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Hand Spinning News

Using scraps is one theme that has emerged this month. When you've lovingly spun your yarn, every inch of it is especially precious. DGY have a long list of ideas and tutorials. The All Together Now pattern is designed with scraps in mind.

Two of the suggested knitting patterns this month feature plain in-the-round stockinette. Sometimes you need mindless knitting. It's also great for showing off a little variegation or texture in your yarn.

Read on for this month's round-up of news, views and reviews for spinners, knitters, crocheters, dyers and weavers.

This free issue for August 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.

Find out how to receive a longer, ad-free* version of Hand Spinning News earlier in the month.

Cover photo: Mara Fribus / Shutterstock.

Contents

 

In the media

National anthem on silk fabric without a stitch

National anthem on silk fabric without a stitch

Veldi Hari Prasad made the news recently with his light-as-air saris that fit inside a matchbox.

Here he has woven his national anthem along with a tricolour India map with the Ashok Chakra and women in the Namaskar posture along the borders. All without stitching or printing.

telanganatoday.com/national-anthem-on-silk-fabric-without-any-stitch

Solar power helps Indian women make light work of cotton spinning

Solar power helps Indian women make light work of cotton spinning

Uttar Pradesh has distributed solar-powered spinning wheels to about 1,000 women annually since 2018, which the project organizers say gives women confidence and a bigger say in running their households.

The solar charkhas, worth 50,000 rupees or around 550 pounds, feature 12 spindles, a motor, battery pack, and a 400 watt solar panel.

Local clothing companies train the women and buy the yarn for weaving into khadi.

www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2022/08/21/2003783857


 

 

Handspun stories

Time marches on

Time marches on

Jean says that spinning at the Saanich Fall Fair is a sign that the seasons are changing. Her guild demonstrated a 'sheep to shawl'. A local fleece is carded, spun and woven throughout the day.

She documents the process and other displays from the fair.

onesmallstitch.wordpress.com/2022/09/04/time-marches-on

Making Journey Yarns

Making Journey Yarns

Joanne Nakonechny discusses her Japanese travel yarn which incorporates materials and ideas related to a recent trip.

She discusses the choices she made and presents the yarn which is a "physical memory".

plymagazine.com/2022/09/making-journey-yarns/

The beauty of farm blend roving

The beauty of farm blend roving

Farm Blend Roving is made from two or more types of fibre, made in small batches and sometimes from specific sheep.

In this PLY magazine article, we meet a number of farmers who keep small flocks and Jacqueline Harp tries spinning the roving.

plymagazine.com/2022/08/the-beauty-of-farm-blend-roving

Wool Basics: What is Grease?

Wool basics: what is grease?

A. Sabine Schröder-Gravendyck gets hands-on and discusses exactly what we mean by grease. She explains grease, suint, yolk and lanolin and how understanding these things can help us make choices such as washing temperature and spinning in the grease.

spinoffmagazine.com/wool-basics-what-is-grease

Notes from the fell: twist

Notes from the fell: twist

Yarn with twist can cause 'tracking' in woven fabric, giving it diagonal lines that resemble twill.

Tom Knisely spun threads in different directions to experiment with this phenomenon.

handwovenmagazine.com/notes-from-the-fell-twist

Home-made support spindle

Home-made support spindle

craftmehappy is happy with her support spindle which cost her 75p to make.

She enjoys using an e-spinner but likes this for its portability.

No instructions or materials given.

www.instagram.com/p/ChULoRkIsZc

An entire street covered in woolly blankets

An entire street covered in woolly blankets

This is an amazing story of streets shaded by crocheted blankets.

In scorching Spanish sun, it's not unusual for shopping streets to be shaded with some kind of canopy strung between buildings.

The authorities of Alhaurín de la Torre decided that they wanted to use a more sustainable and beautiful material than plastic. Local crocheters picked up their hooks and started making traditional granny-square blankets. The idea has spread to other Spanish towns and even a twin town in America.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yIv8c7z1Qg

The Baldishol Tapestry: far from shoddy after 1000 years

The Baldishol Tapestry: far from shoddy after 1000 years

The Baldishol Tapestry was found when a church was demolished in 1879.

It had been used as insulation under floorboards, keeping it away from sunlight. But this article says that its longevity is also down to the "fantastic quality of the wool", from a breed of sheep that we today call spelsau.

norwegiantextileletter.com/article/spelsau-shoddy

Flax harvest 2022

Flax harvest 2022

Josefin has been documenting her experiences with growing and using flax. In this blog post she harvests her 2022 crop and talks about drying and retting it.

Flax is ideally suited to the UK climate, this may inspire you to try growing and processing some.

waltin.se/josefinwaltinspinner/flax-harvest-2022

Antique wheel running again

Antique wheel running again

It's good to see someone get an antique wheel running and that's what Hannah did for a Family Farm event.

She prepared new corn husk bearings and drive band for their great wheel and demonstrated at the event.

www.instagram.com/p/ChxwUhaJc_v

A new old wheel

A new old wheel

This is part of a large wheel which is new to lbmfiberworks. It's a Canadian Production Wheel. There's also a picture of the whole wheel.

They say that it'll "eat fiber for breakfast, lunch, dinner, second breakfast, elevensies...".

www.instagram.com/p/ChfEcyGLqKO

Throwback

Throwback

This is a sweater with a history. Clare's mum made this pullover from handspun yarn in 1980. There's also a picture of Clare wearing it in 1980. She asks whether anyone knows of a similar pattern available today?

www.instagram.com/p/Ch-byH3vnOB

Portrait of a fiber artist in an airport

Portrait of a fibre artist in an airport

I do love to see spinning in public. It's more commonly seen with a drop spindle, but an e-spinner with a carry-case opens up the possibilities, especially if you find a handy wall socket, as Jazzturtle has done here while waiting at an airport.

www.instagram.com/p/Ch2rg0NJ6dG


 

Colour inspiration

When little needs saying except 'beautiful colour'

Cherry, grape, blueberry

Cherry, grape, blueberry

Katie has used cherry, grape and blueberry emoji in her post and those seem very appropriate.

I thought she'd posted pictures of two different yarns, but she says that one is natural light, the other flash. I hope the natural light is more accurate as that's the one I prefer.

Katie dyes but says that it's great to use fibre from other artists sometimes.

www.instagram.com/p/ChpnorIM9Am

Grellow

Grellow

This is pretty. crayondisasterknits finds crochet harder than knitting but likes the way that this turned out.

It's self-dyed handspun Polwarth in yellow and grey which she calls "grellow".

www.instagram.com/p/Chz-Wt0pmcD


 

Video

Meditative, soothing  spinning at sunset

Meditative, soothing spinning at sunset

I know ExpressionFibreArts for the beautiful colours of her dyed yarn rather than her spinning but I discover that she has some beginner tutorial videos.

This one, however, simply features some stunningly beautiful footage of her spinning, along with some messages.

If you're in need of calming or need some spinning motivation, I recommend it.

/www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkukvOD4G0E


Tips and tutorials

Better sweaters: understanding ease

Better sweaters: understanding ease

If, like me, you're often unsure about which size to pick when starting a pattern, this may help.

Kim McBrien Evans explains different types of ease, how to interpret what your pattern says on the subject and how to put all of this together to choose the right size.

This is a three-part series. Adding Structure largely deals with seaming,

www.interweave.com/article/knitting/better-sweaters-understanding-ease

What you can make with your yarn scraps

What you can make with your yarn scraps

This article isn't specifically aimed at handspinners, but I think the ideas are even more pertinent to us spinners because every inch of our yarn is so much more precious than commercial yarn.

It's a long list of ideas, many link to tutorials.

www.darngoodyarn.com...what-to-do-with-leftover-yarn-scraps

Tips for a tidy charkha cop

Tips for a tidy charkha cop

Spin-Off magazine have been down the charkha rabbit hole recently and that's not a bad thing if you're curious about the device or, like me, have one and haven't taken the plunge yet.

Kate Larson explains how to keep your cop tidy.

spinoffmagazine.com/roving-reporter-tips-for-a-tidy-charkha-cop

Nålbinding basics: oslo stitch

Nålbinding basics: oslo stitch

Nålbinding takes time, you form stitches with a blunt, eyed needle.

Penelope Hemingway admits that it takes patience. She takes us through the oslo stitch, making a chain, increases and decreases.

spinoffmagazine.com/nalbinding-basics-oslo-stitch


Technology

New adaptive artificial muscles made of a single-helical woolen yarn

New adaptive artificial muscles made of a single-helical woolen yarn

Last month we saw artificial muscles which were tiny liquid-filled tubes woven into textiles.

These 'muscles' seem to be made from wool, treated so that the twist changes with moisture. Possible future use seems to be temperature-regulating clothing.

techxplore.com/news/2022-08-artificial-muscles-single-helical-woolen-yarn.html


Reviews


Gallery

Sometimes just a picture is enough

All Together Now

All Together Now

Amanda enjoyed this test knit and found it perfect for using scraps from stash. She used a commercial yarn for the background and leftover handspun for the colourwork.

The pattern is written for any yarn, any gauge.

/www.instagram.com/p/ChuiBAtL6Ma

Happy

Happy

I love this smile and the photographer from Christchurch Guild says that "Phillippa's smile sums up exactly how we all feel about creating garments from scratch"

www.instagram.com/p/Chk9l71hEmV/

Foxy

Foxy

The green / brown in this sweater is Annie's own handspun yarn, colourway 'lichen' from Hello Yarn. The pattern her own.

www.instagram.com/p/CiEcFvttzxP

Garter and Brioche

Garter and Brioche

According to designer Andrea Mowrey, the Cinnabar Shawl "plays with two-color Garter and Brioche".

Alethea has finished this one in handspun yarn and says that "It's great to have a hobby that creates useful things to keep you warm on cold days and in overly air conditioned theatres".

www.instagram.com/p/Chddz8epXHi/

SpinPerfect ABE

SpinPerfect ABE

I do like to see a personalised decorated wheel.

This is a Spinolution SpinPerfect ABE, which new owner hooknfibre finds "an amazingly lightweight and versatile wheel".

She couldn't be happier with her paint job.

www.instagram.com/p/ChXMymjuf5t

Wistful winter

Wistful winter

The pattern doesn't appear to be available yet but heapofsheep has test-knit this chunky Rachyknits pattern in handspun.

www.instagram.com/p/Ch6c2-OpEWE

Local and raw

Local and raw

Tuva made these socks from local raw wool without carding or combing, just teasing with her fingers as she spindle-spun, a technique she learned from an old Bolivian woman.



www.instagram.com/p/Ch5CpAwDOJE


 

Free patterns and projects

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

Cat Phone Pillow by Margaret Stump

Cat Phone Pillow by Margaret Stump

This sleepy cat is made from Zoom Loom squares, which are quick and easy to make.

You'll need 33 squares, made from 300 yards of your chosen yarn. The pattern, which is a free downloadable pdf, contains full instructions and tips.

schachtspindle.com/cat-phone-pillow


 

More pattern suggestions

Rachis by Woolly Wormhead

Rachis by Woolly Wormhead

Woolly Wormhead kicks off woolly hat season with her new Rachis pattern.

It's designed for variegated or semi-solid yarn, "the yarn comes to life as the stitches travel around this Ha"

It's designed for DK weight yarn, comes in 6 sizes, and includes both written and charted instructions as well as download links for the relevant tutorials.

/www.woollywormhead.com/rachis

Goldstar (by Maxim Cyr)

Goldstar by Maxim Cyr

My thumbnail here is Elaine's Goldstar which she made as a test knit for the designer.

She chose to incorporate her handspun yarn because Max the designer is also a spinner!

It's made in worsted weight yarn on 3.75mm and 4.5mm needles so should be a fast knit.

The pattern is now released, link below.

boutiquelesgarcons.com/collections/patterns/products/goldstar-by-maxim-cyr

Forêts Paisibles hatby by Haberkula Justyna Haberkowa

Forêts Paisibles hatby by Haberkula Justyna Haberkowa

Kate Davis says of this designer, "Justyna has a knack of using nifty, but completely intuitive, knitterly techniques to create hats that are as aesthetically appealing as they are original"

This uses just 100 - 120 yards of Fingering weight (14 wpi) yarn.

www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/forets-paisibles

Upcycled linen pocket

Upcycled linen pocket

Anne and Josefin want to revolt against the modern fashion for small or no pockets in women's clothing by promoting tie-on pockets. As you can see, they're useful for mobile phones and even spindles!

You can make them from different materials, hand or machine sew. In this post Josefin shows how she made an inkle-woven band.

waltin.se/josefinwaltinspinner/upcycled-linen-pocket

Yilflower by mathilde jongbloed

Yilflower by mathilde jongbloed

This pattern is suggested by sannehemmelder who has made one in hand spun and hand dyed yarn.

The effect comes from colourwork using a colour-changing yarn in any guage.

You can repeat the pattern as many times as you like for the size you like.

www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/yilflower


 

But is it art...?

Creating yarn masterpieces of black icons

Creating yarn masterpieces of black icons

Akeen Kidder uses yarn to create portraits of black icons that have influenced him.

His work raises funds for a local youth organisation.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTJ7qarh7uk


 

UK Events

2022

Yarndale

Yarndale

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.

yarndale.co.uk

Masham Sheep Fair

The Wool Event, Masham Sheep Fair

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.

www.mashamsheepfair.com

Shetland Wool Week

Shetland Wool Week

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.

shetlandwoolweek.com

Bakewell Wool Gathering

Bakewell Wool Gathering

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.

bakewellwool.co.uk

Kendal Wool Gathering

Kendal Wool Gathering

Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October 2022, Kendal 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.

www.kendalwoolgathering.co.uk

West Wales Wool Show

West Wales Wool Show

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.

westwaleswoolshow.weebly.com


 

All that remains is for me to thank everyone who blogs, writes articles or posts pictures on the subject of spinning, knitting, crochet or weaving. This newsletter wouldn't exist without them.

Nor would it exist without your support, so thank you for that.

If you enjoy Hand Spinning News, please do share a link to hand-spinning-news.com by email or on social media with anyone who may be interested.

It's always good to hear from readers for any reason (or no reason!)

Happy spinning!

- Editor / curator

shiela@hand-spinning-news.com

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