Tag: spinning

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, ...

3 Tips to Help Hit Your Spinning Goals

Happy New Year! The year is fresh and sassy and I want to do new things, all of the new things! Setting goals, intentions, habits is the easy part for me, it’s the sticking to them that’s tough. Here are three things I’ve found that help me stick to my spinning (or otherwise) goals. The right motivation. This is a big one for me, that took a while to learn. I used to try to motivate myself with other people and what they were spinning or excited about. ‘Everyone’ is spinning Down breeds or spinning to weave or spinning freshly combed top. I don’t want to feel left out, so I jump on ...

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 ...

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 ...