Spinning Tuesdays

Have You Seen Spin+Knit 2017?

Spin-Off's Spin+Knit 2017

Spin-Off’s Spin+Knit 2017

Have you seen the latest special issue magazine from Spin-Off? Spin+Knit 2017 could keep spinners busy well into the winter knitting things from their handspun.There is a good balance of articles and projects in this issue – 10 articles and 20 projects for accessories.

I always wonder (and count) how many projects are reprints and how many are new. I don’t mind reprinted projects, many times it lets me see a projects in new light. I don’t want to buy a ‘new’  magazie or book that’s all reprints, unless it lets me know up front, by calling itself a ‘greatest hits’ or something similar. Of the 20 projects, 7 are reprinted from older issues of Spin-Off, or Interweave books two of those, the Wedge Hat and Swatch Mitts I’ve been hunting for in back issues and of the 13 new projects there are three or four I’d like to make, including the Leaf Cap, Eye of Partridge Cowl and North Road Hat. For me that’s a good balance, I bought a copy.

 

 

A New Slant Scarf. Photo: Spin Off: Spin and Knit 2017 © 2017 F&W. All rights reserved

A New Slant Scarf.
Photo: Spin Off: Spin and Knit 2017 © 2017 F&W. All rights reserved

 

 

I was lucky to have an article and a pattern accepted in this special issue. My article Under the Big Top: Spinning Striped Batts for Knitting,is about manipulating the color flow of striped batts to get the colors to behave how you’d like in your knitting. Do you want your colors separate and clear or jumbled and tweedy?

I have a pattern in Spin+Knit too, A New Slant Scarf, that utilizes two different techniques from my batt spinning article in a loop scarf. I spun and knit it from a gorgeous Lunabudknits Merino/Angelina Smoothie Batt, in the color Cuba Libre.

If you pick up a copy let me know what you think of this special issue!

 

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Teaching Almost Done for the Year and New Interweave Spinning Batts Kit

The Gathering!

The Gathering!

This year has been a whirlwind of teaching. I have met so many wonderful spinners and seen lots of beautiful places. I always get a little sad when my last teaching gig of the year comes up. Early next month Beth and I will both be teaching for The Northeast Handspinners at The Gathering, which means extra silliness since Beth and I are traveling together. My classes are full, but there are still openings in other classes, even the classes I would love to take with Cal Patch, superstar pattern drafting, crochet and embroidery teacher.

 

Essential Fiber batts

 

 

Interweave has just released the How To Spin Batts Kit that I worked on with Michelle from Essential Fiber. We came up with a colorway based on a painting, Red Canna, by Georgia O’Keefe who we both admire.

The kit comes with: 3 batts from Essential Fiber, my DVD, 12 (Plus) Ways to Spin Batts, and a copy of the new Spin and Knit 2017.

 

 

I finally updated my teaching calendar for 2017. Will I see you?

I’m spending the winter designing new classes to teach. Let me know if there’s something you’d like me to add to my class list!

 

 

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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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