Wonderwool - wonderful - Wales
Our correspondent at Wonderool Wales is Woolwinding, who writes about her day and posts lots of pictures.
With Summer imminent, thoughts turn to light summer garments, so it's appropriate that the topic of knitted and crocheted lace appears this month in finished projects and in tutorials.
We're also reminded that the spindle is an enjoyable and portable way to spin, and have a tutorial on scouring a fleece.
There's also the usual collection of seasonal patterns suitable for handspun yarn and gallery of inspirational finished work.
This is the free edited version of Hand Spinning News first published May 2016. Scroll to the bottom to find out how to receive a longer version of HSN a couple of weeks earlier
Photo right: Carriage wheel, The Wool Merchant's Daughter.
Our correspondent at Wonderool Wales is Woolwinding, who writes about her day and posts lots of pictures.
A New Zealand spinning group started a search for this spinning wheel after reading about it in a magazine.
A local paper printed a story, which was seen by the family who now own the wheel.
The single-drive wheel has a metal drive wheel, friction drive with easy bobbin changing (the article refers to a distaff which I can't see.)
Here we mash up what we like to call spinning with what some others like to call spinning.
This is a combined exercise bike / spinning wheel in action, thanks to Instagram user hrhadley.
I've no more information about this one, but exhaustive research (ie a quick Google) turned up these instructions for making your own, plus some other examples.
It seems there's always something new to learn. Carriage wheels could be used on their long legs, or the top part removed for travelling.
The Wool Merchant's Daughter takes a detailed look at two such wheels that she now has in her collection.
Have you ever loved a fibre so much that you didn't want to spin it? Of this 'deal and meaningful' from Fondant Fibres, Ellie says "I had it hung up in my craft room so I could keep looking at its gorgeousness!"
She has spun it now, here are the pictures from fibre to finished yarn. She kept the twist high because she has socks in mind.
This is a particularly interesting interview but the best thing is the large selection of amazing images that accompany.
Fibre artist Jessanne S. talks about her beginnings and what inspires her. In turn, her varied pictures provide a real inspiration.
Last month we touched on the story of the Hero Hercules and how he was forced to spin as a form of humiliation.
I love Jenn's storytelling style and this month in her Spinning in Cowgirl Boots video she gives us the hows, whys and wherefores of that bizarre story.
Kate Larson is introducing her Border Leicester lambs to pasture and has taken these pictures as the lambs venture further from their mothers.
It's time to think about light tops and Amy says that the Optim Merino wool she used for this Summer cardy is "incredibly soft"
It's Amy's own pattern, top-down raglan. Her blog post has pictures of the original dyed wool (dyed herself from white wool) and the 2-ply yarn. She split and pre-drafted in order to blend the colours a little.
It seems that there are always new things to discover.
This odd-shaped device is a whorl-less spindle, made from a single piece of wood in a cone shape.
Early examples are found in Scotland's Highlands and Islands, and then Canada and America where the Scottish settled.
Lois has found that the spindle was used for plying two or more yarns together and she demonstrates this in pictures.
Beth scours a lot of fleece for classes. She uses a different method when she wants to preserve the locks but using the method she describes, she can wash a fleece in 60-90 minutes.
I've always assumed that lace borders were purely decorative, but Jenn points out another reason - it means that you don't need to worry about the tension of your bind-off interfering with your stretch and drape of your shawl.
I have yet to start working from my Victorian Lace Today book, and so it was quite an eye-opener when I read on and realised that Jenn is demonstrating borders that are knit at 90 degrees to the edge of the shawl.
I like this idea very much and can't wait to get started on something along these lines. Jenn's article also includes a video and a free lace border pattern, written and charted.
This wool is from a baby Romney fleece that Damselfly has carefully washed preserving the locks.
She demonstrates in detail how she flicks each lock to open it up before feeding it to the drum carder.
I would add that when a lock is prepared like this, you could just spin it as it is.
"Next week we'll do oxbow lakes and that'll be geography covered"
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The batt shown here is called 'Summer Music', it's Jacob top, hand dyed and carded by Sharon of LongStrands.
Sharon uses many different breeds, including Romney, Merino, Lincoln, Shetland and many more. Each has different characteristics and will be suitable for different projects.
She loves to experiment when mixing colours and make batts that spin beautiful variegated yarn. She's also happy to obtain a particular breed and dye according to customer's preference.
Sharon would like to offer free shipping for orders over £20 until 16 June 2016. Please use the code 052016
Yarnmaker number 26 (Spring 2016) is now available. As always it has a large number of articles on a variety of topics from sheep breeds, techniques and equipment.
Notable this time are a look at the Herring wheel, Andean plying, blending colours for a gradient using combs and the Whiteface Woodland and Border Leicester breeds.
I have almost all backnumbers in stock, and have just made those post-free. Issues 9 and earlier are 4.90, or 5.25 since then.
Sometimes just a picture is enough
Instagram user klengelchen has made this lace skirt. I have no more details, but if you explore her photos there are more images of the skirt on a model.
The Zhuang people are a Chinese ethnic group. According to the description with this photo, this wedding blanket / duvet cover was made mid-20th century, woven from hemp and fireweed.
The fireweed used here is a low shrubby plant growing in China. The yarn was dyed using plant dyes.
Natural and dyed colours blend beautifully in this shawl made by underdutchskies.
The wool is Shetland, worsted spun and 2-plied.
These lovely natural colours are actually dyed (by Hello Yarn). Spinning and knitting by karriemat
The pattern is the very popular Whistle Sop Cardigan by Carol Feller
This cardy took just 200g of fibre from Countess Ablaze. The pattern is Mistyaire by "Amanita" Agata Mackiewicz
This is one of two finished skeins that sandandsky has been able to show off this month. Both are shetland wool, this fibre dyed by Southern Cross Fibre.
Simone says that she's 'fractal spun' both because she loves the "fun color combining and barber poling"
This month's sexy spindle shot shows Rachel's turkish spindle which has a wonderful woodgrain.
The fibre is a perfect sock mix of superwash merino, bamboo viscose and nylon. The mix is called Panda from SweetGeorgia Yarns.
Each year at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Araignee buys fibre that she spins and knits into a shawl to wear at the next year's show.
This is her 2016 shawl and it's beautiful. The pattern is free - Regina Marie by Sara Huntington Burch
Katy has been posting a picture each day of herself wearing at last one handmade item, and using the tag #memademay. I'm amazed at how many people are sewing their own clothes.
She says that this is a favorite handspun sweater, the pattern is Middlefield.
Katy also made the buttons which are worth a close look.
seastar uses spindles a great deal but I think this particular Polwarth / Silk was spun by wheel. She took care to maintain the gradient in the colours.
It's beaded with tiny aqua-coloured beads which you can just about see in an adjacent picture.
A selection of free seasonal patterns which will work well with handspun yarn.
This gorgeous scarf/shawlette is called Shetland Glory because it uses a lace pattern called Crown of Glory. Jenn set out to come up with "a one-skein wonder of a pattern that resurrected an old-fashioned lace".
The one shown isn't made from handspun but it could easily be hand dyed fibre spun fine with long colour repeats.
The pattern is within the post with written instructions and a video tutorial. As a bonus Jenn's writing is always a pleasure to read and she writes a little about Shetland knitting history. If you're new to lace, she has written this separate post about blocking, which is especially important with a lace pattern like this.
This beauty being blocked is pyskieled's 'Indian Cross Stitch' cowl.
The pattern is the Elis by Reiko Kuwamura which is remarkably popular with handspinners, there are many handspun examples. pyskieled recommends it because it's fast - "Big yarn, big needles, easy pattern"
This is hardly a pattern (cast on 30 on size 25mm [US50] needles, knit to desired length and bind off) but Lion Brand's LB Collection Wool appears to be lightly twisted roving, plied with something very light. If you're the owner of a wheel with a very large orifice (or a superflyer) then maybe that would be easy to spin up yourself, and I'd suggest something more colourful than the white shown here.
The linked page has more information about the LB yarn, big needles and about this blanket.
This cardy comes recommended by Kat with a K and I'm very keen on it. It seems very popular, with a 5-star rating
It has big practical pockets and comfortable width, but as a tall person I like the length too.
There are two different versions with slightly different constructions, and both include optional waist shaping and more hip width.
Another added to my queue this month is this Stained Glass Cowl (please God, can we have more hours in the day??)
It's reversible, with each side knitted separately in stranded colourwork, which is a lot of wool; this will be very warm.
I'm thinking that a black commercial yarn with a colour-changing handspun yarn will be perfect and help speed things along.
This shawl appears to be Tuscan Sunflower Shawl by Geoffrey Hunnicutt. The pattern seems to be a popular one with handspinners, Ravelry lists 5 finished examples in handspun yarn.
kicsikato finished the knitting very quickly but doesn't like the look of all the ends!
18 & 19 June, 10am - 4pm, Village Hall, The Street, Dilham, Norfolk
The Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers of historic Worstead have asked me to list their family fun day (note the slightly different spelling of Worstead village and the worsted yarn; I'm assured that the one is named after the other.)
Friday 24 June and Saturday 25 June, Cockermouth, Cumbria
Woolfest was founded to provide a showcase and a celebration of the best of wool and wool crafts.
The event is all about creativity and design with beautiful quality, amazing colours and skilled craftsmanship.
Friday 5 and Saturday 5 August, York Auction Mart
Supporting the Campaign for Wool.
Exciting treasures to discover; wool from fleece to finished items and other items you will need to spin, weave, knit, crochet, hand dye, cross stitch, embroider or make felt.
24 and 25 September Skipton Auction Mart, North Yorkshire
For you if you love yarn and are passionate about all things woolly. It aims to celebrate the beauty and diversity of wool, cotton, linen and silk fibres in all their forms
24 September - 2 October 2016
A busy weekend dedicated to celebrating Shetland wool and textile heritage.
Events programme to be announced in April.
Bakewell Agricultural Centre Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October
This year sees the fouth year of the Bakewell Wool Gathering, an event for wool lovers in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales.
There will be exhibitors, demonstrations of fibre crafts, workshops plus a knitting and crochet help desk to help novice and expert alike.
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Happy spinning and don't be a stranger!
Shiela Dixon - Editor / curator
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