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) out-of-plane and (b) in-plane deformations of knitted textiles.” Elisabetta Matsumoto) The Great Women Project Revives The Philippine Weaving Industry. The textile ...

Schacht is 50! Class Openings Coming Up

Schacht Spindle Company turns 50 this year! Schacht has been a huge part of my fiber life ever since the late 80s when I bought my first loom. But my true devotion didn’t start until I bought my Matchless sometime in the early 90s. Soon (about five minutes) after I learned to turn fiber into a lumpy bit of yarn I saw my first Matchless. It was lust at first sight. It was gorgeous, it was smooth. It could do all of these things that other spinners told me were good, but I would have no idea what they meant until years later. I put that wheel on layaway and paid it off a little every month. I think it’s the ...

WWW: Drought & Navajo Shepherds; Handicraft Prize Winners; Ukiyo-e Search

Irene Bennalley walks her herd of Navajo-Churro sheep out to grazing land where extreme drought has gripped the Four Corners region near Two Grey Hills, New Mexico. Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
This article looks at the impact of drought on Navajo shepherds in the SouthWest. The Navajo Sheep Project set up a drought relief fund to help shepherds and their sheep sustain this latest challenge. via LG. Photo: Irene Bennalley walks her herd of Navajo-Churro sheep out to grazing land where extreme drought has gripped the Four Corners region near Two Grey Hills, New Mexico. Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times Three keen needleworkers, all in their 90s, have come away with first and highly commended prizes for their handicrafts at the Newcastle (Australia) show. Photo: Whiddon Redhead residents Linda Felton, ...

New Spinning Tool: Thumb Flick

This past weekend I taught at Susan’s Fiber Shop Spinning Retreat, it was great fun! At one point in the festivities Susan whipped out this cool little tool – a thumb flick. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a tiny flick that slips over your thumb to use to tease open locks. I used it to flick open locks for blending board batts, and it worked perfectly.       It’s tiny and light and costs about $10, what’s not to love? I haven’t seen them anywhere else, and Susan just got them in. If you want one the quickest way is to call her shop.         ...

WWW: a jumper for a guinea pig; the history of orange; celebrating repair

tumeric powder
A knitting group is making jumpers for people’s unwell pets. Gingernut the guinea pig looks rather fetching in his green jumper don’t you think? The History of the Color Orange offers a brief look at this bold and dynamic color. Grace Bonney of Design Sponge posted a fascinating floor to instagram. It reminded her of Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold, silver, or platinum. That had me thinking of visible mending. I turned to the knitty archives and found this 2006 article from our Kate Atherley, on Repairing Knitwear. Also of potential interest to knittyblog readers is ...

Blending Board Fun: Making Roving

Spinners seem to be excited about blending boards again, those perfect rolags and mini batts are irresistable.  I know I’ve been playing with mine after about a year of not even thinking about it much. I have a cherry Clemes and Clemes blending board that works perfectly every time. I’ve been making smooth rolags, mini crazy batts with tons of add ins, and roving. Roving from a blending board? Yes, and it’s so quick. It’s best to use a smoother type of fiber mixture when pulling roving off of a blending board. Noils, and sari silk threads are ok, but big lucious dyed locks don’t work as ...

WWW: Studying Stretch; Art in Puerto Rico; Beaded Knitting

What do earthquakes, robotics and jumpers have in common? Samuel Poincloux completed his PhD by studying how the stretch a knitted fabric is rooted in mechanics. The Topologies of Excess: A Survey of Contemporary Practices from Puerto Rico is on display at Cuesta College’s Harold J. Miossi Gallery (San Luis Obispo, CA) through Feb. 24. If you are into beaded knitting, this jumper from instagram user @laerkebagger is inspiring! I agree with our Editor, It’s almost like looking at a universe of stars and planets from very far away. Such a labor of love. Loading…

Spinning Classes Aren’t Just for Big Fiber Shows

If you are looking for in-person spinning classes and there are no big fiber festivals near you, do not despair! I get questions about where to find classes from newer spinners especially. Every spinner I’ve met has a dream about going to Rhinebeck or Maryland Sheep and Wool, but there are A LOT of middle sized and small fiber shows across the country. Knitter’s Review still has the best list that I’ve found for all types of fiber shows. Look for local and not quite local guilds. Spinning guilds bring in teachers on the regular, a lot of these don’t advertise much outside of their guild, so ...

WWW: Life-size Crochet; Textile Art; Planning and Fast Fashion

Two takes on life size knit and crochet projects, first the inside — an anatomically correct skeleton by artist shanell papp. The second is by yarn artist Liisa Hietanen, of villagers in her Hämeenkyrö, Finland town. Her ability to capture the likeness is inspiring. At vogue.com, they explore the work of a few fascinating textile artists, including Vanessa Barragão. Her tapestries are oceanic and naturalistic-inspired works that reflect themes of climate change, the perils of conspicuous consumption, and a celebration of the natural world. Fashion’s trash problem is partly a planning problem. This ...

Spinner-Worthy Yarn: Liverpool Yarns

Just because I spin yarn doesn’t mean I have stopped buying commercially spun yarn. No way! I love using all types of yarn, handspun is my favorite, but carefully sourced and spun smaller batch yarns are a close second. Some folks call these farm to needle yarn, I call them spinner-worthy. To me a spinner-worthy yarn has a few specific things that make it a yarn worth looking at. It’s really the main things that I think about when I spin a yarn: the fiber and where it comes from, the spinning process – is it woolen or worsted spun (and I love to know about the mill), and intention in the ply to ...