Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Heart Lab: Jill Draper

Jill Draper makes the yummiest and the squishiest handspun yarns... they look good enough to eat!! I don't know the first thing about hand-spinning, so here's Jill to give us newbies a little peek at how it's all done...

Step 1. Wind off 4 oz balls from the giant bag of roving: 5 min

Step 2. Soak the balls of wool b/c they need to be wet to absorb the dye : 3+ hours (although they do this alone - no supervision necessary)

Step 3. Dye the wool using acid dyes & set it with heat : 1 hour

Step 4. Hang the wool on drying racks - outside if it's warm inside w/ fans when it's cool or rainy out : 2-3 days depending on humidity

Step 5. Pre-draft the wool - basically like pulling apart string cheese to get the roving into thinner pieces to spin : 30 min

Step 6. Spin the singles, each ply is spun separately onto its on bobbin to be plied together with it's mate during the next step : 3-4 hours

Step 7. Change the head of my spinning wheel to the plying head & ply the singles together : 2-3 hours

Step 8. Wind the yarn onto a contraption called a niddy noddy that also measures the length of the hank : 15 min

Step 9. Weigh the finished hanks : 5 min

Step 10. Make the labels & label each hank : 15 min

Make sure you visit Jill's shop at!

Thanks Jill!!


Jenny said...

Wow - and at such a great price too. For the love and care put into these handmade yarns they are really beautiful but reasonable as well.

Melissa de la Fuente said...

wow, so much work and love going into it all! Thank you for sharing this!

Marichelle said...

Hi Jenny and Melis! Thanks again Jill for sharing your work with everyone. As I said before, your yarns look good enough to eat :)

nichole said...

Oh wow! I learned something. I often stare at beautiful handspun yarn on etsy, but have no idea what I would ever do with it. Can't knit to save my life.

Marichelle said...

hey Nichole! I wish I could call myself a knitter, but I'm afraid I've only been able to knit the basic scarf and maybe one hat (and even that was done under expert supervision)!

Nicole said...

I own a skein of Jill's handspun, and it is the most gorgeous, smooshy, spongy wool I've ever laid a hand upon. Seriously, I still consider it the prize of my stash.