Washing Handspun (Pictures just added!)

I have several hanks of handspun now from my 1-2 nights a week spinning. They are just beautiful. I’ve got them wound up on the niddy noddy and they tied into hanks. Some are 2 ply and some are 3 ply, all are romney wool. I know the next step is to wash and dry them for shrinkage but I’m terrified I’m going to ruin it all and it will end up one big felted mess!

I’ve got all of my instructions printed out and ready to reference at each step. I just keep procrastinating!

There’s no rush really . . . I have a ton of knitting projects already that I’m working on . . . I haven’t come up with a project for my handspun yet anyway so what’s the rush, right? right? I can just keep spinning and spinning and spinning . . .

You can do it :smiley:

Seriously, I’ve never felted anything accidentally in all of the fiber I’ve dyed and spun and washed in the last four months (about 4 lbs. of fiber total), and I’m uh, generally pretty accident-prone when it comes to trying new things. All you need to do to set the twist is give it a nice warm bath with a capful of Eucalan then gently wring it and hang it to dry. :thumbsup:

Do you have a digital camera? I’d love to see pictures! :smiley:

[b][color=indigo]To avoid felting just make sure you don’t agitate it alot. I fill the sink with hot (as hot as you’d use if you were washing greasy dishes) with some shampoo or dish soap in it. Not much, just a little. Lay the yarn on top of the water and gently submerge. Let sit until water is lukewarm. Let water out, leaving yarn in the sink. Pick up yarn, move to other sink or bowl.

Fill sink with water about the same temp as the lukewarm water. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water (helps get all soap residue out.). Add yarn carefully and let soak for awhile. Drain water and gently squeeze yarn.

Lay out flat on a double towel, roll up and lay it on the floor. Step on it to squeeze the water out. Hang with a weight. You can hang it on the shower nob, or outside over the end of the clothes line pole or use your imagination.

Tie a pair of shoes together at the laces and slip one through the yarn loop. It’ll weight it down and straighten the yarn. Let dry.

Another way is to hang over a pot of boiling water and let the steam set the twist. Or use a steam gun.

It really is a bit more difficult to felt yarn while washing. As long as you are careful not to agitate any more than absolutely necessary you shouldn’t have a problem. :teehee: [/color][/b]

Ok. I’m going to finish plying the stuff I have now and then wait to wash everything all at once on Saturday when my parents come to visit. That should be a nice project for us to do instead of baking stuff we shouldn’t be eating. I will definitely take pictures during the process just in case I ruin everything!

On a side note, since this is my first real batch of good stuff so I don’t think I’m going to dye it. It’s a natural grey right now with a little bit of white and black mixed in. I may not even knit it up into something, maybe something simple like a scarf but it would have to show the texture of the yarn and all that jazz. I’ve been told that you should always save your first batch because it’s nice to see how you improve over time. I like experimenting to see what it looks like as a 2 or 3 ply yarn.

I finished spinning my first pound of roving ever. It’s a basic romney wool that my MIL said was great to learn on. I haven’t washed it yet because I actually needed a little break after spinning for 4 hours on Saturday night to finish. (It was nice, I worked on the wheel while my Dad watched the football game)

I played around with plying because I wanted to practice and see what I got. There’s 1, 2 and 3 ply here and they look very cool (at least to me). I got a niddy noddy for Christmas last year and it made winding these very easy. I don’t think I’ll dye this lot only because it’s my first spinning product ever. I may knit them up into small swatches just to see what it looks like.

Next step, washing and drying!!

very cool.

Looks great! Honestly, the only time I’ve ended up partially felting my yarn was after washing. I wacked my skien waaaay too much (you know, taking out all that frustration!) and the yarn stuck to itself, especially around where it was tied. Though I did manage to gently untangle it and re-skein it, but it was a PITA.


I was a little nervous about setting the twist in my first handspun too, but it turned out to really be no big deal at all. I had put it off until I had several skeins so I filled the washing machine about 1/3 full of warm water, put in some eucalan and soaked the stuff for about 45 min, then I turned the knob to the spin cycle (skipped all agitation and rinse!), spun out all the water, and hung up the skeins to dry.