Spinning Tuesdays

Planning Projects As You Go For A Spinner

I’m sure you all know by now that knitting my handspun is one of my favorite things. I like to design my projects and I like to design my projects as I knit, especially smaller projects. How does that work if I’m spinning the yarn I’m knitting? What if I run out of yarn or what if I change my mind in the middle of knitting, my design becomes something different and I know I don’t have enough yarn? All of those things happen to me, a lot. You know what? I don’t sweat it. For me it’s the trade off for not having to be exact. I don’t know exactly what I’m knitting, I have ...

Why I Still Buy Yarn

If I spin why do I still buy yarn? Yes, I often look at commercial yarns and think, “I can make that” and sometimes I even do make something similar. But I still buy yarn to knit and weave with, why? There are companies making interesting yarns, yarns that this picky, picky spinner falls in love with. There are dyers who make exquisite colors and don’t dye fiber. There are companies making and selling yarn that employ people in countries not as bountiful as ours, or from sheep that are becoming endangered or from sheep, mills and dyers that are in their own neighborhood. I buy yarn from yarn shops ...

Favorite Spinning Tools: My Steamer

I have a little portable steamer that I use all of the time. It’s become one of those tools in my arsenal, along with my scale, that I had no idea when I bought it how much I would use it. I use it the most when I’m sampling. I’m not a patient spinner and I want to see what my yarn and knitted swatches are going to look like as soon as possible. Steaming is perfect for that. My steamer is small and is best for small skeins of yarn. I used to just hold my skeins over our electric kettle until I got tired of finding wool in my tea. I have used it for bigger 400 yard skeins, it took a couple of passes ...

Teaching at Loop

Who’s spinning with me at Loop next weekend? I got a few questions about my classes, so I thought I answer them here. I’m teaching three classes, all day Yarnitecture, half day Twist and Ply and half day Cheaper By the Dozen: 12 Ways to Spin Variegated Top. Yarnitecture: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want – This is a great class for spinners who either are beginner- ish, can make yarn and want to know what’s next, this class gives an over view of making yarn. This is also for spinners who have been spinning for any length of time who want have questions along the lines of , ‘how do I ...

Spinning in 2017 – Your List of Dyers

For a lot of us it’s the dreaded work reentry week after the winter holidays. I’ve put together a little diversion for you. A few weeks ago I asked who I should spin in 2017 and I got so many great answers that I’ve collected them here. How about a little fiber browsing for today? Let me know who you are excited to spin in 2017!       Owl About Yarn Countess Ablaze Highland Handmades On the Round Greenwood Fiberworks Inglenook Fibers Hilltop Cloud Porpoise Fur Hobbledehoy Threewaters Farm Nunoco Pigeonroof Studios EdgewoodGardenStudio FiberArtemis DyeabolicalYarns NerdGirl Yarn ...

Yarnitecture Giveaway!

  What? You did’t get my book for a holiday gift? Let’s fix that! I am giving away a copy of my book Yarnitecture and 4 ounces of Into the Whirled Falkland in the colorway Vegetable Medley. So you can spin along with the book. Our usual rules apply: Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Friday, December 30th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the book and fiber. If you have already won a prize from us this year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $49.00

Weaving with Handspun Singles – Energy Edition

Usually when I spin singles to weave or knit I reduce the amount of twist so I can finish the yarn to bias very little. There are weavers and knitters who do the opposite, they use regular and even high twist in their singles and make that electric energy part of their knitting or weaving. I have done some knitting with energized singles after taking classes with Kathryn Alexander, but have never played with energy and weaving. Liz Gipson’s latest Get Warped column is all about weaving with handspun singles and using that twist energy to make something very cool. I’ve read about controlling twist with ...

Spinning Gifts

Looking for a gift for a spinner or looking for some things to leave as fat hints to your loved ones? Here are a few things I loved this year that I’d like to give to my spinning family:     Fiber, of course – either a braid, a set of braids, or a club subscription. Getting fiber never gets old! I have a lot of go-to dyers, but for 2017 I want to spin dyers that are new to me or ones I haven’t spun in a long time. One of dyers I can’t wait to try is Casey of Port Fiber. Blending board – I have a Clemes and Clemes blending board and I use it a lot. It’s so much fun making ...

Yarn Fest 2017: Registration Is Open!

Registration is open for next spring’s Yarn Fest.  Kate and I are both teaching again, we had a great time last year!  Yarn Fest has a freshly deigned, easier to use website, including an at-a-glance workshop schedule to help with planning classes to take. There’s an early bird discount of $15 off workshops until January 1, 2017. Use the code EBDYF17 when you check out. Kate is teaching:   The Pi Shawl (3 hours): Thursday Two Socks at Once SBS (3 hours): Thursday Fiber Care & Blocking (3 hours): Friday Math for Knitters (3 hours): Friday 2 Socks War & Peace (3 hours): Saturday Pattern Writing ...

What Will You Spin Next?

In the US the big Thanksgiving weekend is coming up. Some people look forward to the food or the shopping. But my people, spinners, look forward to uninterrupted days of spinning, knitting or fiber prep. This is also the weekend that, before the crazy of the December holidays, I like to reflect on what I want to spin next in 2017. This weekend I will wear only stretchy pants, there will be football (Go Blue!) too much food and a ferocious amount of fiber. I have plans to card for color, spin for a few accessories, knit swatches in dark movie theaters (Dr. Strange and Moana) and generally wallow in fiber. I really ...