Handspun Hat

I picked up some fibre at the Weave Spin Dye Guild meeting a few weeks ago in This is Knit, and I’ve been working away on it ever since.

handspunI spun four little 25g skeins on the drop spindle I got from Hilltop Cloud, and plied them to themselves.  My father had been complaining about his inability to find a hat big enough for his head, so a Christmas present was cast on.

handspun hat2Just a basic, straightforward hat based on my Dad’s head and my tension. I ended up having to go up to a 5mm needle with the handspun, it was thicker than I expected. The hat is pretty dense, the fibre probably slightly overspun.  But that should be good for a snowy Canadian winter, right?

handspun hatI took a lot of time with the spinning, working hard for some consistency. It’s nowhere near perfect, but I’m pretty happy with it. And I know my Dad will appreciate the amount of work that went into it. Now I just hope it fits.

Oh, and I know photos of hats flat on the table are a bit boring, but it just doesn’t fit my little model 🙂 Next time I’ll blog about a hat more her size!


Zip it

I’ve been doing a lot more sewing in the last year, ever since I got the quilting bug at last year’s Knitting and Stitching show. I made two (only slightly wonky) quilts for my kids, and recently I decided I wanted to figure out how to make a box bag. This might also have been a result of the knitting and Stitching show actually, they were running a box bag course which I didn’t get around to taking.

The big problem with making a box bag was inserting the zipper… this wasn’t something I’d done well before. But I figured out my zipper foot on my machine, and I’m pretty happy with the results.


When the kids saw me pulling out fabric and realised what I was up to, they requested bags too. The oldest has designated hers the marker case, and her brother’s is the crayon case. Very organised, my little girl, she must have got that from her father!


I used this tutorial from DragoKnits, with some modifications.  I didn’t use interfacing, mainly because I didn’t have any. And I made my straps a different size. And *my* brown bag is big. Big enough to hold my spindle. I did that one with a 14 inch zip and 14*19 square of fabric. Mine is just big enough for my current ‘project’, some spinning. I got a spindle from Hilltop Cloud recently and I’ve been working on some yarn for a hat. I’m nearly there!

Knit and Stitch!

It’s here, it’s here! Today is the first day of the Knitting and Stitching show at the RDS in Dublin. I did seriously consider taking a stand this year, but in the end it was too much to take on at the moment. Maybe (hopefully) next year! But I did get asked by the Weave Spin Dye Guild to supply them with some hand dyed hand knits and some yarn.

dublindyeThis isn’t just any yarn though, it’s special Guild yarn!

spin yarnThey asked for a custom colour, based on their logo. Special, just for them. And who am I to say no to any colour request? So they have their own yarn now, with their logo on the label and everything.  There will also be a limited selection of other colours (mostly Swing Sock) at the guild stand all weekend (stand C60, along the back), so be sure to check it out and say hi if you see me. I’ll be there on Friday, I might get to show off my newly found spinning skills.


I’ve become a little obsessed. S Twist will be at the stand too, maybe he’ll give me some pointers 🙂


I have to say, the Weave Spin Dye guild are nothing but a bunch of enablers. I went to a meeting recently (third Sunday of the month, Powerscourt balcony), to chat and catch up and see how things are going. Obviously I can’t bring much dye with me other than finished skeins, but others bring their weaving and spinning. Lisa from This is Knit brought this,

spinning wheelher Ashford Traveller spinning wheel. She rushed home to feed the baby, but left the wheel ‘in case anyone else wanted to try it out’.

I may have brought it home with me. For safe keeping. For it’s own good.

I also may have pulled out the lovely fibre that Cathyqtpi gave me a while ago. And I may have spun some.

spun yarnI’m definitely learning, although I’m not always sure *what* I’m learning.  I’m definitely headed down a slippery slope. I even hear rumours there is could be a spinning class at this year’s HandmAid Craft Day.

First time

I finished clue 3 of my follow your Arrow Saturday evening (a very exciting weekend), and instead of going to another project I decided to give the spinning a go. spinning

This took an awfully long time, and it’s only half the fibre I have to spin (some leftovers not big enough to sell). I have no idea if my yarn is over or under spun, or how to ply it, or anything really.  But I made some yarn… I think!  Any tips on resources for what to do next?

Weave, Spin, Dye

I was at the AGM for the  Irish Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers last week. It’s… possibly not the place to be if I don’t plan to learn to spin. I say that, because I came home with this.

spindle roving

At the end of the meeting, one of the guild members passed me a drop spindle. I’d made a comment on Twitter about a bit of extra roving from my last dye session. It’s only 25 grams, so not enough to sell really.  So it’s been decided for me that it’s time. I’m going to have to learn to spin.

Oh and thanks Cathy, it’s just the push I need 🙂

Frolic with Fibre: Spinning for Dublin Dye Co

I asked for some volunteers recently to spin some new BFL fibre I’d tried dyeing. I was hoping for some feedback from real spinners, and not just my own ‘it still feels soft and didn’t rinse out any colour’ analysis.  What I got back from Diane was much more than I expected, so I asked if she minded making it a blog post.  With that, I introduce our first ever guest blogger: Diane from Dublin Knit Collective!

When the Dublin Dye Co. called out for spinners to take their dyed roving for a test spin in “Do You Spin?”, I enthusiastically waved my hand up in the air yelling, “YES! Pick me! Pick me!”

And so…I was one of the lucky spinners to receive 25g of superwash BFL roving from Yvonne.

Blue faced leicester is my favourite fibre and in its roving form, it is my choice when teaching beginners to handspin.


Fibre Preparation: The roving was very soft, and there were no patches or areas of felting noted along the length of the sliver. The main two colours in this roving sample had saturated in various tones throughout the fibres during the dyeing process. Pulling apart the roving lengthwise was very easy as I made up strip of fibre for pre-drafting, which was done with very little effort.




Handspinning the BFL roving was a dream with a my non-balanced homemade drop spindle. The dye remained on the fibres and did not run onto my fingers.
Here is 25g of BFL, WPI of 12 = 4 ply / worsted weight


I soaked the new plyed yarn in a warm bath of Eucalan for 20 minutes and the colour did
not run. 23 metres of this lovely yarn is skeined up and being admired for now until I find a knitting project for it….

final yarn

Dublin Dye Co. Superwash BFL roving, hand spun on Diane’s wonky homemade drop spindle.

Spin, spin, spinning!

Remember last year I asked for some people to spin some roving?  Well the results are in.  The samples I sent off found loving homes and turned into little skeins of yarn like this.


Nerissa said “the whole time I was spinning it I kept wishing that there I had more to spin!”  I’m definitely taking that as a good thing.

I dyed some more last weekend, and since then I have found myself wandering around the house pulling little bits of fibre between my fingers, twisting them into tiny threads of yarn. My daughter (three and a half) has adopted some as a pet. I think that’s another good sign.  I can feel my ‘I don’t spin’ resolve slowly seeping away. But I just gave in to the quilting, maybe that will distract me for a while?

Anyway, I present the first (hopefully of many) new thing from Dublin Dye this year.

vampire roving

The roving, along with a few skeins of sock yarn, have been added to the Etsy shop. We’re still having our MERRYCHRISTMAS sale on for 3 more days too! Finally, if you tune in tomorrow when we’ll have a guest post from Diane at the Dublin Knit Collective about her sample spinning. See you then 🙂

And the winners are

I’ve drawn a few names, sent a few emails, and hopefully some people will get some roving in the post soon!  Thanks to everyone who volunteered, and I’ll let you all know what the result of my little market study comes up with 🙂 Nerissa, Lisa, Diane, Laura and Sue, I’ve been in touch.