Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Fit for a Queen

Meet Brenhines, my new pattern, designed for handspun, in the latest edition of Yarnmaker magazine. Brenhines means Queen in Welsh.

It's a short cape, designed to keep the chill off your shoulders. I designed it with tailspun art yarn in mind, I'm always being told "these look pretty but how do you use them?", and now I have an example of how you can. 
It's worked in alternate rows with a plain grey Shetland, so it's not overwhelmingly full of locks. 

Here's a close up of the back so you can see what I mean. The locks themselves will stay pretty much intact as you wash and wear the cape, they come off the sheep like that, and sheep aren't know for being gentle with their hair do. 

Of course, if art yarns aren't your thing it also works in a plain yarn. This was worked using some Shetland fleece. 

If you want to spin your own tailspun I can recommend Spin Art by Jacey Boggs, or if you don't fancy spinning your own there are plenty of spinners out there on Etsy

If you would like to knit this, for now the pattern is only available in Edition 13 of Yarnmaker. I have 1 copy left in the shop, but have more on their way to me, or it will be available as a download when the rights revert to me. The Ravelry pattern page is here if you want to favourite it, or add it to your queue. 

Meanwhile, I'm giving away my contributors copy, just leave me a comment below, and I'll pick a winner on the 20th February. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Long Draw

I spent Saturday learning how to do English style long draw at my spinning guild. I'd already taught myself to do American long draw, and until Saturday had presumed the difference would be pretty minimal and I'd just be able to swap between the 2 styles. Half an hour of muttering and swearing later, it quickly became apparent that the 2 styles have rather different nuances of technique, but by the afternoon I'd got there.

The middle skein is from my first attempt, the fleece I was using wasn;t idea, it was a bit too long, and a bit too sticky from some lanolin that had been left in from the washing process. I switched to baby camel (the back skein) which was a bit easier while I taught my hands what to do, and the front skein is the original fleece, but spun once I'd grasped the technique. 

The resulting skeins are beautifully bouncy, really plump and well rounded, they'd be perfect for colour work, and anything where you want warmth. 

Amanda Hannaford ran our workshop, and it was a really excellent day, thoroughly recommended if you get the chance to do one of her workshops.

If you don't live close enough to do a workshop then this video by Amanda is excellent.