Spin and Spring

I’ve finished a few more spinning projects and thought I’d share them, matching them with a corresponding early Spring photo from our yard.

Handspun Wool/Alpaca/Silk
Emerging Spring - Wild Ginger

Approximately 835 yards of 2-ply yarn, spun from about 18 oz. of alpaca, silk and wool fiber. I’ve matched it with some delicate wild ginger coming up through some rocks.

Handspun Fairy Blend
Emerging Spring - Moss

The sparkly bits in this luxurious blend of alpaca, bison, wool, ramie and tencel remind me of the wee shoots of new growth on a patch of moss. I spun approximately 170 yards of 2-ply yarn from 2 oz. of fiber.

Handspun Alpaca & Silk
Emerging Spring - Hepatica

And, this 70/30 blend of alpaca and silk, spun from 4 oz. of fiber and yielding 190 yards of 2-ply yarn, is paired with one of the first flowers of Spring (at least in our yard) – Hepatica.

Apart from some stubbornly cold temperatures, I think it’s safe to say the spell of Winter has been broken.

Spin, Spun… Span?

Now that I’ve started to make spinning a more regular part of my routine again, it’s finally time to share some of the finished yarn that I’ve spun in the last couple of weeks. It’s been fun mixing up the types of fibers, the colors, the amounts, feeling my hands and feet work  together in the old familiar rhythm.

These first two projects are from fiber sent to me by Ted. (Thank you!) A cozy 50/50 blend of merino and yak, this fiber was dyed a rich, deep, wine color that is hard to capture digitally.

Handspun Merino & Yak

There are approximately 290 yards of 2-ply yarn, spun from about 4.2 oz of fiber. I see a new scarf for next season – something I hope I won’t have to wear for a good long while, but when the time comes, I’ll be ready (and my neck will be nicely wrapped).

This next skein is another interesting blend of merino and tencel. Tencel gives the yarn a silky drape, but the wool adds some loft and warmth. There are approximately 295 yards of 2-ply yarn, spun from about 4 oz. of fiber.

Handspun Merino & Tencel

Speaking of exciting packages, delivered to our doorstep was last month’s installment of Hello Yarn fiber. Adrian always has such an amazing way with color, and “Scorch” was no exception.

Scorch Spun Up

Scorch Spun Up

This is from 4 oz. of Bluefaced Leicester, spun and navajo-plied to approximately 340 yards. Virginia has already started on a pair of socks, so those will be making an appearance in the not-too-distant future.

Tonight, while a loaf of bread rises in the kitchen, a whirl (and clack) will be heard emanating from the living room. Hope your Friday night is as exciting as mine.


Recently, we both faced large projects in need of finishing — Virginia, a sweater pattern; me, a pound of roving. There were days when it seemed like neither of us would actually finish. But, even with projects that seem to drag the most, there’s always a possibility of finding that nugget of inspiration to push you through to the end (even if what motivates you is just getting it off the dining room table).

Virginia’s project, a pattern in Berocco #228 called “Nopareil,” was knit with some beautiful Blackstone Tweed.


Sometimes projects take on a more generous amount of inertia, making forward progress more of a slush. From what I overheard, this also must have been aided by choices made by the designer, in terms of construction, details and a collar that would not end.


Still, all in all a nice sweater.


My own project was spinning up a pound of roving. If you have been a regular follower of ScratchCraft you may have noticed a drop in the number of spinning-related projects. I have started to kick things back in to gear, but got a little ahead of myself when deciding to tackle a 16 oz. blend of Pygora, Wool, Mohair and Silk.

Handspun Yarn

All told, I spun approximately 1050 yards of 2-ply yarn. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely fiber making a lovely yarn. But, if you aren’t spinning regularly, 16 oz. can feel like it’s taking forever (must be some sort of fiber equivalent of ADHD). At any rate, it’s done, and I think Virginia already has a sweater idea brewing.

Handspun Yarn

My motivation to finish came with the arrival of my installment of fiber from Hello Yarn. This is “Scorch.” I knew that in order to dive into this luscious 4 oz. pile of goodness, I had to free up the spools.


And, now I can — tonight, in fact.

Dusting Off the Ol’ Wheel

Ashford Traditional

It’s been a long time coming, but I knew I’d eventually get back behind my trusty, albeit neglected, spinning wheel. I realized the other day that with the arrival of Spring (or, soon-to-be arrival) would also come fiber festivals. I missed last year’s Shepherd’s Harvest. Even though out of the hospital at the time, my oncologist forbade me to go near anything that might possibly cause or seed some future infection. Needless to say, being around a bunch of livestock, wool and people would have fallen well in to the “forbidden” activities.

Not this year.

I plan on attending, and I plan on making up for lost time. Between now and then, however, there is still the problem of space (or lack thereof). Since I still have a healthy stash, I’m going to try my best to make a dent in some of the fiber that’s been marinating for the past two years (has it been that long?).

So, to start, I’ve finished two bundles of superwash.

Handspun - Superwash Colonial

This is spun from 3.7 oz. of superwash colonial top that we dyed ages ago. Both skeins are approximately 150 yards of 3-ply (navajo) yarn.

Handspun - Superwash Merino

This superwash merino I finished up during the final days of the Winter Olympics. The lines of gold throughout seem appropriate. There is about 230 yards on this skein, spun from 3 oz. of dyed top, and it is also navajo-plied.

And, I’m glad to say, spinning is like riding a bike. Even if you haven’t done it in awhile, finding your rhythm and balance comes quickly.