Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Woolly updates

It feels like I've totally jumped into the deep end in regards to fibre for spinning. There is a drum carder on loan in our home at the moment from spinning group and I've been excited to see if I can create my very own batts. My main aim is to blend some of the alpaca fiber with a portion of wool as this apparently helps to keep the 'memory' in the alpaca (which is notorious for dropping, according to nearly every spinning/knitting person I come across..).

This is my first batt going through the rollers. Youtube once again came to the rescue, showing me several techniques to get me on my way...

And here it is off the drum! How exciting! Yes, a little on the small side, but it really does look like a 'batt'! This one won't be going into the roof though..oh no, not this little baby. And so soft!! So, so soft!

Once this one was off the rollers, the next ones went much more smoothly, averaging 40g for each batt, with the first one being 20g.

I decided to then split them in quarters lengthwise to form them into a rustic type of roving. Pre-drafting them a little helped, although it's still going to take a bit of time to get the hang of spinning with them...

It was enormously satisfying to create them from absolute scratch. The batts are approximately 60% alpaca, 40% wool.  I have about as much as this quantity again that has been cleaned to pick over, comb and card. Slowly, the dent will be made in those bags of fibre!

I'm also super pleased to have finished this sleeveless cardi this week. It's been on my list for yonks and once started, it only took a few nights to complete! I love it.
The free pattern can be found here  and was extremely easy and fast to knit, using 12 ply yarn and 7mm circular knitting needles. I used the two skeins of Bendigo yarn that I picked up last time I was there.

Knitting from the top down also meant that I could add a few extra rows to the length to suit (accommodate!) my shape.

Having no seams is also my favourite kind of knitting! When you're finished, you really are finished! No fussing around with yarn needles and seams. You can find it raveled here.

A happy Winter Solstice to you and yours!


  1. Oh, I just love it, it's so gorgeous!

    Happy Winters Solstice to you too!

  2. Dear Christine
    I like your shalom,it's so fantastic!!!! these knitting project stay also on my to-do list. but many other things wait of finished.

    Happy Winters Solstice to you too!

    Greetings from Germany,

  3. Enjoy spinning from your batts. I find if I split the batts even further - down to finger sized strips - it's easier to get a nice even yarn. Regardless of how you do it spinning has to be the best form on relaxation around...vbg. Love the cardigan....it looks stunning on you.

  4. Hehehe...I love all the news words I'm learning! Batts, carding, roving...great fun reading about your new passion, Chris! Gorgeous cardie too!

  5. *sigh* your kinitting dear lady is divine. I have been searching for a simple woolen cowl neck jumper for what feels like a life time. If only, if ONLY I could knit it. My knitting abilities of straight up and down won't quite cut the mustard.
    Happy batting Christine!

  6. You're too kind, dixiebelle.

    The shalom is very comfortable to wear, Regina. Easy to knit, too. xx

    Finger size strips is a great tip, thanks Calidore. I will definitely try this. Totally need some mind-numbing relaxation right about now, very glad to have the wheel close by.

    It's a whole other language out there, Celia. One almost needs a dictionary..

    Not divine, just utilitarian, Bryds. Have you thought about those cowly things that are knitted or crocheted in a rectangle and then twisted before stitching up? Could be the way to go..looks way more complicated than it really is ;)

  7. I am so impressed by your knitting! I can't believe you said it was only a few nights work!! I hope I will be that good one day.....at the moment I struggle to knit a scarf! But I'll keep practicing....


Hi there, it's so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Chris x