Thursday, 14 October 2010

Corespun yarn

I'm a plain vanilla spinner. There. I said it.

I like myself a nice balanced 2-ply, and sturdy round 3 ply, and the occasional even lace singles. Not that I don't admire crazy art yarns. I look on, green with envy, when friends make piles of chaotic gorgeousness. I took a 2 day class that was nothing but freeing your inner anarchist at the wheel. It was fun, but I'm still not convinced that I could ever make anything useful.

Then, last month, I got a weird urge to corespin. After a few yards of trial and error, I found my rhythm and could. not. stop. It was addictive.

spinning stash

I started out with batts from Butterfly Girl in "Rocky Road". It was a soft, luxurious blend of merino, suri alpaca (the best kind of alpaca in my opinion), silk, bamboo, and a little bit of glitz. Corespinning lets you stretch out a small amount of luxury fiber- because you are wrapping it around a core yarn, you will end up using less. This is a perfect technique if you only have a couple ounces of fiber, but you still want the yardage to actually make something.

For my core, I chose some dk weight wool.

Antic 748

This was some yarn that I had frogged from a hoodie years ago. It is still too painful for me to knit with it. I didn't check to see if there was a pattern errata and followed the pattern with blind faith. I didn't question things at all, even when it had me put the hood where one would logically put a second arm hole. I just kept on knitting. Very painful memory right there.

Anyway, I found that hiding the yarn makes me feel better.

I ran the core yarn through my wheel and onto a bobbin, adding more twist. That way, I wouldn't end up with an over-twisted mess once I started the core spinning process.

Basically, you are taking your pretty fiber and letting it wrap around the core yarn. The Bellweather has a great tutorial (as always) on corespinning. She can explian the process much better than I can.

Here are the results:

Antic 855

Antic 856

Antic 859

Parts of the silk were a little tough to draft out evenly resulting in lumpy thicker sections, but I thought I got most of the skein fairly even. It was so fun, once I sat down I couldn't really stop if I wanted to, and it only took me a couple hours to complete.

I ended up with about 160 yards total. I'm planning on making a hat from this- I think the yarn will give it a fun, funky texture.


  1. I've been meaning to do this for some time now; it's been one of my 2010 goals to make core spun yarns. Yours is sweet inspiration, thanks.

  2. That is beautiful corespun. I took a class on it recently and am taking another class on Art Yarns November 6th. Yours is an inspiration! Love how it turned out. A hat would be a perfect thing to make with it.

    I made an Artyarn hat with mine, but it has some cocoons too so it looks pretty funky.