handspun yarn tips

DIY fiber blending tools. Don't get your hackles up! Why hackles are great and how to make one.

DIY fiber blending tools blog post

Well y’all know I’m all about DIYing some fiber tools if you can to save some money. fiber blending is super fun and rewarding, but the tools can be pricey. I’d say the first place to start would be getting some decent hand cards which look like giant dog combs, in a pinch you can even use giant dog combs. You can also find hand cards pretty easily in second hand fiber tool markets online. I bought mine used from any who was advertising them with our spinners guild.

hand cards

After adventures in handcarts you may want to branch out to a blending board to blend some colors together and make some little rolags for woolen style spinning. If you’re like me you have noticed that these things can be pretty expensive for what they are. Luckliy for you I have a video on how to make one for much less money check it out below.

An alterntive fiber tool is a hackle. While it looks like a bee torture device it’s actually a really handy tool for making combed top with a comb or making your own roving with a dis. I’m going to link below my friend Ambers blog post about how to make your own hackle for around $10 in around 20 minutes how great is that!!!

DIY fiber hackle

Are you a Yarn person but not a tech person?

So I find that the fiber community is pretty evenly split between folks who love the internet and technology and those who are most likely using dial up.  I even ended up being the " web person" for my local spinners guild because no one else wanted to do it.  I feel that this is to be expected because if you enjoy passing your time with yarn and spinning wheels you may not be into all things technology.  As a result I've gotten a good many questions about the website ravelry

Ravelry is an online search engine and community for fiber artist. I personally have sort of mixed feelings on it.  It absolutely can't be beat for pattern searching and finding new designers.  I personally prefer Instagram or Facebook for socializing and sharing projects just because I find the sites more user friendly and updated.  Here are some videos I made to give sort of a run down on the site and how useful I find it for finding the perfect pattern to incorporate some handspun or art yarn.  Please comment if you have any questions and I'll be here to help.  

 

 

Drop Spindle Tips I wish I had known...

Well here's a companion video for my popular video " knitting tips I wish I'd known"  

I'm self taught and pretty excellent at making mistakes and then figuring them out, I like to think that this gives me a super power to explain things to people who may be making the same weird mistakes.  

Also if you didn't know, CHY has a pretty popular Youtube channel go check us out and like and subscribe if you care too.  

If you'd like to get more advanced check out our online course.  

Some DIY yarn and fiber dyeing tips from Chromatic Dyenamics!

indie dyed fiber

To go with the release of our new rustic dyeable collection I have picked the brain of my favorite indie dyer Christina Mossaad.  She is the owner and fiber artist at Chromatic Dyenamics and one of our featured fiber artist here at CHY.  

chromatic dynamics

Tips for dying yarn at home

  • soak the fiber well in water
  • add vinegar and water to a dye dedicated pan or pot
  • add dye directly to the water with the yarn in it or paint the fiber as desired
  • Heat until dye is exhausted ( this can be done in a baking dish in the oven low on 280 degrees or in warm water in a pan on the stove. When the dye seems to be staying in the yarn then it is exhausted and won't absorb anymore. 
  • allow to cool to room temperature and rinse gently in cool water.
  • Don't shock the yarn by going from cold to hot or hot to cold.  All temperature changes should be done slowly.
  • You can get creative with dyes, try using Rit brand fabric dyes or easter egg dye or food coloring. 

This video shows me dyeing merino roving but you could use the same technique with merino handspun yarn, just use one pan. 

You can also paint the yarn by soaking it in water and vinegar, squeeze out the extra water and lay it out on some plastic wrap.  You can then paint on the dye where you want it with foam brushes like these. 

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Gin and Spin Vlog ( video blog, on YouTube)

Guess what! If you're on youtube and you like watching spinning and fiber videos you're in luck! After much encouragement from my husband and all of ya'll I've started doing a weekly live broadcast of spinning and fiber fun on Thursdays at 7:15 on my youtube channel.  It's called Gin and Spin and the idea is that I will be sneaking off from my family to have an adult beverage and play with some fiber.  The benefit of these being live is that I can talk and answer questions  about what I'm doing with whoever is on at the time.  Dont worry if you can't make it live you can always catch the videos later on my youtube channel where they will be saved. Reguardless of when you watch them please feel free to leave comments saying hello or asking spinning and yarn questions.  These have been pretty silly so far, since they are live and later at night I normally look like I've been chasing two little girls around and like I could stand a drink ha ha.  Being a work from home mom I have gotten pretty excited about doing these and talking to all of my fiber friends at a regular time.  Here are some of the early episodes.  Feel free to check them out and if you like them give them the ole thumbs up or subscribe to my channel and you'll get alerts when I go live, I think there's a little "bell" button on the top right hand corner of the main page of my channel and if you click that you'll get notified when I go on live.  I do shoot for 7:15 every week, but you can always catch the replay.  Thanks again for all of the love and support

- Erin , CHY

 

 

Spinolution spinning wheel review videos

 

As a dealer for spinolution I love these wheels. Here's a collection of review and demo videos I've made all found in once place. I will add to them as I make  them.  

If you have any questions or have a video topic you'd like to see please message me.  

erin@craftyhousewifeyarns.com

 

 

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Spinning with new Spinning fibers! BFL and Angora rabbit

One of the reasons it's fun to be me is sometimes people like to send me samples of they're fibers if they are in the fiber industry.  Recently I lucked out and received two wonderful care packages one from Barnyard Blue farms and one from Tailspin farms.  I am incredibly greatful to both of these small farms for thinking enough of me and my business to send some samples my way.  

I'd spun blue faced Leicester  ( BFL) before and already knew I loved it but hadn't gotten to play with it in a while.  With it's long fiber length and great texture it just screams to be made into very fine yarn.  I made myself a wonderful thin two ply and started making some "outlander" inspired fingerless gloves.  I got so inspired by this new fiber and the options it opens up I've planned a mini collection for this winter called rustic winter that will feature the muted colors of Andrew Wyeth paintings ( one of my favs) This mini collection will also have angora rabbit  blends from Tail spin yarn and a new pattern kit as well.  I'd never spun Angora rabbit by it's self and I must admit I'm hooked.  I just love the lovely drape and natural color.  

Here are the two review and spinning videos I made of both small businesses.  Please check them out and sign up for my coupon email list to get coupons and early shopping for the rustic winter collection.  
 

DIY fiber blending board

I made a how to video for making your own fiber blending board and rolag spinning fiber.  

Check it out and hit me up with some questions, hope this is helpful. Blending your own fiber is super fun and shouldn't cost an arm and a leg in my opinion.  

My brand is called crafty housewife because I'm a big fan of finding value and frugal uses for things.  

I love the old saying from the depression era

" use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without "  

 

Check out  

www.paradisefibers.com for the drum carder cloth  

and your local ace hardware for the rest.  

have fun