Category Archives: Spin

Mermaid Part Deux

Today I finished plying up the 2nd bump of Becoming Art Mermaid merino fiber.  With the second bump, I split it in half lengthwise rather than matching ends and splitting entirely in half.  I like that the lengthwise split (this is along the whole length of the fiber so that you have 2 very long pieces with similar color repeats) because it offered me longer color repeats.  Plus, when I plied it, the colors were more likely to match: greens to greens, browns to browns, purples to purples and so on.

I like plied handspun, but when the mashup of colors is too contrasty, it makes my head spin (think Chester Cheetah style).  I usually buy the hand dyed fibers because I like the brilliance of colors.  Sometimes, I’m disappointed by how much blending or muddling happens in the spinning process, especially when plying.  So, it was really fun to experiment.  And delightfully, they don’t look terribly different.

I’m thinking about making a hat or some fingerless gloves where the handspun is the design detail color and using a solid against it.  More to come… 🙂

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Pucker and Stripe

This is a scarf that I designed about a year ago with a purchase from Madrona.  I spun the fiber on a drop spindle.


I designed this pattern to accommodate 2.5 oz of Dicentra’s brilliantly dyed Silk Merino fiber. I picked up her fiber at Madrona and couldn’t stop playing with it.

I spent quite a bit of time learning about drafting with this yarn. Made lots of mistakes: tried to draft without spreading out the fiber which resulted in what I call “fire cracker” breaks… “pull, pull, pull, dammit……. POP! The result – wonky and thrilling thick and thin spun yarn. LOVE it.

The Pattern
So, the idea behind the pattern is a scarf that is versatile (i.e. has a few ways to be worn). I based the design off a silk scarf (fabric, not knit) I bought at Target a few years back. I adored the way it had curved edges and could be tied into a bow at the back of my neck. It’s quite the “Victorian” look if I do say so myself!

So, drop one end through the hole for “a long tail” look (thank you Chris Anderson). Or, better yet, make a bow and look the essence of chic.

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Handspun Art

Thanks to the chilly and, well, yes thanks too to the rather stressful days, I’ve taken to spinning yarn more.  It really is such a great stress reliever.  Plus, I find great joy in watching the color transitions and seeing how the fiber turns into a yarn, be it single or plied.  I’ve learned how to spin using the Long Draw method via a Ravelry Post with this video embedded:

As a result, my first skein of merino where I attempted Long Draw.
It’s really fun. Plus, any fiber from Becoming Art is worth trying. Lisa has such a fun color sense.

This makes me think of Ballykissangel, Ireland, Pubs, Foxes, and St Paddy’s day.  It’s actually called Mermaid. I really think it’s interesting, though a bit more wild & green than I expected.  What shall I make of it?  The yarn hasn’t spoken to me yet, so you have an opportunity to comment and add your 2¢!

I bet if you drank enough beer in a BallyK pub a wee mermaid would perch on the rim of your glass and tell you a wee tale!

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