Hand Spinning News
Out like a lamb
With Spring just around the corner, it's time once again for some cute lamb images, the next generation of the source of our raw material.
But the weather hasn't been spring-like yet and there are still many hats and scarves among this month's blog posts.
So on with this month's selection which is filled with fluffy fascination, fun and free patterns
(photo right: Pat's Handspun Waterville Hat.)
I'm very happy to have met up recently with my own teacher, Alison Daykin of Alison Yule Textiles.
Andean puka poncho
This post is as captivating as the hand spun, dyed and woven poncho that the The Knit Knack has bought.
- News and articles from around the web
Knittyspin Spring 2013
- From the blogosphere
Handspun Waterville hat, Dyeing to show you!, Boy, oh boy, Spinner, weaver, myth-buster, Swiss lateral treadle - a very sweet wheel, Making progress with your spinning goals, Lichen Mists, Great big wheel, Corespun hat, Andean puka poncho
- DIY corner
Making a cardboard charka (yes really!)
Showing off some of the best images I've found this month
- Featured designer
For this sponsored feature I was very happy to speak to my own teacher, Alison Daykin of Alison Yule textiles.
- Free patterns
A selection of free patterns which will work well with handspun yarn
Some dates for your diary
- Courses and tuition
Where to go for a day, weekend or a week to learn or improve your skills
News, resources and articles from around the web
KnittySpin Spring 2013
The Spring KnittySpin is out. It's a spinning companion to Knitty.com, a free web-based magazine containing patterns, articles, news and reviews.
From the blogosphere
Handspun Waterville hat
It's always great to see posts that take us from fibre to finished project and it's especially interesting to see here how Pat has divided her braid of fibre into four colours.
Do click through and see her cashmere lining!
Not surprising that Pat says it's her new favourite hat.
Dyeing to show you!
Sue Webb wrote this fabulous tutorial last September; I'm not sure why it's remained in my bookmarks since then, maybe because I featured another of Sue's posts the same month.
Anyhow, she takes us all the way from food colouring and roving through to finished scarf with lots of pictures.
Sue says that it's "ridiculously good fun and soooo easy" which I wholeheartedly agree with so do give it a go if you've never done so.
Boy, oh boy, oh boy
It's that time of the year again, and patchworkfibers says that she loves lambing.
There are pictures here of her first day's lambing, two sets of twins, all boys.
Spinner, weaver, myth-buster
Anita Osterhaug of Spin Off magazine says that it can be a 'daunting task' to spin for a weaving project. Especially if it really did take six colonial American spinners to supply one weaver (can anyone confirm or deny that this 'historical fact' is true?)
In this blog post we meet the appropriately-named Sara Lamb who busts a number of myths about spinning to weave by dressing herself in her own hand spun and woven cloth.
Swiss lateral treadle - a very sweet wheel
Knitsnthings posts never disappoint. She likes restoring old wheels and making tools and equipment.
Her latest old wheel is interesting with its transverse treadle arrangement.
The wheel has captive rings (a decorative woodworking feature) and I love knitsnthings' comment that someone loved the lady who owned this wheel.
Do click through to see more pictures, it's wonderful to see this ancient wheel spinning again.
Making progress with your spinning goals
Felicia Lo asks "Do you feel that your spinning is constantly improving and how do you push yourself to progress all the time?"
This post actually caught my eye because of the picture of her studio which looks very bright and conducive.
But it's not about her space, instead she writes about goals and gives us three very good tips to help achieve those goals.
Click through to the large version of this picture and you will be glad that you did.
SandAndSkyCreations says that she's kept this skein of handspun for a couple of years just waiting for the right project to come along, and this is it.
I also have an excuse to mention designer Ruth Garcia Alcantud, whose pattern she's using. (I'm a fan of Ruth's designs and am currently making her Twinkle Twinkle for which I've spun and dyed.)
Great big wheel
This is Pete aka Wikkidknitter who is making it look easy to spin using this great wheel.
If you're not familiar, this type of wheel is large and uses a quill spindle. Guzzisue writtes about the demo they had at her most recent guild meeting, which sounds as if it was a fun and informative evening.
Spotting a finished item using corespun yarn is very rare, this may be my first time.
Mono has made her corespun from organic merino with a double lace weight core. It's fine and neat, with lovely blues. The hat is reversible and made as a gift for a lucky sister!
Andean puka poncho
This post is as captivating as the hand spun, dyed and woven poncho that the The Knit Knack has bought.
Her Handweavers & Spinners Guild held an auction of textiles from a private collection. She has read about and was inspired by Andean textiles and set her heart on this piece and gives us many photos and details.
Knit Knack says "The sheer accomplishment of having spun, dyed and woven this for the man who wore this humbles me".
Making a cardboard charka
I'm grateful to Guzzisue for sending me this link.
Rabbitgeek really has made a charka from cardboard. It's hard to believe that it works but it works so well that he's spun some wool and alpaca which he's woven into a little mat using a loom he made from a picture frame!
He gives full instructions for making the charka. If you make one, please do let me know!
Sometimes just a picture is enough
Spinner who parked on King Richard III
No information about the pattern but this throw really is a lovely piece of work and all handspun.
Spinning School headteacher Pam Austins posted this picture of Erica's shawl. Do click through for a larger version of the picture and Erica's royal claim to fame.
Handspun crochet/felt bag
Congratulation to Janet who many will know as dizzyspinner for this beautiful felted bag.
This elegant cardi was made by ljusoluft, the pattern is Tilda
The yarn is gotland, with subtle natural striping.
Taina Anttila's Vellamo socks
The socks in the picture are in handspun and made by brailaustralia.
Unfortunately I have no more information about the spinning but I love the changing colour through the colourwork section.
The free pattern is Vellamo and is available on Ravelry to members and non-members. (The pattern gives adult size - brailaustralia has scaled down)
Sweet Dreams - Café Con Leche
The Sweet Dreams patter by Boo Knits is a gorgeous design, and there are so many examples in so many beautiful colours.
I do particularly like this one. Ines bought the dyed BFL/Tussah silk, and a friend spun it for her.
The colour is called Guinness but it makes me want a coffee!
I'm very happy to have met up recently with Alison Daykin of Alison Yule Textiles. Alison is my teacher, she introduced my Mum and myself to spinning at a weekend retreat.
Alison manages to fit quality design projects around a busy teaching schedule. You may also recognise her name from regular contributions to Yarnmaker magazine.
Briefly describe yourself and what you do
I'm a woven textile designer and tutor of spinning, weaving and dyeing. I design and hand weave bespoke fabrics for interiors and fashion.
Do you have a favourite design/weave project and do you have anything special in the pipeline at the moment?
I enjoy most of my projects, but loved my Haddon Hall project, an interiors collection based on a beautiful painted motif from the chapel at Haddon Hall. I developed this into a range of wall panels, cushions and window panels for 100% Design and have subsequently redeveloped into a fashion fabric using the Theo Moorman inlay technique!
My current projects include updating and developing all my workshops. I've included the Theo Moorman inlay technique for weavers, including rigid heddle weavers with two rigid heddles.
How long have you been spinning / dyeing?
I've been weaving since I was 8 years old! At the age of 6 my sister, who's 7 years older than me came home from her senior school with a small woven scarf she'd made I couldn't believe you could make your own fabrics. I pestered my parents for the next 2 years to buy me a loom and finally got a small Spears Rigid Heddle Loom and made everything in the book and more until I finally got to the same school as my sister.
At the school, a technical Grammar school in Derby, the craft class taught pottery, sculpture and weaving. I enjoyed pottery, but didn't like getting my hands dirty, I couldn't see the point of sculpture, I'm a bit like William Morris, I don't have anything in my home that's not functional and beautiful! But when it came to weaving it felt right and I took an O and A level in Craft, Design and Practice - Weaving.
I was introduced to spinning and dyeing at school during the A level, but began spinning in earnest in 1981 when I joined our local Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.
What or who inspires you?
Bernat Klein was the biggest influence on me, he pushed the boundaries of weave with unusual colour and textural combinations, designing for the likes of Chanel, etc.
What aspect of your work do you enjoy most?
It's the designing and sampling that I enjoy most of all, trying out new ideas, etc!
What type of yarn do you enjoy spinning the most?
Fancy, composite "Art" yarns, but they must be functional, I can't bear the so called art yarns that don't balance and move when they are knitted into fabrics - hats that slip round your head are so uncomfortable!
There are some fantastic techniques for creating very decorative yarn; is there a case for yarns which just look beautiful, or do you feel that yarn should always be usable for a project?
I think like William Morris and believe all yarn should also be practical as well as beautiful. A skilled spinner should be able to produce both in one yarn! Sorry that's a bit controversial, but the band wagon of "Art Yarn" spinners has meant we have a whole new group of spinners, but not all of them understand basic techniques and we need to ensure we don't lose these skills.
Where can we see your work?
Most of my work is available online at: http://alisonyuletextiles.co.uk or my commercial designs can be found at: http://www.behance.net/AlisonYuleTextiles and my classes and workshops are listed at http://spinningandweaving.weebly.com I've exhibited across the country, including 100% Design; The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire; 78 Derngate, Northampton; The National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford; Leeds Craft Centre and Design Gallery.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell folk?
I'm very keen to ensure my practice is sustainable and have been practicing sustainability for as long as I can remember, before it was popular. I have a Sustainability Policy and Environmental Policy and last year I was awarded the Environmental Quality Mark from the Peak District National Park.
A selection of free seasonal patterns which will work well with handspun yarn.
Liquid Amber by Stacey Simpson Duke
Looking forward to Spring now, this infinity cowl may be ideal for our British climate as it can be worn long and loose or doubled-up when it's chilly.
It looks lovely in these earthy colours but the lace pattern is ideal for showing off your own colour changes.
Designer Stacey says that the pattern is "made to showcase hand-dyed, handspun yarn". It uses laceweight yarn and has a very high user rating and low difficulty.
A Ravelry download but seems to be available to non-members.
Silk & sparkle wrap
This wrap is dressy and will be perfect when you need an extra layer over your shoulders.
It's from Knit Now and is a knitted lace pattern for two contrasting lace yarns.
I'd suggest that it would be perfect for two different handspun lace yarns, something special including silk and something including sparkles.
Darrowby cardi / jacket
Named after the bleak winters of James Herriot country, this jacket is practical, but it's attractive too with its deep ribs and a really interesting cable on front and sleeves.
Sturdy jacket or a cosy drape, you choose and spin accordingly. The one shown is made from Romney fleece.
I've selected more free knit and crochet patterns this month over at HSN's sister publication, Purl Two Together
[NB - updated date and venue] 27 and 28 July 2013, Redbourne Community College, Flitwick Road, Ampthill, Bedford MK45 2NU
The third Fibre East, those in the Eastern, Midlands and Southern Regions an opportunity to join in an event which aims to encourage and promote British wool and natural fibres.
Note the change of venue and date. The new venue is inside.
Courses and tuition
Please let me know if you are or you know a tutor with a calendar of events.
- Cornwall: Audrey Durrant is heavily involved with the Cornwall Guild and works with the Rare Breed Survival Trust. She teaches spinning, basic weaving, is a hand dyer and gives talks and demonstrations. Find out more at www.hawthornfibres.co.uk
- Derbyshire: Alison Daykin offers week and weekend courses and also has a less formal groups three evenings a week: spinningandweaving.weebly.com
- Dumfries and Galloway: Sue Macniven offers Residential Courses or one to one workshops in Twynholm or at your own venue http://www.handspun-exotics.co.uk/workavail.html
- Hampshire: Spinning and wool workshops at The Old Dairy, Westover Farm, Nr Andover. For more details go to www.urbancottage.co.uk/courses or call Nichola 07905167922
- Hampshire: Spinning workshops at fibre craft studio Beaker Button, the Fairground Craft and Design centre, Weyhill. Free spinning taster sessions. For more details contact 07738 534164 or http://www.beakerbutton.co.uk
- Lancashire: Spinning workshops at Knit-Wise. All materials included for £40, contact Cathy (lazykate) on 01695 580590 www.knit-wise.co.uk for dates.
- Lancashire: Carol and Pete Leonard run a regular monthly workshop for hand and wheel spinners where students can either follow the 'topic of the month' or work on their own project guided by Carol and Pete. They also run a residential weekend each year. These are held at Alston Hall, a conference and adult education centre based in the Ribble Valley close to the M6 motorway. For further information please ring 01772 784661 or visit their website www.alstonhall.com
- London: Weaving, spinning, dyeing, tapestry weaving, and other yarn and fibre crafts workshops at The Handweavers Studio & Gallery. See the website for dates and details. www.handweavers.co.uk/shop/Workshops_Classes.html
- Manchester:Spinning courses with Dee Sayce. also sewing, felt making, weaving, dyeing, batik and silk painting (external link to beetlefelt) http://www.beetlefelt.co.uk/workshop_spinning.html
- Northamptonshire: Long Draw Spinning Tuition with Pam Austins, Spinning School. Pam is on a mission to teach longdraw. Most classes are held in Stoke Albany. http://www.spinningschool.blogspot.co.uk/p/calendar.html (external link to Spinning School's calendar)
- Nottinghamshire: Spinning courses with Juliet Hill www.handspinning.org.uk/index.html (external link to Juliet Hill Handspinning)
- Norfolk: Single-day spinning courses www.norfolkyarn.co.uk/Homepage/News/tabid/77/Default.aspx(external link to Norfolk Yarn website)
- Scotland - Perthshire (and Italy): workshops on spinning (beginners or more advanced), fibre preparation and blending, felting, dyeing and knitting. See the Workshops tab on http://www.perfectweatherforspinningandknitting.blogspot.com/ for updated details of forthcoming workshops by Deborah Gray e-mail email@example.com
- Sheffield: Tuition and Demonstrations by Diane Fisher, the Murmuring Wheel http://www.murmuringwheel.co.uk/events.html (external link to Diane Fisher's calendar)
- Sussex: Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton sometimes has courses on spinning http://www.wealddown.co.uk/Traditional-Rural-Trades-and-Crafts/Textiles/ (external link to Weald and Downland Museum's calendar)
- Mid-Wales: Workshops with HilltopCloud's Katie Weston mostly focus on colour blending, full details at http://www.hilltopcloud.co.uk/HilltopCloud/Workshops.html
- Yorkshire: Spinning courses with Ruth Gough, various workshops for individuals or groups, at Wentworth or your venue http://www.winghamwoolwork.co.uk/content/15-courses (external link to Wingham Wool Work)
- Yorkshire: Rivers MEET Craft Café, Methley, Leeds, West Yorkshire is now running an Introduction to spinning using a drop spindle workshop with Paula Edgintgon. For more details tel: 01977 279729 or see www.riversmeetcraftcafe.co.uk
Happy spinning and don't be a stranger!
Shiela Dixon - Editor / curator
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