Tag: spinning

Wisconsin S&W Registration is Open; So You Want to Be a Dyer?

Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival is a little gem of a fiber show. Held the weekend after Labor Day in Jefferson Wisconsin it has everything bigger shows have but without the stampeding crowds. This is a show that runs at a relaxing pace, everyone is having a good time, no need to rush. There are classes, vendors, a fleece competition and sale, sheep dog trails, and food trucks roll in from Madison. I’m teaching there again this year, Friday-Sunday, my classes are: The Gist of Grist, Pretty Maids All in Row: Successive Color Plying, Yarnitecture, and Colorplay: Stress-Free Ways of Spinning Color. Already ...

TNNA 2018 – Things That Aren’t Knitting

Amy, Kate and I are just back from the annual National Needlework Association convention, where we get to touch yarns and plan with yarn companies and designers. Amy posted to the Knitty Instagram all about the knitting side while we were there. I get so caught up in looking and touching new fiber things and the hugging of friends that I forget to take pictures, but I have a few. I do have to mention one yarn company that always makes me smile with their creativity, Freia Fibers. That dress is knit from their gradient yarns. I have a crush on Tina’s yarn akin to the crush I had on Noro in the 1990s. She has a ...

Favorite Spinning Tools: My Steamer

I have a little portable steamer that I use all of the time. It’s become one of those tools in my arsenal, along with my scale, that I had no idea when I bought it how much I would use it. I use it the most when I’m sampling. I’m not a patient spinner and I want to see what my yarn and knitted swatches are going to look like as soon as possible. Steaming is perfect for that. My steamer is small and is best for small skeins of yarn. I used to just hold my skeins over our electric kettle until I got tired of finding wool in my tea. I have used it for bigger 400 yard skeins, it took a couple of passes ...

Stash Control and a New Shelf

I don’t know about you, but I love to have all of my spinning stash around me. Well, a lot of it anyway. I’m lucky enough to have a family that understands the need for piles of stash. We have an inactive fireplace in our family room that I have claimed , using the hearth as my stash home. Not in any organized fashion, mind you. Though I organize it periodically, it never stays that way. It’s subject to whims, shopping trips and current deadline projects. Because I know you’ll understand, here is an un-doctored, un-neatened photo of my fireplace stash. You spinners who are in long term ...

Tour results are in!

I didn’t hit my lofty goal for the Tour de Fleece but I spun a whole lot of yarn: 34 ounces.  I spun 22 ounces of the dyed-by-my-hand BFL, 4 ounces of fat 2-ply, 4 ounces of Lynne Vogel colored Merino/Bamboo/Silk, and 4 ounces of lofty thick-and-thin. It was enough and I had fun. I learned that I need a lot of variety in my spinning. There were days at the wheel when I just couldn’t face any more of my blue/purple BFL, that more than lack of time kept me from spinning my dreamed-about 2 pounds of BFL yarn. I also learned I need a whole lot more practice on my thick-and-thin yarn. What about you — ...

How Do Your Hands Learn?

In the past year, I have taken three classes, from three different teachers, that in some part taught spinning fat, lofty yarn. After ten months, I can finally spin fat, lofty yarn; it takes my hands a long time to learn. I have to watch and listen to other spinners, have teachers watch me and I have to practice, a lot. I practice by slipping my learning yarn into my daily spinning and I practice by having special learning sessions. Spinning new in between regular spinning works the best for me, it feels like playing. The other feels like have-to spinning. My hands started learning lofty yarns last September and this ...

Tour Update: 16oz and Counting

I’m 4 oz behind where I want to be for the Tour de Fleece. So far I’ve spun 12oz of my BFL singles and I was hoping for a pound by now. I’m going on a short hang out at a cabin vacation later this week, so I think I can catch up. I absolutely love the yarn I’m making. The colors and loft are exactly what I was hoping for. I haven’t finished any of it yet. I want to just slightly full it. I’m hoping it will have a wonderful hand at 5 stitches to the inch, because I’d love to make Goodale. My last 4oz of the Tour so far are a merino/bamboo from Three Waters Farm in the Lynne ...

Spin dreaming

It’s Knitty production week and I really should be working, but my mind keeps drifting off to this: Nearly 3 pounds of oatmeal BFL that I want to spin for the Tour de Fleece. I dream about spinning it into a beautiful long-draw single that I would full and knit into a sweater. I also dream about dyeing this bfl, national blue, bright violet with maybe touches of avocado or maybe grasshopper ( yes, those are pro chem colors). Not with total coverage —  I want some of that oatmeal to show. What are you dreaming about spinning for the Tour? I met Sasha this weekend at a Maggie Casey workshop. Sasha has a ...