Slow Yarn

Still a little baby, thank goodness!  Richie is the beginnings of the ultimate “slow yarn” experience

Are you all familiar with the slow food movement?  I personally think slow food is the best there is, that processed food does so much damage to our health and wellbeing and it does my head in that supermarkets are allowed to make fizzy drinks cheaper than milk and water… that there are enormous profit margins on fresh fruit and vegetables while wine and beer is sold at minimum profit in order to entice people into the store.  The power is in our hands to change the way things are… stop buying processed food, start growing vegetables, don’t do this, do that instead… Many of us do that already, or are taking small steps to create change, I’d love to hear what you do to keep you, your family, wider society and the planet healthy!

So slow food is good in my books… slow yarn is too.  I’ve been reading about slow yarn and the pleasure that comes from dyeing and spinning yarn, then knitting and crocheting with it and I must say, it is a very pleasurable exercise indeed!  I’m not at all opposed to ‘fast yarn’ as I am ‘fast food’ as I am a yarn lover of most varieties after all!  But I’m having a lot of fun with slow yarn and this afternoon finished off a little something made from my handspun which I am quite smitten with…

It’s funny how the stages of creating happen…. It starts with some white carded sliver and with a shake of dye becomes this…

To a dyer, this is a finished object, a work of art in itself, a beautiful long strip of colourful goodness.

To a spinner however, it is pure, unlimited potential.  There are so many ways to spin a braid of sliver… do I drum card it?  Do I navajo ply it? two-ply? three-ply? Spin it fractally?  Or in my case, just hope to spin it nicely?

As this was quite a big braid, I divided it into four pieces and spun them onto four bobbins before plying them together…

Polwarth usually spins nicely… I love Polwarth, nothing else compares in my book.

To a Spinner, this is a finished object, complete!  A piece of art… if only KB agreed, then I could create a feature bowl of yarn for our coffee table….

To a knitter however, a skein of handspun yarn is just the beginning!  What to make with it?  To be honest, I loved this skein, I was so besotted with the colours I didn’t want to make anything with it ever!  I just wanted it to stroke and admire… but I decided to roll it into a ball…

Admired the colours from all angles…

Obsessing over the perfect irregularity, each side (not that balls have sides but you know what I mean!) so different…

Don’t you just want to dive into that woolly goodness and swin around in it for a while?

Finally, I sucked it up and started to knit.

Because even though I want to keep all the skeins I spin for ever and ever, I am very curious to see how they look when they are used for their intended purpose!

Voila the Pebble Vest… I would give you a Ravelry link but Ravelry seems to not be working right now, something that is causing me great anxiety ha ha, just joking… moderate anxiety…  If you type Pebble Vest into the pattern search it will come up as number one.

I love this pattern, it is perfect for beginners…  one day a precious little newborn will wear it but right now I’ve got it hanging in my lounge and I’m obsessively admiring it…

Not quite the ultimate slow yarn experience as the Polwarth was bought from a company, but definitly getting there!

Thank you all sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much for the lovely sock comments from my last post, they made me feel so good!  I wore them today and do believe they are my funkiest socks ever.

OK, I’m off, I’ve got far too much stuff to do before bed to linger here in the blog world, as enticing an option as it is!

Wishing you a beautiful day!


About Crochet with Raymond

I'm a crochet obsessed, reiki master, crystal healing, yoga junkie, counselling student, in a happy long term relationship... and Raymond's mum!
This entry was posted in Dyeing Wool, Eco-Friendly Musings, Fibre P0rn!, Richie the Lamb!, Slow Yarn Movement, Spinning. Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Slow Yarn

  1. Jane says:

    Beautiful beautiful yarn! Isn’t it amazing how the colours in the yarn look all gorgeously random, then when it’s knitted, it becomes stripes? I think a feature bowl of yarn would be wonderful…
    Jane x

  2. Planet Penny says:

    I’m entirely with you on this Alice, I always love the look of a skein or ball of wool just a tiny bit more than the finished article, however lovely that is. I think it’s because of the lie of the twist, and blend of the colours. Knitting – or crochet- always breaks that aspect up. And of course when you’ve spun the wool yourself, then the ball or skein becomes it’s own work of art. So get yourself a beautiful basket or bowl, fill it with your hand-spun and REVEL in it, Alice. KB will come round in the end!!!!!
    The Pebble Vest is sweet, as you say, a great little pattern for beginners.
    Love to you, KB and of course Raymond,
    Penny and Higgins xxx

  3. Regula says:

    I love slow food. As you are writing here, the benefits are obvious. Yesterday I made a pumpkin pie from scratch, even the crust. The pumpkin is homemade too (by my neighbour). Do you want some? Arrrg. Just have a look.

    Love your yarn and the vest. I would start knitting one if there was a baby around. However, I started a pair of socks yesterday. The yarn is from Zauberball. I love it.

  4. meredithjean says:

    Your spinning, the consistency, the wonderful combos in every twist, from every angle, and… the pebble vest…. oh just SO wonderful. Alice you inspire me to veggify our tiny square of a backyard. I agree with all you say regarding the alarming greed driven self-destruction of our species. And the little lad – well Richie dear little suckling xxxxx. We are reading a book at the moment 50 Animals That Changed History. We take it in turns to ‘have’ the book and read one animal out loud. I went first last night and read Pigeon. We have so much to be grateful for.

  5. crochetingdoc says:

    The yarn you make is AMAZING!!! Seriously, it makes my day every time you have a wool/yarn/spinning image on your blog! Incredible! Simply beautiful! And have I mentioned that I like it that much, that I have made my own spindle…!? All I need now is to find some inexpensive wool and start spinning!🙂

  6. trudi says:

    Hi Alice , have been following all your lovely crochet and spinning for some time now. Have been inspired greatly and am now just learning to spin. I can so appreciate the loveliness of a skein. Am yet to crochet with mine.And just by coincidence I am also a maude and me ( like one of your suppliers). Maude is my my great aunt and my mother – 2 women who are my inspiration.
    Thanks for all your creativity and willingness to share it.

  7. Teje says:

    Dear Alice, great post! Slow food is good and slow yarn is good!!! If I could to make my yarn from the beginning – from ‘Richies’ wool – I would love to do that! Sometimes I have a tiny feeling like that with my patchworks – first I make a fabric with small scraps and then something with that fabric.
    That Pebble Vest is fantastic! Love your yarn with those delicious colours and the pattern is perfect!
    Have a lovely day!
    xxx Teje

  8. Julie says:

    A darling little vest

    We grow our own fruit and veg and are very much in recycling anything we can. DH recently made a seat for his shed out of some old shelves that DD had in her old bedroom here before she moved into her new home

  9. Dori says:

    I’ve never heard of either slow yarn or slow food! Great idea though. Here in the UK “buy local” has become a big thing. Similar idea, but slow takes it a step further.

    As a beginning spinner, I completely agree with the amazement of getting fibre and turning it into something wearable. I love the vest you’ve made. Isn’t it fantastic what we can do with our two hands?

  10. Julie says:

    Hi Alice, We are Australian but live in Germany where recycling and renewable energy sources are a big priority. I wish we would allocate more resources to both in Australia. It’s wrong not to. What do we do? As we live in an apartment we can’t grow veg (apart from herbs on the windowsill) but we put all food scraps in brown paper bags which go into the bio bin. Everything is recycled separately and very little is left to go into the “all rubbish” bin. It makes me feel good! Love little Richie and his cutesie milky face!

  11. Tas says:

    Just. so. beautiful.

  12. Marlene says:

    Here in South Africa there’s a definate movement towards slow cooking. In fact, Sedgefield, a village down the Garden Route coastline, has a whole weekend once a year dedicated to the art of slow cooking and people from far and wide come to sample the feasts provided. I must really show my granddaughter how Ritchie is being fed! She will simply love it. As I said before, your spun wool’s absolutely marvelous! Wish I could…. Will put that on my bucket list and maybe drop learning to speak French. HA HA

  13. I think that baby clothes are the perfect project for colorful homespun, just lovely Alice 🙂

  14. PS I’m waiting for some slowyarn….my baby miniature goat is still inside the mother, she will have a cashmere/angora coat….sooooo yummy!

  15. sandiart says:

    I love that pattern and have knitted quite a few as it seems to be a fav amongst my friends for giving as a present. It always looks so different with each yarn used. Yours is gorgeous Alice.
    x Sandi

  16. Claudia says:

    Oh, Alice, your yarn is so incredible beautiful!! and unique!!! The colours are great and it´s true: I want to dive into it!!🙂
    I just LO.VE Pebble vest (I´ve knitted 2 of them!) – by the way, in the original pattern page there is the Portuguese translation made by me!

  17. Anne Catlady says:

    Slow food – hadn’t heard it called that before. I’ve definitely heard of the movement toward becoming a “locavore”, to reduce one’s carbon footprint. But the slow food thing – I’ve been working towards that for many years. I’ve been reducing and/or eliminating processed pre-packaged food from my diet for a while now, and am finding my overall health is improving. I started out doing it for the taste difference (home made means quality control) but discovered that the more home made I had and the less store bought, the lower my tolerance for additives and preservatives – I *cannot* eat pre processed and packaged foods anymore!

    Loving to read your blog though – and love the Rickie pics and the yarn pics and the project pics! Keep up the good work🙂

  18. I absolutely love this post. I have often thought about the way one artisan’s FO is another’s starting point and there is something lovely about that and reminds me of the way one season gives way to another. My friend and I, only last night, were saying we have fabric that’s so pretty we don’t want to use it!

    As always, your spinning amazes me – such wonderful colours. And the vest is scrumptious – I need to make a newborn item myself, and it’s made it to the shortlist.

    I was giggling at your comment on my hexipuffs, because when I see your luscious socks, all I can imagine is using the yarn for more ‘puffs!🙂

    Enjoy the rest of your week, lovely Alice

  19. janice says:

    Awwwww I want a sheep. He/she is so cute. I remember as a child I spent a lot of time on my friends farm. The sheep were kept for the wool, so I saw the whole process of sheering dipping etc. Those sheep I do believe went to market after but as kids we didn’t know that. We would hand raise any that the mothers rejected. They would have a place by the fire in the living room and we would feed them bottles. Inevitably their name was Joey. So when Joey got bigger he would be off with the rest of the sheep. Bye bye Joey.
    I am glad we never knew his fate.
    Your yarn is just beautiful

  20. kashi says:

    I loved this post. I spent yesterday making dinner(slow food indeed). Fresh veggies and my crock pot. I also made a pear cake, thinking it was something like what you make. It was yummy. I have always preferred homemade food. The Richie pictures always make my daughter smile and when she saw the vest she informed me I had to make her one. She loved the pictures of your yarn in various stages as I explained the whole process and how you then use it to knit or crochet something. I am not an experienced knitter and I am going to attempt to make her something like that vest. She is 5 so I will have to look at sizes and all that. It is really cute though and I really like the colors. I love your work. Always happy to read your posts.

  21. MiA says:

    Soo beautiful! And, a nice reflection you made with slow food and slow yarn… I never thought of it that way – but it is sooo much right! Maybe, that’s why spinning is getting more and more popular… because people really need to slow down a bit😉

  22. Penelope says:

    The slower the food the better I say Alice, I do think people are slowly (no pun intended!!) coming round to this idea in the UK. I loved the journey you’ve just taken us on and as for te pebble vest, oh my goodiiinesss, too sweet for words. My sister in law is pregnant and I may just have to add this to my list of pretties I want to make for baby.
    Richie is most accommodating at having his picture taken… don’t let Raymondo see, he might just feel a little green with jealousy x Hope you are enjoying the Spring dnd sunshine it’s getting a little brrrrr here as we head into october.
    ps. What is it about our partners and not being able to see the beauty? ! Pxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  23. MariaK says:

    The vest is so cute!!! And I love your yarn, beautiful!

  24. Melissa says:

    Love that sweet face! Please do NOT get me started on the whole food problem! I could go on for hours about making baby food for the boys because of the preservatives found in the manufactured food and trying to keep soft drinks out of the house (I don’t buy them but sometimes the hubby does) and on and on and on. AND do you know that they are finding links between processed food and ADD and Hyperactivity and think about what this stuff does to a pregnant woman and her fetus…Yikes! So this year, even though I DO NOT have a green thumb (plants quiver away from me. They shiver and cry. I am why some violets are called shrinking) I am planting a small raised bed garden. We are starting small and we will see how it goes but with two growing teenage boys, food is a major priority in our house and it is getting SO expensive to feed them that I had to find an alternative. There will surely be craziness 🙂
    By the way, the wool that became yarn that became a vest is gorgeous!

  25. minaandme says:

    I’ve never heard the term “slow yarn” or “slow food” before, but it makes perfect sense! What a wonderful way to help out the world. Thank you so much for sharing your process with us, from dye to spin to knit. It’s all so fascinating! That little vest is darling! I think even I could do that🙂 And the colors are perfect for it! As per usual, top notch fiber fun! Thanks!

  26. Kathy Bernett says:

    In my far northern part of the U.S. (almost Canada), it’s too hard to grow my own veggies, but happily people farming farther south do bring home-grown things to our farmers’ markets. I love the idea of “slow wool”. I’m thinking that one day we will be treated to a reveal of Richie’s first “slow wool” project. I bet you are already thinking of what to make. Please keep up the wonderful work you do, Alice. You are an inspiration to all of us.

  27. Sarah says:

    Your yarn has become so nice and even! And the finish vest is very cute. I’m going to have to spin some Polwarth soon, I hear good things!

  28. Pammy Sue says:

    That is such a precious picture of Richie! Your yarn is gorgeous. Love the little vest!

  29. Slow. Yes. That’s the ticket! You should do a really slow knitting project and bring Richie home with you. After all, I know Raymond would love a friend, especially one he could knead his feet on. Come to think of it, you should slow grow a goat. We do have cashmere – at least some of us do! The skein of yarn is awesome and you are a true artist! We slow grow a lot of things here. Definitely the way to go!

  30. Kate says:

    Hey Alice and Raymond! I grew up in Michigan with my folks building a huge garden in the backyard every year. We grew loads of tomatoes and peppers and my little brother, who has a knack for cooking, would make them into jars and jars of salsa. So delicious! Now i grow my own herbs and wait impatiently for the day i will have space to have my own large garden.

    Your yarn is beautiful and I love the baby vest!

  31. Joya Roy says:

    i so want to be you someday. save a space for me alongside you!

  32. Margo Boult says:

    I am sooooo glad that I signed up for your blog . . . . . it is sooooo interesting and I love what you do!!!!

  33. Elizabeth says:

    Ooh it turned out gorgeous! And I love the idea of “slow yarn” – it sounds very fulfilling!🙂

  34. Joanna says:

    Such beautiful yarn Alice. Love seeing the different stages of the yarn. I love the pebble vest you have made with it – so cute. Joanna xx

  35. Really love your step-by-step celebration of the idea of slow yarn!

  36. Carol says:

    Slow yarn sounds good, whether I’ll become a spinner is another question. Pebble vest is beautiful, off check if pattern will fit a 2 year old (great granddaughter).
    Slow food I do do (not all the time – pub lunch today!) this week, collected apples from garden, made lots of jars of chutney, apple pies and crumbles. The veg garden wasn’t that productive this year but next year I WILL work harder.
    Another gorgeous photo of Richie.
    Carol xx

  37. sue says:

    Oh Alice that yarn is GORGEOUS! it reminds me of a summer sunset just perfect, if I had a little baby, oh my they would be dressed in that adorable vest! :o)

  38. Heather says:

    Hmmm Alice, you know how flamingoes go pink based on the colour content of their food? Do you reckon if we fed Richie lots of beetroot he might become a self dyeing sheep and come out all pink? hehehe.
    I love the idea of slow yarn. I think this blog post was beautiful🙂 x

  39. Claire says:

    That is such a lovely post about the journey of the wool. Just starting on that journey, but loving using my own homespun wool, a real sense of achievement and makes everything so much more special,

  40. kiwiyarns says:

    It’s interesting to see the development of that dress from cream yarn to a pretty, hand-dyed, hand-spun number. I think that whoever receives that cute little dress should keep it in their treasure box forever. It’s priceless.

    As a knitter, I found it interesting that I didn’t get excited about the yarn until I saw it knitted!! Haha. Shows when it comes to knitting, I’m still very much in the fast-food camp. Slow food, on the other hand, is something I agree is very important.

    Looking forward to seeing what other pretties you come up with!

  41. Leah says:

    Wow Alice, you’ve done it again! I can’t take my eyes off these stunning spun creations. The wee vest is just adorable. Have a lovely weekend hon. Fingers crossed the weather stays like this – it’s beautiful today! L x

  42. Mary Zelenka says:

    Sorry to state this here but somehow my subscription is coming up as deleted or not subscribed. I cannot fix it so will you please? I panic at the thought of losing this wonderful blog and newsletter it is the highlight of my week. Thanks for all you do…
    Mary Zelenka

  43. Tickety-boo says:

    Thank you for the Richie fix! He really makes me smile.
    Loving the Pebble vest!!! How amazing are the stripes?? You are such a clever cookie, you are!
    Makes such a sweet little gift and after all that work, love and attention I hope the recipient appreciates it. I’d be tempted to make Raymond try it on but that’s just me😉

  44. Louise says:

    I love your hand spun yarn, the colours are like art and so beautiful. I wish I could spin yarn like this. The little vest is very sweet.

  45. Karisma says:

    Ooooh I LOVE this post! I would love to learn to spin one day and of course have my own sheep and goats.😉 Im working on that one, slowly but surely! hehe! The wool is beautiful, the colours to die for. I was right there with you at every stage almost feeling it for myself. I wish I had of seen this post a couple of days ago, I was looking for a small project and the vest looks perfect. Maybe I will just have to make it too!

  46. Lynne says:

    The slow food movement is something I feel very strongly about – thanks for bringing it up and raising an awareness with your followers. As consumers we need to vote with our forks (I can’t remember who said that ,Michael Pollan?, Joel Salatin? both good authors on the subject.) Anyway, as for that latest ball of yarn… What a beaut!!!!!

  47. Cuckoo says:

    Slow food. Fast eat. That’s me. The pig!

    The braid looks just as lovely as a ball and even better as a pebble vest. Gorgeous.


  48. Mary Zelenka says:

    I did not get my newsletter for Sept 29. I wrote you a week ago fearing this. Could you please check into my status I believe I was deleted and could not re ad myself and I will be so upset to lose this blog and newsletter.

    Mary Zelenka

  49. Crissi says:

    such beautiful yarn and lovely picture from Baby sheep !!
    Hugs Crissi

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