July 22, 2010


Knitting in the News:

There is now an Ipad app for all you techno knitters and crocheters. Supposedly, you can learn to knit and crochet and it covers lots of info like increases and decreases, knitting in the round, and knitting with color. Pretty neat!

Last time I was here I told you all about my dreams of spinning my own yarn. Well my Louet top whorl drop spindle came in the mail yesterday. The kit I got came with three balls of wool roving: gray, red and navy blue. I also purchased a bright fuchsia roving to practice on as well. There are some great tutorials on youtube from Megan LaCore. I went step by step with her videos and it really made the process a lot easier.

I spun two small single hankies out of the gray yarn. Approximately 100 yds. each. I will say that is a very fun and addictive. I can already tell I'm going to be doing this for quite some time.

I have a few questions though. I want to make sock yarn, which I know is very thin and plied a few times depending on what you want (ex: Superfine or fingering). How exactly can I go about doing this? Do I need a lighter spindle? Does it have to be a bottom whorl instead of my topwhorl?

Also can anyone recommend any good reads on this subject? Thanks guys and I'll be back in a few days with more yarn pictures for you!


  1. Thanks for the video recommendations! I've been interested in drop spindle spinning too, but have been intimidated.

  2. I know this post is a bit old, but I don't know if you posted your spinning questions on Rav or not and thought I could try to answer. :) I've been spinning for about a year and a half, and due to space limitations I use only drop spindles - and one of my favorite yarns to spin is sock yarn.

    Handspun sock yarn is usually 2 or 3 ply. I prefer 3, as I think 3 ply sock yarns generally wear better. A tightly plied 2-ply would probably work well for sportweight sock, but I usually spin for fingering weight. Straight merino fiber is probably not the best choice for handspun socks (though I've used it), I have heard it does not hold up well. Try a merino/nylon or merion/silk blend if you must have merino, or BFL (my favorite!).

    If you are trying to spin a plied sport to fingering weight yarn, Megan's technique will not really allow you to do that, as it is impossible to pre-draft any fiber that thinly. To spin thinner, you need to draft while spinning. :) I highly recommend Abby Franquemont's videos (I'll try to link at the end of the comment) and website, and also the Spindlers group on Ravelry for more info on drafting while spinning, etc.

    As for a spindle, I'm not sure what weight you have - but I have used a 1.4 oz Kundert top whorl for my sock yarns, and they turned out beautifully! A slightly lighter one might make it a bit easier, but I think it really is a personal thing. The Kundert spins extremely well and doesn't wobble, so I'm able to spin finer on it than on one that wobbles.

    Hope this helped!

    Abby's Intro to Spinning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPUORvO-GZE

  3. Bentneedle-

    Thank you very much for you comment. I have watched a few of Abby Franquemont's videos. I also saw a segment on Knitting Daily TV this morning that was all about spinning sock yarn! They recommended a merino silk blend just as you did. I'm not a big merino person, it's nice, but hard to spin sock yarn out of. I really appreciate all your advice and I'm finding it very useful. Thanks so much and feel free to comment again :)

  4. Welcome - and hope it didn't sound too "you have to do it this way." That's one of the things I love about spinning, you can really find your own way to do things and enjoy yourself - so long as you're happy with the resulting product! :D Merino is not really my favorite fiber either, but it seems to be the most commonly sold, especially among the handpainted tops. I think a lot depends on the preparation (partially matted or felted merino is just awful), but the shorter staple length just kind of annoys me. :P