Starting the year off with yarn & a giveaway!

Remember I was going to spin some Southern Cross Fibre BFL and Merino?

Well I did:

BFL left - it's a little hairy, and Merino right

Then I did some plying:

This marl I like!

I couldn’t wait to see what these two would look like as a piled yarn. I spun and plied most of this over 3 days – I actually woke up with sore calves in the morning! I love these colors together, and yes, they even marl in some places. I’m not usually a fan of marled yarn.

It’s about 500 yards, 15 wpi. I spun the singles woolen and piled it to balance, because I wanted a softer yarn to be knit into something where abrasion/piling won’t be an issue and that needs drape, this shawl – Annis.

I really enjoyed the thinking about the structure of handspun yarn and how it presents itself in knitting. More please.

How about a contest to kick off our spinning year?!

A $30 Gift Certificate to any store at The Fiber Cooperative!

Here’s how to win: leave a comment to this post by Wednesday, January 5, at midnight eastern time, and you could win! We’ll choose a winner at random, make them answer a  skill-testing question, and post the results next week.

Good luck and happy spinning!

(542 Posts)

Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website

641 thoughts on “Starting the year off with yarn & a giveaway!

  1. LaurieM

    This is an awesome way to start off the new year.

    I’m still such a newbie spinner, that I think marled yarn is totally cool, just because it’s HANDSPUN!

  2. Cereja

    Buying a wheel and learning how to spin is on my Bucket List. I think it’ll be my retirement to-do. That yarn is gorgeous, I look forward to seeing the finished project!

  3. Allie

    Any year that starts off with such beautiful fiber has to be a good year! Love the texture and the way the colors play off each other.

  4. Tasha

    Your yarn is lovely! I’m always surprised at how the plies interplay one another – colors and combinations are made that I never would have guessed!

  5. Maureen

    I spent my time off spinning polwarth on my wheel–I’ve only done it on spindles before. Tasty, tasty polwarth!

  6. Onehandknits

    I like marled yarn – I think it works particularly well with slipstich patterns where you alternate yarns with each row or two rows so that the light marl is picked up into a darker marl and vice versa. If you alternate the slipstitch areas with stocking stitch areas you get an interesting swirly wave effect which adds even more texture to your project.

  7. JoAnna

    I just started spinning and am envious of your even, thin handspun. I wonder how many yards and hours I’ll have to spin to reach that level of awesome?

  8. Susan

    Wow — such lovely yarn! Can’t wait until my DH can spin for a project, rather than needing to find a project that will fit the yarn!

  9. Renee Anne

    I do love the yarn 🙂 Someday, I hope to have another hobby…as if my yarn and knitting supplies and WIPs and UFOs aren’t enough? But, I just feel like I should be spinning, as well!

  10. Jessica

    What a great way to start off the new year! Looking forward to learning to spin–my gift to myself for xmas 🙂

  11. Knittingdancer (Teresa)

    Who wouldn’t want to win a $35 gift certificate to start the new year off right? Happy New Year to everyone !!

  12. jennybookworm

    Nice yarn! I was kind of hoping that you were giving THAT away!! The other would be lovely though too!

  13. sillylittlelady

    Gorgeous yarn! Congrats, that looks great 😀 I’ve always wanted to try the Fiber Cooperative but haven’t gotten a chance to yet, hmm…perhaps a belayed Christmas gift to myself?

  14. Donna

    Lovely yarn…. Spinning is so much fun. I’m finally using some singles to create a shawl and hope to soon have enough 2 ply for a pair of socks.

  15. Laurel B

    Someday I hope to be able to know what I’m spinning! Beautiful yarn, what will you make with it?

  16. Faith

    Great job with the spinning! I might be buying a wheel soon, and when I borrowed a friend’s wheel to learn a year ago, I was amazed that while I thought I was getting consistent results, there was still plenty of variety when I examined it more closely. Practice makes perfect, I guess.

  17. Amy

    Beautiful stuff! I keep telling myself if I keep practicing I’ll be able to control what comes off my wheel, but right now I’m just glad to sit by it.

  18. Laura

    I’m with you on the marling. I often like it fine knit up, but I’m just not a huge fan of how marled yarn looks in the skein.

  19. Not That Heather

    Lovely yarn! I’m a bit intimidated by the skill-testing question, but I figured I’d throw my woolly socks into the ring anyway.

  20. Lisa Y

    Beautiful yarn and a very nice shawl pattern, I might have to add that one to the “to-do list”

  21. Lisa Barrett

    I checked out the website for the first time and saw some beautiful yarns; I always enjoy a new yarn resource. Thanks for the giveaway!

  22. Lori F-D

    I just started spinning with a drop spindle this fall and have been day dreaming about combining different plys to make unique yarn!
    I like what you have created!! Happy New Year!

  23. Pam F

    That yarn is so lovely it makes me glad to be a spinner…I’m going to get that wheel out today and make some beautiful stuff (hopefully)
    Thanks for the inspiration..hope you’re proud of yourself!!

  24. GinkgoKnits

    I don’t spin — can’t afford to be sucked down that rabbit hole — but I’d love to knit with some of the handspun yarn on that site.

  25. Seanna Lea

    I’m a mediocre spinner (umm, OK, abysmal is more like it), so I thought I was completely out. Then I saw all these gorgeous drool-worthy yarns.

    While I would love to make yarn myself, supporting people by buying their gorgeous yarns is a good substitute!

  26. Laura Duren

    Wow, another contest. You guys are great!As luck would have it, I am in need of more fiber. It is interesting that the BFL was the one that turned out fuzzy and the merino didn’t. The yarn turned out beautiful, and I still have Annis on my list of patterns to knit.

  27. babelglyph

    Giveaway? Yes please! $30 would be wonderful.

    I hope you will post finished pictures of the shawl with that handspun. Annis seems like a great pattern to show off the marl of the yarn.

  28. Leah

    Given one of my resolutions is to spin more, wouldn’t it be convenient for me to win ;).

    Your handspun is gorgeous, for the record.

  29. Emily

    oooh – so much pretty yarn at the fiber cooperative. If I win I will have a hard time choosing!

  30. Deb

    A great way to start the year–beautifully spun yarn and a contest. I’m intrigued by the skills-testing question…

  31. Michelle

    Yes, please! I just finished spinning six ounces of really soft Jacob batts; now I have to decide whether to ply it on itself or with an as yet unspun white Shetland single. I’m searching for appropriate patterns to decide!

  32. Lori

    It’s really pretty and reminding me that I wanted to create packets for Janel’s stashdown challenge.

  33. Brooke

    You’re only adding to my desire to learn to spin! I think I’ve finally been pushed over the edge…

  34. Susan

    I’ve been enjoying this blog because I learn new things all the time. Who knew there was a Fiber Coop! And with some fiber artists I already know & love!

  35. Dawn

    Thanks! As soon as I hit Submit Comment, I am going to checkout the Fiber Cooperative. Here I go!

  36. Emmy Jay

    One of my favorite surprises of the holiday season was my husband’s announcement that he had arranged for spinning lessons — for himself!

  37. Kat

    Happy New Year! GORGEOUS yarn! It is going to make a spectacular shawl! Also, contest, Yes Please. 😀

  38. Sandi Rosner

    What gorgeous yarn you made! I’ve only been spinning for about 6 months, and I envy the consistent nature of your yarn. Something to aspire to.

  39. Susan

    what a great way to start the New Year…and the yarn inspires me…I just got loan of a spinning wheel. I am so excited!

  40. Anna

    That’s so beautiful. I’m still at the spinning stage where I like what I’m getting but I can’t spin a consistent fine thread yet. So I just tell myself that it looks organic.

  41. Merrie

    I tend to lean toward the darker colorways than the lighter ones. This one plied is gorgeous!


  42. DakotaAJ

    I love the yarn – can we see a picture of the finished shawl too, please?

    PS-I’d love the gift certificate.

  43. Carol

    Thanks for introducing me to the Fiber Cooperative! Even if I don’t win (hint, hint) I’ll know to shop there now.

  44. OneOfTheHive

    Wow… the finished yarn you made is gorgeous.

    This year I am determined…. DETERMINED to get myself a spinning wheel and teach myself how to make my own handspun yarn. I have wanted to learn for well over a year, but finances (rather lack there of) have prevented me from doing so. I love the look of handspun and I would like to know exactly what my fiber is and where it comes from. I’d love to know that the fiber comes from an animal that was treated well, and that the dyes used did no harm to the environment.

    Anyway… good luck everyone!

  45. TrishKnits

    Uh oh. My husband will not thank you for telling me about yet another place for me to buy yarn on-line. But it might soften the blow if I win the gift certificate. (please, please) The Fiber Cooperative, here I come!

    Thanks for another great giveaway.

  46. Daisy

    How did I not know about them before? So much yummy fiber. I just made myself a drop spindle so I try to learn to spin.

  47. Peaches

    What a great giveaway! I have fallen far out of habit with spinning. This would be a great cattle prod to get me going again!

  48. tornadogrrrl

    A great introduction to a site I haven’t stumbled across before, there are some beautiful things on there!
    Fingers crossed for the giveaway.

    And I agree that I would love to see the finished shawl, those colors are great.

  49. Kitten With A Whiplash

    I hope this isn’t a dupe, froze and crashed the first time. I love your yarn, it has such an organic look to it. I’m with you on marled yarn not always being attractive to me, but when the colors are as harmonious as these, it works beautifully. I love the Fiber Collective, they have gathered quite a talented group of artists to their site.

  50. Denise

    I have finally made it to this blog. I picked the right day, a contest day!! Your yarn looks lovely!!!

  51. AndreaW

    I said this was going to be a good year! A contest to enter! Yipee. Love your spinning. Wish I had the time to learn. Your yarn turned out beautifully.

  52. MK

    I love the yarn you made. Its very spiffy and great colors. I really like the merino you spun, but the two together are great.

  53. Teri S.

    Oh what fun! I need more fiber like I need a stick in the eye (or so my husband would say). But it’s hard to pass up a good contest!

  54. Stephanie M

    Absolutely beautiful yarn. I will now spend the next hour oggling the lovelies at the Fiber Coop.

  55. Natalie

    What’s a skill-test question.. makes me a little nervous :-).. Loving the yarn by the way..

  56. Nora

    You are supremely evil. I had never heard of The Fiber Cooperative and now I will spend my entire evening at work, wasting time on their website, instead of actually accomplishing something work-like.
    Thank you 🙂

  57. knitmomma

    Beautiful yarn! I love how the blue sorta pops, but in a really subtle way.

    knitmomma (at) gmail (dot) com

  58. Karen

    Hi! First contest of the year for me – hooray! I just hope the skill question isn’t about spinning, since I don’t. Of course, first I have to negotiate with the random number gods and goddesses to win.

    Happy New Year!

  59. Sandy

    Really lovely yarn, Jillian. I haven’t been bitten by the spinning bug, yet, but hubby has ordered me a spindle as a Christmas gift.

  60. Kathy

    Wow! That yarn in stunning!

    I haven’t tried plying two different multicoloured fibres together yet since I was worried the results would just end up being muddy. But this looks so good my next yarn will be done this way just to see what happens.

  61. Cherylann

    I’m a neophyte spinner (Santa just left a wheel under the tree). I hope to be able to spin something so beautiful someday.

  62. Lisa T

    I comment I can manage, but after spending the last month sick, I’m not so sure about answering a question tho… 😐

  63. Melissa N

    Thanks for the link to the site – something new to droil over.

    Nice job combining the two yarns – looks beautiful.

  64. Naomi

    It always amazes me how different the color can look in a hank versus the outermost layer of a bobbin. I wouldn’t have even guessed at the colors of the yarn were there by looking at the bobbin.
    it is stunning.

  65. Sue

    I’ve been so caught up in knitting of late, I haven’t had time to spin. That GC would be just the thing to kickstart my butt back into spinning. 🙂

  66. Kristen

    My goal for 2010 was to finish spinning up & plying the 8 oz of BFL on my wheel…which I finished on December 31. Now I’ve got spinning fever! Must spin all the things!

  67. Mairi

    Yet another great fibre resource I wouldn’t have known about without the Knitty blog! Thank you.

  68. Heather W.

    Oh wow. What a fun site! ::bookmarked::

    And your yarn turned out absolutely fabulous. Is it thinking of becoming anything in particular?

  69. Lisa

    I love your yarn! It’s subtle & complex. Please show us what you make with it!

    And thanks for the contest opportunity.

  70. Tisha

    I love how the yarn turned out. Has it told you what it wants to be yet? Or maybe who it wants to live with? 😉

  71. Lisaj

    I just started spinning and I can’t stop! I LOVE it! Mine isn’t as pretty as yours tho….But I’m gonna keep at it…I gotta check out this fiber co-op. Happy New Year.

  72. Cyndi J

    Your yarn is beautiful! and I could easily spend so much more than $30 at the Fiber Cooperative -gorgeous things there.

  73. Pam

    Don’t know whether to be glad or sad after, thanks to you, discovering The Fiber Cooperative! Sure is tough on the card! But oh, such eye candy. Might help if I was lucky enough to win the giveaway! Love your handspun.

  74. Barb Thames

    Some of the yarns in the cooperative are just beyond gorgeous. Draw my number please, please.

  75. Caroline

    My knitting resolution this year is to learn to spin. Yours turned out gorgeous.

    Please enter me into the giveaway. I’m definitely bookmarking the Fiber Cooperative. 😀

  76. Jennifer

    I bought a drop spindle at Rhinebeck this fall and slowly feel myself being pulled toward the spinning thing.

  77. Maggie

    Love that yarn you spun. I would LOVE to learn how to spin. Maybe one day, I will have enough time in my hands to learn. Lol, in the meantime i’m going to check out the Fiber Cooperative website. 😉

  78. Brooke

    Looks beautiful! I love all those colors together – very earthy. I’m not a spinner yet, but would love to become one someday.

  79. Mary Anne

    I wish I could spin, but don’t dare take up another ‘thing’ that involves adding to my already vastly over-crowded studio! Thanks for a chance to win what looks to be a great prize.

  80. Michelle

    The yarn you spun is beautiful! Annis is a great shawl to knit with it. I was thinking of knitting annis also, with cascade eco alpaca and glass beads.

  81. Elizabeth

    Wow – you’re good! Are there any issues with washing or the way the yarn wears when plies are different fibres?

  82. Leah

    The yarn is gorgeous!

    2011 has been an incredible year for me already! I’ve lost 3 pounds, turned 26 on New Year’s Day and started my own knitting blog. Now if only to win a Knitty contest in 2011, it’ll be the perfect year! 🙂

  83. lindaschiffer

    Oh, wow, fibers! I felt with them, knit thrums with them … but do not spin, myself. My daughter has been known to drop a spindle from time to time, though.

    🙂 Linda

  84. Deb

    I just learned to drop spin, enjoying it. My next step may have to be a wheel – but the cost is pretty high!

  85. Bettina

    That’s such wonderful yarn! I’d love to knit an Annis when I finish my current projects too.

  86. Allison B.

    I’d be just as excited if I won this as if I won the Mega Millions tonight. Granted, I won’t have to work anymore if I win the MM, so I’ll have more time to knit, and that would be nice. But any win is exciting!

  87. C-lee

    Gorgeous yarn, my needles quake in anticipation. How lucky for knitters who are friends with spinners.

  88. Cindy Holben

    I’m just learning how spin with spindles. I’ve learning how to admire all the wonderful fibers.

  89. Nancy

    beautiful yarn and beautiful links! Love the yarn, the shawl pattern and the Fiber Coop’s web-site.

  90. Tish Painter

    You did a wonderful job with your spinning. I must try that again. ^_^

    I recognize a shop or two in the group and would LOVE a gift certificate to spend there! Awesome fiber to found – to be sure!

  91. Geraldine

    I’ve heard the term ‘marled’ but never really paid attention to what it exactly meant so I looked it up! Now I know….and I do love marled yarn. Yours is beautiful!!

  92. Cinnamon

    I’m on a yarn diet (new year resolution), happily that doesn’t include yarn I “win”. Happy new year.

  93. Deb in California

    Oooh, I have a spinning wheel that’s calling for something beautiful. (hope, hope, hope)

  94. Lisa

    Fascinating. I don’t see any blue in the spun yarn, yet see it as it’s plied. Spinning is interesting, but not for me! It seems like a bit of guesswork as to what you’ll get! I love seeing photos of this.

  95. MimiD

    What a beautiful result in your handspun – your Annis is going to be gorgeous. I hope to have a chance to find similar on the Fiber Cooperative with the prize!

  96. bloepper

    as i’m registered for my first spinning course in a few weeks, i couldn’t imagine a better start to the yarn year than winning some fiber!

  97. Darcey

    Oh… jealous jealous JEALOUS! I’m stuck in the land of acrylic to buy, but nice wool and silk everywhere, and can’t find a store to sell it to me!

  98. Dana

    I’d love to win!! 🙂 I have been spinning a lot lately too, and it feels great to have some empty bobbins again.

  99. Bekky

    lovely yarn, can’t wait to spin up my mercury rising. Need to finish off the silk that is on the wheel at the moment first!

  100. Jackie

    That is gorgeous! I can’t wait to get my spinning wheel. For now I’ll stick to my drop spindles. 🙂

  101. mt

    beautiful yarn – i love the colours!
    i also think The Fibre Cooperative is a great
    concept, all that talent in one place –

  102. Deana

    Wow, what skills! As a beginner spinner, I can only hope to be as proficient as you. It’s an inspiration to keep working on it!

  103. Susanne

    Wow, I would make quick work of that gift!! Happy New Year to all of you at Knitty. All the best.

  104. Lisa L

    Ooo! Your BFL/Merino has my favorite colors. I have a good friend that would love some more wool to spin.

  105. Linda

    I love spinning but I hate plying. What is it about me? I always enjoy the finished product, though, and yours should make a nice shawl.

  106. Lj

    So…hopefully the qualifying question won’t be about spinning, or will be easily available via google, right? (:

  107. KarenJ

    How pretty! To be honest, I’ve never reallly had a serious interest in learning to spin, but I absolutely love handspun yarn!

  108. Louise Rownd

    I just started spinning on the Matchless that my husband surprised me with. I’d love the chance to win that gift certificate.

  109. Melanie

    I just discovered the Fiber Co-op a few days ago by clicking through an ad on this blog, but I’m definitely impressed. I’d love a wee incentive to do a bit more exploring…

  110. Josee

    You’ve done a lovely job there but I’m confused by this statement: ‘I spun the singles woolen and piled it to balance’… what do you mean by piled it? Or did you mean plied it?

    I’m a newby spinner so just getting a handle on the terms. Would love to get new fibers to work with!

  111. d

    I’m feeling my annual round of winter-sickness-from-hell aproaching, just in time for the end of the holidays, so beautiful fibre is exactly what I’d need now!

  112. Leslie

    Would love to have this! New yearn/fiber is something I cna no longer afford, so I’ve been stash busting for months now (not that my stash is that big.) It’d be nice to have something new!

  113. One Sheep

    That is such a dangerous shop for me – some of my favoreite fiberistas are memebers. Thanks for he giveaway.

  114. Kimmara J

    I’m new to spinning, but find it fun and relaxing. The yarn you made is beautiful.

    Pick me!

  115. Mary Jane

    Jillian, your yarn is gorgeous! Worth the work it took. A gift certificate for a fiber shopping adventure is something I could use right now. Thanks!

  116. Katherine G

    Like everyone here…I really need it! Me! Me! (It’s like a bunch of junkies around here…)

  117. Heather

    Your yarn is beautiful. Please post pics of the finished knit. I love to see start to finish pics really helps train my eye in the possiblities of spinning and knitting.

    lotsofhermies on Rav

  118. Mrs. G

    That marled yarn is very beautiful! I really like the colors and I hope you post the picture of your finished project 🙂

  119. Northfield Kathryn

    Happy New Year! Is it too early in the year to give thanks? Thanks for Knitty and knittyblog!

  120. Robin J

    I’ve been drooling over the wool and other goodies at Fiber Co-op for awhile now. It’d be nice to win the gift certificate!

  121. Paula F

    I do not think that spinning is for me, but you certainly have created a beautiful skein of yarn. I’m off to check out Fiber Co-op more thoroughly.

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