from-wool-to-beautiful-yarn
Other, yarn

From Wool to Beautiful Yarn (How-To)

Few days ago I started another project. I want to create a nice big blanket for my future home. I loved these shades of blue and purple of the merino wool that we purchased in this shop: http://skorpilova.cz/vlna/.

For me, the colors conjure up an image of sea. I can almost feel the breeze on my face 🙂

This article can also be a small recipe or how-to for people who would like to try creating their own multicolored yarn.

Merino Top
Different colors of Merino Top that I decided to combine together.

Before you start spinning it is good to know for what purpose you’re creating this particular yarn. Since I want to create a blanket with this one, I would prefer the yarn to be softer. But we got merino top in the shop.

“Top” is a kind of spinning fiber that is best suited to worsted or semi worsted spinning. All the fibers are aligned. Worsted fiber is more durable, but not as soft as woolen yarn. Woolen fiber traps more air inside.

Carding the Merino Wool
Carding the Merino Wool

To prepare the wool for woolen spinning you need to process it first. In the picture above, I combined different colors on the hand carder. I hold the fiber a bit strangely because I was taking photo with the other hand 😀 Basically, try to apply the fiber so that it sticks out on one side. After putting the wool on one carder, you brush it off on the other one. You roll the fiber into a “rolag”. The fibers are not aligned in one direction anymore and you can now use the rolls for woolen spinning.

Here is a good instructional video for the whole carding process: https://youtu.be/suv54MWlyUs?t=1m36s

You can also roll by using your hands only, you don’t really need that wooden stick in the video.

Merino Rolag
Merino Rolag – a fluffy fiber roll prepared for woolen spinning.

After you prepare your rolags, you can go ahead and spin.

Another video can help you: https://youtu.be/0HNrflq9sd0?t=1m26s

The woolen or longdraw technique can be more challenging than the worsted, but you’ll figure it out after multiple tries. I also think it helps you understand your spinning wheel more and there’s something very artistic about drawing the yarn like that. I have to say I just love it 🙂 The yarn becomes something flexible, almost like some sort of rubber.

Merino Yarn Woolen Technique
This might seem like the end product, but it’s not 🙂 You still need to do more stuff.

After the spinning, it’s niddy noddy’s time! Niddy noddies not only have fun name, they’re also very useful albeit simple devices. You can use them to create skeins out of the bobbins of the spinning wheel.

Instructional video here: https://youtu.be/wnOlraopQ74?t=37s

Niddy Noddy with Merino Woolen Fiber
Niddy Noddy with Merino Woolen Fiber. And the dog.

The skeins is not the end of the process yet. If you’re not gonna ply the fiber, it could do some funky stuff when you knit.

Skeins and rolags of merino wool, woolen technique
Skeins and rolags of merino wool posed for a pretty picture 🙂

What we do is we put the unwound skeins in a bucket of hot water and leave them for couple of minutes. Then we hang them up diy-style!

Fixing the yarn, diy-style
Fixing the yarn, diy-style!

My blue yarn is still drying up so I can’t show you the end product yet. Since I’m going to use this yarn pretty soon, I’ll turn the skeins into balls of yarn. Unfortunately I don’t own a ball winder so the nostepinne will have to do. But it’s ok, old-fashioned is cooler anyway!

 

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