General

Jillian’s Spinning: My Best Spinning Habit

Last week I talked about my worst spinning habit, the thing that drives me crazy about my spinning self. This week let’s talk about the good. My best spinning habit is experimenting, sampling, playing. I could spend all of my spinning time following the ‘what ifs’ that pop up in my head. I have piles and boxes and baskets of samples, some of them becomes articles for Knittyspin, PLY or Spin Off, some become classes, some just stay little piles of fun. That picture above? Each box, bag and basket is crammed with samples. The picture below? That’s one box full of plying experiments with ...

A big anniversary!

Isn’t it funny how time passes online? We launched in 2002, and just 3 years later, the immensely clever Tina Newton (one of my favorite people) launched her Rockin’ Sock Club with her company, Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Tina is the woman that invented Socks that Rock. The yarn that has caused more hours-long lineups at Maryland and Rhinebeck than (possibly) any other. It’s pretty gorgeous stuff. So yeah, back to the anniversary thing. 10 years. TEN YEARS, people! This is huge. To celebrate, the 10th Anniversary Rockin’ Sock Club is going all out this year! Members get a kit every other month, and ...

All Craftsy Classes $19.99 or Less!

Chances are you are done shopping for the Holidays and are ready to kick back with some knitting or spinning. Do you want to learn something new or tune up your skills? Every single Craftsy class is on sale for $19.99 or less, their biggest sale of the year! Treat yourself to a class!  

Jillian’s Spinning: Spinzilla Sign Up and Swatches

After my happy success with Tour de Fleece, I ‘ve decided to do Spinzilla in October! I wonder how much yarn I can spin in a week? I’ve joined Team PLY,which is full now but, here’s a list of all the teams still available.  Has anyone joined a team yet? I’ve been spinning and knitting swatches for my Craftsy class. I leave on Sunday and I can’t wait to film. I am equal parts nervous and excited, which seems about right. In Happy Camper retreat news Beth, Rita and I planned our goodie bags and door prizes today. Each camper will have 6 ounces of fiber plus other surprises in their goodie ...

Uncharacteristically personal post from Amy

Life has gotten hard and complicated over the last while, and just after the New Year, something happened that I think it’s time I shared with you all. The husband and I decided we shouldn’t be married any more. We’ve been together for more than 2 decades, so this decision was a hard one to make. But it’s the right one for us both. As a result, you won’t be surprised to hear, I’ve been trying to get through the challenges this has presented. Life will continue to be complicated and challenging for a while longer, but I’m fine and want you all to know that. I’ll be ...

On Charity Knitting; Too Many Penguin Sweaters?

Boing Boing puts it best: The Internet may be producing an excess of penguin sweaters. If you do want to do some charity knitting, consult local organizations in your area to see what they need… women’s shelters often take children’s items; animal shelters often take blankets and comfort items; hospitals, particularly those with neonatal ICUs, often accept items for tiny newborns; homeless shelters often take winter accessories like hats and scarves. We all have the impulse to use our power for good – let’s just make sure we direct it in a way that it’s of most benefit.

Jillian’s Spinning: Handspun Stitching on Handspun Knitting

I’ve been making progress on spinning yarn that I can stitch with, take a look: The blue Merino/silk is about 18 wpi, the green alpaca/silk is 24 wpi and the tencel is 28 wpi. Regular 6 strand DMC embroidery floss is 22 wpi. I feel really good about these yarns. Of course there are different things I want to try and I want to spin finer, but that is why I keep spinning ,to keep learning! I stitched with handspun on handspun. First I did a little feather stitch with a dk singles on a 2-ply chunky stockinette swatch. This took about a second and was fun and satisfying. I immediately realized I couldn’t pull ...

Uke 101 for the holidays! (updated for 2013)

I wrote this post a few years ago, and thankfully, interest in the ukulele is still strong! So I share again at the holidays for those interested in gifting or receiving a uke. My best tips are below with links that all work, and new gift tips for those looking for a uke-themed gift for a friend. Enjoy! Ukuleles are experiencing a resurgence not seen since the 1950s, with movies like The Mighty Uke showing to packed houses, and musicians from Train to Amanda Palmer to Eddie Vedder reclaming the little 4-stringed wonder. I’ve been playing the uke since 2008, when I traded a skein of yarn for a purple Mahalo. It ...

Jillian’s Obsession Thursday: How I Know a New Thing Is Going to Stick

You may have noticed that I love to learn new things. I never know what’s going to set me off, something in a class, something I’ve read or saw someone else do. My latest fibery pursuit, embroidery, started with a spinning class with Sarah Swett in May. They I discovered Rebecca Ringquist and her beginning sampler class on CreativeBug. But I do know when a new interest is going to stick and become part of my life for a bit. It’s not the new stuff, though I love accumulating and researching tools and supplies. Here’s my embroidery stash: It’s the books. Not just books from the library, ...