Spinning Tuesdays

Spinning Tuesdays: My Aching Hands

My hands hurt. It’s not carpal tunnel or anything chronic, but simple overuse. Most things I do for work and a lot of what I do for fun use the same hand gesture – a kind of cupping with fingers together, like a lobster claw. Spinning, knitting, typing on the computer and even holding a book to read or a steering wheel – all lobster hands. I’m trying to do less (wah!) , stretch my hands and fingers and strengthen them. One thing in I never thought of that a friend and massage therapist mentioned to me is strengthening the backs of my hands and fingers. That was a huge ‘d’oh’ ...

Spinning Tuesdays: I Wove a Sample

Remember the yarn that said, “weave me”? Well I did, kind of. I wanted a loosely woven scarf that really showed off the thick and thin weft yarn. I planned on warping with some purple commercial Shetland, using every other slot in the reed for a looser sett. I warped my Cricket loom and as a warped, I heard those little voices, the ones that say, “Danger, Will Robinson!”.  I kept on warping, saying things to myself like. “Oh, that will be ok”, “It’s close enough”, “It will even out”, you know, lies, weaving lies. I was a weaver before I was spinner or ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Keeping Track with Tyvek

Here’s a great suggestionI heard from Sasha of SpinDoctor  who heard it from one of her listeners for labeling skeins of handspun. Tyvek wristbands, the kind folks use for events and amusement parks are quick and easy. They’re about 1″ x 10″ and sticky at one end. Write your info, wrap around your skein, stick and go! I got mine from here kitty kitty on eBay. They’re about $10 for 200, and come in a variety of colors. I also cut up used tyvek envelopes for tags, the kind that my fiber club packages come in, and either tie them on, hang tag style, or make a wristband and use duct tape to ...

Spinning Tuesdays: A Little Spinning, A Little Swatching

I belong to the Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club. I get 4 oz of a different fiber every month. I love to squirrel away a few months worth of fiber and then see what goes together for some color blending. Here’s my latest combo. The colors are called Beans (Romney) and Changes(Falkland). From this: to this: a little closer: a bit of knitting: The yarn knits up great at 4 stitches to the inch, and could happily squeeze down to 4.5. The Falkland was quite soft and took away all of the prickles of the Romney. Now I’m looking for a couple of others that would go well with this one. I love stash archeology. Anyone ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Spinning Away

Twice a year my spinning gang hits the road and goes to spin at a family cabin four hours north of where we live. We spin and knit, watch movies and eat a lot. We relax and focus on a hobby we all love. Last weekend we went. It was beautiful and sunny, we even spent some time spinning lakeside. With no work or family constraints I got a lot of spinning done – almost a pound of fiber. I spun randomly filling bobbins with what appealed to me at the time. Of course I brought three times as many projects than I could possibly accomplish. The spinning part of my brain feels relaxed now and I feel reconnected to my ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Dizzing from a Drum Carder

I took a quick drum carding class from Sarah Anderson this winter and one of things she demonstrated was dizzing off of a drum carder. I tried it and it’s fun and easy. Perfect if you love drum carded fiber , but don’t like spinning from batts. You need a drum carder (mine is a Patrick Green Deb’s Delicate Deluxe), a doffer (the pointy ice-pick-looking tool) and a diz (I use buttons. I love buttons). Build your batt. I did a quick striped batt for long color runs. Start by doffing just enough fiber to fit through your diz. And thread it through your diz. Start dizzing by pulling the fiber slowly but ...

Spinning Tuesdays: A Perfect Spinning Toy and How Did Jillian Do in April?

Have you seen this yet? It’s my favorite spinning thing in a long time. Spinner’s Party Tool WPI, twist angle and bottle opener in one, all for $5 plus shipping. From the fantastic minds that make the spinning wheel cup holders, FBN Plastics.     So how did I do with my spinning goals for April? I certainly got a lot more done than I would have otherwise. Here’s my tally and a few pictures. April deadline spinning: Fiber Fiesta for the next issue of Knittyspin– Yes! But I can’t show you. Samples for the Spin Art SAL on SpinDoctor, the rest of the singles yarns – Ha! I did ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Who Do You Spin With?

Who do you spend your spinning time with? Outside of classes or events?   I have a tight group of spinners, 6 or 7 women, we manage to get together every 6 weeks or so in various combinations. We just hang out and spin and tell life tales.   I always  wanted to belong to a spinning guild. I love the idea of a guild. To me a guild is a larger group of spinners who teach each other and support each other to become better spinners.   I’ve been a member of a local guild for several years. It’s a pretty big guild, probably 200 active members. This guild has 4 big sales a year and that has ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Sometimes It’s Not What You Think

This is my wheel Suzie-Q, she has a squeaking problem. To be frank, she has a naughty squeaking problem. When I treadle her she sounds like  honeymooners going at it on an antique iron bed. Funny at first, but it quickly gets annoying. I love this wheel. I love to make singles and ply on her. She fantastic for big air or textured yarn. She’s heavy and sexy and spins forever. She got so noisy I almost quit using her altogether.   For a while, I thought she just needed oil or that it had something to do with how the treadles were attached in the back. See the green bits? I call them rubber baby treadle ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Knitting Ideas for Corespun Yarn

But what do you do with it? That is one of the big questions about corespun yarns. Folks love the way they look and love spinning them, but what can you use them for? For me the obvious answer is knit with them. I’ve had a couple of ideas racing around my head lately and I’ve been swatching. Here’s an easy one, a top down shawl.   I used needles much bigger than I would for a millspun yarn of the same wpi or even a smooth yarn of the same wpi. It’s crazy light yarn, but looks heavy because of all of the texture, another cool thing about corespun. I’m getting about 30 yards out of ...