Spinning Tuesdays

Spindles Are Everywhere!

Is it my imagination or are people spinning on spindles more right now?

I don’t know if it’s because of summer and they are portable, but I have seen more spindle spinning around in person and on social media.

I’ve heard rumors that there are fewer spinners now, that the spinning trend is leveling off and maybe dropping. The rumor is that spinners are turning to weaving and sewing and not spinning, not buying fiber or wheels.

I know spinners aren’t going anywhere and that this is part of the ongoing rhythm of fiber crafts in general. I also think that spinners are turning to spindles again. We are spinning on all spindles, but I have seen a crazy amount of spinning on Turkish spindles. I’ve also seen more spindle classes being offered at fiber shows and retreats.

Am I imagining things? Are you spindle spinning more?

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Llamas Block Tour de France Route

I can’t tell you how much I love this.

Llamas in the Tour de France  (Photo: Joel Adages/Facebook)

Llamas chillin on the Tour de France route (Photo: Joel Adages/Facebook)

Last week llamas blocked the route of the Tour de France in the Pyranees mountains. They did not interfere with the race however.

Other animals including sheep (!) have caused trouble during the Tour, here’s an article about the recent history of animals interfering with the Tour, including a flock of sheep causing a slow down on a climb. I know it’s dangerous to both the animals and the riders, but I can’t stop giggling.

 

 

 

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Why I’m Not Spinning for Tour de Fleece or Spinzilla This Year

Cjkoho Designs BFL, Maya colorway with natural added.

Cjkoho Designs BFL, Maya colorway with natural added.

I love both the Tour de Fleece and Spinzilla! I get as excited about getting ready for them as I do for buying school supplies in the fall. You know I love making plans. Even though I’ve never hit my lofty spinning goals, I love the process of dreaming big and tossing my stash for the right fiber.

But I decided not to spin for either big event this year. Why? I want to spin how I want and I want a break from deadlines. The past 18 months have been really busy for me spinning-wise. I loved every second of it, but now I want to just float. I’m still spinning every day, but I want to follow all the spinning things that interest me right now, waiting for my next spinning obsession to carry me away. I wonder what it will be?

I am excited to see what everyone else is spinning and how much they are spinning! Sometimes it’s even better to spin vicariously, all the beauty and inspiration, none of the deadlines.

Tell me what you are spinning for the Tour de Fleece!

 

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Sheepspot Fiber Club, Wool n’ Spinning, Little Looms and Zingerman’s

It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve been curious about everything, everything is shiny! Here are a few things that excited me this week.

My June Sheepspot shipment

My June Sheepspot shipment

 

The Sheepspot Fiber Club Today is the last day to sign up for the Sheepspot Fiber club. I’ve been in this club for a year and really enjoy getting every shipment. I don’t always spin my fiber, but I always spend time fondling the beautiful fluff and reading all of the breed and spinning information that Sasha sends with her club.  This year she has a number of options so you can customize the club. There are payment and quantity, options, but my favorite is choosing between colors every month. This is a great club for spinners who don’t want to prep their own fiber, but still want to try their hand at spinning some hard to find breeds.

 

Wool n’ Spinning Blog So I’m a little behind, I just discovered this spinning blog and it’s fantastic. Rachel is an obsessive spinner and knitter. She has a Vlog, that I haven’t watched yet and a Patreon campaign going now to help support her work. Somehow she does all of this and is raising two kids.

Are you weaving yet?

Are you weaving yet?

 

Little Looms  If you are interested in weaving a little this summer check out this special issue from Handwoven Magazine. It’s full of projects and instruction for weaving on rigid heddle looms, pin looms and weaving small tapestries. All perfect take along projects for the summer. And of course Knitty’s Liz Gipson makes an appearance. I found a copy at my local Barnes and Noble.

 

A class for iPhone and Android

A class for iPhone and Android

 

Mobile Photography – a Craftsy class Sometimes I feel like I don’t get out much. It never occurred to me that there would be classes on photography with your cell phone. I am in the midst of this one from Craftsy and I’m learning all kinds of ways to make my phone pictures better. I desperately needed this class since I’m generally too lazy to get out my big camera. The class covers both iPhone and Android.  (The link gets you a 20% discount and gets me a little affiliate tip.)

Zingerman’s Food Tours I just read about Zingerman’s Food Tours. I’m buying a lottery ticket.

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Thank You for Making Yarnitecture #1!

YarnitectureFinalCoverMy new spinning book Yarnitecture: A Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want that’s coming out in September from Storey Publishing is now up for preorder. Look what you wonderful spinners did yesterday!

number one collage

Number one!

 

 

Last night when I went to bed I was the number one book on both the Amazon Knitting and Fiber Arts lists. Thank you all for ordering my book and for giving me a once in a lifetime thrill!

 

 

 

 

 

You think?

Why yes, I am very interested

 

When I woke up this morning I found this email from Amazon.

 

 

Today calls for some celebratory spinning!

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TNNA – The Spinning

 

Book me

Look my book!

 

I got back from TNNA last night, it was a whirlwind of fiber, yarn and lots and lots of  hugs. I’m going to show you a few of the spinning things I saw, but I sure didn’t take as many photos as I thought I did!

The first place I went when we got to the show was the Storey Publishing booth to see my upcoming book  Yarnitecture! Here I am giddy with a mock up of the book and my editor Gwen Steege. The book is at the printer right now and will be available in September. You can pre-order on Amazon right now. Squee!

 

 

 

Spinning and Weaving FTW!

Spinning and Weaving FTW!

 

The Spinning And Weaving Group are the people who bring us Spinzilla every year. They have plans to make Spinzilla even bigger and more fun. They elected a new president this year, Rita Pettys of Yarn Hollow,you can see her waving from the booth.

Spinning and weaving were hot at the show, in large part to this dynamic group. Knitting stores are continuing to add both spinning and weaving to their offerings as their customers ask for them and apparently, people are asking. We aren’t surprised are we?

 

 

Frabjous Fiber

Frabjous Fiber Colorshift and Merino/Tencel

 

Frabjous Fibers added Merino/Tencel to their fiber line, a blend that not many companies carry. The also have gorgeous gradients called Colorshift.

 

 

 

 

Sweet Georgia's wall of color!

Sweet Georgia’s wall of color!

 

 

Lots of companies are listed in the show guide as having spinning fiber, but no company brings it like Sweet Georgia. They have a whole wall of spinning fiber in all of their glorious colors. They show all of their colors on all of their bases. I visited this booth a few times just to stare and sigh.

 

 

 

 

 

Dragonfly Fibers rich and sexy spinning fiber.

Dragonfly Fibers rich and sexy spinning fiber.

 

Dragonfly fibers has Polwarth/silk and a Merino/ silk fiber, this picture is not great, but that fiber in Kate’s rich colors made me want to roll all over it like a happy puppy.

 

 

 

 

 

Spinning equipment companies were there too. Schacht, Louet and Ashford all had booths. I didn’t get photos of any of them because I was too busy touching, touching, touching. Schacht had a line to try their new Flat Iron wheel. They announced the price at $795. Schacht reported that shops were interested in looms this year, more than spinning.

Between fiber, fiber equipment and yarn the Louet booth was always hopping, but I did finally get my hands in their fiber sample book. I had forgotten how much I love their dyed Corriedale – it’s so soft.

 

That’s the quick and dirty spinning report. I’ll go into a lot of these fibers deeper as I get samples to spin.

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What Is the Next BFL?

Huckleberry Knits Targhee/Silk

Huckleberry Knits Targhee/Silk

For a long time everyone was spinning Merino. Now BFL seems to be the undisputed Queen of  the most popular commercially prepped fiber contest. I thought Polwarth was going to take over, then everyone was spinning Targhee, now Corriedale and Falkland seem hot.

I am so thrilled that there are so many choices of commercially prepped and beautifully dyed fibers. And the blends, don’t get me started! The fiber festival shopping days are just getting started, what are you seeing out there? What were the last 3-5 commercially prepped fibers that you bought?

My five are: Superwash BFL top, Targhee/ Silk top, Falkland, Yak/Silk top and Eider.

What do you think is going to be the hottest fiber to spin this year?

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Amy King Spins Singles

Amy King  loves spinning singles. In her new Craftsy class she teaches all of her singles secrets. New to spinning singles? She’s got you covered with all of the basics – fiber, draft and finishing. Have singles experience? Get a refresher on the basics, plus learn to spin novelty singles and spin energized singles. Spindle spinners have a reason to be excited about this class. Amy shows most of her techniques on a wheel and a spindle. She also shows off a whole lot of projects, knitted, crochet and woven made from singles.

 

 

Don’t forget that Amy King is a spectacular dyer, the brain behind Spunky Eclectic. Every month she chooses a colorway to

Spunky Eclectic Sky on BFL

Spunky Eclectic Sky on BFL

feature at 15% off. This month it’s Sky. If you need some fiber to practice your singles or just jump in and make a whole project from singles head over to the Spunky Eclectic shop and have a look around. Want to keep up with what’s new with Amy and Spunky Eclectic? She has a newsletter you can sign up for here. Want to shop in person? She’ll be at these shows in the next few weeks May 28-29  MA Sheep and Wool  and June 4-5  Maine Fiber Frolic.

Do you work with singles? What have you made from Spunky Eclectic fiber?

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There’s a new Schacht wheel coming – Have you seen it?

Flatiron

Flatiron

 

There have been rumors for at least a year about a new Schacht, a different kind of Saxony wheel. I finally saw it and spun on it at PLY Away. I saw on Instagram many spinners trying it out at Maryland Sheep and Wool. It’s called the Flatiron, named after the mountains outside of Boulder.

 

 

I am not typically a Saxony wheel spinner, but I’m already saving my pennies for this wheel.

So smooth!

So smooth!

It comes packed flat (I’ve been calling it the Schacht-Ikea) and can be set up with the flyer on the left or right. It is not a folding wheel – that was a rumor.  It uses all the same whorls and bobbins as other Schacht wheels and can be used in Scotch tension, Irish tension  or Double Drive. It is a double treadle wheel and treadles as smoothly as silk. I was surprised at how smooth it was and how easily I could stop and start the wheel with just the treadles.

There’s no release date or price yet, but soon. As soon as I hear I will post it.

 

What have you heard about the Flatiron,  have you seen it or tried it?

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Sarah Swett – Always Inspiring

 

I'm just not sure 11" x 7" x 5" hand woven tapestry, hand embroidery wool, (hand spun and commercial), dye (natural and synthetic), steel wire, stone. ©Sarah C. Swett 2016

I’m just not sure 11″ x 7″ x 5″ hand woven tapestry, hand embroidery wool, (hand spun and commercial), dye (natural and synthetic), steel wire, stone. ©Sarah C. Swett 2016

Sarah Swett never fails to inspire me. I’ve followed her work for years, she’s a tapestry weaver, a spinner, a knitter, a dyer. I love  to watch her work. I love to watch her think about her work. She sits with it, she focuses, she lets it guide her, but digs in an works long hard hours. She blogs, and she’s on Instagram a bit, but mostly she’s working on her art.

Her latest pieces are small tapestry mobiles, woven from handspun (and commercial) yarns and embroidered. Interesting thinking and interesting art.

She tells stories with her art, always. It’s never just an image, but a piece of something bigger. You can take it for what your see or dig into Sarah’s writing and photos to get another view.

I could never work as focused and as diligently as she does (look a squirrel!) maybe that is part of her appeal for me. I am a process person. She is both process and product. She has the wide-ranging curiosity to sample the process, but also the the steely-eyed determination to visualize a piece and finish it, even if the piece finished is not the same as the original vision.

When I get stuck or just need something interesting to look at and mull over, I go to Sarah’s website and look at what she’s been working on. Take a look and tell me what you think!

 

 

 

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