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Top 5 Reasons Why Handmade Yarn is Better

Handspun Yarn Makes the World Go Round by The Twisted Purl

Top 5 Reasons Why  Handmade Yarn is Better:

5) Support the Handmade Movement: Each and every time you purchase Handmade Yarn you are supporting an individual person.  A person who put their finger print on each centimeter of the yarn you see.  A person who has spun love and passion into the very fibers of the yarn you will use.  You can’t find that in a mass produced yarn.

 

Spring Handspun Yarn Set
Can't you see the LOVE and PASSION?

Each skein of handmade yarn tells a story of creation.  You get to take that yarn and continue it’s story by molding it into something new and passing it on to the generations to come.  Most who use yarn are already a part of the handmade revolution happening across the world today.  Don’t you want your end creation to begin with the enchantment a factory can not instill?

 

 

4) Sustainability: Plain and simple, handmade yarn will endure.  It’s not something you use once then throw away.  It’s a very versatile product, can be turned into many things, and can be passed on to many generations.

By hand painting the dye into the fiber, the longevity of the color will actually surpass a vast majority of mass produced yarn.  In other words, the color will last longer, fade less, and be enjoyed by your grandchildren.

 

Carded Colorful Fiber
Color that Lasts!

Handmade yarn is something that can continue to be used, with minimal environmental effects and without depleting natural resources.

 

3) Environmentally Friendly: We all know it, so I won’t go into too much detail, Mass Production Factories are one of the causes of global warming.  Toxins leaving these companies have been known to poison the ground we walk on, the water we drink, and even the air we breath.

Handspun yarn is made by HAND.  It’s produced on a spinning wheel or by a drop spindle.  Neither use electricity to run.  Even a drum carder, used to prepare and blend fibers for spinning, is not electric.  All run on good old hand and foot power.

 

Powered by Hand and Foot
Powered by Hand and Foot

A vast majority of handmade yarn is made from animal fibers, not man made synthetics.  Shearing the animals does them no harm.  It’s actually more humane to shear the animals then to let their hair grow wild.   Ever seen an angora rabbit in need of a hair cut?  Not a pretty sight!  AND to top it all off, the animals themselves are even renewable resources. 😉

 

2) Unique:  Knitters and Crocheters can back me up here.  When you are crafting, do you put in the time and effort to make something that looks mass produced?  Do you want to be told someone saw something just like it at Walmart?  NOOOOO!  You are creating something from your heart!  You are using your hands to create something unique, special, and heartfelt.

No yarn is more unique than handspun yarn. I can dye 10 pounds of fiber, all the same colors, and spin it up and each individual skein stands as it’s own unique creation.  If you are going to take the time to make something by hand, the only way to guarantee utter uniqueness, is by using handmade yarn.

 

Unique Handspun Art Yarn
This is as unique as it gets!

1) It’s just plain cooler: Enter your local craft market store and go down the yarn aisle.  You are going to see rows and rows of the same shape and size yarn in a variety of colors.  Boring!  If you were to walk into your local yarn store and look through the handmade yarn sections…you will be in sensory overload!

Look at the below picture.  When you can take what’s pictured on the left and turn it into what’s pictured on the right, tell me that isn’t cool?  AND to think, it originally came off of a sheep!

 

Handspun Earth Yarn
Hand Painted Fiber turned into Handspun Art Yarn. Just plain cool!

Am I saying mass produced yarn is the root of all evil?  No!  Just saying handmade yarn is way cooler.

Happy Earth Day!  Please support your local markets and artisans as much as possible and happy crafting.

 

All yarn pictured was made by hand in Conway, Arkansas by The Twisted Purl.  Want to know more about The Twisted Purl?  Please click here.

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What is the difference between Handspun yarn used from roving or a carded batt?

Want to see a side by side comparison of handspun yarn made from hand painted roving or a carded batt?  It’s something I have always wanted to do, but until recently, did not have all the equipment needed to see the difference first hand.  You may be asking “What the heck is a carded batt or hand painted roving, in the first place?”  Let’s explore the difference!

CARDED BATT: (pictured below on left) a carded batt is fiber that is run through a Drum Carder.  Later this week, I will post more details about the Drum Carder and how it’s used.

HAND PAINTED ROVING: (pictured below on right) named for the process of how the dye is applied to the fiber.  The professional dye, in liquid form, is applied directly onto the fiber using sponge brushes.  Roving is the strand of twisted and drawn-out fibers of cotton, wool, silk, etc. from which yarns are made.

 

A Tale of Two Fibers
Carded Batt & Hand Painted Roving

In this example, the roving is from a super soft, top grade Merino Wool.  I used 2 balls of roving, both from the same DYE LOT (in other words, dyed at the same time), both 4 ounces.

Last week I acquired a new piece of equipment…a Strauch Drum Carder.  Thrilled to have a new toy to play with, I stayed up way late on Saturday night carding and spinning.  Stay tuned later this week for pictures of the carder and much more on how it’s used.

Let’s look at the Carded Batt first.  Below pictured is the journey of the Carded Batt Handspun Yarn:

 

The First Hand Painted Rovings Journey

The end result is a yarn full of depth and intricate in it’s structure.  It’s a bit more muted in it’s overall appearance.  Each individual strand holds a complexity unparalleled.  The fiber was spun onto 2 bobbins and plied through the spinning wheel to make a 2 ply yarn.

 

Handspun from Carded Batt
Handspun from Carded Batt

Below is the picture of the second hand painted roving used to make the yarn (remember all from the same dye lot as the above example).

 

Hand Painted Fiber turned directly into Handspun Yarn
Hand Painted Fiber turned directly into Handspun Yarn

Now with this roving, it was divided in half, spun through the spinning wheel, and then plied together to make a 2-ply yarn. I wanted to make the exact same kind of yarn for a more comprehensive side by side comparison.  Below is the yarn:

 

Handspun straight from Hand Painted Roving
Handspun straight from Hand Painted Roving

The colors are more bold and stand out more.  Honestly, I can’t pick a favorite!  I love both looks and both outcomes.  The two skeins of yarn would be stunning if combined into a project or left separate.

When it all comes down to it, it’s just your personal preference and what you are going to do with the yarn.  I tend to love the complexity of the blends and enjoy the variations of changing colors while I am knitting, but you really get that from both yarns.   To say one is better than the other would be impossible.

Hopefully, this at least helps you see the difference in the handspun yarn when it is made from hand painted roving or from a carded batt.

 

Side by Side Comparison
Side by Side Comparison

To card or not to card?  My answer?  Both!

 

Final outcome: Tale of Two Skeins
Tale of Two Skeins
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Handspun Yarn from Hand Painted Roving; The Progression

Katniss Progression
Katniss Progression

Hand Painted Roving has a life of it own.  It’s complexly painted colors once twisted and turn different ways through a spinning wheel or drop spindle can make the most amazing product.

Above is an example of the progression a simple ball of wool took from being painted with professional dyes to being spun into a usable skein of yarn.

Twilight Progression
Twilight Progression

Depending on the type of handspun yarn being made, sometimes there are more steps involved.  The above picture of Twilight Progression, shows the original black, red, and white painted roving.  The second picture shows the roving spun on the spinning wheel.  The third shows the yarn, still on the wheel being plied with the sparkle thread.  Lastly, you see the end product, the handspun yarn.

Duplicity Progression
Duplicity Progression

Sometimes, yarn can be surprising.  The above painted roving was light and dark.  The end outcome plying the half of the spun roving together ended up being very different.

From Bobbin to Skein
From Bobbin to Skein

The handspun yarn above was from the same painted roving batch.  This shows how two different types of handspun yarn look made from the same colorway.  One was coiled and the second was plied with thread.

Hand Painted Roving
Hand Painted Roving

Last week, with the help of two dear friends, we hand painted 19 batches of top grade, merino wool roving.  This week, I’m spinning it all up.  Hopefully I will have a lot more awesome progressions to show off!