Spinning Tuesdays

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 ...

Maryland Sheep & Wool First Timer

Maryland Sheep & Wool fans, I need your help! I’m teaching at the show before the festival starts, and I hope to see some of you in my classes. I’m staying an extra day, Saturday, because I have never been to Maryland Sheep & Wool. Tell me please, what are the things, food, and vendors that I shouldn’t miss? Things that are unique to MDSW. Including great places to eat nearby. I am excited to teach and excited to prowl the grounds of a new-to-me show, but with almost 300 vendors, it’s a little overwhelming. Yes, I am customizing a map, with a checklist, and may even make a spreadsheet. ...

Taking a Break by Taking a Class

I just got back from teaching at PLY Away. It’s one of my favorite events of the year, and I feel lucky to teach there. Right now it’s the biggest and longest spinning event in North America (and maybe the world). The downside for this introverted teacher is a 12 hour drive on each side of teaching and 4 1/2 days of teaching and festivities. That leaves me pooped and hilariously inarticulate. This year I tried something new. I took a class in the middle of my teaching schedule. I had a half day off and I signed up for Judith MacKenzie’s paper spinning class. I spun about 50 yards of paper yarn, ...

I Just Renewed My Spin Off Subscription

You might have heard the F&W media, the parent company of Interweave has filed for bankruptcy. There is a lot of speculation on what is going to happen. Are they restructuring, looking for a buyer or just shutting down? There are a lot of people who are owed money, including authors. I don’t know anything about what is going to happen, but I know I want Interweave to succeed the best it can. I have great admiration for what Interweave has done over the years, and what the employees at Interweave are still trying to do. I was an employee for a decade, and it was an amazing experience. I can’t afford to ...

Every Class Needs a Baby

Saturday I taught a Colorplay class for a fantastic group of women at the Kalamazoo Fiber & Dye Studio. We had a fun time and spun a ton of dyed fiber. We had a very special guest in class, Baby H, you can see him between the Matchless and the Lendrum. He’s the best baby and cast quite a spell on the class. He was there smiling and cooing at everyone, and showing off his rolling over skills. He nursed and took a a nap with his bum waving in the air. It was lovely to have him there. It made me think about when spinning was a part of women’s every day, a have to, not a hobby. I like to imagine that ...

Spring+Summer Knittyspin : Color and Combs

The Spring + Summer issue of Knitty is live and that means a new Knittyspin column. This issue I explore how to load combs with fiber. More specifically, and so much closer to my heart, how to load  commercially prepped fiber on combs for blending color. Each way results in a different effect to the finished yarn. The number of combing passes contributes to how much the fibers are blended too. Curious and ready to comb? Click on over and see the difference for your self.     It seems like spring would never come! But now it’s here and there are fleeces to be had everywhere. Are you fleece shopping ...

A Weaver’s Guide to Yarn

I have weaving on my mind these days. I’m ready to fire up my Cricket rigid heddle loom with something gorgeous and easy. The project I’m starting is a combination of handwoven yarn and commercial yarn. Choosing yarn is one of those things that can stop a new weaver from starting weaving. It’s overwhelming, and really we just want to use our stash or showcase our handwoven yarns. A Weaver’s Guide to Yarn by Liz Gipson is a gem. It gives you the basics on how yarns work in weaving, and makes picking yarns a whole lot less stressful. If picking yarn is keeping you from scratching your weaving ...