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Are you looking for vintage and hard to find yarns like Rowan, Sanguine Gryphon and others?

7 Yaks Design is adding new yarns daily!

Yarn Collage 3

Experience the delight of spinning alpaca!  Luxuriously soft, long, and available in a range of beautiful natural colors, discover why spinners love this fiber.  Alpaca is a long fiber with no crimp, so it doesn’t stretch and bounce the way wool does.  Sheep’s wool contains a lot of lanolin (grease) and most spinners like to scour the wool to remove excess lanolin before they spin it.  Alpaca doesn’t have the same grease content, and it is also hypo-allergenic.

Alpaca is…

Lightweight
Soft Luxurious
Very durable
Hand-washable or dry-cleaned
Little static
No pilling
Dyes well
Blends extremely well with other fibers

Suri Alpaca locks can be long and curly or straight fibers that are silky, very fine and very soft.  There is a wide variety in the color of the fiber such as, white, fawn, reddish brown, gray, dark brown, and black.  Suri Alpaca fiber is ideal for making soft loftier yarns for knitting.  It can also be used for felting.

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Huacaya Alpaca (pronounced wuh-kai-ya) wool is denser than the Suri Alpaca.  It is soft and very easy to spin and felt.
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– ALPACA FOR HANDSPINNING –
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Hardcarders:
Alpaca can be handcarded, using handcarders with fine teeth to create rolags.  Handcarded alpaca will spin into a soft lofty woollen yarn for knitting.


Drumcarders:

A drumcarder with fine teeth will create large batts for spinning.


Blending With Other Fibers:

Adding 20%-50% wool to alpaca gives the yarn more elasticity.  You can either spin a single of alpaca and one of wool then ply the two together to make a nice woollen yarn, or wool can be added to alpaca before spinning using handcarders or a drumcarder.

Blending 10%-30% mohair will make a fluffy yarn and give it a fuzzy look.  Silk lightly carded into the alpaca will add sparkle to your yarn.  Angora rabbit wool with alpaca makes a luxury yarn.  This yarn will be extremely soft and very warm.

You can use a drumcarder or handcarders to create various shades of alpaca, such as blending black alpaca with white alpaca will produce gray, or any number of colorful blends with dyed alpaca.

Elasticity can also be added to alpaca with nylon fibers such as Snow Mountain or StarbrightFirestar will creates a shimmer in your yarn, similar to the addition of silk.  Since alpaca fiber does not have much elasticity on its own, you will find adding wool or nylon – or some of both, will create a yarn with memory which is especially important when knitting socks!

Uses For Alpaca Yarn:

Alpaca yarn can be used for knitting, weaving, and felting projects – including wet felting and needle felting.

All 7 Yaks Design fibers are hand dyed with professional dyes that are both lightfast and washfast for long lasting, fade resistant color.

Create hats, bags, small baskets, hot-pads, wall art and more with this simple loom!

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12″ Medium Size Loom

Made from durable yet lightweight acrylic, the loom is so easy to use, even beginners can be weaving in no time! If you have worked on larger looms, you know how much time and energy is devoted to dressing the loom. No need for that here! You will have the warp on in just minutes. The deeper grooves on this loom allow for a variety of yarn weights in the warp.

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16″ Large Size Loom

The loom is perfect for using short lengths of yarn and left-overs from your stash. There are so many exciting possibilities for combing colors and textures with this weaving technique.

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7.5″ Small Size Loom

Get it for yourself or give this set as a gift to the crafts enthusiast you know!

The acrylic loom includes a PDF of easy-to-follow instructions along with knitting needle gauges in both US and metric needle sizes!

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US & Metric Knitting Needle Gauges

7 Yaks Design has also created a very cool recycled vintage album loom!

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12″ Vintage Recycled Album Loom

McMorran Balance

Have you ever purchased an unknown quantity of yarn, or spun some for yourself, and then you’re not completely sure how much yarn is there? It’s easy to find out, by using a simple tool called a McMorran Balance.  The balance is a scale that allows you to determine the yardage of a particular yarn.  It consists of a rectangular plastic box and a balancing arm.  The arm has been calibrated to calculate the yards per pound of a particular yarn once the length of the yarn has been trimmed to allow the arm to balance.  It’s just that easy!

After that you’re on your way to easy math to figure out how much yarn is on your cone, skein or in the ball.  Measure the length of yarn with a ruler or tape measure and then do the following:

  • Multiply the measurement x 100.
  • This measurement gives you the number of yards per pound of yarn.
  • e.g. 8.4 inches x 100 =840 yards per pound

Then weigh your yarn to see how many pounds or fractions of a pound you have (and then do a little additional math if necessary).

Once you know how many yards you have, if you don’t know the gauge of your yarn, that is easy to determine as well.  Using a WPI (wraps per inch) gauge entails wrapping your yarn around a 1″ measuring device.  I have been playing with designs for that too.  One is a ‘studio model’ and the other is a portable ‘keychain model’.

Keychain WPI Gauge

Just because I think everyone needs a little Goth in their life – and something to make you smile for no particular reason – I made this WPI gauge and then sent some along to Queer Joe’s Men’s Knitting Retreat which is taking place this weekend in upstate NY.  Have I ever mention how much I LOVE upstate NY?  (read – one of these days I am going to have my house on a mountain there, just you wait and see!)

The Goth Gauge

To use either of these guides:
Wrap the yarn around the 1″ channel smoothly, with the yarn touching, but not too tight. Once you’ve wrapped, count your number of wraps per inch (or WPI).

WPI Standards:
18 or more wpi – Lace weight
16 wpi – Fingering weight
14 wpi – Sport weight
12 wpi – Worsted weight
10 wpi – Bulky
8 or less wpi – Very bulky

And you thought this was just knitting, no, no – clearly it’s engineering at its best!  After you know how many yards of yarn and the WPI of your particular yarn, then you will know if you have enough to make a sweater size garment and maybe that’s what you were trying to accomplish all along.

Here’s a conversion chart for garments for children, or for garments other than the size mentioned in chart above.

I hope this helps to explain why your collection of knitting and spinning tools keeps growing – we need them all to get the job done!

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