"Do you dream of me?"

Why yes - yes, I do!

"Woodland in Spring" (dyed by the very talented Morwenna of Mosaic Moon) - on the bobbin:

Spun into 2ply aran/bulky weight yarn:

And knit up by Morwenna herself (photos provided courtesy of her!) into these stunning pants that will forever be seen in my dreams:

I don't want to wake up.


Knitting with Handspun

So, you have seen lots of handspun yarn, but maybe you're thinking "Nice, but what can you make with it? What will it look like when it is knitted up?" I wondered the same thing, and I have decided that I really love what handspun looks like knitted.

This is a skirt I made for my daughter, Kyra. I started with hand dyed merino/tencel from Morwenna at Mosaic Moon in the Rainbow colorway. It was made from 4oz of fiber, totalling 137 yards.


This beautiful sweater was knit by Morwenna at Mosaic Moon. She dyed the fiber, I spun it, and then she knitted the final product. This was made from 12 ounces of Blue Faced Leicester wool in the Dragon's Lair colorway.




There you have it! A couple of examples of what handspun might look like in a knitted item. The awesome thing about handspun is that each item will be truly unique, unlike any other, even in the same colorway. If you have been thinking of trying some handspun, get on it!


Up Close and Personal

So the suggestion was made that I should post pictures that are more "close up" - and a marvelous suggestion it was. Pictures are one part of spinning that is necessary, but I don't enjoy as much - I have a hard time getting good ones. But I thought I'd post some "up close and personal" shots today. Let me know if I'm getting closer to the target. ;)


And the Winner is...

....hold that thought while I fire up the Random Number Generator. ;)

Okay!!! Using an online Random Number Generator, I entered the low number as 1 and the high number as 5 (since there were five entries that we just LOVED reading!). When I clicked enter, the generator chose the number....

2!!! Comment number two was from Davina!

Congratulations, Davina! I will be emailing you with your discount code worth 15% off a Handspun by SweetKnits order!

Thank you all for playing, and we hope that you'll keep reading! You never know when another contest might pop up.

And since a blog post isn't a blog post without pictures...

I. love. this. fiber.


Transformation - and a Contest!

I was recently asked what colors I like best in spinning fiber - and you know what? It was really difficult to answer the question! I have my favorite colors, of course - colorways that I'm drawn to (browns/blues, for one). But really, since learning to spin, I find that my color preferences have opened up. I'm trying new things - looking at color in a new way. I see some lovely dyed roving, and try to image what the end result will look like. There have been times that I've not liked something so much while spinning the singles, and LOVED the plied (end) result. It never ceases to amaze me.

The transformation is part of the joy for me. Looking at fiber, and loving the colors:
And then spinning it up into a yarn that I love even more!

The above fiber/yarn is a merino from The Fiber Denn (etsy seller). The yarn is a 2ply (that will be part of a collab at YINIA's Black Friday stocking). I love it. Seriously love it.

Another example is this fiber from Fibers 4 Ewe. I fell in love with the color combo:
But I am even more in love with the yarn! Spinning was a dream, and the end result? Just lovely.
(If you love this as much as I do, it will be available at our Hyenacart on Monday!)
Of course, there is another step - the knitting or crocheting of the yarn into the finished project. Many spinners have a plan for their fiber before they even start spinning it up - an end result in mind. I can honestly say that this is not typical for me. Although, next time I post, I'll share a recent project that I actually DID take from fiber to knitted scarf! Most of the time, I spin the fiber, and then have to set the yarn aside for a while (after it has been sufficiently cuddled, of course). Sometimes, the yarn is put in the store, where one of you can decide what it should become. Sometimes, the perfect project comes along, and I just have to use the yarn myself. Truly, the joy is in the entire process for me.
So I'll ask you what was asked of me. What colors are YOUR favorite? And to take it further, what fiber content do you love? What yarn weight are you most likely to use? If you could have the PERFECT handspun for the PERFECT project, what would it be? (we'd love to hear what the project would be, too!)

The contest? Post a comment with your answers to the above questions! On Monday, between 6 and 7pm (eastern), I will draw a winner from the comments. The prize? A 15% coupon code to use on any purchase at our Handspun by SweetKnits store! We will have a stocking this Monday evening at 8pm (eastern), so you'll have an immediate chance to use your discount - or perhaps you'd rather wait for your PERFECT handspun to come along! Or maybe, you'd rather use it for a custom spinning order. The choice will be yours!
So please enter to win! And tell your friends! Comments can be posted up until 5:59pm on Monday. :)


All in a few days' work

Life has gone from busy to CRAZY busy for me this week. I am a substitute teacher for a private school close to me, and the Jr. High teacher is out this week (he and his wife had their first child Monday morning). So, not a whole lot of spinning is happening this week. Instead, I'm reading literature and studying history and science so that I can review with the students for their Nine Weeks' Exams. (It is nearly impossible to review something that you haven't looked at, so I've got LOTS of reading to do each night.)

However, this did not come as a shock to me. I mean, babies have a way of giving you a while to prepare (although the actual coming is usually unannounced). Since I knew the baby was coming soon, I tried to spin a LOT last weekend.

Thursday, I finished spinning the singles for this Gwion targhee (it was plied on Friday):

Friday, I spun most of the singles for these two skeins of Coastal Sunset BFL (plied on Saturday):

Also on Saturday, I spun this Superfine Merino - my first ever attempt at thick/thin singles:

And spun singles for two more skeins of the Coastal Sunset. And spun about an ounce of Bella merino (spun fine, for a lightweight 2ply).

Sunday, I plied the rest of the Coastal Sunset, and finished up the first bobbin of Bella.

Next - I need to do 4oz more of the Coastal Sunset (which will make a total of 20oz altogether), and the second bobbin of Bella... but that will have to wait. First, I must learn enough 7th/8th grade literature, science, and history to be able to review for the next few days.


What has Donna been up to?

Spinning yarn, of course! I just finished spinning an amazing Super Fine Merino from All SpunUp as part of a special spin-a-long. It was a surprise colorway, perfect for fall. I named mine "Oma's Pacific Northwest" for my mother-in-law. She is my kid's Oma (Dutch/German for Grandma), and she absolutely LOVES nature. When she took my oldest daughter on a road trip to Washington state a few years ago, she couldn't stop marveling at the leaves on the trees. The colors in this yarn are just like the colors of leaves changing, so there is the name.

I am moving on now, to spin more Espresso merino/tencel. This is one of my favorite fibers to spin. It is soft, has a great sheen, and the colors are so vivid. Stay tuned for more pictures!


When it's cold outside...

... it is also cold inside. At least here - when we decided to turn our pellet stove on for the first time this season, it decided that it had different plans.

Since our thermostat is hovering right around 60-61 degrees the last couple days, we've had to find other means of staying warm. Microfleece socks, pants, and sweatshirts; hot chocolate; chicken soup; blankets....

Oh yes, and wool! I've attempted to keep warm by spinning. Between the activity and the fiber, it should kinda work, right? Well, it was a good excuse anyway. Here's my work from the past week/weekend:
This is superfine merino dyed by Hillary of Dashing Dachs - in her Pumkinhead colorway. Keep watching the blog for more information on when/where this will be available for purchase!

This is a lovely merino from The Fiber Denn on Etsy - it is part of her Begonia series. I like to call it "Lemon Berry" - after my very favorite dessert mix from Tastefully Simple (which is not available at the current time, a fact which I am still mourning). 2ply/175yds. This will be coming to YINIA for a special stocking next month - more information on that later!

I think its time for another cup of hot chocolate... or maybe time to bake some cookies... Either way, must keep these fingers warm until tonight, when I can spin again!


Not much time to spin this week

I am disappointed that I haven't had much time to spin this week (actually, not much time for anything but paperwork!). I am hoping to do more spinning tonight and over the weekend. I got a Spin-A-Long fiber in the mail last weekend from All Spun Up , and it is heavenly! I will get a picture of it probably tonight. I am also waiting on some other fiber from Mosaic Moon, wool/silk, BFL and merino. I can't wait to get those in!

And now, some gratuitous fiber photos.

Coastal Sunset BFL dyed by Mosaic Moon

Dragon's Lair BFL, again dyed by Morwenna at Mosaic Moon

Thanks for visiting! Stop by again soon.


Nice to see you!

Hello! I am Donna, the other half of Handspun by Sweetknits. I love to spin, and I am excited to offer my handspun yarn to you. Here are a few pictures of recent projects.

This is a 50/50 Merino/Silk blend, Dark Rainbow, dyed by Julie at Julie Spins, spun into a laceweight. This fiber was a dream to spin! I think I am going to make a lacey shawl or scarf with this.

This is Snow Blossom BFL, dyed by Morwenna at Mosaic Moon. This will be for sale at our Hyena Cart.
I have fiber on hand that can by spun for you, on request as well!

50/50 Merino/Tencel blend, in Pixie Dust, dyed by Morwenna at Mosaic Moon

50/50 Merino/Tencel Kettle Dyed Rainbow, by Mosaic Moon
100% Superwash Merino dyed by Lorna's Laces
I hope you enjoy the pictures, and stop by to see more updates! If you have any requests, or would like to have your fiber spun, you can reach me at donna@sweetknits.com.


A new blog!

Yes, that's right - a new blog! Completely dedicated to all things fibery and handspun (because we just can't get enough fiber!). We hope that you will come by often and see what is new and exciting at Handspun by SK. And who knows - some special contests might just pop up now and again.

For now, I'll leave you with some fibery goodness. And don't forget to check YINIA and Hyenacart for instock handspun!