Tag: fiber

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

Back to the Basics

My husband recently unearthed my old iPod and replaced the battery. It’s packed with old songs that I still like and all of the memories that go along with them. What I really like about this iPod is that it’s connected to nothing, no phone, no internet, no notifications of any kind. It’s just me and the music.       I’ve been in a little bit of spinning slump. I don’t have many deadlines right now and I’m not doing much spinning. I’m still excited about spinning and I’m certainly still buying fiber. I want to spin all of my beautiful fiber. I decided to ...

Holiday Gifts for Spinners

Still looking for gifts for your spinning family? Or do you still need to drop some big hints for gifts for yourself? Here are a few ideas: 51 Yarns to Spin Before You Cast Off by Jacey Faulkner. Work your way through the spinning of 51 different yarns. It’s a fun ride and you won’t be the same spinner after you finish. Raw Material: Working Wool in the West by Stephany Wilkes. A fascinating book that tells the story of the education of a sheep shearer, and the story of what it takes to make a sheep to needles, or sheep to factory yarn.   Electric Eel Wheel Mini 2. If this Thumbelina wheel appeals to ...

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 ...

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 ...

Labeling Handspun; PLY Away 4 Registration is Open

One of the things I do to get ready for winter spinning, knitting and weaving is label my miscellaneous skeins of handspun. I’m pretty good at labeling my yarn, but a few still get through.  I’m not always thorough at labeling either. I tag my just-to-spin skeins with a tyvek wristband and the basics of the yarn – fiber, company, yardage (before finishing), and that’s pretty much it. I like to go back and add a little detail to these skeins.       I do this so when I want to knit or weave with my handspun that’s wasn’t specifically spun for the project I know what ...

Deep Fall Knittyspin European Dream Shawl

Are you looking for a cozy project for yourself or a gift as the weather slides to chilly, might I suggest the European Dreams shawl from this issue of Knitty? This shawl, designed by Benjamin Krudwig, is thick and quick. It uses Spunky Eclectic Targhee top and is spun long draw, thick and thin, then plied on itself. The WPI is 5-7, thick with extra Targhee squish.   The knitting is straight forward, just knits and purls, nothing tricky. It’s a great weekend project Benjamin made his shawl out of naturally color fiber, but it would be lovely spun in a dyed fiber, especially semi solid or a splatter dyed ...