Spinning Tuesdays

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 ...

Tour Update: 16oz and Counting

I’m 4 oz behind where I want to be for the Tour de Fleece. So far I’ve spun 12oz of my BFL singles and I was hoping for a pound by now. I’m going on a short hang out at a cabin vacation later this week, so I think I can catch up. I absolutely love the yarn I’m making. The colors and loft are exactly what I was hoping for. I haven’t finished any of it yet. I want to just slightly full it. I’m hoping it will have a wonderful hand at 5 stitches to the inch, because I’d love to make Goodale. My last 4oz of the Tour so far are a merino/bamboo from Three Waters Farm in the Lynne ...

Really Keeping Track on the Tour

I have grand plans for the Tour de Fleece. I’m finishing some Lynne Vogel Limited Edition Colorways from Three Waters Farm: merino/bamboo in the Black Hollyhocks colorway. I’m practicing the the thick, fluffy, and arty skills I learned from Lynne Vogel and Maggie Casey in the past month, at least a bobbin full of each. The biggie is 2 lbs of long drawn singles, slightly fulled, for a sweater from oatmeal BFL that I dyed myself after writing about it last week [see the finished results at left]. The oatmeal BFL was from The Spinning Loft. I haven’t watched one minute of the Tour de France, but I’ve ...

Spin dreaming

It’s Knitty production week and I really should be working, but my mind keeps drifting off to this: Nearly 3 pounds of oatmeal BFL that I want to spin for the Tour de Fleece. I dream about spinning it into a beautiful long-draw single that I would full and knit into a sweater. I also dream about dyeing this bfl, national blue, bright violet with maybe touches of avocado or maybe grasshopper ( yes, those are pro chem colors). Not with total coverage —  I want some of that oatmeal to show. What are you dreaming about spinning for the Tour? I met Sasha this weekend at a Maggie Casey workshop. Sasha has a ...

How Paper Clips Save My Spinning Sanity

I am a spinner that likes to take my wheel everywhere with me. I am also a spinner who tends to drop and lose things. There are days that, as I carry my wheel, I feel like I’m a dandelion shedding fluffy fiber and tools everywhere. The tool that I most seem to lose no matter how I tie it on, keep it in a wee basket or even carry it in my purse is an orifice hook. I lose 1 or 2 a year. Behold the everyday object that saves my spinning sanity: I throw a small handful into every bag I carry, and if I’m orifice hook-less I grab a paperclip and unbend, leaving or creating a small hook at one end. Adjust the ...