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 Source for good, inexpensive roving
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Spinnerella
Permanent Resident

1040 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2004 :  3:20:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Spinnerella's Homepage Send Spinnerella a Private Message
I discovered this over the weekend at a spinning class I attended. One woman had a huge bag of off-white pencil roving from Bartlett Yarns in Harmony, ME, and was letting others try it as she had so much. It was NICE.....not exotic or fancy, just good, plain, generic New England wool. As I said, pencil roving, which could almost be knit as is, but easy to spin quickly. It would lend itself to dye experiments, for one thing, but when I called to get the price (it is not yet listed on Bartlett's website) I was stunned: $8 a pound! You could make an adult's sweater for under TWENTY DOLLARS, for heaven's sake! It gets better....I ordered two pounds of natural or off-white and two pounds of light sheep gray (not processed in any way) yesterday, and the stuff arrived here in S. Connecticut this afternoon! Four pounds of roving plus shipping for under forty dollars and essentially overnight delivery. I am impressed. And, having spun the stuff last weekend, I know it isn't garbage, either. Just thought I would pass this along.

knitwitgenie
Warming Up

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2004 :  2:48:50 PM  Show Profile Send knitwitgenie a Private Message
Is the pencil roving listed on their site? I went to the Bartlett site, but I could not find it. I would love to order some...let me know what I need to do. Thanks a lot. Genie

Genie
aka knitwitgenie
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Boogie
Permanent Resident

USA
3073 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2004 :  3:49:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Boogie's Homepage Send Boogie a Private Message
You need email or call for the pencil roving.
They have it available in natural, light sheeps grey, medium sheeps grey and dark sheeps grey. If you look at their fisherman yarns you can see the colors.
To contact them:
Phone: (207)683-2251. Mail: Bartlettyarns, Inc., P.O. Box 36, Harmony, Maine, 04942

amy
http://theboogerblog.blogspot.com
http://www.thekingspottery.com
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Spinnerella
Permanent Resident

1040 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2004 :  8:44:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Spinnerella's Homepage Send Spinnerella a Private Message
I have been experimenting with this roving and found that I could just put twist into it, without drafting out, and then ply and get a wonderful, lofty, soft yarn that ends up being about 8 wpi and knits to about 3-3.5 sts per inch. It goes so fast it isn't funny...since last week I have been averaging about 100 yds every other day if I "spin" one day and ply and wash the next. It looks like the old "rag" yarn and is going to make a great sweater for someone, probably my husband. I finished skein #7 today so I am about half the way to that sweater. As mentioned above, call Bartlett to order. In my original post, I pointed out that this roving is not yet on their website, but the gentleman I spoke to is delightful and very helpful. The light gray, by the way, is really more of a tan or beige, but it supposedly dyes well.
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knitwitgenie
Warming Up

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2004 :  05:57:21 AM  Show Profile Send knitwitgenie a Private Message
I will call today and let you all know how it goes. Am excited. Please keep posting updates. Genie

Genie
aka knitwitgenie
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knitwitgenie
Warming Up

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2004 :  2:38:29 PM  Show Profile Send knitwitgenie a Private Message
Well, I called Bartlett, and the man was so very nice...just as you said. Ordered 4 pounds of the light gray pencil roving and he is going to send me swatches of the other colors of roving as well as swatches of their yarn. He said it would leave Maine tomorrow. He told me that they also carried batting for spinning. Will post again when it arrives. Genie

Genie
aka knitwitgenie
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Spinnerella
Permanent Resident

1040 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2004 :  8:31:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Spinnerella's Homepage Send Spinnerella a Private Message
Genie...I just reread your post. Did you say that Bartlett also sells batts for spinning? I will have to look into that! Another experiment tonight with my pencil roving turned out surprisingly well: I took the plain, unspun roving, just as it comes from the wheel and knit several swatches with it. I tried with two strands of roving together on size 7 needles: nice firm but soft knit piece, much like Lopi but softer. I also tried knitting a single piece of the roving on the 7's, and obviously, that came out a bit looser. The first was about 3.5 stitches per inch, the second a tad over 4 per inch. Interesting. You do have to knit carefully, but once knit, the fabric is surprisingly strong. Another use for Bartlett roving! I would definitely consider a sweater or coat made from the unspun roving!
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2364 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2004 :  05:27:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message
Just keep in mind that if you knit with pencil roving, it is VERY apt to pill easily for the life of the garment - I've used quite a bit of the Fingerlakes Unspun, White Buffalo, and Imperial Ranch unspun roving, and the garments are soft and wonderful, but very fuzzy and do pill. They all felt realy well, though. If you like to spin or knit the pencil roving, you might like trying the Imperial Ranch or Fingerlakes. Imperial Ranch is made of Columbia wool, and is really nice, and Fingerlakes is mostly merino, I think, dyed in really interesting colorways that knit up kind of like Noro yarns, with long color repeats. I think both are available directly (google for sites), and I know Woodland Woolworks carries the Imperial Ranch wool.

Shelia
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Spinnerella
Permanent Resident

1040 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2004 :  05:36:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit Spinnerella's Homepage Send Spinnerella a Private Message
Thanks, Sheila, for the info. I recently found that I can get Imperial Stock Ranch through one of my new local yarn stores, Knit Together in Stamford, CT. He is the only other dealer to carry Imperial yarn and told me he would get me the roving but not charge me retail for it since he wouldn't be "carrying" it in the store. How cool is that?! I guess I did know about the pilling...so much for the coat idea!
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knitwitgenie
Warming Up

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2004 :  11:06:59 AM  Show Profile Send knitwitgenie a Private Message
I AM BACK!!Have been up to spinning stash mischief"...called Bartlett and ordered 12 more pounds of roving in white, black and darker gray. I love it. I have also packed up all of my yarn stash, and am gonna give it to the local nursing home. I have got to clean out or else my husband is gonna throw me out. Yes, the man at Bartlett, as best I remember, told me of the batting. I may have misunderstood him...I just cannot remember. I am spinning aqway mady as I return to work on Wednesday...and then in a week all those bad kiddies will be returning to my room. I hope I make it. It is raining here in Lexington as the hurricaneSSSS approach. Hope the creek does not rise into the house. Genie

Genie
aka knitwitgenie
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Spinnerella
Permanent Resident

1040 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2004 :  8:23:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Spinnerella's Homepage Send Spinnerella a Private Message
Tell all! How are you spinning it? Drawing it out or leaving it as it comes and just putting twist in? Plying white with one of the other colors? It is fun...I finished skein #12 the other day, but then switched to some Brown Jacob today just for a change of pace. I am dying now to try to knit something with the Bartlett stuff, but I need to do a few more skeins just to be sure.
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knitwitgenie
Warming Up

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2004 :  05:42:51 AM  Show Profile Send knitwitgenie a Private Message
I tried pulling it out on some but like the bulkier more. How are you dying??? I want to try. Is it hard??? I have dyed with Kool Aid some culled scraps that I made into batting on my carder but am scared to mess with my precious yarn. I need someone to help me thru a trial process. Do you have some suggestions. This morning I will try plying two colors to see how it looks...sounds funky. Genie

Genie
aka knitwitgenie
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Spinnerella
Permanent Resident

1040 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2004 :  06:20:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit Spinnerella's Homepage Send Spinnerella a Private Message
Genie, I have only tried the Kool Aid dyeing once and it was fairly successful. The colors (aqua on one skein and red for the other) were a bit garish, I thought. The man from Bartlett suggested using the light sheep's gray for dyeing as it would "tone down" the Kool Aid colors. The Twisted Sisters sock book has a pretty good discussion on dyeing and there is a kids' knitting book that goes into the whole Kool Aid thing in detail. In fact, that's what I used. Basically, wet the yarn, mix the Kool Aid in hot water, put the yarn in, stick it in a microwaveable glass container, cover with saran wrap and nuke it! I have a 2-min cylce on mine, so I kept doing it till the water ran clear, which indicated that the dye was exhausted. I would do this, by the way, in place of any other yarn finishing. I didn't like the colors, but I have since learned that the acid dyes are just stronger concentrations of the same stuff they put in Kool Aid. Scary. As for plying two colors together...you get TWEED! The white plus the light gray looks just like the old ragg wool, but I'll bet some of the other combos are great, too. This roving is just terrific for getting bulky yarn, isn't it?
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rfl
New Pal

5 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2004 :  07:27:47 AM  Show Profile  Send rfl a Yahoo! Message Send rfl a Private Message
Hi Group,

This is Robert in Ohio. I just joined this forum and i do not know how it works, but here we go.

I am making felted hats with imperial stock ranch kits using their Pencil Roving 4oz. yarn which is now $8. As i was reading this Pencil roving yarn from Barlett's for $8 a Pound. I want to know if i can make these felted hats out of this yarn? Is it the same as Imperial stock ranch? I am a beginner knitter just learned about 3 months ago and have only made a couple felted hats, so I do not know anthing about yarns.
Thanks for your help
Robert in Ohio my e-mail address is rfl@cros.net
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knitwitgenie
Warming Up

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2004 :  12:39:10 PM  Show Profile Send knitwitgenie a Private Message
Welcome, Robert... This is a wonderful forum...you will learn so much. What in the world are Imperial stock ranch kits...the Bartlett pencil roving is GREAT for spinning, but I have not tried knitting with it from scratch. It comes looking like a wheel of cheese and has NO twist in it for strength. I have been told that you can knit it straight from the cheese wheel without spinning, but I have not tried it. I feel sure that it would felt nicely but hane not tried that either. Again, welcome. Genie

Genie
aka knitwitgenie
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KAC
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
443 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2004 :  3:09:09 PM  Show Profile Send KAC a Private Message
I knitted a swatch with the roving (I had dyed it gray) and it came out beautifully! I'm going to make my hubby a sweater out of it. I did another sample swatch specifically for felting - it felted down a little smaller than yarn with twist - on the first run through the washer - but it felted very, very well. I made a catnip "wonton" out of the felted swatch. :-)

Where in Ohio? I'm in Ohio, too...

Kim
http://sanityknit.blogspot.com/
The largest room in the world is the room for improvement
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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2004 :  3:46:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
Just for fun I googled imperial stock ranch kits and found this site for you.

http://www.woodlandwoolworks.com/Knitting/Yarn/ISR/ISRKnitwearIndex.html

Sounds like what Robert (Hi, Robert and welcome to KR!) was talking about.

KathyR

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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knitwitgenie
Warming Up

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2004 :  5:46:57 PM  Show Profile Send knitwitgenie a Private Message
Kathy...I just went to the website and was shocked to see the price at 8.00 for 4oz when I have been paying Bartlett 8.00 for a pound. The PR looks the same to me...how prices can differ on the internet...thanks for looking that one up for me. Genie

Genie
aka knitwitgenie
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rfl
New Pal

5 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2004 :  12:41:44 AM  Show Profile  Send rfl a Yahoo! Message Send rfl a Private Message
Hi Kim,
This is Robert. I am in the Cedar Point area you near toledo or cleveland or cincinnati? I am going to get some pencil roving from Barlett's and and try it out for $8 a pound instead of the $8 for 4 oz at woodland wookworks. I see you bought the pencil roving and dyed it. How or what did you dye it with and what color was it before you dyed it?
Thanks
Robert my e-mail of rfl@cros.net

quote:
Originally posted by KAC

I knitted a swatch with the roving (I had dyed it gray) and it came out beautifully! I'm going to make my hubby a sweater out of it. I did another sample swatch specifically for felting - it felted down a little smaller than yarn with twist - on the first run through the washer - but it felted very, very well. I made a catnip "wonton" out of the felted swatch. :-)

Where in Ohio? I'm in Ohio, too...

Kim
http://sanityknit.blogspot.com/
The largest room in the world is the room for improvement

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spin_or_knit
Permanent Resident

USA
1203 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2004 :  04:28:32 AM  Show Profile Send spin_or_knit a Private Message
My huasband got about 6 pounds of pencil roving a week or two ago (I have no idea where he got it or the price) and he and our daughter dyed it. It turned out great!! They put the whole ball of roving into a vinegar/water bath in a big canning pot and sprinkled in dye. (I think it was Kushings or Gaywool--not sure as I just did my first dying yesterday!!). The roving looked like giant honey buns!! The roving turned out just gorgeous and spins into beautiful yarn. They are using it with drop spindles.
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KAC
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
443 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2004 :  05:10:57 AM  Show Profile Send KAC a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by rfl

Hi Kim,
This is Robert. I am in the Cedar Point area you near toledo or cleveland or cincinnati? I am going to get some pencil roving from Barlett's and and try it out for $8 a pound instead of the $8 for 4 oz at woodland wookworks. I see you bought the pencil roving and dyed it. How or what did you dye it with and what color was it before you dyed it?
Thanks
Robert my e-mail of rfl@cros.net




I'm just southwest of Cleveland.

I used Jacquard acid dye in jet black to dye one "wheel," and it dyed to a beautiful steel gray when it was finished. I used the natural roving to start. I ordered 4 pounds to start with - I'm definitely going to order more!


Kim
http://sanityknit.blogspot.com/
The largest room in the world is the room for improvement
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