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

What’s Your Groove?

Not too long ago my friend Erica & I both spun worsted weight-ish types of yarn. We’re both part of a group of fiber friends who meet weekly at a coffee shop to spin, knit and generally laugh off our weekly stresses. Our worsted weight yarns, hers worsted spun, mine woolen, were our groove yarns, our sitting on the couch go-to yarns. What our hands and wheels just spun when left to their own devices. Erica decided she wanted to spin thinner, she used smaller whorls and weekly I could see her yarn getting finer and finer. I decided to spin fat lofty yarns, I took some classes and practiced a lot and my yarn ...

How do you sort your stash?

I’ve culled and reorganized my main floor  stash space. As I was deciding on what to keep upstairs and what to banish to the basement stash, I realized I have very particular ideas about the sorting of my fiber stash. For my new upstairs stash I have: a cubby of my own handspun yarn, waiting to be patterns all of my Briar Rose fiber, because I wanted all of something for that feeling of abundance and it’s gorgeous a cubby of new to me fiber, right now it’s Southern Cross fiber a cubby of inspirational fiber, right now it’s Lynne Vogel fiber most of my spinning tools – bobbins, niddys, ...

Stash Control and a New Shelf

I don’t know about you, but I love to have all of my spinning stash around me. Well, a lot of it anyway. I’m lucky enough to have a family that understands the need for piles of stash. We have an inactive fireplace in our family room that I have claimed , using the hearth as my stash home. Not in any organized fashion, mind you. Though I organize it periodically, it never stays that way. It’s subject to whims, shopping trips and current deadline projects. Because I know you’ll understand, here is an un-doctored, un-neatened photo of my fireplace stash. You spinners who are in long term ...

Keeping Track with Tags

Sometimes it’s the little things that save your sanity in knitting. The humble hang tag has come to my rescue many times. I’m a process knitter. Which is a nice way of saying I love to knit but it take me a while to finish projects. I might have a dozen or so projects and swatches for future projects going at once. I’ve tried keeping track of it all with sticky notes, with notebooks, with computer programs, for me, none of that works because they are all separate from the knitted piece. When I start a project or swatch I attach a hang tag after a few rows of knitting. I note the pattern name, yarn, ...

5 Tips for a Dye Day

Two or three times a year, my fiber gang gets together for a dye day.  Here are 5 tips from our group to yours to keep your dye party running smoothly. 1) Plan and work ahead and after. Know how many people are coming and what’s for lunch. Mix your dyes ahead of time and soak your fiber the night before. Plan on rising and drying your fiber at home. Just dye and play on dye day. 2) Time and space for all. No one wants to wait on dye day. Have spots for everyone to work their color magic and enough pots, crock dyers, burners, etc to set the fibers. 3) Have some color ideas, but let it flow. I usually come with ...

The View from My Wheel – Vacation Spinning

In my quest to become a more conscious spinner, (I won’t say a better spinner, because I spin just fine, thank you) I’m learning to be aware of what’s going on with my hands, feet and wheel for a certain level of consistency when I want it. I’d like to be one of those spinners who seem to have a Vulcan mind meld with their wheels. “I’m going to spin a worsted 3-ply that will be a dk weight yarn”, they say, and twist, turn, treadle they do, effortlessly. My latest observation is that my spinning is influenced dramatically by where I am, who I’m with and others things ...

Tour results are in!

I didn’t hit my lofty goal for the Tour de Fleece but I spun a whole lot of yarn: 34 ounces.  I spun 22 ounces of the dyed-by-my-hand BFL, 4 ounces of fat 2-ply, 4 ounces of Lynne Vogel colored Merino/Bamboo/Silk, and 4 ounces of lofty thick-and-thin. It was enough and I had fun. I learned that I need a lot of variety in my spinning. There were days at the wheel when I just couldn’t face any more of my blue/purple BFL, that more than lack of time kept me from spinning my dreamed-about 2 pounds of BFL yarn. I also learned I need a whole lot more practice on my thick-and-thin yarn. What about you — ...

How Do Your Hands Learn?

In the past year, I have taken three classes, from three different teachers, that in some part taught spinning fat, lofty yarn. After ten months, I can finally spin fat, lofty yarn; it takes my hands a long time to learn. I have to watch and listen to other spinners, have teachers watch me and I have to practice, a lot. I practice by slipping my learning yarn into my daily spinning and I practice by having special learning sessions. Spinning new in between regular spinning works the best for me, it feels like playing. The other feels like have-to spinning. My hands started learning lofty yarns last September and this ...

Tour Update: 16oz and Counting

I’m 4 oz behind where I want to be for the Tour de Fleece. So far I’ve spun 12oz of my BFL singles and I was hoping for a pound by now. I’m going on a short hang out at a cabin vacation later this week, so I think I can catch up. I absolutely love the yarn I’m making. The colors and loft are exactly what I was hoping for. I haven’t finished any of it yet. I want to just slightly full it. I’m hoping it will have a wonderful hand at 5 stitches to the inch, because I’d love to make Goodale. My last 4oz of the Tour so far are a merino/bamboo from Three Waters Farm in the Lynne ...

Really Keeping Track on the Tour

I have grand plans for the Tour de Fleece. I’m finishing some Lynne Vogel Limited Edition Colorways from Three Waters Farm: merino/bamboo in the Black Hollyhocks colorway. I’m practicing the the thick, fluffy, and arty skills I learned from Lynne Vogel and Maggie Casey in the past month, at least a bobbin full of each. The biggie is 2 lbs of long drawn singles, slightly fulled, for a sweater from oatmeal BFL that I dyed myself after writing about it last week [see the finished results at left]. The oatmeal BFL was from The Spinning Loft. I haven’t watched one minute of the Tour de France, but I’ve ...