Saturday, May 23, 2009

Spinning Yarn

Pastel Rainbow Fairy Handspun Yarn

Cashmere Merino

Junkyard Fairy Yarn

Spindles, spinning wheels, drum carders, hand carders...all of these can be found around our home. Carding fiber batts and then spinning them up is a tactile, artistic experience, and a nice family project, too!

Spinning on our Majacraft Little Gem II

We learned how to spin and card years ago. We started off with a spindle/carding lesson, then Joey and Mommy attended Camp Plucky Fluff to learn more about making novelty yarns. We've done demonstrations and lessons. Mommy attended SOAR a few years back. We love collecting unusual and pretty spindles.
Camp Plucky Fluff Yarn
Some of our batts
One of our spindles

Sometimes, we participate in fiber swaps. We mail in various fibers (wool, alpaca, angelina, eco-spun, cotton, yak, angora, buffalo, tencel, bamboo, silk, soysilk...) to one person who then mixes everything up and sends us back a batch of fiber. The swap participants come from all over the world! Here is a yarn that Joey and Mommy spun up from a fiber swap. We then crocheted it into a funky hat!

Joey and Ricky have been selling their batts and yarns for a few years, now. The money that they earn goes into their college fund. Wilson just started making some batts of his own!

Joey likes to name her yarns after fairies.
Heathered Mist Fairy, Boysenberry Fairy, and Tree Fairy

Ricky names his yarns after the periodic table of elements.

Bromine Yarn, Iridium Yarn, and Neon Yarn


Kelly said...

Hi Jennifer
I so loved this spinning post - look at those wheels, spindles, fibre, yarn and such clever children. What beautiful yarn you all spin. I called my boys to come take a look and they were very impressed at the beautiful creations your children spun up. My two older children love to help me spin the wheel and card and dye. How old were your children when they started spinning successfully? Sol very much wants to spin his own yarn too and he enjoyed seeing your children's yarn. Did they start on a spindle or straight on a wheel? Thanks for sharing this. Fibre crafts is so satisfying. I still have so much to learn but the experimenting along the way is great fun.
Lovely post - thank you!

Tammy said...

Very pretty yarn. I think we'd be much like your daughter with naming it after fairies. :)

Tammie Lee said...

You make me smile. Such a wonderful way for a family to share time together. These yarns are beautiful and your children are talented and I love the names they have chosen for their yarns!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh! I love absolutely everything about this post!!
I need to take a visit to your house! : )
How excellent your kids are spinning, I love the names they used for their yarns!! This is all so great, huge fiber lover here!

Tan Family said...

Thank you all for the nice comments! Kelly, to answer your question, the kids all seem to be able to card on their own around 4-5, and use a spindle by 6. Once the spindle is mastered, we move on to the wheel. Just 10 min./day of spindle practice over a couple of months really makes a difference. Having a nice-quality spindle is important, too, so that it spins easily for the kids (I recommend Kundert and have some at

Joy said...

I love how they pick the yarn names. The Bromine yarn is my favorite. Love those bright colors! My daughter is attending a fiber camp this summer where she'll hopefully learn to dye and spin. She's excited!

Jenell said...

Jennifer, I lean a little much toward the thinking end of life than the doing. But I love doing. I love art (fiber-ing, sculpting, drawing, painting, collaging, photo-ing...) and wonder why I don't pursue it more often. Your blog inspires me!

I love your family's spinning creations and the completely unique names your children choose.

I love that your children are part of your work, that it's meaningful and full of connection.

Grandma said...

I treasure your hand spun yarn. They are works of art even without knitting them into something!

dongdong said...

beautiful colored yarn and what great variety! great creative outlet. The fairy song is really pretty too.

Marina said...

Oh dear me, I think I'm going to have to wipe all the drool off of my keyboard looking at all that gorgeous, yummy yarn and your beautiful children with the spinning wheel!

Thanks for your tips on introducing kids to carding and spinning in the comments section... I think it's something my boys would enjoy!

MamaRose said...

Oh how I long to learn to spin!! I think it's awesome that your children already know how to. I would be torn between the two types of naming. I love fairies and yet I'm a lover of the sciences. I would have never thought to name something after the elements-very interesting and creative and the fairy names are as beautiful as the colors. You have amazing and talented children!

Stephanie said...

So fantastically beautiful.
I've been spinning myself this morning, with roving we dyed yesterday (my first time for both).
These of yours are so amazing!
I love the wildness of some of them.
I'm very encouraged, and even more excited about this!

themagiconions said...

Such beautiful colors... just looking at them makes me want to felt!

Dawn said...

The colors in this post are such a treat for the eyes. I love the names your children came up with for their yarn!

Anonymous said...

That is just awesome! My kids have never tried to spin yarn. I did it once on a drop spindle and it was hard, even though I really enjoyed it. I haven't done it any since. I should pick it up again. Thanks for the inspiration...those kiddos of yours do a beautiful job...their yarn looks better than mine did! :0)

cayswann said...

I'm now a huge fan of Ricky's periodic elements yarns! I cannot wait to see you all this weekend at the Fiber Retreat, and compliment him on his work! Fantastic. --(Eilidh) Cat [coffee bar of splendoor]

Michelle said...

What a beautiful post! I have never tried spinning yarn, but my boys and I all want to. We even want to add sheep to our homestead, but that's a couple years down the road yet.

Thank you sooo much for the inspiration here, I've been thinking that they were too young to try this, but now I see that it's something we can learn together!!

RunninL8 said...

Man! I'm jealous!!!! We received a nice drop spindle from Santa and have enjoyed using it but we've only been able to successfully spin some thick awkward yarn! You have some lovely spinners and funktastical yarns!!!!

suzanne said...

Hello Jennifer

What a lovely post. Your lovely family has inspired me to begin this with my children. It looks so simple. I just love the creative yarns. I love to see the boy and girl differnces in the yarns they make.

Happy spinning everyone

Warm regards