Knitting and Roving

Knitting and Roving

Last time I did a World of Wool order, I got some ‘Pencil Roving waste’, it’s a the bottom of this page here. I very recently learnt to knit and it is really nice to knit with. I was going through my commercial yarns recently, they’re pretty much all tassley, eyelash, loopy things for embellishing felt, but right when I first discovered felting, I bought some thick and thin acrylic ‘fake’ pencil roving. :

I’ve needlefelted and wet felted with it, and made a tiny knitted square when I first learnt and thought it would be perfect to use with the pencil roving to make something thick and soft and texturey. I used a multicoloured ball, and added in the pencil roving lengths as the previous one ran out. I think it’s about 10 inches square:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI did neaten the ends a bit, and poke them through to one side, so this is the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think the texture is really nice:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt got me thinking about making my own pencil roving, I kind of made some a while back when I was having my kitchen done, I spun some Merino on a drop spindle then knitted it straight from there a day or two later, but the drafting is such a pain from wool tops. Then I remembered Ann did a video right when we first started the site about drafting roving using a diz. So, I blended a drum full of browns and turquoise/spearminty colours, found a button with a big hole and made myself some roving. I was impressed with myself, it only went thin a few times:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few shorter lengths:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought this could be useful for making wet felting kits because I noticed people who’ve never seen wool tops before find them hard to pull off, and hand carded/drafted roving is much looser. I made a short video of the next lot I drafted. I made a new diz from a film tub lid, because I wanted it a bit wider and also made a little ‘tool’ from bent wire to help pull the wool through the hole.

22 thoughts on “Knitting and Roving

  1. Your roving looks great, Zed. How are you managing to get it all out in one batch? Mine always breaks when I try to move from one end to the next part where there’s more wool :/

    What will you do with the square? It does look soft and squishy πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Leonor πŸ™‚
      It did break a few times, or went thin so I separated it. I just did it slowly and small bits at a time. It was all commercial Merino tops too, so the drum was all net and even which probably helped. I don’t know about the knitted piece, the whole point of learning was to add bits to felt pieces, but I keep liking what I make, even little squares, so maybe useful stuff will come later. I am probably going to get more pencil roving for a scarf though!

    2. I will do! I spun it on the spindle yesterday, I’ll try to get some photos.

  2. It looks so easy when you do it, and the wool on your carder looks gorgeous! How wide is the hole in your diz/button/film tub lid? IΒ΄d like to try this with my coarse wool – although I may end up with something somewhat thicker than “pencil” roving. πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks, Zara πŸ™‚
      The button is about 1.5mm and the film tub lid is about 2.5mm. Mine were much thicker than pencil roving, but they should be easier to draft finer if I do want to spin.

  3. Great video Zed! I haven’t tried doing that with my carder. But I tend to like batts better than roving anyways πŸ™‚ Nice knitting job, you are going to be knitting socks and sweaters soon!

    1. Thanks, Sharon πŸ™‚
      I think it’s mostly World of Wool’s Rust and Chocolate with a bit of Sienna and Mink, and Turquoise, Spearmint and Mint.

    1. Thanks, Lyn πŸ™‚
      Yeah, I was surprised at how well I did on my first attempt!

  4. Bravo on making the roving. I’ve tried and tried and it always breaks.Thanks for sharing the video. The knitting looks cool. What’s next?

    1. Thanks, Marilyn πŸ™‚
      I think some tidying up is next! And sorting out the rest of the stuff for the Well-being workshop next week.

  5. Great job with the diz Zed. The blend you made is very nice. Marilyn you have to be careful not to make to long a pull or it will pull apart like breaking tops.

    1. Thanks, Ann πŸ™‚
      I was probably hungry thinking of chocolate and mint when I did the blend!

  6. Great idea, Zed. Has anyone tried using pencil roving for knitting a piece loosley and then felting?

    1. Thanks, Nada πŸ™‚
      That was my intention with the first piece I did, but I liked it too much! I made some loose yarn from slubbed wool, knitted that and put it through the washing machine, but it didn’t look any different. I will definitely make a square of pencil roving and felt it, though πŸ™‚

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