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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 ...

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Quick Gift Knitting from Stephen West

Back when Stephen West was still a new designer he did several wonderful designs for Knitty. I’ve knit two of his shawl designs out of handspun for gifts, they are both a weekend (or less ) knit. I’ve made three Colonnade shawls from handspun. It’s 3.5 stitches to the inch, a design from one of the earlier days when bulky yarn was popular. I never put the button on it because the shaping allows it to just sit and stay on your shoulders.       I’ve made two Groove shawls. The pattern calls for a DK yarn, but I used a yarn closer to a worsted for a bigger shawl. I love the ...

WWW: Weaving and Crocheting Shopping Bags, Unique Fundraiser, and a Museum Roundup

I love this report of plastic shopping bags being reused and crocheted or woven into mats for the homeless by residents in an independent and assisted-living facility in Gainesville, GA. Some may with they had access to this fundraiser for ‘underappreciated’ knitted items (this particular endeavor is local to Waterloo, Canada). Museum roundup: On the morning of Sunday December 9th, museum members can enjoy Knitting at the MFA (Boston, Massachusetts). Please note that tickets are required. ST Presents Museum Confidential: The World-Famous Crochet Museum an audio podcast about the World Famous Crochet Museum in Joshua ...

Electric Eel Mini Spinner 2 Kickstarter

Here’s a Kickstarter I backed as soon as I saw it, the Electric Eel Mini Spinner 2!I was a little late to the party, so I’ll be waiting for mine a bit. This Kickstarter closes December 20th, so if you want to be in the first round click over and sign up. The Kickstarter packages start at $60. The first Electric Eel Mini Spinner, was really popular. I know a lot of people who bought one, some liked it some weren’t so happy with it, but that’s the way all wheels are. A student brought the first version to a class I taught in Florida, so I got to put my hands on it, and I liked it more than I ...

WWW: Spider Silk; Espionage and/or Multitasking; New Fiber Art Exhibit

The Tangled History of Weaving with Spider Silk explores some of spider silk weaving’s history. While this article is a few years old, I think The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool pairs nicely with this new one, Unique multi-tasking combinations. Knitty has featured coded designs, see Morse code mittens (First Fall 2011) and the QR-key scarf (First Fall 2013). Twisted, Twined, and Woven: Contemporary Fiber Art is a new exhibit at the Cahoon Museum of American Art (Cotuit, MA USA) that looks how textile art is evolving. It is on view through December 22.

Thanksgiving is for Zen Spinning

In the U.S. it will soon be Thanksgiving. It’s a day for family, friends and food, and frankly trying to do too much. I see so many of my friends put too much pressure on themselves to have perfect houses, perfect tables, perfect food, and end up exhausted and stressed. When they take time to spin on Thanksgiving, the pressure is on to spin for holiday gifts. I am here to ask all of you spinners to take some time for Zen spinning on Thanksgiving. Spin with no project or outcome in mind. Take some time for yourself. Spin your favorite fiber with your favorite draft, and bask in the beauty of spinning with those ...

WWW: creativity, quilts, and collaboration

It turns out creativity is difficult to define. That’s the finding of why it’s a challenge to describe what what an artificial intelligence is doing. If you didn’t see it earlier this year, neural networks have already been used to create knitting designs, skyknit. If you’re confused by AI, this chart and article from the MIT Technology Review may help. The New York Times released a short documentary, While I Yet Live about the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The story of these women, their bold voices, their quilting, and their craft is one of love. Fiber artist Kimber Follevaag and ...

Combo Spin vs. Combo Draft

I’ve had a bunch of emails lately asking about Combo Draft and Comb Spin. The word Combo has become like the word Worsted, one word many meanings and applications, and it can be confusing! A Combo Spin is a way to select, divide and ply enough braids to make a sweater. It typically uses braids that are in the same color family, divides them into smallish sections (16 per braid). The sections are spun randomly, and then plied. The first time I heard about it was through this episode of the PassioKnit Spinner’s podcast. It really caught on with spinners and there have been several  Combo SAL/ KALs using ...

WWW: reasons to knit/crochet/spin/weave

Pedro Gonzalez of Dallas knits a sock at Holley's Yarn Shoppe in Dallas. He can knit a sock while he watches a movie. (Carly Geraci)
Every week a new study shares how making things by hand reduces stress and improves mental health. More articles also remind us that it can change lives through empowerment. Today’s WWW post shares some of these stories. Balance, Mindfulness, Mental Health How knitting can instill peace, lower blood pressure and create some pretty things (Texas, USA) Psychiatric rehab helps patients find balance (Ontario, Canada) Santa Rosa exhibit highlights artistry of adults with mental health challenges (California, USA) DR MAX THE MIND DOCTOR: You can really knit your way to happiness and a stress-free life (UK) (this one ...