Spinning Tuesdays

Spinzilla 2016 Spins 5 Million Yards and a Rhinebeck Quickie

Spinzilla spinners are awesome!

I’m growing more wool for Spinzilla 2017

Spinzilla Spinners spun 5,507,622 yards of yarn this year!

The top spinner, Monica Bittner of Team Louet North America spun 50,378. Her team, Louet North America took the top team prize with 296,849 yards. Just reading that makes my hands feel crampy!

Top 5 teams for 2016
1. Team Louet North America 296,849
2. Team Knot Another Hat 231,738
3. Team Edgewood Garden Studio 158,459
4. Team Hand Spinning News UK 151,647
5. Team Hilltop Cloud 146,299


Storey Publishing signing table at rhinebeck

Storey Publishing signing table at Rhinebeck

On Thursday Amy is doing a big Rhinebeck recap, but I wanted to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who bought my book, I sold out! And thank you to everyone who told me kind things about my book, it really means a lot to me.

I had so much fun talking to and hugging everyone. I got to see leaves, stay in a fab house with friends, I shopped a little and touched everything. I even manged to make it to the sheep auction this year.

I did not come home with a sheep, but I came home with so many ideas for fun and projects after Rhinebek that the inside of my head sounds a little like the sheep auctioneer.

 

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More Fun – A Rhinebeck Knitty Meet Up, A Yarnitecture Giveaway

 

Knitty meet up!

Knitty meet up!

 

There is a Rhinebeck Knitty Meet Up, the first one ever! On Saturday at 2pm, on the hill between the sheep dog demos and the petting zoo. Here’s a Rhinebeck map. Amy promises to have new Knitty buttons to share.

 

 

Maya Cardigan photo by Ryann Ford

Maya Cardigan designed by Kirsten Kapur, photo by Ryann Ford

 

 

Kirsten Kapur who designed the glorious Maya Cardigan in my book is doing a giveaway for a copy Yarnitecture. Hop on over there and enter!

 

 

 

Get a signed copy of Yarnitecture at Rhinebeck!

Get a signed copy of Yarnitecture at Rhinebeck!

 

I won’t be at the Knitty meet up, but I will be nearby I’ll be signing copies of my book, Yarnitecture, from 1-5 on Saturday and from 10-2 on Sunday in barn B. On Sunday at 1:30 I’ll be doing a a little talk on how much I love to sample called Sampling Is Not A Dirty Word!, it’s part of the Tales of Yarn series in the author signing area. Come see me!

Now I need to decide what I want to shop for this year, because sadly all the things is not an option!

 

 

 

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A Pre-Rhinebeck Trunk Show and Spinning Class in North Adams, Massachusetts

Come spin with me!

Come spin with me!

If you are anywhere near North Adams Massachusetts on October 13th or 14th come and join me at Maker’s Mill!

On Thursday night from 5-7 I’ll be talking about Yarnitecture for Knitters: A Yarn Petting Zoo and Trunk Show. Knitters can learn all about how yarn is made and how things like fiber choice and ply affect their knitting. I’ll bring a lot of samples and all of the projects from my book Yarnitecture: A Knitters Guide to Spinning:Building Exactly the Yarn You Want. This event is free.

On Friday afternoon from noon to 3pm, I’ll be teaching my popular spinning class Cheaper By the Dozen: 12 Ways to Spin Variegated Top. Cost is $55. You can signup here.

I hope to see you there or at Rhinebeck!

 

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Yarnitecture Book Signing and Trunk Show at Rhinebeck

Get a signed copy of Yarnitecture at Rhinebeck!

Get a signed copy of Yarnitecture at Rhinebeck!

Is one of the things on your Rhinebeck shopping list a signed copy of Yarnitecture?

I will be signing copies of Yarnitecture at the Merritt Bookstore booth in Building B

Saturday 12-5 and Sunday 10-2

I will have all of the projects and some of the swatches to touch and feel at the booth.

Come by, get a book signed, say hi and show me what fibery goodies you’ve found at the show!

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Countdowns

img_9919Today I’m feeling all of the fiber countdowns. Not in a panic-y deadline way, but either in excitement or the mindset of “better remember it”.

Here are the spinning and knitting (and other) countdowns I’m thinking about:

Spinzilla12 days. Even though I’m not spinning this year, I am caught up in the excitement. I can wait to see what everyone spins.

Rhinebeck 25 days. So excited about this one. I’m signing my book (Saturday 1-5 and Sunday 10-2 in the author corral) and just roaming. There will be a Knitty meet up, but we haven’t set the time yet.

The US election – 48 days. If you are a US citizen please vote.

The December gift giving holidays – 94-ish days. How are those gifts coming? I’ll be shopping at Rhinebeck.

If you ever need to check an excellent fiber event calendar my hands down favorite is Clara Parkes Events page on Knitter’s Review. Have you seen the new Knitter’s Review redesign? It’s gorgeous!

What countdown dates are on your mind?

 

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Carding Top

From left: top, carded rolag and pulled roving.

From left: top, carded rolag and pulled roving.

Everyone that’s spun with me knows that my default draft is woolen. I love to watch that twist and air zip into the fiber. Most of the fiber I spin is top, natural and dyed. I don’t usually prep my own fiber and top is the go-to prep for commercially prepared fiber. There is commercial roving available but it’s not as easy to find as top.

Spinning top woolen gives me a yarn that is one of those semis. I hate using the phrases semi woolen or semi worsted. I like just being clear about what I’m doing – spinning top woolen. That makes a yarn that is loftier than spinning top worsted. I like it, it’s a good everyday yarn.

 

Left: top drafted woolen, right: top carded and pulled into roving and spun woolen.

Left: top drafted woolen, right: top carded and pulled into roving and spun woolen.

Lately I’ve been wanting more air in my fiber. I’ve become curious about making a light yarn with good stitch definition (more on that another day) so I’ve been carding top. It’s great fun, a couple of passes on my cards and I’ve misaligned those fibers into fluff,;it’s top no longer.

After I card I make a rolag and pull that into roving and spin. It makes such airy yarn!

Do you ever card top?

 

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Spinning in Knitting Shops

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Mmmmm, handspun

Recently I’ve had a few knitting shops ask me about adding spinning to their mix, and I’ve been asked to write an article about it for shop owners.

What do you think spinners? Is a spinning section in knitting shops a good idea or not? What would you want to see? Keep in mind we can’t take over the whole shop (right away).

For me, it’s about all about a good variety of fiber. I would love to be able to buy yarn and fiber in the same place. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but I want variety and I want fresh fiber fairly often. There is nothing sadder to me than to try to support spinning in a knitting shop by buying fiber, but what they have has obviously been there for a long time. I’ve even seen dusty fiber!

What is it for you? Wheels, classes, spin nights? Or do you not want spinning in a knitting shop?

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All of My Tags

All the tags

All the tags!

I cannot spin anymore without tags. Not just one or two either, I have a whole range of tags for different things. See? Lots of tags. Some of them I use interchangeably, but most of them I use very specifically. Here’s how I use them, moving left to right:

The biggest tag I use for sampling. I wrap singles and hang my ply back sample on the tag so I can check that I’m on track when I’m spinning. I will add the wheel, wheel set up, fiber, dyer, colorway,  wpi , ypp and all of my yarn information before I’m done. I’ll also hang a plied samples (before and after finishing ) on it. It’s all there on one tag. Sometimes I rewrite the information in a yarn journal, most of the time I put it into a ziploc bag with fiber samples when I’m finished.

The second tag I use two ways. I use it on finsihed yarn to note yardage, wpi, fiber, dyer, color and possible project. I also hang one of these on my wheel when I’m in progress. This is where I note what’s going on when I stop spinning for the day or for awhile. I often have several projects on bobbins across a couple of wheels and I am not ashamed to admit I get lost. I note what project this is for, wheel set up, if I am spinning worsted (woolen is my default) any drafting lengths or treadling counts that are different than my default. Sometimes what I was watching while spinning. If I am leaving this project for a bit, I paper clip the big tag to it or hang it next to it. Note: this will not work if you have small children or cats in the house. The hanging tags mysteriously disappear.

The third tag I use to label finsihed yarn, when I only need yardage, wpi, ypp, and fiber. The round tag (and other fancy tags) I use on yarn when I am gifting or selling it. The orange stickers are for marking bobbins. I wrote about that in more detail on the PLY Magazine blog. The tyvek wristband I use to mark fresh yarn while it is still on my niddy noddy – all of the fiber and yarn info. Sometimes I transfer the info to one of the white tags after the yarn is finsihed and dried, sometimes not. You’ve heard me talk about these wristbands many times – they never come off, which means all of my info is there, with the yarn, all the way through finish.

If I all of a sudden became limited in the tags I could use, I would pick the tyvek wristband and the biggest tag. I can’t imagine spinning without either of those.

What tags do you use in your spinning?

 

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Sample Looms: A Little Obsessed

 

Swatch Maker Looms

Swatch Maker Looms

Have you seen these swatching looms? I can’t quit playing with mine. I don’t have time right now to warp and weave on my rigid heddle loom, but still want to play with weaving.

I have been carrying one of these in my bag for weeks, weaving a little here and there. It’s so satisfying and for me it’s the perfect thing for the winding down of summer, when all of a sudden there is no time left for all of the big projects I was going to do.

These three looms are different setts (sett is the spacing of warp threads, much like knitting gauge or wraps per inch in spinning. These are 12,10 and 8 ends per inch) and I woven on them with the same three colors of Brooklyn Tweed Loft.

I love being able to play with color without having to commit to a whole project. I can also work on getting my edges neat and even, something I always struggle with.

Yesterday it occurred to me to use my handspun yarn on these looms. I want to weave more with my handspun this year and am curious about twist and ply in weaving which is a perfect project for these looms. I don’t have to spin and warp for my rigid heddle loom to learn about handspun and weaving.

What are you obsessing over at the end of this summer?

 

 

The  folks at Purl and Loop sent me their Swatch Maker looms to review for Knitty.I reviewed the 3 in 1 loom in the current issue and will review the single Swatch Maker looms in the next issue.

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A New Class Question and PLYAWAY 2017 Classes Posted

natural + singles collageHow often do you like teachers to have new classes?

I’ve been teaching a lot the past couple of years and don’t know when to add new classes. For 2017 I tried to have at least one new class for each multi-day teaching gig. I’ve noticed some teachers don’t add new classes very often.

What about exclusive classes for big shows and events? Is that something that appeals?

I personally love designing new classes, but they take about four months to develop. So I need to be sane about how many I add. And let me know if there is something that you’d like to see me teach.

 

Do you like to plan ahead? Jacey has already listed the classes for PLYAWAY 2017. That woman is organized!

The dates are April 25th-April 29th. The location is the same as last year, the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City. There is a fountain pen store just off the lobby, plan your budget accordingly.

I’m teaching three classes and two of them are new and one of them includes sheep cheese tasting!

 

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