Tag: knitting

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

How Much Fiber Do I Need? Rhinebeck Edition

Rhinebeck is this weekend, I can feel the shopping fever mounting! I get asked “how much fiber should I buy?” in most of my spinning classes. The urgency ramps up when I’m teaching at a fiber show or there’s a big show coming up. Do you know what you’re going to buy yet? I usually make a shopping map. Here are my quick and dirty shopping amounts for commercial fiber: 4oz – socks, hats, small cowls 8 oz – infinity scarves, big cowls, small shawls 12oz – big shawls, vests 16oz-32oz+ – sweaters. I make an x-large sweater; I always buy 2 pounds. Here are some of the ...

Thinking about Holiday Gifts: It’s Time

Do not yell at me! It’s time for me to think about holiday gifts, I didn’t say you had to. I’m not playing Rhinebeck sweater chicken, so It’s time for me to plan other fiber things. What do I want to make? Something perfectly handcrafted for each person I love in my life. What does the still rational not-caught-up-in-the-joy-and-delusion-of-holiday-making mind of mine think I will actually do? 2 woven scarves (commercial yarn) 4 zoom loom sachets (handspun) Something knitted and delicious that’s not a sweater (handspun)   I’m going to ask my local spinning and knitting friends ...

TNNA: the knitting industry’s trade show…UPDATE!

Jillian and I have just returned from our annual trek to TNNA’s trade show, this time in Washington, DC. Jillian used to live there a very long time ago, and I’ve never been, so it was an interesting venue for us to explore. Every year, we gauge what’s out, what’s in and what’s growing in popularity. This time, without question, the most popular trend was gradients. Gradients in every form, from sets of single-color skeins that make up the gradient to super-long-color-change skeins (first popularized, I believe, by Tina Whitmore of Freia Fibers). Here’s a sampling of the new ...

WWW: Knitters + Crocheters = Infinite Possibilities

Together we are mighty and generous. We’ve clothed bodies in knitwear. We’ve raised thousands for charities (did you see what we did for the Yarn Harlot?) We’ve supported independent artists.  We make things GO!  The Peyton Heart Project is raising awareness about teen suicide, bullying, and mental illness by placing knitted or crocheted hearts throughout communities.  Our reach knows no boundaries, and that’s pretty groovy! This picture is sexy!  There, I’ve said it.  Look at that crimp!  Look at that staple!  Look at the delightfully weathered and hearty hands showing off the fleece! ...

WWW: Making some noise about piracy, theatre, and fiber

  Designer Hunter Hammersen was robbed. Her person is safe and her home is safe, but her loss was large and expensive after someone pirated and sold her gorgeous patterns on Etsy without authorization.  Hours upon hours of intellectual and creative property (more hours than most of us can imagine) were sold without her permission or knowledge and to someone else’s benefit.  She blogged about it eloquently and launched a rally cry for support on social media.  Designers and authors make a living with their craft, and they work diligently to provide us with quality work for just and reasonable compensation. ...