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.
The size of the garment I’m knitting. If you are buying to spin to commercial project, make sure to read it for size, ease and yarn amounts. Right now I’m knitting a sweater that calls for 16″ of ease in my size. I would need more than 2 pounds of fiber for that.
The fiber I’m buying. BFL weighs much more than Merino. Please don’t ask me how many times that fact had to bite me in the butt before I starting buying more of heavier fibers when substituting for a pattern.
The type of yarn I want to spin. How you draft (worsted uses more than woolen), the number of plies (more plies, more fiber), the amount of twist (more twist, more fiber), and the stitch patterns you use (hello sexy, fiber-eating, cables), all contribute to the grist of yarn and should be considered when shopping.
How much sampling I want to do. I may use 1/2-1 ounce if I’m pretty sure of the yarn I want to make. 1-2 ounces if I want to play with draft and yarn structure. If I am going to sample manipulating color in a braid, I will buy a whole extra braid to just play and sample.
My shortest answer to ‘how much?’ is, more than you think you need. I’ve never known a spinner to complain about having too much fiber.
Have fun at Rhinebeck! I’ll be watching all the handknits and fiber shopping on Instagram.
I’m not Rhinebeck-bound, but appreciate this guideline. I’m a newbie spinner wanna-be & I’m never quite sure how much fiber to buy!
I’ve never considered that one type of wool might weigh more than another. Is there a list available somewhere that ranks different wools by how much they weigh?
I am so psyched!
I like how you try to offer some reasonable guidance. We all know the answer is All The Fiber!!!!!!
I wish I could be at Rhinebeck with my East Coast fiber friends who are attending. But, at least I get to enjoy an awesome festival in my back yard this weekend! I promised myself I would buy a fleece this weekend, I am excited–first personal fleece since 2015. I have no plans for it. Sniff, fondle, repeat?