Tag: fiber

Obsession Thursday: Spindling

Spindling, cider, relaxation. Life is good.
Spindling, cider, relaxation. Life is good.

I just got back from teaching at a weekend retreat for the lovely women who run Knit Social (they’re also the folks behind the fabulously popular Knit City fiber event that happens in Vancouver every October).

As my hands are still rather flipper-like until I have my carpal tunnel surgery next month, bringing knitting along wasn’t practical. Instead, I thought I might try spindling again, since I’ve found it uses different muscles than the ones that I’ve overused and doesn’t aggravate my messed-up nerves.

Look! It was successful! I spun more on my Jenkins Turkish Delight spindle this weekend than I have in the past year, on anything. The fiber is baby camel, and I remember buying it at the same time as the spindle. At the second Sock Summit in Portland in 2011. Yup, that’s how long this particular fiber has been sitting on this spindle, waiting to be finished.

I got a lot done over the weekend, in small bursts. It was a lovely feeling, being productive again. Here are some images so you can enjoy the gorgeous fiber and exquisite spinning tool that I used.

the underbelly of my Jenkins. hard to get, as spindles go, and very much worth the wait.
the underbelly of my Jenkins. hard to get, as spindles go, and very much worth the wait.


I love the little cushion of singles this spindle makes.
I love the little cushion of singles this spindle makes.


2016-02-20 21.56.14
Starting a 2nd cop, with the first one waiting patiently to be plied once I’m all done.



5 Tips for a Dye Day

Pile of fiber

Two or three times a year, my fiber gang gets together for a dye day.  Here are 5 tips from our group to yours to keep your dye party running smoothly.

1) Plan and work ahead and after.

Know how many people are coming and what’s for lunch. Mix your dyes ahead of time and soak your fiber the night before. Plan on rising and drying your fiber at home. Just dye and play on dye day.

2) Time and space for all.

No one wants to wait on dye day. Have spots for everyone to work their color magic and enough pots, crock dyers, burners, etc to set the fibers.

3) Have some color ideas, but let it flow.

I usually come with three or four colorways to get started, but inevitably the best colors are those that hit me on the spot. Have a notebook handy to keep track of your colorways. Trust me, you won’t remember.

4) Slow down, you’re having fun.

It’s not a race, it’s not your job. If you work at frenetic pace you won’t enjoy yourself. Bring your wheel or your knitting and take breaks. I’ve learned my actual limits are about half of my dyeing aspirations – so I soak only half of the fiber I think I can get done, and bring dry fiber along. Sometimes I add more fiber to the soaking bucket, but usually not.

5) Try something new.

If you usually pour your dyes, try painting. If you usually steam set, try crock pot dyeing. Challenge yourself to break out of your color rut. You’ll be amazed at how much fun you have just playing.

1.75 lbs of fiber dyed in 5 hours. Next time, not so much purple.

Spinning Lessons

the precious abbybatt

I have a bunch of Abby Batts in my stash and I won’t spin them because then they’ll be gone. What if I want to use them for something better later? What if I totally suck spinning them? Abby herself would laugh her ass off knowing her batts had hit Most Precious Status in my stash. “Just [expletive] spin them” she’d say, and she’d hand me a beer.

So I did. And it was good.

Lesson: There are no precious batts.

advice taken.