Tag: spinning

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Spinning at WEBS

WEBS had their second Spinning Summit this past weekend and I was lucky and grateful to teach. It was a mighty gang that gathered to spin with Amy King, Beth Smith and me. We taught three classes each. The attendees somehow picked three out of the nine classes. I taught Fractal Frolic, Successive Plying, and premiered a new class – Match Game. It’s all about learning to match, project, intention and yarn for a knitting project. I’m teaching this next in a couple of weeks at SAFF. My students were dedicated and really fast spinners. They had a ton of questions and burned through all of the material ...

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 ...