Monday, January 4, 2016

"Finishing" Handspun Yarn- New Fiber Gadgets

I am such a lucky girl, as I have a husband who supports my fiber habit hobby.

On Christmas morning, I was so excited to find a yarn swift and ball winder under the tree with my name on it.
Neither are a necessity, but they are great tools to have on hand for my handspun yarn.

The ball winder takes my skeins and turns them into nifty balls of yarn that are ready for use.

I have a tote full of yarn that needs to be "finished" before I can wind it into balls.

Finishing the yarn is not a difficult, I just tend to put it off until I need the yarn for a project.

Once the wool is spun into yarn, you wind it off the bobbin making skeins, using a niddy noddy. 

After that step, it usually gets thrown into a tote...

But, before using the yarn it should be "finished", which is basically just a soak in warm/hot water, which relaxes and sets the yarn. 

Place the skein into a pot of warm/hot water with a little bit of soap.
Let is soak 10-15 minutes.
Carefully remove excess water, without wringing it out.
I rinse the skein by putting it back into a clean pot of warm water and soak for 10 minutes.
After the rinse, I remove the excess water (without wringing).
Lay the skein on a towel, roll it up removing as much water as possible.
Hang the skein to dry. 

As with almost anything, there are other methods of "finishing" your yarns, but this is the method I use, and it works for my yarns. 

After the skeins are dry, I can use my yarn swift and ball winder.

The yarn swift clamps to a table. ( I used the island)
Once it is set up, you can place the skein on the swift.

Attach the yarn end to the ball winder (which also clamps to table) and wind! 

When you are finished you have a center pull ball
-ready for knitting. 

I love it!   I must be an "official" yarn geek, because I cannot wait to "finish" up all of my skeins, so I can make more balls!

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  1. Very interesting process, Sandra. I had not seen these tools before, thank you for the show and tell.


  2. Hey, that is such fun....I am that way with some of the cooking things Ralph has got me. It is so nice to have good tools to work with. It makes some of the simple things just plain fun!

  3. Great post, Sandra! Love your swift and ball winder. If I'm not mistaken they are the same ones I have, and they are great, love them. We gals love our tools of the trade, too. :)
    Have a great week!

    1. :) He purchased them from Knit Picks. They are much nicer than the ones I was looking at.

    2. Mine are from Knitpicks, also, and I've had no trouble with them at all. Love their circulars, too. Actually, I had ordered their multi colored options circular set several years ago (I think this was around the time they were first introduced.) along with a case to keep them in, but I had trouble with a few of the zippers (plastic) on the inside pockets not working, and they sent me a WHOLE NEW CASE! I was blown away by their customer service. I ended up having a case to give one of my daughters besides having my own. I'm not sure they'd do the same now, but still, I think they are a good company to deal with.

    3. I have watched their tutorial videos, but this is the first purchase from the company. Good to know about their customer service.
      I am looking forward to using the swift and ball winder for a long time :)

  4. Oh how I envy your talent! I am just a beginner when it comes to knitting and crocheting, but you - YOU make the yarn! So cool. Thanks for the great pictures, it helps to understand the process when I can see what you are talking about. Have a wonderful New Year, Sandra!

  5. Oh how fun! That looks so handy for you.

  6. Lovely, finely done spinning, Sandra. My wheel has sat idle for some time, and my shepherding days were 'before'...How I miss those lovely Border Leister/ Romney girls. May need to buy a fleece and get my hands in it again. Knitting still keeps me content (mostly). Deedy

    1. Thank you!
      Border Leicester and Romney-two of my favorite breeds of sheep :)

  7. I don's have a yarn swift and ball winder...I think that will be my next purchase!

  8. You have such a neat process with your wool - I'm slowly getting into finally enjoying my sheeps wool. It's my hope when we downsize our lifestyle I can do more. Beware I'll be coming to you with probably many spinning questions. :)

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

  9. I love that your husband encourages your hobby. What a blessing! And this gadget seems handy!


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