We now have more spinning batts in the Etsy shop. This post is eye candy for hand spinners, showing off our a few of the new batts. As a hand spinner or a wannabe hand spinner, you love color and texture, and batts have them in spades. Be sure to scroll down for a little encouragement to try them (free shipping!)
Aren’t they gorgeous? To tempt you even further, in February we pay your shipping when you purchase 2 or more of our spinning fibers. This includes batts, rovings and rolags. Look here to see them all. Use coupon code FREESHIP2FIBERS to get free shipping.
Spinning is the perfect activity for these long days of winter. Find some time to sit down with your wheel or a hand spindle and enjoy these beautiful batts.
I have been experimenting with creating batts on my new drum carder. I haven’t made an ugly one yet, I actually don’t think it’s possible.
Here are some yarns I’ve recently spun from my batts. The top and bottom were done on a hand spindle, the middle one on my wheel.
A few tips to get started:
Let the batt be the yarn it wants to be. Don’t get hung up on spinning a super thin, super smooth yarn. This is the time for having fun with the chunky, highly textured art yarn you’ve been wanting to create.
My favorite easy and quick method for spinning a batt on a hand spindle is to tear it in strips, predraft the strips, roll them into balls, and then spin them one by one. Depending on the batt you can break off where needed to blend a different color or fiber into the yarn. If desired, you can pull out little sections while predrafting and put them aside to add at strategic points.
Check out this guest post from Carla Hansen, she’s an expert spinner with lots of in depth advice on different techniques. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Just begin!
If you’ve always wanted to play with spinning batts, but didn’t really know how to get started, or if you’ve tried them in the past and didn’t love the yarn you got, I urge you to try now. Here’s a link to the batts in my etsy store, but there are many beautiful batts available all over Etsy. Pick one and get started. Have fun and be open to the beautiful, unique results!
Celebrate with me! I recently wrote my first guest post for another blog. This is a big milestone for me. I hope you’ll read my post. I wrote about using hand spun yarn. Check it out here on the Purple Lamb blog.
Carla Hansen owns Purple Lamb. Her Etsy store is full of beautiful spinning fiber and hand spun yarns to die for. Here are a few pictures of her creations to lust over.
Let me know in the comments if you have questions about knitting with hand spun yarns. I’d love to hear your tips too!
We get a lot of questions about one of our newest product, rolags. I thought it would be helpful to have a post to point people to. Hopefully I’ll answer all your questions, if you have more please let me know and I’ll update the post!
1. What the heck is a rolag? A rolag is a specific type of fiber preparation, especially created to be super easy to spin. Here’s a little eye candy.
2. What’s the advantage of a rolag over some other type of fiber? Rolags are blended fibers, usually custom dyed (ours are), with the fibers all running in roughly the same direction. You can blend any fiber you care to. So, we may use something pretty “standard”, like merino and silk – and sometimes we use something unusual, like rose fiber or yak fiber. Strands of glitter can be included if you like it blingy. Rolags can be used to make color and fiber combinations that are hard to achieve by just dyeing.
3. Are rolags easier to spin than roving or batts? It depends. For me, batts can be more challenging to work with, because their fibers can be a bit more disorganized. You can see from this picture how the fibers are looser and the fiber is in a bigger piece. Rolags can be less intimidating because they are smaller and easier to hold.
I almost always spin using a top whorl drop spindle, because the cats won’t leave my spinning wheel alone if I leave it out, and I’m usually too lazy to go drag it out and then put it away. I personally prefer rolags over batts for the hand spindle. More expert spinners can spin batts with no problem at all on a hand spindle. I’m just not there yet.
It can be harder to get a smooth yarn, especially if you are a beginning spinner. Sometimes a lumpy art yarn is what you want, so batts are certainly useful. And, no argument, they are very beautiful!
The gorgeous batt is from Purple Lamb on Etsy. It’s called Precious Metals and is a combo of Mulberry Silk, Alpaca, and Bamboo. It’s really spectacular! You can find it here. There are lots of other gorgeous fibers there too! Go take a look. I’ll wait.
Batts are very versatile and can be handled in a number of ways (that’s for a future post).
4. Why are rolags more expensive than batts or roving? There is more work (and time) involved. To create rolags you need fiber (dyed or undyed – someone has to dye the fiber), a special blending board, and plenty of time. The fiber is blended, then pulled of the board to get all the fibers running the same direction. Typically a board of fiber is made into 3-5 rolags. One way to think of it is that a batt is the whole board of fiber rolled up and folded, and the rolags are the same board of fiber pulled and stretched out into small tubes. Obviously that takes more time and work.
5. Do I need a spinning wheel to spin rolags? Absolutely not, we both use hand spindles to spin rolags. Cheryl doesn’t even own a wheel! Hand spindles do a great job with rolags and they are very inexpensive. Why spend money on a tool you may not enjoy using? Start with a low cost spindle. You will soon be quite good at spinning. It’s like any other skill you’ve learned during your life. Remember learning to ride a bike? I thought I’d never get it, one day it just happened. Practice is the key!
Give rolags a try, you don’t need any spinning experience at all to get a nice thick and thin yarn that you can make into a beautiful headband or baby hat.
I leave you with some more beautiful rolag photos. Because we all love fiber eye candy!
Give rolags a try – I’d love to see what you create with fiber spun from rolags.