Spinning Tuesdays

Spinning Tuesdays: It’s a Party (Mix)

Julia Farwell-Clay designed a spectacular sweater especially for handspun for this issue of Knittyspin. Party Mix is a lovely sweater and could be the ultimate stash busting sweater. Especially since most spinners buy dyed fiber in similar colorways. I know I do – anyone need purple/brown colored fiber? Party Mix was an instant hit, lots of spinners are making it. Even non-spinners are knitting it. Two of my spinning gang started it last week, and I’m plotting one. Julia wrote about her spinning and design process on her blog, Moth Heaven.  I love how her brain works when she writes about design. I also ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Stumbling Over A Targhee Cowl

I spun my Targhee, fat and wooly. This bump had been marinating in my stash for mumble-mumble years and the shake and spin method didn’t work, since it was a little compacted. I split it lengthwise and fluffed it horizontally from tip to tip. Let me say that while I rarely attenuate my fiber before spinning I love to open it up by lightly pulling it horizontally. While I do this, I look for any vm, or lumps and get to know the color progression of a dyed roving or top.   My gorgeous Targhee fiber became chunky two-ply. A little more than 5 ounces became 60 yards of, 3-4 wpi, 2 ply. I set the yarn with a ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Lynne Vogel Dishes on the Original Calertne and Sandy Sitzman

In this new issue of Knittyspin, Lynne Vogel has a new pattern called Calertne. Throughout her career she credits Sandy Sitzman as being big influential in her growth as a spinner and dyer. This project is their latest collaboration.   On her blog Lynne dishes about the original pair of these fab fingerless gloves and how they were designed on the needles by her spinning and dyeing Yoda, Sandy Sitzman. The two of them re-engineered the pattern for Knittyspin together. Lynne has just released 3 new patterns, check them out on Ravelry.   In my own spinning news: My chunky cowl is in the swatching stage. ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Help Me Choose What to Spin Next

Fall has hit in full force here in Michigan, and with it that burst of crafting need that I love! I want to do a quick to spin, quick to knit project, but I can’t quite choose what fiber. Want to help? My project idea is a super bulky (2 or less stitches to the inch) cowl knit in a texture stitch – cables or even just moss. I also want to use some of my fabulous vintage coat buttons – huge and mismatchy. Here are my fiber contenders: All of them will act differently. The Merino cross (I think it’s crossed with a bit of Corriedale) has bit more sturdiness than merino, as a 2-ply will still have ...

Spinning Tuesdays: The Hat Report

I was challenged by my daughter to knit her three hats in 10 days out of my handspun. I didn’t manage three but I did finish two! I even got the girl to model a little. You can see how happy she is about it. The orange BFL (fiber from CJKoho colorway is Bethie) is chunky, about 3.5 stitches to the inch. It’s a little overspun and wanted to torque plain stockinette, so I went with the lean and did a 2×2 diagonal rib. The green is finer, about 5 stitches to the inch, with so little overspin that if I had tried to ply it it might have drifted apart. I used an easy  lace pattern with a 3 stitch, 4 row  ...

Spinning Tuesays: Planning for Handspun Knitting (with a teenager imposed deadline)

I thoroughly sorted through my huge pile of handspun limiting myself to things I am excited about knitting with right now. One basketful, thankyouverymuch. Then I got the knitting spinner’s paralysis, “If I use it, it will be gone.” “What if I make the wrong thing with it?” etc, etc. Then my daughter came to my recuse yesterday. The teen proclaims, ” I want several slouchy hats for this fall.” Then reaches into my basket of precious handspun and says, “I like these”, choosing 3 singles yarns. When any teenager asks you to knit, you know the window of opportunity ...

Spinning Tuesdays: You Know You Are a Spinner When….

Your family goes on a 10 hour road trip and you try to take your wheel. Well, not just take it along, but try to take it to spin on while tooling down the road. Please don’t tell me you haven’t at least thought about it. My Sidekick is my smallest wheel. It didn’t fit in the front. Or the the back. Of course, now I have another reason to want a Pocket Wheel or a Hansen Mini Spinner. Thank goodness for spindles! Dashboards make wonderful drying racks. Do you spin in the car? What do you use? Happy trails on all of your late summer travels!

Spinning Tuesdays: What Do You Do with All of It?

I’m starting to drown in handspun yarn. The photo above is just a portion of what I have squirreled away around my house.   I was never going to keep more than what the basket beneath that pile of yarn could hold, but, clever me, I positioned the basket in a corner so the yarn could climb the wall and still be technically in the basket. I’m thinking I should just sort by weight and start knitting. All of my finished things will find their way to someone, right? What do you do with all of your handspun?    

Spinning Tuesdays: My Bobbin Winder & Fiber as a Fix

I’m a flighty spinner, a process spinner, a starter, a dabbler, a sampler – you get the picture. I fill up, or partially fill all of my bobbins pretty regularly. I’m also not a very even fiber divider or spinner, so I frequently have a fair amount of singles left on one bobbin after plying. I need my bobbins but I don’t just want to trash the leftover singles. My answer to this dilemma is storage bobbins.   I recently used some store credit I had on a bobbin winder and I love it. I got a Schacht. I use cardboard storage bobbins that are less than $20 for a bag of 10.   I wind off  ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Knitting with Handspun – Ply Twist

So, I’ve finished spinning my Tour de Fleece singles, yay! Now it’s time to ply. Easy thing right, just ply? Ply twist is another piece of the knitting with handspun puzzle. It can make a big difference to your finished knitted fabric, both to the look and drape. Here are the three samples I did for this particular yarn. One is slightly under plied, one is balanced and one is over plied. The color change in the yarn may make it a little harder to see the difference in the yarn, so lets look closer I measure my ply twist by measuring bumps per inch. I lay my plied yarn next to a ruler and count the number ...