I don't plan themes but sometimes a number of stories connect. this month it's cotton. It has a troubling history but nevertheless is a fibre which is comfortable to wear. History, project ideas and a finished spin/knit project are included in this issue.
Tour de Fleece has almost finished as I send out the full version of this newsletter, so there are plenty of blog posts and social media posts to look back on. I'm including a few in this issue and no doubt there will be more next time.
Read on for this month's cunning curated collection of inspirational information and entertainment for spinners, knitters, crocheters, dyers and weavers.
Guzzisue likes to prepare and spin raw fleece and her daily Tour de Fleece blog posts have included Jacob, Zwartbles, Cheviot and a mystery fleece. This picture from day 10 shows a number of skeins on her washing line.
The link should take you to the complete list of her TdF posts.
The child of the title is Ann Kingstone's Great Great Grandfather. Only a few generations ago, he was working as a cotton spinner at the age of 8.
She reconstructs a story using census records. This is at the time of the cotton famine, a time of hardship in the textile industry following a boom. She provides a link to Wikipedia for further reading and notes that at this time, British workers expressed solidarity with American slaves.
Riihivilla has taken advantage of the hot weather in her area. This tub of madder and mordanted yarn is inside a polytunnel with no additional heat. She thinks that 5 days in these conditions will do the trick.
Bogmen aren't uncommon, but 250-year-old Gunnister Man is particularly interesting because his clothes are so well preserved and they include a number of knitted woollen items, including what's believed to be the earliest example of Fair Isle knitting.
I rarely link to audio or video. (Should I include more? Tell me.) But this episode of Fiber Nation is a well-written, well-presented and listenable story. It includes details of a spinning and knitting project to recreate the clothing.
Although Jillian has written about her quest to knit from a yarn holder that allows the yarn to run off easily and smoothly (and her solution is fascinating) the most interesting part of this article is the method that she has devised for winding yarn quickly and neatly onto a bobbin.
You choose a hand-dyed braid for its colours but there are many ways to work those colours. You could simply spin from one end. You can split it lengthwise, equally so that your plies match, or unequally for fractal spinning.
Emonieiesha Hopkins suggests more ways to be even more intentional with your colours. You can change the order of the hues, tone down certain colours or even make new shades.
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The Coronavirus pandemic is causing havoc in all our lives at the moment but what about the charities and organisations that rely on public fundraising to maintain their care services? Martin House Children's Hospice is such a charity, with an annual running cost of around £9 million to provide their vital services to families, they need our help.
As a way of offering support to Martin House, Adam Curtis Online are donating a percentage every sale of their two most popular ranges, the Best of British Wool Throw Collection and the Real Shetland Cushion range.
Please see their blog for more information about Martin House and the fundraising products.
Two projects have come to completion for Josefin this month. This bag has been in progress for months. Spindle-spun from carefully chosen and sorted fleece and then backstrap-woven before being sewn and assembled.
The colours in the fabric happen to reflect the colours around her in the spot where she wove it.
There are some interesting details and tips around the assembly and reinforcement.
The yarn used in this shawl was not only spun but dyed by sandysglassshack. She blended the fibre by drum carder for depth and tonal variation. Singles were chain-plied to retain the colour separation.
This came to my attention because Green Goat Ranch is supplying the pattern complete with handspun yarn in these four colours. I believe the one Alex is wearing in the picture is made from said handspun yarn, which is bamboo/seacell.
It's designed for mini skeins in four colours. The designer says that "any fingering weight yarn will work, when swapping yarn keep in mind the fabric you're creating".
The crochet pattern is an easy one, and comes with video tutorials.
In light of the current situation, the regular events listing here is temporarily replaced by an 'online events' listing.
Are you hosting or taking part in an online event or challenge that I'm not aware of? Let me know.
14th to 18th October 2020
Challenge, Fun, Friends, Charity
There is no entry fee to register a team. Spinners will be invited to donate a minimum of £5 each and ALL funds raised in 2020 will be donated directly to the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution)
I'm Shiela Dixon, I've beeing doing this for around ten years in order to promote and encourage the craft of spinning.
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