Spinning, Knitting and Weaving

Giant Cricket Farm

Marshall, VA


This is a page of spinning and fiber projects that I've done.
To purchase any yarns, rovings, and crafts, please visit the GCF online store at Etsy.

Spinning wheels

The wheel on the left is a Baynes castle-style double treadle. It is the wheel I use for just about everything.

The wheel on the right is a Clems and Clems that I rescued from an antique shop. I haven't used it for much of anything because I enjoy the Baynes so much. The Clems has become my "loaner" wheel for friends to try out whether they want to take up spinning as a hobby.

Fibers and yarn
I was an e-bay junkie before I had my own mohair crop coming up.  I purchased the pink and the yellow mohair from e-bay, and blended it 50/50 with cormo that I purchased from a vendor at Montpelier Fiber Festival.  From left to right: 1 ply 100% mohair, 1 ply 100% pygora; 2-ply 50/50 blend yellow mohair/cormo; two skeins of 2-ply 50/50 blend pink mohair/cormo.

On a whim I decided to enter my two-ply purple and blue mohair yarn in the 2006 Fauquier County Fair competition. To my amazement, I not only took first in the division, I also won a Best in Show - Adult ribbon. I was pleasantly stunned.

Knitting with handspun yarn
Of course, once I started spinning, I had to do something with the yarn I was accumulating. I re-learned how to knit, and started making scarves and hats out of my yarn. The set on the left was made out of a 90/10 alpaca/silk brindle 2-ply yarn and edged with 100% alpaca 2-ply. The hat on the right was made from 80/20 alpaca/angora (rabbit) 2-ply yarn and edged with 100% mohair

Weaving with handspun yarn

The warp on my Kromski Harp loom was brown cotton with yellow slubs throughout it.  I assure you that, in hindsight, this was not a good choice.  The slubs and oddities caught in the reed a lot.

The weft was 2-ply llama.  I worked on this weaving at the hotel in the evenings to pass the time when I wasn't actually at the site of a software field test that went on forever.


This is the second triangle shawl I ever attempted, and it was another learning experience.  Because I didn't have a yarn ball winder at the time, I hung the skeins off of a portable ironing stand (against the wall on the right).  I used a foot-long crochet hook to do the weaving.

I don't always use my own handspun yarn for projects.  This shawl was made from commercially produced brushed mohair that was hand-dyed by Spirit Trail Fiberworks

Take my advice, and never make a triangle shawl from brushed mohair.  The haloed fibers stuck to each other, and the shed had to be separated at every single pass.  Not only did that separation process stretch the yarn, but it also slowed me down.  This shawl took almost fourteen hours to finish.

I have to say, however, that the finished product was quite pleasing to both the eye and the hands.  This photo is from before it was washed.  Washing it made the fibers even more haloed and even softer, if such a thing is possible. 

I use this shawl to demonstrate the properties of mohair when I go to local festivals.  People are very surprised at how lightweight it is.  The entire shawl weighs less than 6 ounces, and is as warm as it is light.

Here is my third triangle shawl.  It is made of 2-ply handspun naturally black alpaca.  The alpaca fiber was purchased from Morning Moon Alpacas, and the name of the specific alpaca who provided the fleece is Black Streaker.

I had some difficulty with the fringe because I had overspun the yarn somewhat on the 2-ply stage.  The fringe had a tendency to fall apart and also to felt together when washed.  I do think it is a most elegant shawl, however, and wear it to work on occasions.

Notes about triangle looms and triangle shawls:

My loom is about 6 1/2 feet across, and requires approximately 340 yards to weave a shawl.  The fringe at the length that I prefer runs another 150 to 200 yards.


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