cotton, knitting, Spinning, Uncategorized, Weaving

A Happy Little Detour: From Bobbins to Yarn Balls

I was just going to try something. That’s how it starts. You have an idea and decide to see if it’ll work then BOOM you’re on and unexpected journey. I saw someone spinning yarn with a spindle made from a spool and thought hmm, that might be a great way to spin cotton. Yes, of course I need to spin more cotton yarn.

I rarely take cotton projects on-the-go because I worry that the cop might get smooshed or bumped. All of my fine, highly twisted singles would explode into a tangled, coily nest. If I used a bobbin I could keep them under tension by storing the yarn as I spin. They would be safe to travel. Before long, the search for small, lightweight bobbins was underway. Eureka!! Wooden Mini Craft Bobbins! and yes, they work so well.

Check out my artist chat and demonstration on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0WUAIkzMSg

I loved working with them so much that I decided to do some wood burning and painting on them. Oh, they’re so cute and fun to make! Pretty soon I had decorated 54 bobbins with my favorite botanicals and critters. (Now available: Made-to-order in the shop)

You’d think that discovering a new spinning tool would be enough to keep me focused for a while. Not this time. Once I got spinning on them I realized how convenient they were for spinning mini skeins. These quirky little spindles spurred me to imagine new ways to spin up my 3 colors of naturally colored cotton sliver. I’d wonder, “What if I spun brown sliver and added small bits of white at regular intervals?” I measured out about one ounce of fiber and in no time I would end up with a new mini-skein. Spinning a smidgen here and there gets the job done.

After mixing and matching the fibers in 6 different ways I realized the possibilities were endless. I challenged myself to create 12 different skeins. That ended up being simpler than I thought. The ideas kept popping into my head so fast I began to write them down so I wouldn’t forget them all. By the time I came to my senses, I had spun 18 mini skeins of my favorite 2-ply fingering yarn.

I just had to see what all of these yarns would look like knitted. Swatching? Ugh I’m allergic to swatching. Enlarged knitted entrelac was the solution. I could knit a series of squares and get to see all of my gorgeous yarns in one luxurious swath of cloth. All of the yarns would work beautifully together. It is a yarn capsule wardrobe that always works. The formula: combine analogous colors with neutrals. You can’t mess it up.

The Chameleon Shawl published in Spin Off magazine Summer 2020 would also showcase this yarn collection beautifully.

Once I got started I couldn’t stop. Each row was such an adventure. The whole thing came together way too fast. I have a light, airy summer wrap to enjoy.

The next stop on the journey is weaving! I wonder what these little balls of yarn will look like in a woven web. I really love the look of my Eco-Butterfly natural colored cotton sampler woven into a color gamp V-Cowel. Perhaps I will do another with my mini yarn balls. Who knows

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2 thoughts on “A Happy Little Detour: From Bobbins to Yarn Balls”

  1. I am new to weaving and would love to try something like you did! Would you mind telling me the type of loom you used to make the color gamp shawl?

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