Spinning Tuesdays

Jillian’s not Spinning: Rebecca Ringquist Embroidery Book Giveaway

I learned to embroidery from Rebecca Ringquist’s Creativebug class and  I haven’t stopped stitching since. I’ve spent a year stitching her samplers and stitching on just about everything I can get a needle through. She is a creative hero of mine.

I am so excited that she has a new book out!

Creative inspiration!

Creative inspiration!

I reviewed the book in this issue of Knitty:

Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops
by Rebecaa Ringquist
STC /A Melanie Falick Book
$29.95, hardcover
Rebecca Rinquist’s mantra for teaching embroidery is “Don’t worry, just stitch”. This book is like no other how-to embroidery and for that I am very grateful.
I learned to embroider from Rebecca a few years ago through her Creativebug class and it was exactly the revelation I wanted. Embroidery doesn’t have to be a litany of do this, exactly this way and no knots ever; it can be as relaxed a creative pursuit as I wanted it to be.
This book is filled with exceptional teaching and beautiful examples of embroidery, and it opens with a photo of the back of a sampler stitched by Rebecca herself. Guess what it shows? Knots, and threads stretched from one working area to another, not the “back should be as clean as the front” school of embroidery.
Rebecca teaches the basics of embroidery stitches using a sampler (included in the book). In her teaching, she takes the rich tradition and history of embroidery in a new modern, relaxed direction.

This book is divided into four main sections: Stitch, Trace, Draw and Layer. Stitch breaks down the families of stitches how to create basic stitches and how to make many variations. Trace explains a variety of ways to transfer images to embroider, including the best methods for different fabrics. Draw teaches the basics of mark making, creating original images or lines as a supplement to an existing design or as a freehand design on fabric. Layer explores methods of embroidering over already embroidered fabrics.

Each section has several projects designed to instantly try out the lesson taught in the chapter. They range from ones that can be completed in an afternoon to ones that require thought and the possible scouring of flea markets. Highlights for me are the Single-Stitch Patches, Portrait Napkins, Angela’s Stitch Doodle Bracelets and the 3D Embroidered Buckle Brooches.

The main sections are bookended with a beginning chapter on Supplies, including supplies for machine embroidery and an ending chapter on Finishing: how to mount, frame, stretch and hang your work.
All of the how-to is overflowing with step-by-step illustrations and photography. It is abundantly clear what to do and what it should look like when you are finished.
The book is packed with beautiful pictures of embroidery, particular stitches, projects to make, Rebecca’s mixed media art and all the color and texture of embroidery supplies. It is impossible to look through this book and not want to play along.

I have one copy of Rebecca’s beautiful book to giveaway.  Leave a comment before Sunday April 19th 2015 to be entered for a chance to win!

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Jillian’s Spinning: Classes in My Own Backyard

It really is shaped like a mitten!

It really is shaped like a mitten!

I am guilty of ignoring things that go on in my own fiber backyard. I dream of Maryland Sheep and Wool, Rhinebeck, Taos, Madrona, but events that are closer to home I tend to ignore. I’m not sure why. Maybe because they don’t seems as special if I’m not traveling for days (and spending all that extra money to travel)? This year it changes. In August I’m going to take classes at the Michigan Fiber Festival.

It looks like there are 60 classes to choose from.  There are several classes that I want to take and most of them are at the exact same time, so I’m mulling. I know I want to take one of the weaving classes offered and a spinning class with Ester Rogers, beyond that it’s still misty.

Are you taking classes close to home this year?

 

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Jillian’s Spinning: My New Website and Fiber Expo

 

My new logo, like it?

My new logo, like it? Amy designed it!

I have a little bit of exciting news. I’ve launched my own website Jillianmoreno.com and blog.  On my website you can see my classes, where I’m teaching and sign up for my newsletter (coming soon). My blog is a spot where I can ramble more than I do here, there will be spinning, knitting, stitching, crochet and weaving (surprise!), but I’ll also talk about my kids, what I’m reading ,eating and watching, just generally chat. The blog will be image heavy until I get my book manuscript delivered, but then I promise crafty how-tos, experiments and other fun stuff. Stop by and let me know how you like it! Psst, let Amy know too, she did all of the graphic work.

 

 

cj logo

cjkoho Designs Kickstarter is a go!

 

 

Some excellent fiber world news – my friend Carla’s studio expansion Kickstarter was fully funded! cjkoho Designs is going to get a bigger home

 

 

 

I went to the Ann Arbor Fiber Expo over the weekend, mostly to see friends. There may have been a tiny bit of stash enhancement, but not much. So little that I didn’t take a picture of it.

 

I saw Sarah at Fiberstory. She dyed the beautiful yarn that Julia Farwell-Clay used for the cover sweater of the current issue of Pom Pom.

I got her to pose with her own version of the sweater. She dyes gorgeous spinning fiber too!

Sarah at Fiberstory and Pom Pom magazine

Sarah at Fiberstory and Pom Pom magazine

 

I saw Emily of Bricolage Studios. She is one of the most creative people I know. She makes fantastic wild batts and sells the fixins to make your own. But my favorite thing of hers is her amazing jewelry that combines metal work and handspun fiber.

Bricolage! One of her necklaces may have come home with me.

Bricolage! One of her necklaces may have come home with me.

 

 

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Jillian’s Spinning: Not Much to See

More samples, you'd think I had deadlines....

More samples, you’d think I have deadlines….

This past week has been a blur. I’m getting ready to teach in Iowa (Hi Greg!), film two videos at Interweave, teach at Yarn Fest and turn in my book manuscript. I’m a little focused and frantic all in one package. I haven’t even had time to look around the internet at fun spinning things. That picture up there is yarns spun from batts, it was so much fun. Have I mentioned lately that I love my job?

This week is all about getting teaching materials ready. I have lots of fiber to organize.

I’m already compiling my list of events to propose classes for 2016, any place you’d like to take classes from me? Any particular classes you’d like to see me teach?

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Jillian’s Spinning: Calling All Discworld Fans!

Are you a spinner and a Terry Pratchett fan? Do you know about the monster Spin Along that revolves around Discworld?

The brainchild of Southern Cross Fibre’s David Schultz, this SAL involves 6 dyers who are creating Discworld inspired colors ways.

The SAL runs from April 1- June 30, and in addition to the spinning there will be a read along for spinners interested in exploring the books.

I know, you want to know which dyers are playing. Here’s the line up:

Most of the links are for previews or preorders. Except for FatCatKnits who is ready to go!

Feast your eyes on some of the colors!

I’m not spinning along on this one due to deadlines, but I may buy some fiber (no judging!) and I’m hunting for the first book on audio to keep me company while I spin samples.

Are you doing the Discworld MegaSAL?

 

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Jillian’s Spinning: My Best Spinning Habit

Last week I talked about my worst spinning habit, the thing that drives me crazy about my spinning self. This week let’s talk about the good.

Cart of samples.

Cart of samples.

My best spinning habit is experimenting, sampling, playing. I could spend all of my spinning time following the ‘what ifs’ that pop up in my head. I have piles and boxes and baskets of samples, some of them becomes articles for Knittyspin, PLY or Spin Off, some become classes, some just stay little piles of fun. That picture above? Each box, bag and basket is crammed with samples. The picture below? That’s one box full of plying experiments with variegated yarn. These experiments are a big reason why I need to break my worst habit of not labeling things, ” exactly what are these four tiny skeins and swatches?”. I love figuring out the things fiber and yarn can do, that even the smallest variation can make a big change. I hope I never get sick of experimenting!

What’s your best spinning habit?

Plying samples.

Variegated plying samples.

 

 

My friend Carla of cjkoho Designs started a Kickstarter to build a bigger studio, to dye and to teach. I have used her fiber and yarn for years and she does beautiful work. Take a look and contribute if you are interested, and if not, help spread the word. We need more beautiful fiber and yarn!

cjkoho Designs fiber

cjkoho Designs fiber

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Jillian’s Spinning: My Worst Spinning Habit

A basket full

A basket full of questions

We all have one, a spinning habit that we wish we didn’t have. Something that is deeply ingrained or in my case a stupid arrogance. Every time I realize I’ve done it again, I want to kick myself. I shake my head and say never again. But I always find myself in the same confused boat. My worst spinning habit? I don’t label my skeins or samples!

I am so sure I’ll remember, because I’ll get right back to this project or experiment. Yeah, right. The photo up there is a big basket full of skeins, swatches and experimental yards of yarn. I have no idea how, what, why, where or when about these yarns. And I bet they are at the most important, for something very specific or at the least important, things that would save me extra spinning recreating the yarn for an article or class.

I am getting a little better, but it is still my worst most maddening spinning habit.

 

What’s your worst spinning habit?

 

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Jillian’s Spinning: Those Special Braids – Enough Already!

Almost every spinner has a stash that they will never spin in their spinning lifetime. In that stash a certain percentage is special, the fiber that doesn’t get spun because of some attachment. For me it’s multicolored braids. I love them and so many have special memories, or the dyer isn’t dyeing anymore or the dyer isn’t dyeing that colorway or I dyed it as part of a dyeing party or it was gift or 1,000 rationales to keep the fiber from becoming yarn.

I noticed on a recent stash dive that, my specials are creeping up to be 25% of my stash. Sentimental is one thing, foolish is another. That is gorgeous fiber I am letting go to waste. Today I decided, no more. I went to the basement and picked three.

Super special no more!

Super special no more!

I just reached in and grabbed. OK, I’ll confess to skipping over the fibers of dyers no longer dyeing, but other than that it was random grabbing. I have a deadline coming up and needed fiber to spin for samples. Why not spin fiber I really love?

The spinning makes it special.

The spinning makes it special.

Anyone else spinning their special fibers this year?

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Jillian’s Spinning: Gradient, Progression, Ombré – What Do You Call It?

I have a question for all of you spinners, dyers, knitters and wordsmiths out there.

What is the difference between Gradient, Progression and Ombré fiber, dyeing, yarn?

Merriam-Webster defines them this way:

Gradient: Change in the value of a quantity (as temperature, pressure, or concentration) with change in a given variable and especially per unit distance in a specified direction.

Progression: A sequence of numbers in which each term is related to its predecessor by a uniform law, or a continuous and connected series.

Ombré: Having colors or tones that shade into each other —used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark

 Ombré to me is easy it looks like these beautiful rolags from Just A Daydream. A single color fading to white or black.

I tend to use gradient and progression interchangeably for fiber or yarn that looks like this gorgeous fiber from Spunky Eclectic. She calls it a progression. It’s several colors used only one time in a dyeing sequence.

How do you define these dyeing styles?

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Jillian’s Spinning: Gearing Up for Teaching

I’m teaching 5 classes in mid April at Yarn Fest, 6 if you count the guild where I’m teaching the weekend before. Would it surprise you to know that I’ve been prepping for those classes since the beginning of January?

Even classes that I’ve taught before I always review to see what I could change to make it all flow better:

  • are there topics I didn’t cover and want to?
  • is anything redundant?
  • do I need more samples (yes, the answer to this one is always yes)?

And class materials, that’s an important one for me. I always have handouts, sometimes I have giveaways, there is always chocolate.  I teach a lot of classes about working with color, some spinners take my classes to feel more comfortable with spinning color, some take it just to play with color. I want to have a great variety of fiber.

I also like my spinners to have a lot of choice, color is such a personal thing, I never want someone in any of my classes to work with colors they don’t like. I have taken too many classes where I’ve had to spin white fiber for 6 hours. Even in my non color classes I like to give my students a choice. Some spinners love white, I always have white as a choice, but white does not excite me when I’m learning something new, my brain needs a little poke of color.

Just a little fiber.

Just a little fiber.

I know some teachers dye their own fiber, but I like to use dyers I know and admire. My favorite thing is turning a spinner on to a dyer they didn’t know about. Juggling dyers, fiber amounts, colors, timing, sometimes shipping, all keeping with the materials fee budget sometimes sends me running for the chocolate.

But it’s all worth it when I see my students go all grabby hands over the fiber choices, and to see them play in the a fiber equivalent of a Crayola box of 64.

What do you like a teacher to provide in class?

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