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Hand Spinning News

A full month, with so many fibrey things for bloggers to write about; Some, like Spinzilla have involved staying in a lot and some, like Wool Week, have involved going out a lot.

Read on for the usual round up of spinning news, reviews and fibrey fun.

Photo right: Rook jumper by traceyalice.

Contents

News and Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about longwool fiber

Everything you need to know about longwool fiber

Wool from longwool breeds isn't the finest fibre but it's silky and enjoyable to spin.

Ashley Martineau is a name you may now recognise. Here, as a guest on the Craftsy blog, she discusses the various breeds and their properties.

http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/07/longwool-fiber/

Monstrous piles of alpaca fiber

Monstrous piles of alpaca fiber

Katie visited family earlier in the year and helped them to shear two aplacas.

She says "the day ended with ginormous piles of alpaca fiber. Enough to make any spinner drool." So try to contain your bodily fluids as you see this selection of photos of the process and the resulting fibre.

http://foxflat.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/monstrous-piles-of-alpaca-fiber/

Sedbergh Sheep Fest

Sedbergh Sheep Fest

Sedbergh played host to a large flock of sheep, some musical, some thesipan, some sporty.

Thanks to Sassy Spinner who visited the Sheep Fest

http://www.sedberghgateway.org.uk/sheepfest.html

Welsh Wool Museum

Welsh Wool Museum

Katie of HilltopCloud has written three posts about her visit to the Welsh Wool Museum, in this second part we see pre-industrial hand-powered looms and wheels.

I was fascinated to see this strange meeting of nature and industry. I've seen teasels in a holder to be used by hand, but there are loads of them here in a machine used, not for carding, but raising the nap of cloth.

http://www.hilltopcloud.co.uk/blog/14067358

Little mermaid ready for spinning

Little mermaid ready for spinning

I mentioned Olympic Spinning Wheels a couple of months ago and the reaction was decidedly mixed. It seems that the elaborateness is something you either love or hate.

I've been watching the development of this one with interest on account of the gorgeous piece of rippled blue/green stained glass that the maker chose to incorporate. The carved mermaid herself is very nicely done too.

http://olympicspinningwheels.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/the-little-mermaid-is-ready-for-spinning-or-swimmming/

Bristol Wool Fair 2014

Bristol Wool Fair 2014

It's good news that the South West now has its own wool fair. It's a shame that some misguided marketing and promotion put off vendors and visitors, but there were some good ideas for this first BWF and I'm sure the organisers will build on its success.

Here are Nadia's thoughts and pictures from Nadia's mum.

http://abso-knitting-lutely-nadia.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/bristol-wool-fair-2014.html

Dyeing with yellow cosmos flowers

Dyeing with yellow cosmos flowers

Fran seems tireless when it comes to her experiments with dye plants and flowers.

Here she uses yellow cosmos which she says was easy to germinate and "happy flowering away for months with little attention".

It gives beautiful yellows and golds.

http://wooltribulations.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/dyeing-with-yellow-cosmos-flowers.html

Handspun catgora

Handspun catgora

I still find it hypnotic to watch others spin. This video is only 16s long but is a joy to watch over and over...

Regular readers will know that one of my own spinning inspirations is Rahardjo, and here are her hands spinning fur from her own cats, which she calls 'catgora'.

http://rahardjoknits.tumblr.com/post/98330130893/wip-handspun-catgora-wheel-pocket-wheel-1-6

The difference between top and roving

The difference between top and roving

Top and roving - the words are used interchangeably, even sometimes by sellers, but they do mean different things.

Ashley Martineau combs over the details for us. She also includes rolags, batts, locks and pencil roving in this glossary.

http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/07/what-is-roving/

Special Turkish Spindle

Special Turkish Spindle

Sexy spindle shot this month is Nadia's new Turkish spindle from IST Crafts.

It's made from ancient English bog oak from the East Anglian fenland basin and carbon dated to 3300 BC

Nadia loves the color and the grain. What a wonderful new life for an incredibly special piece of wood.

http://abso-knitting-lutely-nadia.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/ist-turkish-spindle.html

Ally Pally 2014

Ally Pally 2014

One of the milestones in the woolly calendar is 'Ally Pally'. Our correspondent is josiekitten who enjoyed the day despite the crowds and came back with a bag of purchases and these photographs.

http://theknittingexploitsofjosiekitten.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/ally-pally-2014.html


discuss any of this

 

Wool Week / Shetland Wool Week

Biodegradable wool test results

Biodegradable wool test results

Here's a picture of Prince Charles helping to bury two similar jumpers under a flower bed back in June. One is merino wool, the other synthetic.

As part of Wool Week, the jumpers were excavated and examined. The results are predictable, although it has surprised me how quickly the wool has degraded. No word on whether the flowers were improved by their FairIsle feed.

http://www.campaignforwool.org/2014/10/14/biodegradable-wool-test-complete/

With all due respect to those taking part in the Wool Ride, for me the key event of this year's Wool Week was slightly underwhelming compared to those of previous years, I hope the Campaign isn't losing steam, it's done so much to raise the profile of real wool.

There were many other events including Wool and the Gang's usual stint at John Lewis. The week finished with a 'Tweed Tea Party' at Southwark Cathedral which has been host to an exhibition for the week.

http://www.campaignforwool.org/2014/10/05/the-campaign-for-wools-wool-ride/

Tour of Jamieson's Spinning Mill

Tour of Jamieson's Spinning Mill

This year, Shetland's own Wool Week coincided with the UK Wool Week. Many events celebrate Britain's most northerly native sheep, where the climate and diet produce the distinctive wool.

On a wet day Louise of KnitBritish took a tour of Jamieson's of Shetland spinning mill (A different company from Jamieson and Smith). Here are many fascinating pictures from her visit.

Her full round-up of the week is at the link below, capturing the variety of events on offer during the week, and a video of lots of things going whirrr.

http://www.knitbritish.net/shetland-wool-week-2014-round-up/


discuss any of this

 

Tips and tutorials

Learn It: Twigg Stitch

Learn It: Twigg Stitch

You may have heard of the Twigg stitch; its creator Vicki Twigg has published patterns especially for it, but in this Knitting Daily blog post, Kathleen gives step-by-step instructions for the stitch with tips.

It's a technique for making a two-colour ribbing without floats and for making reversible two-colour patterns,

http://www.knittingdaily.com/blogs/daily/archive/2014/10/08/learn-it-twigg-stitch.aspx

How to Fix Common Problems

How to Fix Common Problems

If you're just setting out, you will certainly encounter some of these mysteries. Your yarn won't wind on at all, or is pulling in too fast. A worthwhile article if you're new to the craft.

As a bonus I'm going to add this link to this similar article on the same website which deals with Troubleshooting When Drafting and Plying Yarn

http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/09/spinning-wheel-troubleshooting/

Tutorial: knitting backwards

Tutorial: knitting backwards

I may have featured this technique before but I think it's worth another mention.

Instead of turning your work to purl a row, keep the right side facing and knit backwards, effectively purling from the right side.

Sara from Crafts from the Cwtch provides plenty of photos and says "it's especially useful for any project where only a few stitches need to be worked in reverse, such as on short rows, bobbles, entrelac and so on".

http://www.craftsfromthecwtch.co.uk/2014/09/tutorial-knitting-backwards.html


discuss any of this

 

Keeping this wheel spinning

Your news here

Your news here

Are you a teacher, pattern designer, dyer, equipment manufacturer or supplier?

Would you like to reach the growing readership of thousands of hand spinners and at the same time help to support Hand Spinning News ?

Read more

Gallery

Sometimes just a picture is enough

Using knitting as fabric

Using knitting as fabric

Man-who-knits Sock-it-2me has made this suit-style waistcoat using knitted Fair-Isle fabric for the front.

He knitted the fabric in the round and cut it open. Last month we looked at Steeking with Kate Davies, and Sock-it-2me adds "There should be no fear of cutting knitting when all the edges are safely secured by machine stitching."

http://www.menwhoknit.com/community/node/13863

shawl Coeur de Lion

shawl Coeur de Lion

Pattern is Coeur de Lion and yarn is home-grown indigo-dyed handspun.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ljusoluft/15513117311

Handspun shawl

Handspun shawl

Large round handspun shawl by Mariannesque.

More pictures of the shawl and work in progress after the link.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/20400247@N07/15122203660/

Rook jumper with Less is More striping

Rook jumper with Less is More striping

A beautiful finished project that had me wondering how traceyalice had managed to match the colour graduations in the sleeves with the body.

I found the answer here. It's not obvious that she has striped four different yarns - it does look so much like a single graduated yarn.

http://traceycoxknitwear.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/sweater-story-rook/


discuss any of this

 

Free patterns

A selection of free seasonal patterns which will work well with handspun yarn.

Woven ghost by Denise Renee Grace

Woven ghost by Denise Renee Grace

Here's a very easy-to-make Halloween decoration.

http://blog.schachtspindle.com/2014/10/ooo-its-ghost.html

Knit a perpetual pumpkin

Knit a perpetual pumpkin

"You'll bring these pumpkins out every year, so the effort is well worth your crafting time" says Mom.

There are many pumpkin patterns available now but the cables on this one caught my eye.

http://www.simplynotable.com/2014/perpetual-pumpkins/

Earbud pouch by Mary Keenan

Earbud pouch by Mary Keenan

"Who doesn't want to make something useful, completely giftable, and luxury-yarn-end stashbusting to boot? Especially when you can do it in the time it takes to watch a movie.", says Mary Keenan.

For the recipient, this pouch has many potential uses. For the knitter, it's very quick and rewarding to make, and if you've not knitted your first sock or worked in the round then it's a great introduction to making a cuff and grafting a toe.

http://www.hugsforyourhead.com/2014/09/earbud-pouch-free-knitting-pattern.html

Fileuse

Fileuse by Valérie Miller

What better way to show off your love of the spinning wheel than this smart jumper with a wheel motif on the yoke?

If you like the motif then Valérie has also published a pattern for some mitts - the saxony wheel design here is made in duplicate stitch, quicker and easier than intarsia or stranded colourwork.

http://incorrigiblecraftster.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/fileuse.html

Waffle Stitch Prayer Shawl by Louis Chicquette

Waffle Stitch Prayer Shawl by Louis Chicquette

This pattern comes with a prayer for the recipient which you can recite when you pick up your needles so that the prayer is knitted into the shawl.

It uses quite a bit of a bulky yarn that will give a nice drape. It's a very easy pattern using just knit and purl stitches.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/waffle-stitch-prayer-shawl

The Calculus Hoody by Fran Rushworth

The Calculus Hoody by Fran Rushworth

This is a very impressive finished project in its own right. Fran spun the Welsh Black Mountain X Gotland fleece during the Tour de Fleece earlier this year and has now finished this maths-themed zip-up hoodie.

As if that isn't enough, Fran gives us the pattern that she devised, complete with charts for the mathematical symbols for the yoke.

http://wooltribulations.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/the-calculus-hoody-knitting-pattern.html

Tasseled Hooded Cowl

Tasseled hooded cowl

While on the subject of hoods, this is a lovely idea and would be very quick to knit in a super bulky handspun yarn.

http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L32459.html

Prince Street Leg Warmers

Prince Street Leg Warmers

If you're able to knit in the round and knit ribbing, then this pattern is no more complicated than casting on the required number of stitches and knitting to the required length, but they do look very effective in a variegated, striped or graduated yarn.

http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L40344.html


discuss any of this

 

Events 2014

Bakewell Wool Gathering

Bakewell Wool Gathering

Bakewell Agricultural Centre Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 October

This year sees the second 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.

Part of British Wool Week.

http://bakewellwool.co.uk/


Happy spinning and don't be a stranger!

Shiela Dixon - Editor / curator

shiela@hand-spinning-news.com

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