Month: May 2014

Jillian’s Spinning: A Quickie – TNNA and Saranac

A quick post this week. I have been traveling and if I’m not traveling my husband has been traveling.  For three weeks we’ve been high-fiving in the doorway as one of us comes and one of us goes. things have been a little chaotic at my house.

I was at TNNA this past weekend and it was wonderful as ever. Once a got home I realized I didn’t take as many pictures as I thought I did.

Three things that jumped up and bit me hard enough for me to remember to take pictures are:

Soffsilk – spinning fiber made from silk waste. It’s so soft and fluffy and the colors are so pretty. I got a bit to play with, I should have a few yarns to show next week.

soft silk

Fyberspates Scrumptious, 45% silk/ 55% merino. All of the Fyberspates colors are unbelievable, but there is something about this yarn. I couldn’t stop touching it and dragged designers in to pet it too. Yum.

Fyberspates Scrumptious
Fyberspates Scrumptious

These beautiful little packages are Tulip Needles embroidery needles from Japan. Tulip also makes great knitting needles and crochet hooks. These needles have no neck like milliner’s needle – great for knotted stitches.

Tulip embroidery needles
Tulip embroidery needles


Saranac update. Think your ply twist doesn’t matter much? Look at this:

Saranac take two
Saranac take two

The swatch on the right is the same yarn as the left with twist taken out. The yarn is thinner, I went down a needle size to get gauge. Next week for you spinners who must know all of the technical parts of a yarn – I will bring all of the measurements and weights of the two yarns. I like this new yarn much more for this shawl.

Have a great week of spinning and knitting!


Stories in Stitches

Knitty designer and columnist Donna Druchunas has always been interested in knitting history and stories, and she and her friend Ava Coleman have recently launched a project that’s about just that.

Stories In Stitches is a book series featuring stories about knitters and their lives, traditions, history, and travel, all tied together with knitting patterns and projects. Each volume includes projects from a far-away time or place. In the words of Donna and Ava: “It is our desire to inspire and empower knitters of all skill levels to move beyond the line-by-line pattern into the realm of creating their own modern folk-art designs.”

The third volume is launching this week, and the focus in on knitting around the world during World Wars I and II. You can order it online.

The first was all about the knitted counterpane – bringing to life stitch delicate and decorative stitch patterns, including some originally used in a bedspread knitted by US First Lady Grace Coolidge. The second was all about knitted samplers, and featured an interview with Meg Swansen. The projects included some truly stunning lace designs.

Full disclosure: I’ve been working on the project as a technical editor, and it’s wonderful and fascinating stuff. I love that Donna and Ava aren’t just focused on North America and Western Europe – they have a truly global perspective. The articles provide a lovely intimate view into the lives of knitters in other times and other countries. The projects are sometimes charmingly retro, and sometimes perfectly modern – but always beautiful and interesting.

Because we love this project so much, we want to share it with you! Leave a comment on the post to be entered to win a set of all three volumes.

The usual contest rules apply: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Monday May 5th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the books. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Thanks!