Hand Spinning News
I'm not the person you should turn to for fashion advice, but I read that this autumn's scarf style is for solid, restrained colours with cables and so there are plenty of patterns and inspiration along those lines this month.
This month's harvest of spinning stories includes several on the topic of home-grown dye plants along with a boy scout song about woad.
The amazing news is that team HSN UK for Spinzilla 2015 now exists and registration has been more successful than I dared hope. Spinner registration started on September 1 and the team filled in a couple of days.
Something I didn't do but now wish I had is the Tour of British Fleece. Collecting the british fleece breeds sounds as much fun as spinning them as the cyclists pass through the related area.
This is the free edited version of Hand Spinning News for September 2015. Scroll to the bottom for details of how to subscribe to the full version
Photo right: aspenmoonarts's spinning and matching table decoration. Cover photo, gefärbte Wolle - dyed wool by saharadesertfox
- In the news
- Tour of British Fleece
- From Blogland
- Online spinning events
- Tips and tutorials
Showing off some of the best images I've found this month
- Free patterns
A selection of free seasonal patterns which will work well with handspun yarn
- Not so free patterns
More project ideas which will work well with handspun yarn
Some 2015 dates for your diary
In the news
Carbon nanofibres made from CO2 in the air
A very tentative link, this one, because although the applications are varied, there's no suggestion anywhere that these fibres can be spun into yarn.
But the idea really appeals to me. Taking carbon from the air and making it into fibre sounds perfect.
The new process is said to be low-energy and scalable, but some have said that it's unlikely to make a difference to climate change.
Tour of British Fleece
Tour of British Fleece
The Ravelry group for this event is an awesome resource - there's a thread for each day, giving information about relevant breeds.
There's also an official website for the event (link below).
This post from Hazel is a great introduction to the event, she gives a table of the fleeces she planned to spin on each day
From the Blogosphere
Ned Ludd and the Luddites
Loyal readers will know about my love for Jenn and her 'spinning in cowgirl boots' videos.
This time Jenn speaks on the very appropriate subject of Ned Ludd. Factual or fictional character? Technophobes or labour-rights fighters? You decide.
The story behind this vintage picture isn't as happy as the girls appear to be at first glance, but Annie hopes that they found solace in their spinning and knitting and crochet.
Celeb scarf and cowl trends
I'm not a follower of fashion or celebrity but now it seems the fashion is following me.
Lion Brand says that this autumn, celebrities are wearing solid, neutral colours, with stitch patterns and cables to add interest.
Maybe it's a case of if you wear the same style long enough, it'll eventually come into fashion.
at Haworth Scouring
Kate Davies is producing her own yarn range for hand knitting, using Scottish wool.
This fascinating post (linked below and from the picture) has many pictures (and a very short video) of her visit to Haworth Scouring where she saw wool being scoured and turned into combed top on a massive scale.
Just as fascinating is her visit to the dye factory which is here.
Paddock to Ply
Rebecca has recently been thinking and blogging about the miles her yarn has travelled.
She mentions Kate Davies' local yarn project and shares Suzette Sayer's plans for Paddock to Ply, a fibre mill to process fleece for small to medium Australian farmers.
This article appears on the Spinzilla website but it'll be of interest to many, not just those taking part in a distance-spinning event.
It contains links to the best of their blog posts from previous years on the subject of preparation; tips for buying and washing fleece, weighing up how much fibre you need, fibre preparation, fast and easy wools to spin.
Chris the hermit
A while ago we followed the fortunes of Horace, a hermit sheep that was eventually 'rescued' and shorn (and became Horietta when he was discovered to be a she).
Sheep can 'go hermit' by hiding to avoid shearing.
Thanks to rexd of Men Who Knit who has collected a few links on the subject of a new hermit merino, Chris, who may not have been shorn for six years.
Chris has now been relieved of a record-breaking 89 lb fleece.
Taking it easy
Drum carders certainly do put some fun into carding a fleece, but Araignee points out that they can also be used to blend commercial dyed fibre just like this.
These amazing colours were achieved using a packet of indigo seeds and a "let's see what happens" experiment.
Congratulations to Leigh, amazing and inspirational.
Japanese indigo plant extraction vat
Also in home-grown Japanese Indigo news, Fran discovers that the results can be variable.
Here are pictures of her process, in this case with silk, shibori dyed.
I've had to read this post again and again because I can hardly believe that this fabric is partly paper.
Mayumi Kaneko uses Japanese paper yarn in her work, sometimes weaving fabric which she then folds origami-style.
Paper yarn is commercially-available (I'm not clear about whether she makes her own) And it seems that it's a finer version of the paper, tee-shirt and plastic yarn that people have experimented with.
The woven cloth pictured here is featured in this article, do explore her blog for some beautiful work and the link below will take you to Mayumi Kaneko's article about Japanese paper yarn.
Thanks to ewespecial for sharing.
Weave all the things..
Saori means freedom and creativity. Leigh has used reclaimed yarn, handspun and hand-dyed yarn and other oddments in this woven fabric. the result is really pretty and she feels reflects Summer.
I recently had the pleasure of spinning some samoyed dog fur. It was clean and didn't smell, it was soft and, although short, spun like wool.
This delightful Pathé newsreel shows that this is nothing new, spinners and knitters at the Canine Defence League were using dog brushings to make socks and mittens in 1940 for the war effort.
Online spinning events
Spinzilla 2015 October 5 - 11
As already announced, Hand Spinning News is one of the official sponsors for Spinzilla 2015.
I'm pleased to be able to support the event. I like the cause (providing craft materials for kids, particularly spinning stuff) and I like the event which involves spinning as much as you can in a week.
I spun 'rogue' last year (here is all the yarn I spun) because there wasn't a specific UK team. I would like to put that right this year.
I'm delighted and proud to say that "Team HSN UK". It's the first and only UK team.
The team filled up in just a couple of days. If you are interested in taking part, then you're still able to register with one of the other teams, or spin 'rogue'.
Tips and tutorials
A drum carder isn't a magic tool, says Freyalyn. "it takes careful washing of fleece and considerate handling of the carder and wool to get anything nice at the end."
Here is an informative post with some useful tips.
Drafting through a button
While discussing drafting methods, Sarah aka Babylonglegs suggested using a button like a diz to help with speed and consistency.
She's made this video to demonstrate
Minimum number of stitches for various circular needle sizes
Avoid the stretch! This chart has been shared so much that it's difficult to know who to credit for making it. (If it was you - thank you.)
A very useful resource to bookmark or save.
Tantalized By Beautiful Cables?
If, like me, you like a solid or semi-solid yarn, or you fancy following the autumn celebrity fashion then a good stitch pattern will do the work of showing off your yarn.
Here are some cable tutorials
The importance of grip and slip
This question does come up from time to time and thanks to Hazel for making some important points.
I think her conclusion does reinforce the case for using the monofilament-type brake band. I once had a problem with jerkiness on a Majacraft wheel which may have been down to the braided type of brake band they use.
I'd also add that for a double-drive wheel, a little bit of 'slip' is important, which is why the grippy polycord type of drive band is recommended for single-drive wheels only.
spinning lots of yarn FAST
Spinzilla is about spinning as much as you can in a week. Whether you are taking part or not, this post on the Spinzilla blog tour will be of interest.
jazzturtle discusses spinning styles and gives her three top tips for spinning lots of yarn fast.
Flax, Flax, Everywhere
These bright woven bands are made from hand spun wool and flax. In this article Kate notes the popularity of flax this year and recommends some resources if your interest is as piqued as hers - Norman Kennedy's video, Spinning Plant Fibre kit, and the free eBook, A Guide to Spinning Flax.
Keeping this wheel spinning
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Pop Up Fibre Event, Ormskirk
Knit Wise in Ormskirk is celebrating Spin in Public Day on September 19th with a Pop Up Fibre Event.
The week commencing 14th September will start the event with Indie Dyers selling their hand dyed fibre, art yarns and spinning accessories in the shop and then any spinners - of all abilities who would like to join us for the Grand Spin In on the Saturday.
All are welcome - any indie dyers who would like to participate in the event please contact Cathy Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org
Knit Wise, 42 Church Street, Ormskirk, Lancs, L39 2AW
Sometimes just a picture is enough
My yarn matches my decorations
Here is the first of two otherwise unrelated spindle shots using autumn leaves to compliment an autumnal yarn. This one by aspenmoonarts.
The second is some green and golden yarn and a picture taken during golden hour against some matching golden leaves. nightlyknitter.
Once again Rahardjo supplies our sexy spindle shot this month.
She plans to make a 3-ply fingering weight yarn.
Drop spinning, fluff to sock
When Mirian first tried drop spinning, she thought that she couldn't use a drop spindle, but later tried a different spindle and "found it to be perfect".
On a recent trip to Scotland she knitted in the car and spun when not. Here are a selection of pictures showing the process from fibre to finished sock.
Handspun lion mittens
Since I saw this project in progress I've been watching out for the finished mitts.
Sandandskycreations says that Natalia Moreva's designs are "very handspun yarn friendly".
This tantalising teaser from jazzturtle shows a technique she'll be including in a forthcoming video.
Poufy cable in handspun
This is an interesting cable; a braid cable or plaited stitch, in some beautiful colours.
knittertraceyalice says that this could be a wrap or cowl depending on how far her yarn goes.
Rachel devised this pattern as she went along, she calls it "my own stream of asymmetrical consciousness".
It's very warm on account of the blend of alpaca and merino. Navajo / chain plied and knit on 5mm needles.
There's a little green in this fibre / yarn which doesn't show in this particular picture.
Click the link for all pictures from fibre to spindle to shawl.
Pattern is Shaelyn by Leila Raabe
Congratulations are in order to for these spindle-spun socks which have been in progress for a number of years.
Click through for pictures of the fibre, the finished socks and a close-up of the beautiful IST spindle
Ball Is life
This is a pretty spindle and pretty fibre (and it's fun to see a picture of the photographer taking the picture).
It's not producing as much barber-poling as I'd expect, it'll be interesting to see how the plied yarn looks (if it's to be plied).
Storm clouds and lightning
Miriam feels that this "lovely fluffy, slubby, sparkly wool" is reminiscent of recent stormy weather.
She acid dyed the fibre, and plied using lurex.
A selection of free seasonal patterns which will work well with handspun yarn.
Curved Shoulder Scarf by Barb Padwicki
SherrillLovesWool says that her ideal patterns for handspun are ones that "use less than 200 yards and make something pretty that you can gift to family, friends, or family."
The Curved Shoulder Scarf fits the bill and she's started one in this lovely dark mix.
In defence of the cosy and a free pattern
Why does the practical cosy need defending? Because the word makes April think of creepy loo roll covers...
But this waffle-rib water-bottle cover is far from creepy. It's designed to soak up condensation and drips and helps to keep the drink cool.
Hopoholic by Rachel Brown
This cardy is the key pattern from the new KnittySpin.
It's completely seamless, which is a huge plus as far as I'm concerned. It's possible to adjust the length to suit the yarn you have available. The front is shawl-like and can be worn open or fastened with a pin.
It uses worsted / aran weight yarn (10-14 wpi) for a reasonably quick knit.
Here's an unusual idea, a basic slouchy hat pattern with sittch counts for whatever yarn you happen to have.
Jenn says, "a regular commercial size ball of yarn (in some cases not even a whole ball) will make a hat."
Tweed Cowl for Men by Jolanda Schneider
This is an easy and trendy knitting pattern. It uses 437 yards of worsted weight (9wpi) yarn.
There are also matching hat and wristers patterns available.
Thanks to rexd for the tip.
Hudson Lace Cowl by Marcy Vandale
And for the ladies... a knitted cowl with a lace pattern which is designed specifically with handspun in mind.
I'm linking to Yarnharlot's blog post in which there are many pictures of the cowl being modelled as well as "the whole project, start to finish, all in order".
So pretty, and interesting that there's no plain white in the cowl, as there is in the dyed braid. No word about how she spun the braid (post about the actual spinning here) but there are pictures of the bobbins - it may have been 'as it came'.
Wonderful Wool Day
11 October, Memorial Hall in Oswestry, 11am-4pm. £2 entry for adults.
Bring your work-in-progress, what you are proud of, what you would like to put on the Orphan Lamb Table (to include books this time) and a jolly smile!
Also a Back-to-Back attempt.
Bakewell Wool Gathering
Bakewell Agricultural CentreSaturday 17 and Sunday 18 October
This year sees the third 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.
January 2015 saw a milestone; Hand Spinning News split into two; a free version, which is edited down a little bit, and a full version for paying subscribers.
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Happy spinning and don't be a stranger!
Shiela Dixon - Editor / curator
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