  Then you wind it back again; plying.  Then you pull pull; after you’ve skeined the yarn and let it soak for a little you put your hands into each end of the loop and pull them apart to even the twist.  And clap clap clap; well to finish the yarn you grab hold of the loop of skeined yarn and thwack it against your kitchen cupboards or the fridge to felt it very slightly and help it all hold together.

Space for the Butterflies - Spring Meadows Handspun Yarn

I’ve no idea what the pointing to ceiling and floor is about, it’s probably weaving.

But the other day I realised that the children are old enough to be able to follow “keep your hands clear”, and I had an itching to do something even more calm and meditative than knitting and crochet, so I pulled out the wheel.  In my fibre stash I found a bundle of Falkland Merino, soft as butter and dyed into the Spring Meadows colourway by BabylongLegs.  I think I bought it at Wonderwool Wales years and years and years ago so it was high time it saw the light of day.

I had every intention of taking photos before and during the process but when the decision is between not spinning or no photos because all the best craft projects are started after dark, the startitis won out.  If you follow me on Instagram then you might have seen the work in progress on my stories.

Space for the Butterflies - Spring Meadows Handspun Yarn

I’m not sure what I’d planned for it at the time; most of my fibre was bought with the intention of turning it into sock yarn, and its true that the more you spin the thinner you end up spinning, and the more chance you’ve got of ending up with sock yarn, but for this I challenged myself to spin thicker, aiming for a DK-Aran sort of a weight.

Space for the Butterflies - Spring Meadows Handspun Yarn

I spun the whole lot onto one bobbin, then let it rest overnight and the next day Navajo plyed it back.  Chain plying is a lovely way to preserve the colour changes, although I’m never too precise about it and there are plenty of barber pole sections of brown into green or peach into yellow.

Space for the Butterflies - Spring Meadows Handspun Yarn

And once skeined and washed and dryed in the garden on a brisk Spring afternoon, it was finished.  I’m a little bit thick and thin on the spinning but it evened out in the plying and I’ve ended up with 124 yards of a gorgeous greeny orange brown that’s probably on the bulky side of aran at the very least.

Space for the Butterflies - Spring Meadows Handspun Yarn

So what is it to be? Well Kitty wants a hat or mittens, Elma just wants it to cuddle, and I think it might best suit the small Pip Squeak as the patterned yoke to a nice cosy jumper, possibly with cream as the background even if that is ridiculously impractical for a small boy.  I’m still waiting for the perfect inspiration to strike and then I’ll know exactly what it’s meant to be, so if you have any ideas, please shout them out.

Space for the Butterflies - Spring Meadows Handspun Yarn

Joining Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm, Craft On

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  • Lee Winemiller Cockrum 24/03/2017 at 12:57 pm

    Your spinning is absolutely lovely! I have not achieved a skill level anywhere near that! Mine is VERY much more in the whole thick and thin vein… That not even plying will help! But have to start somewhere. And I absolutely LOVE the barber pole effect, it is really the whole reason I decided to learn to spin!

  • Laura G. 28/03/2017 at 12:42 pm

    That yarn is absolutely gorgeous! The barber pole affect makes it all that much more unique.

  • Anna 29/03/2017 at 9:40 am

    Well done! That yarn is beautiful. Clever you! I have never done anything like that. One day maybe…Keep up the good work!

  • Allison Anselmo 03/04/2017 at 10:12 pm

    I love those colors! I hate to say it but i have a wheel and don’t use it but I do have dreams of making something. Here’s hoping that someday I’ll get something as awesome and lovely as what you have here!