Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Couple of Handmade Reviews.

Note: None of the reviews in this post were requested by the seller or compensated in any way. I purchased these items myself and am reviewing them of my own will.

This past weekend was like fiber mania. I went to a yarn shop and came back with 5 skeins of yarn and soap, and my drop spindle and fiber I ordered off of Etsy came in the mail. Also, I got a fiber book in the mail, which I will be reviewing later this week.

I love buying things off Etsy. Buying something from one person that loves what they do is so exciting. I can almost feel the passion the person puts into their craft a lot of times.

The first thing I'll review is the roving I bought from KnittyandColor. This is 4 ounces of an 80/20 blend of Merino/Silk in the color Burning Leaves.


I had seen KnittyandColor's work before on Ravelry, and when I finally got the chance to buy some fiber I found the shop again and fell in love with this. According to the listing for this item, "Merino/Silk is very soft and is great for garments worn close to the skin. The silk add lots of extra sheen and creates a very luxurious yarn!"

Sheen? Sold!

I've spun merino before, but never anything with silk, so I was anxious to try. I have only been spinning a year, and while I've improved tremendously, I don't consider myself anywhere near an expert. For you spinning gurus out there, if I don't use proper spinning lingo, forgive me and let me know so I'll know better!

I haven't spun a wide variety of things like the seasoned pros, but this roving drafted smoother than anything I've spun before. It took a bit of getting used to because I barely had to use any force to draft it, and the roving I had previously finished up didn't draft near as easily. I kept pulling too hard when I started spinning this! I am loving the subtle color changes with blacks, browns and golds. They look very warm combined together and is a perfect fall colorway. Like the listing said, there is a bit of sheen to this fiber, which I am in love with. The addition of silk really does make this a luxurious yarn. I can't wait to ply it and knit with it! Any suggestions as to what it should be?

My other Etsy purchase was a drop spindle from Spinatude. I first encountered Spinatude spindles at the DFW Fiber Fest in the Stone and String booth (where I got that awesome black/red Polwarth that I finished spinning and posted recently), but at the time I was not looking to buy a spindle. I've only had one spindle, and recently I've been itching to try others. I remembered Spinatude from the Fiber Fest and looked the shop up on Etsy. I fell in love with this spindle:

Yes, that is a yellow rose in resin. If you know me personally, you might be surprised that I loved something with a big flower. I am not a flower person. It's not that I don't think flowers are pretty, but floral prints are a bit too girly for my taste and I don't like getting real flowers because I think it's a waste. I'd much rather see them in nature. This, however, won't die like cut flowers would, and what I love about this so much is all the texture and subtle yellow color of the rose. I am very much a texture person (what fiber enthusiast isn't?) and I love being able to study all the little lines in the petals and stare at the center part (no, I don't remember my flower anatomy). I also loved the color of the shaft and thought it went perfectly with the whorl.

Okay, so we've covered that this spindle is beautiful, but how does it spin? I'll admit, it took a bit of getting used to, since not only was I using a new spindle after a year of using the same one, but I was using that merino/silk for the first time. After a couple of minutes though, this spindle and I were making yarn with no problems. It felt balanced and I can't find anything wrong with it. The only thing that surprised me was that the shaft tapers to a point at the bottom, which I wasn't used to. Not a sharpened point, but the end is significantly narrower than the rest of the shaft. I keep poking myself with it because the bottom of my other one is flat! I've pretty much gotten used to that though, so it's not causing problems. I don't know if the shaft coming to a point does anything technically (maybe it can spin better that way?), but I find it very aesthetically pleasing. It makes the spindle look much more elegant than if it had a blunt end. If you're in the market for a new spindle, I'd recommend checking Spinatude out.

That's all for my reviews today. I have a book review and some other things planned for the rest of this week, so be sure to check back.