Flicker’s Lair Blog

First hand-spun project

by Heidi on October 5th, 2010
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The awesome aunt who’s housewarming gift we turned into an electric ball winder came to visit this weekend. I was so thrilled with the ball winder and the amount of work it saved that I wanted to make her something to show my appreciation. When I discovered she was visiting, and that she happened to be visiting on her birthday it just seemed too perfect, so I set about making her a shawl with my hand-spun yarn.

I had a little help from my friends, Christine lent me her Ashford 24″ loom as my cricket really wasn’t big enough for what I wanted to do, and Elizabeth helped me warp it.

Finished shawl

It is entirely made of hand-spun-by-me wool, the majority of it – the white – is Corriedale fibre that I bought, and is my first hand-spun yarn. The two grey bands are extra special, as it is yarn from our Hopeful Maria. Yarn I helped shear from the sheep, washed, carded, spun and then wove into this shawl.

Hopeful Maria

I must admit that Maria is far from being my favourite sheep. She is skittish and tends to lead the rest of the flock in the opposite direction to where I want them to go. Whenever I am in the field she is watching me suspiciously, but every year since she came to us she has presented us with beautiful twin lambs and her fleece is so soft and beautiful, and spins up looking rather like silver. No matter how ornery she might be, I can’t bring myself to part with her!

Finished shawl

I chose to keep the shawl as a plain weave as I felt that the differences in my different batches of hand-spun gave it texture – and this is only my third weaving project and the largest so far. You can see the progression of my learning to spin in it. I was surprised by how much softer and silkier the band of ‘Maria’ felt compared to the Corriedale. I do need to watch my tension as one end of the shawl is noticeably narrower than the other. It is a ‘sturdier’ material than I was hoping for, I am not sure whether that is down to my spinning or my weaving. But overall I am quite pleased with it, and it did seem to be rather well received.

I really enjoyed weaving on the larger loom and now have my heart set on a 32″ Kromski Harp!

I love to know what you think so please rate my post or leave me a comment. If you really liked this post maybe you would consider sharing it. Thank you.

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  1. That is so exciting! I can think of few things more satisfying than weaving garments from your own sheep’s wool! Awesome.

    Comment by Beth — October 5, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

  2. Wonderful work, it looks gorgeous. Now you’re making me want to get a loom too!
    We have a Hopeful sheep in our family, well 1.5 at least. Hopeful Maggie isn’t too skittish and so far has produced two awesome and wonderfully soft boys, one gold and one grey. Lady Baba is also a Maggie daughter, possibly with Frankie as her dad, she is hands down the most skittish sheep I’ve known, one glance in her direction and she’ll run away. I think she’s a sterile ewe, possibly as a result she’s the size of a ram with a fleece that beats her mother’s in softness and color. If you ever want to cut your Hopeful from your farm do let me know :)

    Comment by Meagan — October 6, 2010 @ 5:50 am

  3. The shawl is beautiful Heidi! Well done and be proud. You will never make another shawl like it so it is very precious. Next up we teach you how to dye your fibre :)

    Comment by Chriss — October 6, 2010 @ 7:20 am

  4. Sturdy, that would be down to Elizabeth picking the wrong heddle, more than likely… Sorry about that… Moral: Remember to sample, I’ll show you how to do it on a piece of cardboard sometime soon.

    Comment by elizabeth — October 7, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

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