Spinning Tuesdays

What Do You Gift A Spinner?

It’s full-on fall in the northern hemisphere and my mind is turning to the up coming gifting season and the many birthdays of my fiber friends that happen in the fall. What do you gift a spinner, or a knitter? My go-to gift used to be a spindle or other fiber tool, but now I’m rethinking fiber gifts. I think this season I’ll be giving roving that I’ve picked specially or dyed specially for the the recipient. I’m also thinking about handspun yarn. I’ve never been much for giving my handspun yarn, but why not? Who better to appreciate handspun than a another spinner? Every time ...

View From My Wheel: Friends

I just got back from a blissful weekend away with fiber friends. There were seven of us holed up in a cabin for 2 1/2 days, doing nothing but fiber, watching movies and overloading on carbs. This weekend got me thinking about how I spin with friends. Spinning with friends is all about relaxing. It’s impossible for me to learn or teach something new, because I might miss out on my share of the conversation. I did find I can practice skills that I already have a seed planted for in my head and hands, thick and thin or trimming my yarn diameter. But something new or something not in my realm of my usual woolen ...

What’s Your Groove?

Not too long ago my friend Erica & I both spun worsted weight-ish types of yarn. We’re both part of a group of fiber friends who meet weekly at a coffee shop to spin, knit and generally laugh off our weekly stresses. Our worsted weight yarns, hers worsted spun, mine woolen, were our groove yarns, our sitting on the couch go-to yarns. What our hands and wheels just spun when left to their own devices. Erica decided she wanted to spin thinner, she used smaller whorls and weekly I could see her yarn getting finer and finer. I decided to spin fat lofty yarns, I took some classes and practiced a lot and my yarn ...

How do you sort your stash?

I’ve culled and reorganized my main floor  stash space. As I was deciding on what to keep upstairs and what to banish to the basement stash, I realized I have very particular ideas about the sorting of my fiber stash. For my new upstairs stash I have: a cubby of my own handspun yarn, waiting to be patterns all of my Briar Rose fiber, because I wanted all of something for that feeling of abundance and it’s gorgeous a cubby of new to me fiber, right now it’s Southern Cross fiber a cubby of inspirational fiber, right now it’s Lynne Vogel fiber most of my spinning tools – bobbins, niddys, ...

Stash Control and a New Shelf

I don’t know about you, but I love to have all of my spinning stash around me. Well, a lot of it anyway. I’m lucky enough to have a family that understands the need for piles of stash. We have an inactive fireplace in our family room that I have claimed , using the hearth as my stash home. Not in any organized fashion, mind you. Though I organize it periodically, it never stays that way. It’s subject to whims, shopping trips and current deadline projects. Because I know you’ll understand, here is an un-doctored, un-neatened photo of my fireplace stash. You spinners who are in long term ...

I’m a cheap date.

I’m also a gear ho. So it wasn’t surprising that, when I recently visited the Chelsea, MI-area spinning guild — The Spinner’s Flock — that I’d be trolling the tables of fiber and goodies for sale to see if anything was there that I couldn’t live without. There is a lot of wool. Beautiful 9-month-preganant-belly-sized balls of woolly roving, elegant braids of hand-dyed merino/tencel [from my friend, Carla, which is why I remember the URL], and lots of equipment. Obviously the wool stayed put. On a second pass through the hall, the spindle shown above caught my eye. Ooh, pretty ...

5 Tips for a Dye Day

Two or three times a year, my fiber gang gets together for a dye day.  Here are 5 tips from our group to yours to keep your dye party running smoothly. 1) Plan and work ahead and after. Know how many people are coming and what’s for lunch. Mix your dyes ahead of time and soak your fiber the night before. Plan on rising and drying your fiber at home. Just dye and play on dye day. 2) Time and space for all. No one wants to wait on dye day. Have spots for everyone to work their color magic and enough pots, crock dyers, burners, etc to set the fibers. 3) Have some color ideas, but let it flow. I usually come with ...

The View from My Wheel – Vacation Spinning

In my quest to become a more conscious spinner, (I won’t say a better spinner, because I spin just fine, thank you) I’m learning to be aware of what’s going on with my hands, feet and wheel for a certain level of consistency when I want it. I’d like to be one of those spinners who seem to have a Vulcan mind meld with their wheels. “I’m going to spin a worsted 3-ply that will be a dk weight yarn”, they say, and twist, turn, treadle they do, effortlessly. My latest observation is that my spinning is influenced dramatically by where I am, who I’m with and others things ...

Tour results are in!

I didn’t hit my lofty goal for the Tour de Fleece but I spun a whole lot of yarn: 34 ounces.  I spun 22 ounces of the dyed-by-my-hand BFL, 4 ounces of fat 2-ply, 4 ounces of Lynne Vogel colored Merino/Bamboo/Silk, and 4 ounces of lofty thick-and-thin. It was enough and I had fun. I learned that I need a lot of variety in my spinning. There were days at the wheel when I just couldn’t face any more of my blue/purple BFL, that more than lack of time kept me from spinning my dreamed-about 2 pounds of BFL yarn. I also learned I need a whole lot more practice on my thick-and-thin yarn. What about you — ...

How Do Your Hands Learn?

In the past year, I have taken three classes, from three different teachers, that in some part taught spinning fat, lofty yarn. After ten months, I can finally spin fat, lofty yarn; it takes my hands a long time to learn. I have to watch and listen to other spinners, have teachers watch me and I have to practice, a lot. I practice by slipping my learning yarn into my daily spinning and I practice by having special learning sessions. Spinning new in between regular spinning works the best for me, it feels like playing. The other feels like have-to spinning. My hands started learning lofty yarns last September and this ...