Spinning Tuesdays

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 ...

Teaching at MDSW

As you read this, I’m am probably driving home from teaching at Maryland Sheep & Wool, after taking a day to recharge with my daughter in Buffalo. Yes, my car has a stash of Southern Tier beer and Polar nestled among the wool, and I did buy it at Wegmans. It is rare that a teaching gig that doesn’t just meet all of my excited expectations, but exceeds them. Teaching at Maryland was crazy good! It was one of those rare experiences where everything and everyone just clicked, students, the volunteers who run the show, the other teachers, and the festival itself.     My students are so talented, ...

How Do You Store Your Tools?

How do you store your spinning tools? I’m having trouble figuring out where and how to store my middle-sized tools. I’m good with my little tools, they live in my spin kit. My big tools like wheels, and my drum carder have their own space. But what about hand cards, combs, hackles, little looms, kates, and storage bobbins not in use? Those tools can fit in a lot of different places. Mine are scattered all around. Combs and hackles I have stored out of the way because, ouch.   Most other things are scattered around with no rhyme or reason. I want to figure out a way to organize them, so I can always ...