handspun yarn tips

knitting blog, handspun yarn tips

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.  

 

 

handspun yarn tips

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.  

handspun yarn tips

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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handspun yarn tips

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

 

 

handspun yarn tips

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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handspun yarn tips

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.  
 

handspun yarn tips, knitting blog

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

handspun yarn tips

Review and Demo of the King Bee Spinolution Wheel

I figured it was about time that I got around to blogging about my spinolutions wheels seeing how I"m a dealer and all.  I'd been talking with people in the spinolution Facebook group ( a great resource )  and people seemed to be having questions about what exactly to do with all of the different gears and settings. I totally see how all of that could be intimidating especially if you were newer to the basic concept of spinning.  I mean it has two wheels, two bands, an unusual treadle system and it folds into a box for crying out loud.  Fear not my usual ability to not let not having a clue what I"m doing stop me from doing it has once again worked to mine ( and your) benefit.  So here are a couple of you tube videos I'd made to answer the main questions I was seeing.  i'll probably make some more and link them here later on.  I love this wheel becasuse it's powerful ,quick, durable and portable.  Also with it's 8 oz bobbins at least for me it's all I would need.  So here goes. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.  

handspun yarn tips

Free summer wrap knitting pattern for handspun yarn

So here's a sweet little pattern for a very customizable summer wrap.  It's a very simple pattern (Hey do I write any other kind, ha ha) and features a drawstring neckline so you can wear it many different ways.

click image to be taken to the free pattern

click image to be taken to the free pattern

I made this for my self a couple summers ago from a yarn I made with half (tropical horizons and half local natural brown alpaca) I really like it because it's great to wear over those long tank tops from target ( all I wear in the summer lets be real) or a cute sun dress.  It's great for covering your shoulders if your chilly or your upper arms or cleavage if you're suddenly feeling modest.  The loose drop stitch / garter stitch pattern is fun and fast great for vacation knitting and of course looks great with my hand dyed handspun yarn.  It would also look great with the thick and thin.  I personally think I'm going to have to make another one for me made out of African Violet color way.  

"african violet" click image to see some awesome yarn options for your wrap

"african violet" click image to see some awesome yarn options for your wrap

Let me know if you have any questions and of course if you need any fabulous yarn check out my shop and don't forget to get your 20% off coupon.  

Happy Summer Knitting!!

knitting blog, handspun yarn tips

left handed yarn spinning , questions answered

As promised I went in search for answers to your questions about left handed spinning.  Some of you had questions about getting started spinning yarn as a left handed person.

 I did a bit of digging and asking in the fiber world to see if there were different types of spinning wheels or drop spindles that were preferred amongst left handed people and it turns out that there's really not.  

The main difference with learning to spin if your left handed is that you will be doing things backwards from what you may be seeing in how to videos or classes if the teacher is right handed.  Just like writing or cooking your dominant hand will come into play.  If you are left handed you will be drafting ( pulling the fiber slowly apart) with your left hand instead of your right.  This will only affect which hand you are using for your lead drafting and pinching hand nothing else. 

left handed spinning questions answered

While I was looking I checked out youtube to see if there was a good video to link for demo purposes and I wasn't really happy with what came up so I made one.  For unknown reasons there was a problem uploading mine so it's now in two parts so please excuse the choppy ending on video one and then continue watching on video 2.  

Please let me know what you think and if this helps to answer your questions.  For those of you who are not in my handspun yarn love group it is where these questions and discussions originally came from.  This is a private fiber group you can find off of my business page, or just searching groups on Facebook.  We would love to have you join in on the conversation.  

 

handspun yarn tips, knitting blog

Faux Cashmere review , Spinolution King Bee wheel and rainy day rambling

What better to do on a rainy nap time then to spin up some Faux Cashmere!

Spinolution King Bee

Spinolution King Bee

So I'm working on a custom colorway for a local shop ( shout out to Atomic Fibers in Oak Ridge TN). Half of the order is going to be on Merino with silver sparkles and the other half is going to be on Faux Cashmere which I was very excited that the shop owner was as excited about as I am.  I'm normally a huge fiber snob and not a huge fan of anything that's not a natural fiber but I must admit faux cashmere has brought me over to the dark side.  It spins up like a dream and is pretty brainless,  it's fluffy and light but has a decently long staple length so it's easy to achieve a thinner yarn.  I find it a bit harder to per-draft than merino or other wools so I normally end up breaking off small blobs of it and spinning thin from that which seems to work well.  Yarn spun from faux cashmere has a nice subtle sheen and is fabulously soft and light weight. It also takes dyes well and the results are normally bright and cheerful.   The best part is unlike real cashmere you wont have to take out a loan to get a decent amount to spin or knit with.  In this video you will see some faux cashmere spinning action on my Spinolution King Bee ( Love)  as well as a bit of rambling about the adventures of me and the little people and why I compulsively  spin for relaxation.  As normal feel free to hit me up with any questions or comments.  

Stay tuned for info on some late summer limited edition yarns that will be faux cashmere of course.  Joining the coupon email list is by far the best way to know when that happens and save money while you're at it.  

                                                    

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handspun yarn tips, knitting blog

Handspun yarn patterns, suggestions for 3 projects

Here is the link to the three patterns I wrote for using small amounts of handspun yarn or art yarn.  These are not exacting patterns they are detailed suggestions.  

3 handspun yarn patterns free

I have other more official patterns on on this site they are also free, they are also meant to be knit with handspun yarn alone or mixed in with yarn from your favorite yarn shop.  

This PDF with the three small patterns are free, please enjoy and I hope they inspire you to make something beautiful out of you're yarn stash.