Banner image

Hand Spinning News

As you'd expect at this point in the year, there are lots of first skeins of 2024 on show. If you need motivational help, Sandi has tips for restarting an unfinished project and as someone with ADHD, Mary writes about focus and has tips that'll be useful to all of us.

We also get a look at some of the many diverse sheep breeds this month. Maggie Casey takes a look at what makes Targhee a dream for spinners, while Sarah Wroot investigates the 'rare and hardy' North Ronaldsay. Chitra Balasubramaniam has some facts about India's sheep. Icelandic wool is used in Sarah Rosenthal-Almiral's Varafeldur and if Icelandic yarn, patterns and unspun Lopi yarn appeal to you then there are two books in this months' book reviews.

Read on for more news, views and reviews for spinners, knitters, crocheters, dyers and weavers. This is the free edition for February 2024.

Find out how to receive the full version of Hand Spinning News in your inbox, earlier than the free edition appears online.

Cover photo: At the Spinning Wheel by Hugo Salmson Göteborgs konstmuseum (Gothenburg Museum of Art). Photo: Hossein Sehatlou CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Contents

 

In the media

Madi Dunning reigns at National Make It With Wool Contest

Madi Dunning reigns at National Make It With Wool Contest

The National Make it with Wool Competition is supported by the American Sheep Industry and invites sewers, knitters, crocheters, felters, and designers to participate.

This article reports that Madi Dunning from Wyoming was selected as the National Junior Winner and was placed in other categories.

www.saratogasun.com...national-make-it-with-wool-contest/13147.html


 

Handspun stories

Raffia Then and Now

Raffia then and now

Some of the raffia yarn that's available now is processed in a similar way to many modern cellulose fibres. The benefit is that it is even in width and a continuous length. You can still buy traditional raffia which is straight from the raffia palm, dried and split. Lengths can be yards long.

If you have nostalgia for raffia, Susan E. Horton discusses both kinds of raffia, the plant it comes from and examples of its use.

handwovenmagazine.com/raffia-then-and-now

Intentional Optical Blending on a Blending Board

Intentional optical blending on a blending board

craftmehappy was asked by Maurice of the Electric Eel Wheel to take some pictures of the wheel in use for advertisements.

She chose three colours and blended them on her blending board in such a ways as to blend the colours without muddiness.

She has detailed her procedure here, which was very effective, and shows the finished yarn.

www.craftmehappy.com/2024/01/intentional-optical-blending-on.html

It All Begins with Wood

It all begins with wood

This is the first in a series that will take us through Schacht's entire manufacturing process for looms and spinning wheels. We see the hard maple wood arriving at the Colorado factory.

schachtspindle.com/blogs/news/it-all-begins-with-wood

Lamb explosion

Lamb explosion

We're into lambing season and Kristin has posted some pictures from her barn in this blog post.

There's a lot more in this same post including a finished crochet hexagon blanket and a Bargello Mittens pattern.

kristinnicholas.substack.com/p/big-news-from-the-farm

Ikat

Ikat

Ikat fabric is made from resist-dyed yarn which is then woven to form the pattern. finer yarn or more skilled makers can make patterns with less blurriness.

In single ikat, only the warp is dyed, in double ikat both warp and weft are dyed. The finest patterns can take upto 18 months to weave a single roll used in a single kimono.

My main link shows lots of examples. This page has more information.

craftatlas.co/crafts/ikat

Spinning 12 Questionable Blends

Spinning 12 questionable blends

The word 'questionable' doesn't indicate that craftmehappy doesn't like the blends in question. She uses it to mean that the blends cast doubt in the mind of the spinner about how best to manage the colours within.

Last year she spun the same blend ten different ways. This year she intends to spin these 'questionable' blends to show how they look when spun in a few different ways.

To start off, she shows the 12 blends and spins a mini-skein as it comes, giving quite muddy results in some cases.

www.craftmehappy.com...spinning-12-questionable-blends-from.html

What's it for?

What's it for?

Josefin answers the question that we're sometimes asked about yarn, "what's it for".

In this case, this is what remains of some skeins made from a specific sheep's fleece. We see some of the projects that she has made from it.

I encourage you to visit the essay by Barbara Kingsolver that Josefin links to at the end of this post.

waltin.se/josefinwaltinspinner/whats-it-for


 

Tips and tutorials

Taming the Woven Edge

taming the woven edge

Improving the edges of your weaving is a perennial topic, as shown here. Handwoven editors have gathered together a number of articles from the past on the subject.

handwovenmagazine.com/taming-the-woven-edge

Fusion Knitting and the Honeycomb Conjecture Blanket

Fusion Knitting and the Honeycomb Conjecture Blanket

Fusion knitting is a mix of mosaic knitting and cables. The result is reversible with cables on both sides.

This page contains a knitter's first experiences and gives many links including a collection of patterns and a bunch of tutorials showing the stitches used. Unfortunately the discount codes mentioned will have expired by the time you're reading this.

sweetgeorgiayarns.com/fusion-knitting-and-the-honeycomb-conjecture-blanket


Products and Reviews

 Traditional Danish Sweaters by Vivian Høxbro

Traditional Danish Sweaters by Vivian Høxbro

Josefin bought this book on the recommendation of a friend.

The sweaters involve a number of knit and purl patterns. They are usually knit with a natural white fingering or light fingering yarn and then dyed.

She has practised the technique with some wristwarmers.

waltin.se/josefinwaltinspinner/danish-wrist-warmers

Short-Row Colorwork Knitting by Woolly Wormhead

Short-Row Colorwork Knitting by Woolly Wormhead

Woolly has announced a new book that has taken her a year and a half to develop and write. She says that her book on the subject of short-row colourwork knitting is the "very first of its kind".

Within its 184 pages she teaches you how to fully utilise this technique. There is a stitch dictionary containing 50 motifs and ten accessory patterns from various designers which use the motifs and showcase the beauty, ease of accessibility, and versatility of this technique These include shawls and scarfs, a cowl and mitts, and of course a couple of Woolly's hats.

It's currently available for pre-order.

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/197004814X


Video and audio

Weaving with multiple yarns in the same warp

Weaving with multiple yarns in the same warp

In the latest in Pamela's series of videos on weaving, she talks about mixing yarns in warps. It's a useful way to use up odds and ends or to create an effect, but there are some pitfalls. For example, differences in shrinkage or stretch.

www.fibersprite.com/blog/weaving-with-multiple-yarns-in-the-same-warp


Technology

Sozai Center designs a durable speckled fabric made entirely of recycled apple waste

Sozai Center designs a durable speckled fabric made entirely of recycled apple waste

The designers at Sozai Center have engineered a new technology that recycles the waste from apple pressing into an elegant fabric called "Adam".

www.thisiscolossal.com/2024/01/sozai-center-adam


Gallery

Sometimes just a picture is enough

Rumpelstiltskin Shawl

Rumpelstiltskin Shawl

Donielle Showvay used a braid of fibre that reminded her of silver and gold. It was a little problematic to spin because of the blend of long and short fibres but she overcame this by spinning from the fold.

The pattern is Deceit by Hunter Hammersen which is now retired but may be available at certain times.

spinoffmagazine.com/your-finished-object-rumpelstiltskin-shawl

First skein of 2024

First skein of 2024

This is Knit/Wit's first skein of 2024. It's from Bond dyed by Southern Cross Fibre in a colourway called Lake Tekapo.

www.instagram.com/p/C2DWiEop8gb

Cave at hug point

Cave at hug point

This beautifully-spun skein is made from BFL/silk dyed by Three Waters Farm in "cave at hug point" colourway. As usual, James gives copious details in his post.

He has since used the skein in a cowl, see the pattern recommendations.

www.instagram.com/p/C114JAvofxO

Winter Spices, fractal spun

Winter Spices, fractal spun

Marina has spindle-spun and plied her own batt. She says that she was happier with the yarn after a second pass to add ply twist. She calls it "a huge game changer".

www.instagram.com/p/C12rFKypPJy

I Can Buy Myself Flowers

I can buy myself flowers

Knit/Wit has spun this yarn from Southern Cross fibre. The colourway is a Tour de Fleece 2023 special called Bordeaux.

She says, "It's a delightful 85% Merino/15% silk blend - it really drafts so easily". The colours remind her of daffodils, "the green of the stems, the yellow of the blooms, and the brown of the earth".

paknitwit.blogspot.com/2024/02/i-can-buy-myself-flowers.html

Lamp made from Galway wool

Lamp made from Galway wool

Karena Ryan uses wool with "traceability back to Irish soil". This felted lampshade incorporates lavender, silk rose petals from her wedding bouquet and marigolds.

She has added essential oils which you can smell when the lamp is on.

This is one of the artworks that she'll be showing at Showcase 2024, Ireland's design and craft fair.

www.agriland.ie...lamp-made-from-galway-wool-to-feature-at-showcase-2024

Handspun Traveler shawl

Handspun Traveler shawl

Chandra has finished this Traveler shawl in handspun yarn that she spun from a merino Shetland and silk blend from Inglenook Fibers.

She calls it "another great pattern that showcases handspun yarn so well!"

The pattern is by Andrea Mowry, there is also a cowl and sweater in the series.

www.instagram.com/p/C22ux3ipW9d

Handspun Pressed Flowers Cardigan

Handspun Pressed Flowers cardigan

Ariel comments that her "handspun yarn made each row of flowers have different colours and I think the dark green made the perfect background colour"

www.instagram.com/p/C1VpsREpha9


 

Free patterns and projects

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


Pattern and project suggestions

Delphyne Shawl by Isle of Yarn Knitwear

Delphyne Shawl by Isle of Yarn Knitwear

This shawl is designed to be pinned at the front and has a pattern resembling dragon's scales or falling leaves.

It's suitable for whatever skein or skeins you have because you can stop when you either run out of yarn or make it as big as you like.(Given yardage is 500 - 800).

www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/delphyne-shawl

Slippy V Crescent by Stephen West

Slippy V Crescent by Stephen West

There are several patterns in Stephen West's Slippy V series. I'm linking to the crescent shawl but there are also socks, a sweater and a triangle shawl. The slip stitch V's float on top of the fabric.

Merrilee commented that Slippy V "showcases handspun so beautifully" and Stephen himself says "would look stunning with your handspun yarn as the contrast color".

The crescent is made with Fingering / 4 ply (14 wpi) yarn on 3.75 mm needles, two different types of yarn are suggested for background and contrast.

www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/slippy-v-crescent


 

But is it art...?

Katerina marchenkos weaves long colorful strands of yarn into stunning portraits

Katerina Marchenko weaves long colorful strands of yarn into stunning portraits

Each of Katerina Marchenko's pieces is made on delicate tulle. She documents her work in timelapse videos. Click through to her Instagram feed which shows more of her work.

mymodernmet.com/katerina-marchenko-thread-portraits-embroidery


 

UK Events

2024

Unravel

Unravel

Fri 23 - Sun 25 February 2024, Farnham Maltings, Hampshire

At the core of unravel's three day in-person festival is the curated marketplace which showcases independent producers, well established makers alongside first-time yarn show exhibitors from around the UK. In addition, on each day of the festival, there is an inspiring programme of bookable workshops.

farnhammaltings.com/artists-and-makers/craft/festivals/unravel

East Anglia Yarn Festival

East Anglia Yarn Festival

9 - 10 March 2024, Norfolk Showground Arena

East Anglia's premier fibre festival, bringing amazing exhibitors to Norwich for the second year. Classes, crochet and knit-a-long, The Big Stitch Night, podcaster meet-up.

www.eastangliayarnfestival.com

Norfolk Makers Festival

Norfolk Makers Festival

13 - 21 April 2024, The Forum, Norwich.

A wide variety of crafts including knittings, spinning, weaving, crochet. A strong presence from local guilds.

Demonstrations, have-a-go tables, workshops and exhibitions.

norfolkmakersfestival.co.uk

wonderewool wales

Wonderwool Wales

27 - 28 April 2024, Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells

First held in 2006 to promote the market for Welsh wool and add value to product for small wool & fibre producers in Wales, the festival celebrates the green credentials of Welsh wool and its versatility as a material for creative crafts, designer clothes, home furnishings and more.

Wonderwool Wales has grown year on year. It covers everything from the start to the end of the creative process.

A list of accommodation and camping in the surrounding area is available on the Wonderwool website.

www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk

Buxton Wool Gathering

Buxton Wool Gathering

18 - 19 May 2024, Grand Octagon room, Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

50 exhibitors will be displaying the best of yarn, knitting, and crochet in the gateway to the Peak District. The website contains an exhibitor list and ticket information.

The event's home page contains some charity patterns raising money for Macmillan.

buxtonwool.co.uk

Wool@J13

Wool@J13

29 - 30 June 2024 The Heritage, Bishton (opp Bishton Hall), Wolseley Bridge, Staffordshire

A celebration of all things woolly, just 25 mins from J13 of the M6.

wool-j13.uk

The Wool Monty

The Wool Monty

8 - 9 June 2024 Magna, Magna Way, Sheffield S60 1FD

Accessible, inclusive, welcoming.

thewoolmonty.co.uk

Mill Open Weekend, John Arbon Textiles

Mill Open Weekend, John Arbon Textiles

8 - 9 June, 2024, The Assembly Rooms, South Molton Town Hall with tour of JAT Mill

This legendary event returns. Includes mill tour and workshops, talks and even a few other vendors at the beautiful 18th century function rooms in South Molton Town Hall

Tickets for tours, talks and workshops are now available for booking.

www.jarbon.com/mill-open-weekend

Cumbrian Wool Gathering

Cumbrian Wool Gathering

22 - 23 June 2024, J36 Rural Auction Centre, Cumbria

A gathering of people with a love for wool and yarn, and the associated crafts. The first Cumbrian Wool Gathering is organised by the same team responsible for Bakewell Wool Gathering and Buxton Wool Gathering.

cumbrianwoolgathering.co.uk

Summer Wool Festival

Summer Wool Festival

27 - 28 July 2024 Redborne School, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, MK45 2NU

For all lovers of woolly crafts - spinning, knitting, weaving, crochet, feltmaking and dyeing.

Picks up where Fibre East left off.

summerwoolfestival.co.uk

North East Wool Show

North East Wool Show

10 - 11 August 2024, Newcastle Racecourse

90 amazing stalls plus a great range of workshops. Cafe, demonstrations.

www.northeastwoolshow.co.uk

Pop Up Wool Show

Pop Up Wool Show

17August 2024, Hulme Hall, 23 Bolton Rd, Bebington, Wirral

A selection of vendors selling everything from hand dyed yarns and fibres to felting kits and needles

Entry £4 per person, available on the door or online.

www.coastal-colours.co.uk/pop-up

Southern Wool Show

Southern Wool Show

7 and 8 September 2024, Newbury Racecourse, Berkshire

The perfect event for all lovers of knitting, crochet, feltmaking, weaving, spinning, dyeing, and all things woolly!

www.southernwoolshow.co.uk

The Scottish Yarn Festival

The Scottish Yarn Festival

7 - 8 September 2024, Dewars Centre, Perth, Scotland

The Scottish Yarn Festival is the new name for Perth Festival of Yarn.

The Vendors' Gallery Marketplace is the place to find materials and inspiration for your future crafting projects, the chance to meet and talk with the makers behind your favourite independent brands, to indulge in a little celebrity spotting.

Past tutors and lecturers have included Jeanette Sloan, Françoise Danoy, Andre de Castro, Di Gilpin, and Amy Palko

A fringe programme of social events has included books signings, gala dinners and fashions shows, and Perthshire gin flights

thescottishyarnfestival.com

Llandovery Sheep Festival

Llandovery Sheep Festival

14 - 15 September 2024

A weekend celebration of rural crafts, food, entertainment and of course, sheep farming.

llandoverysheepfestival.co.uk

Kernow YAFF

Kernow YAFF - Cornwall's Yarn and Fibre Festival

Sunday 15 September 2024, The Pavilion Centre, Royal Cornwall Showground

Showcasing the best of hand-dyed, hand-crafted and sustainable yarns, fibres and related products, all in an exciting market-style show with a vibrant festival feel.

kernowyaff.com

Yarndale

Yarndale

28 - 29 September 2024, Skipton Auction Mart, North Yorkshire

Over 180 makers, craft workers, retailers, and artisans in the picturesque market town of Skipton, North Yorkshire.

yarndale.co.uk

Shetland Wool Week

Shetland Wool Week

29 September - 5 October 2024

Shetland Wool Week is a world renowned celebration of Britain's most northerly native sheep, the Shetland textile industry and the rural farming community on these islands.

Includes classes, talks, drop-ins, art. See website for the full events listing.

shetlandwoolweek.com

Bakewell Wool Gathering

Bakewell Wool Gathering

19 - 20 October 2024 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

The Glasgow School of Yarn

The Glasgow School of Yarn

18 - 20 October 2024, The Trades Hall, Glasgow

Scotland's longest running yarn festival, championing local and innovative makers since 2011.

GSoY has an abundance of beautiful yarns, fibres, and accessories for every crafter.

www.glasgowschoolofyarn.co.uk

The Knitting and Stitching Show, Harrogate

The Knitting and Stitching Show, Harrogate

21 - 24 November 2024, Harrogate Convention Centre

Meet up with like-minded crafters, discuss ideas, learn new skills and shop for your annual craft supplies, including wool, beads and beyond from household name brands and special suppliers alike including Fabric Godmother, Toft and more.

www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/harrogate


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.

Please share a link to hand-spinning-news.com with anyone who may be interested.

It's always good to hear from readers for any reason and I'd particularly like tip-offs about about any relevant stories, websites or social media accounts that I should be following.

Happy spinning!

- Editor / curator

shiela@hand-spinning-news.com

peacockmedia logo A PeacockMedia publication


Be sociable

Please share HSN with your friends:

Archive

All issues since January 2015 were archived. However, due to old and dead links making bad SEO, I'm not quite sure how to handle this. Watch this space.

H S N archive