Spinning Tuesdays

A Stash of One’s Own Is Out Today!

  Clara Parkes new book of essay A Stash of One’s Own: Knitters on Loving, Living with and Letting Go of Yarn is out today! It should be a fiber world holiday. We should all get the day off to read the book, eat cake and frolic in our stashes. Go buy this book, read it and then contemplate your stash, cake is optional. This is a book of essay, but Clara isn’t the only writer examining their stashes and feelings in this book. Check out the list of authors:   As you can see with my subtle added artwork that it’s not just knitters writing in the book. I am a knitter too, but my essay is about ...

Lorna’s Laces New Fiber

  Have you heard that Lorna’s Laces has new spinning fiber?   I got a little surprise box in the mail and had to share before I’ve even spun any. I think it’s just beautiful. There is 100% BFL, 100% Alpaca, and a 70 Angora/30 Wool blend, all are top. I’ll report back after I’ve spun these beauties in the meantime let me know if you spot any in the wild!   I’m heading off to teach at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool tomorrow and it’s my first time at that show. Is there anything I shouldn’t miss on the road, any must-visit vendors or any restaurants I should try? ...

Knitting a Net

So much is going on in the world right now and I’m really feeling it. Plus, my oldest just left for college,  5 hours away. I’m feeling a little lost and a little sad. So I’m knitting, just swatches. I have a project coming up that needs swatches and I have gorgeous Bare Naked Wools yarns to use. So I used them for more than just my project-to-be.   On the drive to college I hand wound all of my yarns. One the way home I knit swatches. Spinning, knitting and fiber don’t always work for me when I’m agitated and emotional, but this time it was perfect. It was both mindful and ...

3 Tips for Drumcarding Top

This weekend I managed to combine two things, getting to know my Struach Finest Motorized drumcarder a little better and working on fiber prep for my Knittyspin column for the next issue – spoiler alert, there are batts. I’m using dyed Corriedale top from Louet in my batts, and here are three things that made carding easier for me.     Fluff top until it’s sheer. I fluffed my top until I could see through it. Lots of thin layers make batts more even, and it’s kinder to your carder. I make sure I can see the yellow warning sticker through my fiber.         Long ...

New to Me: Jeri Brock Spindles and Hobbeldehoy Battlings

The marketplace at the Super Summer Knitogether was one good sized room (22 vendors), but it was mighty.  I found many vendors I’ve never seen in real life and some completely new to me. This weekend I spent time with a couple that are new to me. I spun Hobbeldehoy Battlings on a Jeri Brock Turkish Spindle. The battlings come in a pack of 8 and totaled 2 ounces. These were a blend of Polwarth, silk, bamboo and sparkle. The colorway is Banned Books. They  were like candy to spin, the perfect amount in each battling for spindling without tangling and so well prepared that I could just shake and spin. The colors ...

Top to Batt: More Adventures in Carding

I spent a little time this week playing with my new Strauch carder. It turns and cards like butter. My first getting-to-know-you playtime was turning top into a batt. I split an Into the Whirled, Falkland, semi-solid top in half and made a 2 0unce batt. It was quick and easy; it only took two passes to turn combed top into a fluffy woolen batt. I read the directions and followed all of the suggestions and it made a super puffy batt.   Look at the difference between the top and the batt, even the color changed! I can’t wait to spin them both and maybe figure out a way to use them together. I’m ...

New to Me Tool: Strauch Motorized Finest Drum Carder

  I’m quivering like a terrier as I write this. Sitting on my dining room table is a newly unboxed electric drum carder. Not just any carder a Strauch Finest, the one I’ve been lusting after for years. Why am I not elbows deep in fiber with whisps flying all over the house? Because this is a tool that I want to last and to really know how to use before I jump in with my Soul Train line dance of woolen prepping excitement. I am determined to go slowly ,to read the manual, and work building batts in steps, learning the ins and outs of this amazing machine.     Why did I pick this carder? A ...

Useful Tools: Hipstrings’ Precise Spinner’s Control Card and Angle of Twist Gauge

Last week I taught at the legendary Super Summer Knitogether retreat put on by the Knitgrills. One of the many fabulous things about this retreat is teachers get an hour in the marketplace before everyone else. I know! It’s usually so hard to shop when I’m teaching. I am very excited to finally have my hands on a couple of tools I’ve been coveting for awhile, Hipstrings’ Precise Spinner’s Control Card and Angle of Twist Gauge.   Both are $10 and made of clear acrylic (you can get them in tinted colors).   The Control Card is really easy to read on the fly and favors finer yarns. One ...

Excited By Bracelets

This picture may not look like much, but it is a snapshot of a new obsession, weaving bracelets. The super smart folks over at Purl and Loop (the Swatch Maker and Stash Blaster loom people) have designed a little loom intended to make bracelets and I am hooked. I made a quick bracelet out of corespun and have been experimenting with other weaving techniques in this finite, small space of a loom – it’s so fun! How I know it’s becoming a thing for me? I’m packing to teach at the SSK retreat in Nashville and the only craft I packed is the loom and a handful of Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails. ...

Will I See You This Fall? Jillian’s Teaching Schedule

I am teaching a bunch this fall. I’ve not taught at any of these events before, I’m excited (and a little nervous)! Here’s my schedule, tell me if I’ll be seeing you. SSK!  July 20th & 21st – next week! I’m teaching: Fractal Frolic, Twist and Ply 1, Kaleidoscope Spinning & Batts in the Belfry. Wisconsin Sheep & Wool, September 7th-10th. I’m teaching:Yarnitecture, Twist and Ply: The Difference Ply and Twist Direction Make to Your Knitting, Cheaper by the Dozen: Twelve Ways to Spin Variegated Top, Fractal Frolic WEBS Spinning Summit, September 29th – October ...