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WWW: ancient sewing needles; math & knitting; Philippine weaving

Sewing Needles Reveal the Roots of Fashion. Not only were they used to sew seams, but also to provide embellishment. (Photo: F. d’Errico/L. Doyon) [via JM] This article explores the research of Elisabetta Matsumoto. She looks into how different stitch types determine the stretch and shape of knitted items. Not only is it useful traditional knitting but also for material science. (Photo: “Topological defects in the square can shape the (a) ...

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WWW: digitized archives for hats & chromatics; meet purl

Want to view an archive of vintage hats without going outside? Now you can because the Minnesota Historical Society has unveiled a vast digital archive. Stephanie Olson, a Minnesota Historical Society collections associate has digitized 717 women’s hats from their massive collections, making images of their brims and grand embellishments available to the public. Continuing in the digitized archive theme, “Chromatics” (1817) describes an early color system stressing harmony & analogy, including the relationship between color and music! (h/t Jillian!) Meet Purl… the star of a new pixar ...

Working on a Knitting Kit

I am still happy with the  Everyday Spin Kit I put together two years ago, with all of my spinning essentials, plus a few things that I might need. I’ve decided that as a spinning knitter I’m now in need of an updated knitting kit. I don’t want it to be as big as my spin kit, but I want more than will fit in my old (and broken down) 4″x4″ notions bag. I started with the bag. I’ve been looking for a use for this Jane Austen bag from the Unemployed Philosophers Guild since I got it. She now has a purpose. It’s a ziptop bag, 5″x9″, with a 2″ gusset at the ...

WWW: a second life for public art projects; crochet prodigy; Tla’amin baskets + maths

Remember the twiddle-mitts sensory aid for dementia patients I posted a few weeks ago? A knitting group recycled yarn bomb projects into 187 cuffs! 11 year old Jonah loves to crochet. He learned at age 5. Jonah gives me hope for the future! The Callysto Salish Basket project at Simon Fraser University in Canada is a collaborative project that explores the functional mathematical beauty of the Tla’amin Nation baskets in a digital learning resource.

A Tip to Save a Bit of Fiber

The easiest answers to spinning troubles are my favorite. When I spin a dyed braid I like to save a narrow strip of unspun fiber to have a record of the fiber’s colors before I spin it. What usually happens is I find that strip sometime during the spinning and spin it into my yarn. I’ve never found a good way to differentiate the piece of fiber. Scrolling through Instagram one morning I saw that Alanna Wilcox (spinnybuns) has the perfect simple solution. Chain that strip of fiber fiber. So smart and  so easy. The chained fiber lets me know this is something other than fiber to spin, and hopefully I ...

WWW: knitted games; weaving tradition to regain purpose; sustainability in fashion

Weavers at textile cooperative in northern Vietnam's Quan Ba district.
Last week we learned about an 8-bit gold embroidered computer and the yarn recorder. This week I invite you to knit monopoly. Or if you prefer mystery knits, this year’s MIT Mystery Hunt included a knitting clue. [thank you for the link A!] In this article, One stitch at a time: Weaving rehab for Vietnam trafficking victims, we visit a textile cooperative in northern Vietnam’s Quan Ba district. It provides hope, income, and purpose to women of the Vietnamese Hmong hill tribes many of whose lives have been blighted by people trafficking while also preserving the local tradition of weaving. A jeans factory ...

What if Fiber Labels Were More Like Yarn Labels?

Lately I’ve been thinking about what information is helpful to know before I start to spin a commercial braid of fiber. That led me to thinking, “What if Fiber Labels Were More Like Yarn Labels Yarn labels have lots of useful information for knitters. Granted, knitters are mostly trying to do one thing, hit that mighty gauge number, but the information on the the label helps then know what their fabric will be like. Spinners are working with a more open road, as far as the yarn we’ll make. Looking at a recent fiber purchase and comparing the label to a yarn label, I pondered what other information ...

WWW: computing & recording with textiles; steel wool; knit comfortably

The Yarn Recorder can record and play sounds (Wooden device with two bobbins of yarn)
The link between weaving and computing is well established. What if there was an embroidered computer? This is a working 8-bit universal electromechanical computer embroidered in gold! Can you use yarn (containing steel fibers) to record and playback sounds? Yes! Are you curious where your steel wool comes from? 😉 For the curious, steel wool is generally made of low-grade carbon steel wire, aluminum, bronze or stainless steel. If you’re looking to exercise more this year, please don’t forget to Knit Comfortably. Reviewed in Knitty, Deep Fall 2017 by AS. Knitty is for everyone. Are you interested in ...

2019 Teaching schedule

I’ve had a few emails asking where I’m teaching in 2019. There are a few that are still in the works, I’ll let you know about those as soon as I can. Here’s a quick list of where and when I’m teaching: February 22-24 – Iowa City Spinning Guild, Iowa City, Iowa March 1-3 – Susan’s Fiber Shop Spinning Retreat, Deforest, Wisconsin 17 – SPUN, Ann Arbor, Michigan – Yarn Detective 30 – Kalamazoo Fiber and Dye Studio, Kalamazoo, Michigan – Colorplay April  9-13 – PLY Away, Kansas City , Missouri May 1-3 – Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, ...

WWW: knitting as record, textile exhibit calendar, power your knitting

photo of knit scarf showing train delays
It’s a new calendar year and your thoughts may turn to starting a new year-long project. I love that a frustrated commuter knit her train delays into a scarf! There’s also the Tempestry project, knitting visual representations of changing temperatures over time. If you’re looking for additional ideas, I recommend Knit the Sky by Lea Redmond (reviewed by Jillian in Knitty, issue 54 Winter 2015). Each week as I write these posts, I scour the internet to find interesting textile exhibits to share. I was delighted to discover this webpage that lists upcoming events around the globe! In Tokyo, Japan ...

3 Tips to Help Hit Your Spinning Goals

Happy New Year! The year is fresh and sassy and I want to do new things, all of the new things! Setting goals, intentions, habits is the easy part for me, it’s the sticking to them that’s tough. Here are three things I’ve found that help me stick to my spinning (or otherwise) goals. The right motivation. This is a big one for me, that took a while to learn. I used to try to motivate myself with other people and what they were spinning or excited about. ‘Everyone’ is spinning Down breeds or spinning to weave or spinning freshly combed top. I don’t want to feel left out, so I jump on ...