Spinning Tuesdays

Jillian’s Spinning: Tour de Fleece and My Measuring Your Yarn Webinar

How is your Tour de Fleece coming along?

A bit of my Tour de Fleece spinning

A bit of my Tour de Fleece spinning

I haven’t spun a lot, about 8 ounces total; I’ve been working on consistency and measuring so I’m pleased with my bit of spinning. Frankly, I thought it would be easier to fit in spinning over the 4th of July weekend, but I spent more time frolicking with friends and family than spinning. And there may have been a nap or two.  I also thought I would be able to spin during the Women’s World Cup, I spun a little, but it was too exciting I spent my time cheering on Team USA. That final game was incredible! There are still many days to spin and I know I can finish at least a pound. Are you hitting your TdF goals?

 

How to measure yarn

 

Are you curious about how to measure your handspun yarn? I am doing a web seminar on just that next Monday with Interweave. All of the info is here. If it interests you and you can’t attend the webinar you can still buy an archived recording.  With the recording you won’t be able to ask me questions live, but you know I’m always around for any questions, right here on the KnittyBlog.

In the webinar I’ll talk about the whys and hows of measuring your yarn. I’ll go into things like WPI, twist angle, TPI and grist and talk about ways to adjust your spinning to get the measurements you want.

The live webinar is Monday July 13 at 1 pm EST.

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Jillian’s Spinning: Upcoming Spinning Fun

Spin like the wind!

Spin like the wind!

The Tour de Fleece! July 4th-July26th

Are you ready for the Tour? Do you know what you are going to spin? Have you joined a team or checked with the Ravelry group? I have three projects to spin for, samples for two upcoming articles and a small sweater. I know that’s a lofty goal but it’s supposed to be a stretch, right? Since I don’t watch the Tour, I have my DVR loaded up with shows I haven’t had the time to watch: Wolf Hall, Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey. I’m ready!

 

Spin to win!

Spin to win!

Spinzilla! October 5th-11th

Spinzilla is coming and Beth Smith and I are co-captaining the Storey Publishing Team this year.

Come spin with us and see just how much yarn you can crank out in a week of focused spinning.

Sign ups start September 1. You know Beth and I will have something fun up our sleeves; there will be prizes, there might be tiaras!

 

 

 

 

PLY Magazine retreat

PLY Magazine retreat

PLYaway Retreat April 21-26, 2016 Registration: 11/11/2015

Ready for an all-spinning retreat? Head for Kansas City next April! PLY Magazine is hosting it’s first retreat and it’s going to be a doozy.

Classes will be posted soon, I can’t tell you what, but I can tell you that Deb Robson, Beth Smith, Amy King, Jillian Moreno (that’s me!) and a whole lot of other great teachers will be there. Registration is in November, be sure to mark it on your calendars.

 

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Jillian’s Spinning: The Joy of Hitting My Numbers

Purple People Eater Yarn

Purple People Eater Yarn

I spun some gorgeous purple fiber into a worsted weight yarn to knit a snugly shawl. I sampled and kept notes. I paid more than my usual attention when spinning and regularly checked my yarn. Just like I teach in my classes. Guess what? I hit all of my numbers, my yarn matches my samples almost exactly. Win!

I wish I had paid such close attention when I was knitting. I’m writing the pattern and wrote several versions on the same sheet of paper. Can you guess what happened? Math. More exactly, math mistakes. The math mistakes that happen when my eye jumps from one version’s numbers to another.

Reknit with love

Reknit with love

The kind of mistakes that make a crescent shawl into an asymmetrical shawl. I had to rip out an entire 5-hour car ride’s knitting. It’s deadline knitting and couldn’t go into time out. I had to reknit right away. Two steps forward and one step back.

But I have another step forward! I plied my yarn based on this article I wrote for Knittyspin about knitting and ply twist. Since I pick when I knit, I plied my yarn less knowing it would get a little more twist in the knitting. The knitted fabric is exactly what I want.

Twist in the knitting

Twist in the knitting

Now I need to finish knitting, I have a deadline to hit!

What are you working on?

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Jillian’s Spinning: My New Batt Spinning Video!

Right before I taught at Yarn Fest this year, I taped two spinning videos for Interweave.

The first one is all about spinning batts. Personally, I love to spin batts. I love all the variations I can get in the texture of the yarn and how many tricks I can get the colors to do with striped batts.

I showed up at Interweave with a suitcase full of samples, maybe 40 different yarns, plus batts in various stages of prep and spin. I think I freaked them out a little. I didn’t end up using them all, but I couldn’t stop making them.

This video is about different ways to spin four different kinds of batts: solid, layered, striped and wild. What happens when they’re spun woolen or worsted, how to make them smooth or fluffy. For the layered and striped batts, how to get them to look tweedy or striped and how to control the length of the stripes. Wild batts confuse some spinners, I spin them a couple of ways. I either spin them so they are as wild as they can be, emphasizing all of the goodness or I spin them a little more demurely, hinting at the wildness. And of course there are lots more spinning ideas. I could have stayed in the studio with my samples and my wheel for days, but they only wanted an hour-ish long video, so I had to leave.

Here are some photos form the set:

My hands are always moving!

My hands are always moving!

The video shoot was a lot of fun, Interweave made it as stress free as possible. I even bought a new top to wear for the shoot, so I felt extra happy.

The video is called 12 (Plus!) Ways to Spin Batts

My new video!

My new video!

The download is available now and the DVD is available tomorrow. If you get it, let me know what you think! Also let me know if you like my new top.

 

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Jillian’s Spinning: A Field Trip with Historical Spinning

I went with my son and his class on their last elementary school field trip (they grow up so fast, sniff) to Greenfield Village, here in Michigan.  Greenfield Village is part of The Henry Food museum and is an open air museum, with a working farm, historic buildings like Henry Ford’s Model T workshop, Thomas Edison’s lab and  craft workshops.

It’s been years since I’ve visited Greenfield Village and I saw fiber everywhere. I held my tongue mostly and did not speechify to the 5th graders on every piece of fiber equipment I saw. But I did explain how this carder worked.

Carding Mill, this would fit nicely in my garage.

Carding Mill, this would fit nicely in my garage.

I snuck off from the kids to look at the silk reeler

Silk Reeler

Silk Reeler

In one of the farm houses we visited there was a beautiful walking wheel, I only got a shot of part of it.

Great wheel, notice the ingenious use of a corncob.

Great wheel, notice the ingenious use of a corncob.

In the same farmhouse there were baskets of naturally dyed yarns.

Thank you, I'll take that yarn.

Thank you, I’ll take that yarn.

My son tried really hard not to roll his eyes every time I ooohed and ahhhed over every single piece of fiber equipment  we came accross, but I could see it and , of course, it just made me comment more. Aren’t we supposed to embarrass our children? Especially in the name of fiber?

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Jillian’s Spinning: Keeping Track with Tags

I am newly in love with these big honking tags:

Shipping tags are my friend

Shipping tags are my new friend

They are about 4″x 2″ and manilla folder thick. I’ve seen other people use them, but never have myself until recently.  I realized I can fit a whole lot of yarn info and yarn on a single tag.

Behold:

So much information

So much information

Here’s what I have listed on it so far: Fiber info, WPI single / finished yarn, YPP, TPI for plied yarn finished/unfinished, my wheel and her settings. The yarns on the tag are singles (I plan on making this spot an inch next time), a ply back sample and two plied samples unfinished and finished.

This is just a first pass as I’m working on a project. There is so much space for so many statistics!

How do you keep track of spinning and yarn information for a project and where do you keep it?

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Jillian’s Spinning: Losing Spinning Tools

I cannot keep orifice hooks!  I have bought many and made many and they all disappear. Where do they go? Are they having a party with all of the single socks that my dryer has eaten? I have looped them on my wheel, hung a small bag on my wheel to keep them in, but they just jump up and disappear. Here are the hooks I have right now, plus the one on my Lendrum.

All the hooks I have.

All the hooks I have.

The beaded one I made and it’s out of wire that is too fine and will break soon. The other is a paper clip, which is what I almost always end up using.

I have a few questions for you:

  • How do you keep from misplacing your hooks?
  • If you make hooks what gauge wire do you use?
  • What hooks are your favorite? Show me cool hooks to buy.

Are there any tools you constantly misplace?

 

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Jillian’s Spinning: A Wheel Refreshed

I have had my Schacht Matchless for a long time, longer than I’ve had both my kids and almost longer than I’ve had my husband, almost 20 years.

Here we are in 2008:

My Matchless

My Matchless

This wheel has a special place in my heart. She was the first wheel I knew I wanted with that singular need I get when I’m locked onto a wheel. My first wheel I chose because it was the only one I could afford. My Matchless was my second wheel and I was wild about her. She was way out of my league in relation to my bank balance and spinning skill. I was still a terrified beginner when I first saw her.

I put her on layaway for six months and waited impatiently, spinning on my other wheel. When I finally got her home, I spun the ugliest most beautiful yarn. I had no idea how to adjust her or even what all the knobs were for, but I spun on her. I loved her. She was patient and waited for me to catch up. Maggie Casey taught me how to use her with joy at an Estes Park Wool Market.

She traveled all over the country as I moved and had kids. She sat in the basement for a few years when I didn’t spin and was sure I was never going to spin again. But she was waiting and ready to go the day I woke up and knew I needed to spin again.

A few years ago she started not working quite right. The treadles swayed, the flyer was flying a little wonky. I kept spinning on her until I just couldn’t anymore. My friendly Schacht expert would shore her up, until she just couldn’t anymore. “You have to send her in”, she said. I frowned. I still spun on her sometimes with my toes gripping the edges of the treadles like a monkey to keep them from swaying or rubbing. I didn’t want to send her away. I kind of needed her to sit in the corner and cheer me on in all of my spinning work, whether I spun on her or not. She was with me  when I worked at Interweave, when I helped Amy start and then took over Knittyspin, when I started teaching spinning classes, when I wrote for PLY Magazine and Spin Off, when I got my book deal and wrote my manuscript.

It’s time now for me to do a lot of spinning, samples and projects for my book. I want to spin them on her, so I sent her in. Back to Schacht to get fixed and refreshed. It didn’t take long, maybe a month, but I never put another wheel in her spot in my house while she was gone.

She came back spinning smooth and easy, with a few new parts that are fresh maple and look lovely against her old maple.

My new old wheel

My new old wheel

I’m so glad I sent her in and that the folks at Schacht took such great care of her. I’ve got a lot of spinning scheduled and a lot more planned and I don’t want to do it without her!

 

Do you have a wheel you are especially attached to?

 

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Jillian’s Spinning: Living Vicariously

My book manuscript is due next Monday, so I’ve been wandering the internet looking at pretty things.

My favorite: go to Instagram and search the hashtag #MDSW, be prepared for a huge attack of the gimmies. I want all of the fiber, yarn and sheep. All of the people are pretty cute too.

If you follow Kate Larson on Facebook or Instagram you’ll see that her Leicesters are lambing. I am in love with Marcel.

I went to Yarn Fest to teach spinning and came back wanting to weave again. I think one of these is in my future, a bigger rigid heddle loom.

A Schacht 20" Flip Loom

A Schacht 20″ Flip Loom

I know, I know,  get back to work……….

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Jillian’s Spinning: Planning for a Fiber Show – the Shopping

Maryland is coming! Maryland is coming! Who’s going? I am not this year, but I am going to the Michigan Fiber Festival in August and no matter which fiber shows I go to, big or small, I plan for the shopping the same way.

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival Map

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival Map

Step 1: Obsess over the Vendors List. I study that thing harder than I ever studied at school. I usually print it out and highlight it within an inch of it’s life – must buy, must see, just look quickly, go look if there is time. That’s four levels of vendors, but wait there’s one more…

Step 2: Plan project buying. My first run at the Vendors List is like a five-year-old me at my birthday party, hopped up on sugar and shredding the paper off of my gifts. Think of a curly haired Tasmanian Devil. I have to get it out of my system. After I am satisfied that there is an extreme amount of amazing fiber possibilities I settle down a little.  I look at idea lists and patterns and pick a few to shop for, usually three. One just won’t do and more than three is overwhelming to me. Then I match projects to highlighted vendors.

Step 3: Print out a Festival Map and mark my vendors on it – in many colors. I usually enlarge the map at home or at a copy shop, so I can fit vendor’s names on it.

Step 4: Come up with some sort of a budget that I never, ever, stick to.

Step 5: Consult with my traveling companions and adjust shopping needs because they always have great ideas I hadn’t thought of. We also plan some divide and conquer shopping like standing in line for Jenny the Potter, Miss Babs, Lisa Souza and lunch.

Step 6: Make a color coded spread sheet that matches the map. Don’t judge, it gives me joy.

Then I go to the show, lose my mind with happiness and wool fumes, do about half of my list and spend twice the money I budgeted.  It never stops being fun.

How do you plan for shopping at a fiber show?

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