Author: @jillianmoreno

Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

Latest Addition to My Spinning Kit: Light

Am I getting older or are the rooms we take classes in getting darker? Probably a little of both. The more I teach in rooms with few (or any) windows the more I crave light. Instead of complaining about it, I’ve decided to combat it with an addition to my spinning kit. A headlamp. So simple and easy. We have a bunch kicking around my house. We use them for camping. We’ve had them since the kids were little, they would wear them for various games of pretend and reading in bed. They are available lots of places, outdoor stores, on-line and the camping aisle of big box stores. I don’t leave it turned ...

Spinning at TNNA

Amy, Kate and I attended The National Needlework Association convention in Cleveland, Ohio a few weeks ago. This is the wholesale show where knitting shops go to buy for the fall season. I’m always on the lookout for spinning things. This year there seemed to be a little less spinning than in the past, but the show was smaller overall.       Of course, Schacht was there in full force, celebrating their 50th anniversary. I need to buy the 50th anniversary shuttle before they are all sold out! Ashford was there too. I saw lots of demos of their newer e-spinner. I’ve tried it and it’s ...

Knittyspin First Fall 2019: Combos Cross Pollinated

Have you been spinning combos after reading my Knittyspin Column? Which combo intrigues you right now, combo spin or combo draft? I’m just happy to finally see the difference between the two up close and swatched! Of course, as soon as I finished swatching the two combos I wanted to know what yarn and cloth would look like if I combined one-ply of combo spun yarn and one-ply of combo drafted yarn.         Luckily, I had leftover singles on both bobbins. I plied them together and knit a swatch. It’s exactly a combination of the two yarns. There are speckles of color from the combo ...

Knittyspin First Fall 2019: Bremen Library Bag

  When the Bremen Library Bag came ins as a submission for First Fall Knittyspin, I knew I would publish it. The Bremen Town Musicians was one of my favorite folk tales when I was little, I even have a set of stuffed animals that stack. Then I read the pattern. The fibers used in the bag are all were all gifted to the designer, Stefanie Johnson, which gives the bag instant happy thoughts every time she uses it. The spinning and the construction are so smart. She uses black alpaca spun worsted for strength and smoothness. It also showcases the multicolored yarn. The multicolored fiber is a batt, that she plied to ...

Getting Ready for Tour de Fleece

This year I won’t be spinning for the Tour de Fleece. I’ll be be between teaching gigs, unpacking and repacking. I will be spinning, but not at a TdF level or with much focus. I love the massive amount of spinning, or just focused spinning I can do in three weeks. I like to not stress about it, including not watching actual bike racing. Some years I spin pounds, some (most) years I spin a skein of yarn. Last year I spun one skein of thick-ish sock yarn for a pair of shorty socks. I am always happy with what I get done, and I always learn something.     Here are some suggestions for a smooth and ...

Clara & Her Wool Pillow

Do you follow Clara Parkes on Instagram? She is a font of knowledge for all things wool, and lately, all ways wool as used in everyday objects. It’s from her that I learned about All Birds shoes, which I love. I’ve never worn a silkier feeling pair of shoes. Did you know there are wool coffins? I guess we can take it with us! I also find them beautiful. She wants everyone to use wool as much as they can. The more we use wool in the US or anywhere in the world, the more we need sheep. She wants people beyond spinners, knitters and all the fiber folk to discover how amazing and versatile wool is. An ...

Tiny Crochet Hooks Are My Favorite

  I don’t crochet, but I have a thing for teeny tiny crochet hooks, the one that are about the size of a pencil lead. These two I found at a thrift store (50¢), my favorite place for all kinds of craft supplies, don’t ask what else I bought that day. One had a 10 on it the other a 07. I’m not sure what they are for, thread crochet, maybe? I find them at estate sales too. I use these tiny hooks for two things mostly, and I would recommend having a stash of them, they go missing because, well, they are really tiny, and they break.       I use them for cleaning tools, my hand cards, ...

Here’s What I’m Doing About Those Bluprint Questions

Teachers who have classes on Craftsy, now Bluprint, got an email last week letting us know that when Bluprint switched over to a subscription model they made no provisions for students asking questions. They hoped that students would answer each others’ questions. What really happened is that students asked teachers questions and posted photos of their projects and yarns, and they got no response. Questions and comments gathered for a year and last week the folks at Bluprint let us know about them, and found a way for us to see them. But had no way for us to answer them easily. To say we all freaked out is an ...

Washing Fleece – What Do You Use?

I bought two fleeces at Maryland Sheep and Wool, a Finn and a Corrie Cross. Now I have to decide how I want to wash them. I originally wanted to compare two wool scours, Unicorn Power Scour and Kookaburra Scour. Then I listened to the Modern Wool podcast on wool scouring, and I’m not sure that I shouldn’t just use Dawn or clothing detergent. Then I went back and reread Sarah Swett’s blog post about scouring fleece (she uses Kookaburra), and I swayed that way again.     Both of my fleeces are pretty middle of the road as far as staple and fineness so I feel like I can do some experimenting. ...

Schacht’s 50th Anniversary Spin Along

    For Schacht’s 50th Anniversary, Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns created a colorway called Barry’s Jubilee. It’s 85% Polwarth/ 15% tussah, I know, such a dreamy blend. As part of their 50th anniversary celebration the folks at Schacht are hosting a spin along during the month of June. If you sign up for the spin along newsletter you’ll find out all about it. I’m in, and planning on spinning two different yarns with my braid.             Besides this fabu colorway, Schacht has several special anniversary products.   Everything from an ...