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.

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22 Responses to Knitting and Roving

  1. Leonor says:

    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™‚

    • zedster66 says:

      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!

    • Leonor says:

      Show us what you make when time comes! πŸ˜€

    • zedster66 says:

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

    • Leonor says:

      Yay! I do want to see that πŸ˜€

  2. zararooke says:

    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˜‰

    • zedster66 says:

      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. ruthlane says:

    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!

  4. I love the colours in your roving. x

    • zedster66 says:

      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.

  5. rosalindmoehi says:

    This is very nice and your colours too!

  6. Lyn says:

    Nice knitting! The button works well doesn’t it? Good demo.

  7. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    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?

    • zedster66 says:

      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.

  8. 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.

  9. says:

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

    • zedster66 says:

      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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