Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yarn talk

While I have been spinning I have been sighing and looking at my singles hoping that they would get plied magically by themselves during the night. I do not like plying. At the same time I am loving knitting with Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn.
During this year I have enjoyed e.g. Zauberball Sock Yarn. Few years ago I made few bags with Istex Létt-Lopi and fulled them in the washing machine and they turned out better than I could imagine. I have not yet tried to knit with Istex Einband in order to make felt but I intend to.
Last summer while in Sweden I bought Klippan Fårö Yarn.
I have lots of this Finnwool by Pirtin Kehräämö.
And yesterday by mail came these two balls of Sekku, new Noro yarn (cotton, wool, nylon, silk blend) that I just like to look at and dream. I don't know how this feels to knit, but it is lovely to touch. I am naming here just a few, there are many, many more yarns on the market that are all unplied or singles.
You can guess where I am going with this... Sure enough, I looked at my spinning and decided to aim for singles as final product. What a relief! For a while I will concentrate on getting just the right weight, so far my singles have been little bit too thin for what I have on mind. I have been spinning Finnwool that felts really easily and setting the twist after spinning has been a bit problematic. First I set the twist by steam (while the yarn is still on niddy-noddy) to tame the yarn a little bit, so that it will not go all crazy when being taken off the niddy-noddy. Steaming does help to make the handling little bit easier but the yarn really wakes up again in the bath. I give it some shock treatment with hot and cold baths, because I want to felt it a bit to get rid of the tangling twist. Then I beat it and every now and then I check to see that it does not felt too much. The outcome is quite good but I am not sure if this is the right way to go.
The Finnwool I have been spinning is light grey and another thing I would love to learn more and get some experience is dying the yarn. I have been using old dyes from years ago and once I am done with the last drops, I am going to look into all the new stuff that there is and hope to find some new dyes.
When I have the handspun yarn all done I usually can't wait to ball it. I just cannot let it stay in skein, even though I think the yarn would keep better that way. So I have a collection of balls that I mostly can tell the fiber content of (some fibers are close to each other while others are very distinct) but don't know how much there is. Today I spent some time carving a stamp that I could use to make tags for the balls. I should have made the tag smaller and I might need to carve another stamp but that job will be for another day.
Here is the picture that I drew for the stamp. You are welcome to save it into your own computer and use it the way you like. I think it could be used as a gift tag, maybe printed on heavier paper with colored ink if you are not into stamp making.
It feels like fall here today, the colors are muted down with grey and the world gets more quiet every day. During the summer I wake up early every morning because of the birds, I wish I could understand more of their speech. I know, I said more, because I think I can pick up some of the topics in the air. These days when I wake up, I listen for a while if I can hear the lake and the waves to know what the day will be like. But now, time for a cup of coffee.

Wool with you,


PS. The new puppy is Swedish Vallhund.


  1. Love the yarn card. Thanks for sharing. My poor spinning wheel has been neglected for years not. One of these days this Winter, I'll dust it off. With working, there are so many things to do in my free time, just not enough free time. :)

  2. Thank you for permission to use your lovely drawing!! I will be attaching it to some Christmas gifts this year.

  3. You are so generous to share your lovely drawing. Thank you!

  4. I also will be using it for Christmas gifts. Hoping to start the Christmas knitting next week when I get the socks for me (yes, ME!) off the needles. Sending warm thoughts from Florida,

  5. I wish it was fall here already instead of the constant high humidex warnings!
    If you would ever like to try some wonderful alpaca/suri or alpaca blends with our gotland or finnwool I would be happy to send pics and give you a good offer!

  6. I too have been thinking that making singles yarn is OK. Deb Menz strongly encourages singles so as not to muddy the colors in a variegated yarn.

    As for dyeing, you might enjoy using natural dyes. Our guild has a dye garden and we did a bunch of dyeing last night at the fair:
    Sure, we have to import some tropical hardwoods to get the pinks and deep purple and we have to start many plants in greenhouses in the spring. Don't let the frost hit the Japanese indigo! I want to try mushroom dyes someday.

  7. Lovely gift card. Wish your signature were on it. Thank you, Lene.

  8. great idea of making your own stamp card for your handspun.

    I have seen a shawl made with Sekku and it was lovely, good luck!

  9. I love the stamp! Thank you for sharing the image.

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  11. Thank you so much for allowing us to use your drawing! It is quite lovely and, though I do not know yet where I might use it, I intend to do something wonderful with it...
    Hmmm... it might be very nice as embroidery!

  12. Goodness, how beautiful! I have only knitted one pair of socks in my life but have some wool waiting for winter when I leave the garden and move in by the fire. You make me realise how little I know!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing your yarn ball design, great lines :^)
    I smiled reading about your new yarn acquisitions and caught on quite soon they were all singles.. and noting you don't enjoy plying so figured where it was all going :^)
    I listen to the birds too, and pay heed to the air, wind, water, even the quality of light, and oh, the trees, mustn't forget the trees.

  14. Thanks for sharing the yarn card; I did indeed save it and hope to actually use it as a gift card. Lovely yarns you have. And I can't believe the description of your weather as I sit here at 7 p.m. in 98 degree F temperatures!

  15. Thanks for sharing the wonderful yarn card! It will make a perfect gift card for my holiday knitting.

    Will there be puppy pictures soon? :-)

  16. Lene, I miss you when you are silent! Your drawing is wonderful - it brings all kindsof creative thoughts to mind! Thank you for sharing.

  17. i love the drawing - thank you. and i also knit for the first tiem recently with noro kureyon sock yarn and was very happy with it. i had heard mixed reviews but i found it very pleasant to knit with and i loved the colour changes.

    best wishes, Amelia

  18. Thank you for the beautiful card! I haven't spun singles in a long time, and I think I just might.

  19. Hi Lene- I am a new reader to your blog. I found it through the purchase of your darling Lilleput pattern. I have really enjoyed hearing about your life in Finnland. It is a place I have day dreamed off for ever! ; )

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful stamp and glimpses into your world.


  20. Anonymous19:55

    you carve your own stamps...why am i not surprised? '->

    lovely yarn colors. can't wait to see what you knit with them!

    i have mad crazy love for singles! don't know why, i don't fight it, i just go with it. =]

  21. thank you for sharing your yarn card picture! I really love the orangey-yellow color of the yarn you dyed. it's just beautiful. :)

  22. Kiitos paljon! Kauniista lanka pallo piirustuksesta.
    I am off to carve a stamp right away.
    I am anxious to see how all your knitted singles felt as I have had torquing problems with singles.
    I googled Swedish Vallhund, and it looks like a delightful and sturdy breed. Apparently it has not been bred in the U.S. until recently.
    Can't wait to see pictures of the puppy.

  23. Nice yarn. Noro has some very nice yarns and colours. Your own yarn is very nice too.

  24. Anonymous15:31

    I use handspun singles frequently for weaving (warp and weft) and knitting, but only small items such as socks. I haven't had the courage for a sweater yet! I soak the fresh skein in hot water for 10-15 min, squeeze out as much water as I can, then (outside) spin the skein over my head to spin out more water. Then I beat it against a wooden column, whap, whap, whap, rotate the skein and repeat. By the end there should be hardly any water flying off the end of the skein. Then I drape it over a drying rack, unweighted, to dry. The twist calms down, and the slight (very slight) felting helps keep the strand together.

  25. I am commenting both because I love your blog and because I wanted to let you know that I wrote about your blog on my blog today. I am feeling very worthless these days and don't have a lot to write I'm planning to showcase some of my favorite blogs.

  26. Love the drawing of the ball of yarn. Thanks for giving us permission to use it, can't wait to print it out.

  27. Anonymous03:54

    I'm still enjoying your blog so much! The picture of mama and her six puppies, words can't describe.....maybe adorable! I'm so glad one of the puppies will be part of your family. I am still felting (fulling) handbags that I knit. It is a lot of fun. You are such a wonderful knitter and artist that I learn much reading your post. Thank you! Jeanie in Helena