Project launches Yorkshire-made hand-knit yarn
Following a story last month, Glencroft has launched their "fully traceable hand-knit yarn made in Yorkshire".
Tour de Fleece 2022 is in full flow as I write this. It runs until 24 July and it is a self-challenge rather than formal competition, so if you're not taking part already there's nothing stopping you from setting your own challenge and joining in. It's fun to watch spinners from around the world achieving their goals and we have a few of these this month, more next time.
Support spindles make multiple appearances this month and in one case spinning is accompanied by birdsong.
Read on for this month's round-up of news, views and reviews for spinners, knitters, crocheters, dyers and weavers.
This free issue for July 2022 is brought to you in association with Audible. I'm a member and enjoy listening while I spin and knit. The new Audible gives you unlimited listening to thousands of titles.
Cover photo: Thanks to Zuzana Kacerová / unsplash.
Following a story last month, Glencroft has launched their "fully traceable hand-knit yarn made in Yorkshire".
It seems that "oldest textiles found" stories will always be with us.
This article reports that archaeologists have found clay fragments dating to around thirty thousand years ago which have clear impressions of woven textiles, including plain weave and twill.
Ewespecial has done a good job of outlining the guidelines (not rules) and her own challenge which is cotton. I will be following her progress.
Christina Garton asks "what do you do with inkle bands once they're woven?"
There are some surprising possibilities.
Guzzisue is up to her "elbows in fleece". Having cleared the decks, she has restocked on fleeces; some known and some unknown breeds.
She's started to wash and knit some samples.
You may remember the Berta's Flax project; Austrian fiber artist Christiane Seufferlein had a chest of flax from the '50s. This was a tradition for newlywed women.
The project has grown, and Christiane is now distributing flax from other similar chests. Josefin requested and received two stricks of flax that were over 160 years old. She says that it makes her heart beat faster to hold it and imagine the work that has gone into it by another flax community so many years ago.
Border Cheviot wool washes up very white and takes dye well. Thanks to its helical crimp makes it elastic and It produces an incredible volume at a low fleece weight, making for light garments.
These properties make it a popular choice for the handspinner, says Spin Off's Dean Hyden
by coincidence, Debby has also written about Cheviot wool this month, and has spun and knitted a sample, giving her thoughts.
thebarefootdyer pounds fresh indigo leaves into fabric, also known as tataki zome. The leaf prints turn blue over days.
Sandy fell in love with some handwoven waffle weave and overshot. She bought a rigid heddle and was then told that she wouldn't be able to do what she wanted.
This isn't entirely true, but Madelyn gives advice to help her find the right loom.
Egypt Today reports this piece which dates to fourth or fifth century AD.
The Copts were famous for their weaving skills. Their textiles were mainly linen, and the entire surface would be decorated with dyed woollen threads. This is one of the best surviving examples.
the term wool can refer to the entirety of a fleece. It may contain wool, hair, and kemp, but what's the difference?
Gareth Wyn Jones presents some packaging products made from wool - bubblewrap, padded envelopes and bottle sleeves.
Tempestries are similar to temperature blankets.
The Tempestry Project aims to increase awareness of climate change. The emphasis is on the standardisation of colours so that the projects are consistently "accurate, tangible, relatable, and beautiful".
The project proposes two types of tempestries - "Original Tempestries" which show the daily high temperature over a year for a location. And "New Normal Tempestries" which show annual deviation-from-average-temperature over more than a hundred years.
This article from Colossal has many examples and some useful links, including to the Tempestry Project itself.
This is the start of a solar dyeing experiment. Chaotic Fibres put blue dye in the bottom of the jars and yellow at the top.
Jenn introduces us to Paul, who is passionate about saving and using vintage machines. His mill processes and spins the Norfolk Horn wool that Jenn sources.
Fresh cochineal means fresh. mazzaus spotted the infested cactus and returned to harvest the insects and try dyeing with them.
The results are dramatic, and the dye keeps giving.
We also learn that the prickly pear, an invasive weed in Australia, was introduced for the cochineal.
This is something I have tried without success, so it's good to see someone who knows what she's doing getting good results.
Josefin tried two methods of retting her stems. She scutched, she hackled and carded, ending up with fine spinnable fibre.
When little needs saying except 'beautiful colour'
This silk roving looks metallic in these colours. It was potentially part of a destash, but after spinning a little, Ewespecial has decided to keep it. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished yarn and a finished project in the future.
I would have been put off buying this fibre because of the variety of very different colours it contains.
But the finished yarn blends these colours into something that seems to mix light greens with violets.
Anna discusses 'optical blending' of colours from a hand-dyed braid.
This baby blue merino with silk matches the painted wheel.
We'll have to wait for the plied yarn as Lindsay took this photo just before clearing the wheel for Tour de Fleece.
This is spin_up_girl's Tour de Fleece spinning from day 3.
She finds spinning from rolags "just divine".
I like the mix of colours in this light blue / brown mix, and it blends beautifully with the natural brown in this project. nilsenkristi calls them a "perfect match".
Cia has embroidered this discreet little flower on the neck of her sweater to mark the back.
Kate Curry discusses dye bleeding, how you can prevent it and what to do if it still bleeds.
Double-knitting can seem magical - it allows you to use colourwork charts and end up with a fabric which is stretchier than stranded colourwork. It also gives you the same pattern on both sides but in reverse.
Alasdair Post-Quinn gives quite a few tips here, for knitting, reading your charts and finishing your work.
Claudine Celebuski creates stunning handspun, machine-knitted garments. Here are her top tips.
Deborah Held quite rightly says that there's a special pleasure in spinning with a handspindle.
The number one question people ask her when she's using a handspindle is "how do you go about plying singles yarns from the spindles?"
She has some surprising suggestions.
My main link goes to part 1. Part 2 is here. There is also a related article with video on using a bobbin winder.
If you're new to spinning then you're well-advised to use a drop spindle. It allows you to concentrate on one thing at a time and gives you more control. If you're experienced then the spindle is a portable and enjoyable way to make yarn.
Two experts on spinning with a drop spindle give advice on choosing and using a spindle.
The seeds from cotton bolls can be removed by hand and it can be therapeutic.
Melvenea Hodges is passionate about spinning cotton. She shares two methods for ginning cotton by hand.
Spinnybuns demonstrates how to cut and join a new polycord belt for your drum carder.
At first I assumed that this story would be about testing the DNA in the wool and matching it with the sheep it came from, but actually UPW are marking wool with a DNA-based marker so that it can be traced all the way along the supply chain.
Traceability is obviously important to the knitwear industry, this is one of three stories that I've spotted this month on the subject. Here is another, which proposes using blockchain technology.
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quiteayarnblog finds this book a mixture of the expected and the unexpected.
Sometimes just a picture is enough
This beautiful rug is handwoven from British wool. The weft is grey Suffolk handspun yarn and Cotswold wool tops.
Weaving with the unspun roving is very effective (but may not be hardwearing). There are some 'in progress' shots here and some details about the wool used here.
This little trinket box is crocheted from handspun yarn. Maker merakilight11 says that she's 'hooked' on making little bowls and dishes.
By coincidence we have these trinket boxes also crocheted from handspun yarn.
Sara has made this spinner from clay and crocheted handspun wool.
The Metamorphic design featured in May and here's another.
In danalmattner's jumper, the grey is from a fleece and the stripes of colour are made of fibre from Nest Fiber Studio. She "loves everything about this sweater" and is spinning for another.
Spin Off readers were invited to join a spin-along and to make a bag using handspun and the craft of their choice.
Here is a gallery of some of the bags shared.
This is a short video showing wollwebfarben spinning on a balcony with a 'bird concert' accompanying her.
Norah calls this 'an experiment in weaving her own carded, spun and dyed yarn'.
This shawl / bed throw is woven from alpaca and Jacobs fleece that Emma processed and spun herself.
The ancient bog oak for this spindle has travelled from Ukraine. It had to first travel across the border to Poland because the Ukraine post wasn't operational.
It makes a very special spindle, turned by Spanish Peacock.
jillianevefa feels that the natural plaid that appeared in this weaving happened so clearly because she wove with singles. "Plying would have mottled the colour".
A selection of free seasonal patterns which will work well with handspun yarn.
480 motifs may seem a lot but Alexandra Davidoff explains that her strategy was to make at least two flowers with her morning coffee and attach them. She watched it grow each morning. It took her a year and she had time to work on other projects too.
You can use any weight yarn but this will affect the finished dimensions.
The pictured socks are by sweetstitchingcrafts who enjoyed the pattern and using her handspun yarn.
Her advice is not to take 4 years to make a pair of socks, because your tension changes!
The pattern is free. It goes back a long way, has been knitted hundreds of times and has now been reedited.
According to the blurb, this is a "stunning swath of colour and texture". It certainly looks great in gradient yarns.
The pattern is available in Field Guide 21: Brioche, which contains four interesting brioche patterns.
Pictured are albionjen's socks which are made in John Arbon Exmoor Sock yarn. (The blend is also available as top for spinning).
The sock pattern has a relief pattern reminiscent of crystal structures. It uses sock yarn in two colours.
This requires a surprisingly high yardage for a short strappy lace top, but I love its vintage style.
It requires 1290 - 2580 yards of fingering / 4 ply (14 wpi), bust sizes 34"- 52".
Adrienne Lee creates natural environments; seascapes, fields, mountainscapes.
She adds depth by using different weaving techniques and a combination of thick and thin yarn.
Jeong Da-hye is continuing a centuries-old Korean tradition.
Her vessel is so finely-woven that it sways in the gentlest breeze.
Lana Crooks has juxtaposed unyielding bone with soft wool and silk.
6 & 7 August, Bannockburn House, Stirling FK7 8EY
Over 25 of the country's best sellers of yarn and fiber and accessories for you to browse and buy, taster workshops, talks, guided tours, pop-up tea room, and some delicious catering.
Regular, discounted and VIP tickets, optional tour of the house.
Please read the information about parking and shuttle bus.
3 and 4 September 2022, Newbury Racecourse, Berkshire
The perfect event for all lovers of knitting, crochet, feltmaking, weaving, spinning, dyeing, and all things woolly!
10 and 11 September 2022. Dewars Centre, Glover St, Perth PH2 0TH
Bringing together independent dyers, farmers, knitters, spinners, felters and weavers. In 2018 nominated for the best yarn festival in the UK. Vendors' gallery marketplace, over 80 vendors, keynote event, social events and classes run over the weekend.
17 - 18 September 2022,
To highlight and raise awareness of all the wonderful things that our British wool can be used for.
24 and 25 September 2022, Skipton Auction Mart, North Yorkshire
Stunning exhibitions, skill demonstrations and a full programme of textile workshops create a visual feast and make Yarndale a real must-visit for yarn lovers.
24 and 25 September 2022, Masham Town Hall
Craft market and fleece stalls, specialising in British wool to compliment the sheep-related events that fill the square of Masham over the weekend.
24 September - 2 October 2022
Shetland Wool Week will be going ahead in person this year. It will be a scaled back version of the usual physical event as the main focus will be on delivering SWW in full for 2023
Includes classes, talks, drop-ins, art. See website for the full events listing.
6 - 9 October 2022, Alexandra Palace, London
Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 October 2022 Bakewell Agricultural Centre
A wool festival dedicated to the best of yarn, knitting, and crochet, in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales.
There will be exhibitors, demonstrations of fibre crafts and a fleece stand selling plenty of local fleece.
Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October 2022, Kendall Town Hall
Kendal Wool Gathering mixes demonstrations, fun activities and displays, all connected to the cloth on which the town's wealth was built.
All things woolly - exhibitions, patterns, demonstrations.
Saturday 19 November 2022, Queen's Hall and Plas Hyfryd Hotel, Narberth, Pembrokeshire
A celebration of all things woolly. From beautifully hand crafted items, clothing and footwear to knitting wool, fleece and all the equipment needed to make at home. Demonstrations run throughout the day with stall holders sharing their skills and knowledge with visitors plus wool skill workshops such as felting.
I'm Shiela Dixon, I've been doing this for around ten years in order to promote and encourage the craft of spinning.
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