Author: @jillianmoreno

Knitting Mondays: What’s on our needles

A few of you blog readers have shown curiosity about what the Knitty staff is knitting, so we’re adding a feature to our Knitting Mondays called What’s on our needles. Literally what we’re knitting, or have finished knitting, dream about knitting or are struggling with knitting. First up is Jillian, with a cautionary tale about gauge. Thanks to a friend who is about to have her first granddaughter, I got to knit Joelle Hoverson’s Baby Bonnet from her newish book More Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It’s an adorable vintage-y knit , and a quick  3.5 stitches to the inch. I chose super soft ...

Starting the year off with yarn & a giveaway!

Remember I was going to spin some Southern Cross Fibre BFL and Merino? Well I did: Then I did some plying: I couldn’t wait to see what these two would look like as a piled yarn. I spun and plied most of this over 3 days – I actually woke up with sore calves in the morning! I love these colors together, and yes, they even marl in some places. I’m not usually a fan of marled yarn. It’s about 500 yards, 15 wpi. I spun the singles woolen and piled it to balance, because I wanted a softer yarn to be knit into something where abrasion/piling won’t be an issue and that needs drape, this shawl ...

Dreaming about 2011

I am a list maker. I love making lists. This time of the year I carry a little notebook and dream of all of things I might do in the next 365 days or so. Occasionally, I look back at the last year and take stock of what I learned. In my spinning life in 2010 the biggies for me were: Learning to spin fat yarn Learning to spin art yarn And it really, finally, hit home for me about how important and varied sheep breeds are, and how lucky we are to have so many to spin with. For 2011 my big three (so far) are: Knitting with handspun. I find handspun yarn so different than millspun yarn — it has a liveliness and ...

How Do You Choose?

When you find yourself with an empty wheel how do you choose what to spin next? I was recently faced with this dilemma, and instead of just grabbing something I went through the choosing more methodically. I didn’t have any have to spinning, my work and gift spinning are all done. I didn’t want to do any should do spinning, practicing techniques or sampling breeds. I have no projects that I specifically want to spin for. Leaving me wide open to choose. I roamed my stash; friends offered suggestions that I loved: your oldest stashed fiber, a color or fiber you hate or love, a forbidden too special to spin ...

A New Spinning Magazine, a Spinning Winner and Presents for Myself

Have you seen the new spinning magazine out of England? It’s called YarnMaker and is a wonderful spinning resource. I just received the first two issues and haven’t spent much time with them, but what I like so far is: lots of sheep and fleece talk, a two part round up of British spindle makers, natural dyeing, spinning and sheep people out and about, art yarns, history and quick projects. Mostly, it’s lovely to have a different spinning point of view than our North American one. I’m ready to subscribe. Our Spinning Winner The winner of our Miss Babs giveaway is Terri C. Congratulations and ...

How About A Spinning Giveaway?

Miss Babs Hand Dyed Yarns and Fibers has donated 8 ounces of  80% mixed BFL/20% tussah blend top in her Bog colorway for a giveaway. If you’d like a chance to win this yummy goodness, leave a comment before Wednesday December 8, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST. If your comment is chosen by our random number generator, you’ll be asked to answer a skill testing question before being declared the winner. If you don’t win our giveaway, don’t fret. Miss Babs is offering a fiber special that runs through December 31, 2010. Buy 5 tops and get one free with the code SPINDEC (not to be combined with any other ...

Batt Love

When I went to Fiber Expo I was deeply smitten with these batts. They are Whimsy batts from Frankie Loves Fiber, wonderful blends of merino, corriedale, shetland, silk and sparkle. I couldn’t choose between them. To me, colorwise, they belong together, so I brought home all three. I know, twist my arm. Weeks later when it came time to spin them, I felt even more strongly that the three should be one mixed colorway. It had become an idea I couldn’t shake, a bee in my spinning bonnet. So I went with it. Here’s what I did to combine them. Open, the batts had even more colors: I divided each of the ...

The View from My Wheel: Deb Robson’s Wool Breed Study Class

This past weekend I took a two day wool breed study class with Deb Robson, at The Spinning Loft. We covered a variety of breeds within the categories of primitive wools, down type wools , long wools and fine wools. Covering a category included history, lock, crimp, luster characteristics,  prep methods, and spinning at least 4 breeds within each category. Not being a breed junky, for me, it was the type of class that introduced me to a whole world of things that I don’t know. My first instinct was to panic (usually, my first instinct), it all seemed huge and overwhelming and there were combs, which I’ve ...

Jillian”s NaKniSweMo Update

It’s November 22. I still have 2 inches of body knitting, have to decide length and knit sleeves (I’m thinking short like the pattern) and do finishing. I have a good feeling about finishing on time. The pattern, Goodale, is fantastic. Easy to follow and fun to knit. I’ve learned attached i-cord edging and increasing in the row below from this pattern, and have since passed both techniques on to other knitters. It’s my favorite part about knitting, the constant learning and teaching. I’m still having issues with gauge and had to monkey with frequency and numbers of increases for the ...

Plying Spindle Spun Yarn

I love to spin singles on my spindles, but I’ve never been a fan of plying on a spindle. Instead I use my Kate 45 and ply on my wheel. All with the help of the humble drinking straw. My cop goes on the straw and the straw goes on my lazy kate rod. I have a pack of regular bendy straws that fit perfectly over the rods on my Kate 45 just loose enough to spin, but not so loose that the fly off when plying. The straw has to be taller than your cop but, not taller than your lazy kate rod. I slide my straw as far as it will go up the spindle shaft and slide the cop slowly onto the straw. I found that if I tried to ...