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Hand Spinning News

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.

This free issue for July 2020 is brought to you in association with Audible. I'm a member and enjoy listening while I spin. Download a free audiobook with your 30-day free trial.

Find out how to receive a longer ad-free* version of Hand Spinning News a couple of weeks earlier.

Photo right: Melvenea's handspun cotton tee. The cover photo via piqsels.

Contents

 

In the media

The Heritage of Green Hills celebrates start of summer with snowball fight

The Heritage of Green Hills celebrates start of summer with snowball fight

Here's a heartwarming story, and maybe an activity idea.

Senior residents at independent living community Heritage of Green Hills engaged in an epically silly summer solstice snowball fight.

Afterwards, the yarn snowballs were given faces to transform them into hedgehogs and hidden in the grounds for residents to find.

www.bctv.org...heritage-of-green-hills-celebrates-start-of-summer-with-snowball-fight


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Handspun stories

Tour de Fleece

Tour de Fleece

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.

http://travelfibreandthread.blogspot.com/search/label/tour%20de%20fleece

Black and White Tour de Fleece

Black and White Tour de Fleece

Goldilox's Tour de Fleece has also involved fleece. The white is merino, the black a cria (first shearing) alpaca. Both involved preparing raw fleece.

The alpaca was full of straw. She notes that using combs for preparation removed every bit of the vegetable matter.

goldyspinner.blogspot.com/2020/07/black-and-white-tour-de-fleece.html

Child of the Mills

Child of the mills

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.

annkingstone.com/child-of-the-mills

Colour and fibre

Colour and fibre

Jean Betts obtained these beautiful yellows using Lady's Mantle. The Wikipedia entry for the plant doesn't mention its use as a dye plant.

The green skein also had a dip in an indigo vat, which she also writes about in this post.

onesmallstitch.wordpress.com/2020/06/21/colour-and-fibre

The mystery of Gunnister Man

The mystery of Gunnister Man

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.

www.interweave.com/fiber-nation/gunnister-man-mystery

Personal challenge

Personal challenge

Tour de Fleece is about challenging yourself.

katalinbeth's personal challenge was to learn how to use a support spindle. It's clear from this picture that she has achieved that goal.

www.instagram.com/p/CCXGiR_phIh

Mistakes

Mistakes

The saying that Laura quotes at the top of this post hadn't reached me, so I'm passing it on.

However, Laura isn't sure about that and advocates fixing or accepting and she has done both in this particular project.

laurasloom.blogspot.com/2020/07/mistakes.html


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Colour inspiration

When little needs saying except 'beautiful colour'

#the100DayProject Weeks 10 and 11

#the100DayProject Weeks 10 and 11

April joined the 100DayProject with the goal of spinning each day. Little and often really works and it's surprising to see how much she's done so far.

This fibre is BFL with a clear repeat. The rich colourway is called Durango from Greenwood Fiberworks.

www.withwool.com/blog/2020/6/27/the100dayproject-weeks-10-and-11

One of a kind

One of a kind

threadbender's photographs never disappoint and these pastel colours look lovely on her Bosworth spindles. If the plying shot shows the same yarn, the colours appear stronger in that shot.

The fibre is an unnamed one of a kind colourway from On A Quest For Fibre.

www.instagram.com/p/CCfWAxlpjEQ

Seashell coils

Seashell coils

The colours here give an iridescent 'mother of pearl' effect.

elizabethtuttleton has used "Malabrigo nube merino plied with Gutermann poly bronze thread".

www.instagram.com/p/CB_TMcZJyoJ


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Tips and tutorials

Akerworks bobbins for knitting

Akerworks bobbins for knitting

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.

www.jillianmoreno.com/journal/2020/7/8/akerworks-bobbins-for-knitting

Wine-cork orifice hook

Wine-cork orifice hook

Here are instructions courtesy Jeannine Glaves of Spin-Off for making a cheap and cheerful orifice hook (very cheerful if you drink the wine first).

I'm not sure whether a modern plastic cork will work, a screw-top certainly won't.

spinoffmagazine.com/a-wine-cork-orifice-hook

Stash Dive!

Stash Dive!

In this Knittyspin column, Jillian Moreno discusses the ways that she revives fibre that has been in the stash too long.

It can become compacted or, as Jillian puts it, 'shopworn'. There are a few techniques that can transform such forgotten or left-over fibre.

knitty.com/ISSUEff20/FEATff20KS/FEATff20KS.php

Deconstruct a hand-dyed braid to add depth

Deconstruct a hand-dyed braid to add depth

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.

spinoffmagazine.com/how-to-deconstruct-a-hand-dyed-braid-to-add-depth

Matching Commercial Yarn

Matching commercial yarn

I've seen these symbols but didn't know the origins of the system.

This chart is a very handy guide, it not only includes WPI values but TPI (twists per inch) and the same for 2-ply as well as singles.

So armed with a suitable spinner's gauge you'll be able to better match the yarn type given on a pattern.

spinoffmagazine.com/matching-commercial-yarn


Yvonne

Demands

Farmer (to sheep): What do you mean you demand the right to maternity leave?

"Next you'll be demanding pay above and beyond this lovely grass I supply. It doesn't grow on trees you know."

If you like Yvonne, click the image to find her page, you can use next and previous to explore more cartoons.

Jigsaw - online

Jigsaw - online

Thank you very much if you've had a go at any of these on your computer or tablet.

I've set them up with 35 - 50 pieces- just the right number for a coffee-break challenge and you gradually reveal the cartoon.

But if you fancy more of a challenge (or less) you can customise the number of pieces before you start.

www.jigsawplanet.com/shieladixon/Yvonne

Keeping this wheel spinning

Your news here

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Read more

Gallery

Sometimes just a picture is enough

Frida Chanel bag

Frida Chanel bag

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.

waltin.se/josefinwaltinspinner/frida-chanel-bag

Handspun alpaca vest

Handspun alpaca vest

I don't have very much information about this vest other than what's in the tags.

The yarn is alpaca in a light grey colour.

www.instagram.com/p/CCcnl8oHcOI

The Ugly Duckling

The Ugly Duckling

This beautifully-decorated wheel is known as 'The Ugly Duckling'.

Sue Shaw restored and painted the wheel, which has been sold with proceeds to charity.

The whole story with photographs is in three parts on the British Fibre Art magazine's blog. I'm linking to part three, find the links at the bottom of the page for parts one and two.

www.3535press.co.uk/post/the-ugly-duckling-part-iii


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Free patterns

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

Tapestry Sampler Bag

Tapestry Sampler Bag

If you're new to tapestry weaving and are looking for a practical project, then this bag may be for you.

It includes many different techniques but complete instructions are available for free, along with some videos on warping, twining and picking up.

schachtspindle.com/tapestrysampler

Wild Swan

Wild Swan

Wild Swan is a medium to advanced difficulty pattern. It uses 656 - 766 yards of fingering (14 wpi) yarn. With a shawl, yarn weight and needle size are of course flexible.

The thumbnail and my main link will take you to pictures of flyingofftheneedles' finished shawl, which she made in her handspun yarn dyed by a friend.

The pattern is Wild Swan by Anne-Lise Maigaard and Nim Teasdale and is free.

www.instagram.com/p/CCHZQrwJAKH


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Not-so-free patterns

The Laughlin Tee by Lana Jois

The Laughlin Tee by Lana Jois

The suggested yarn for this is a blend of cotton, rayon and hemp.

If you've been inspired to spin cotton for a project, this may be a perfect pattern.

It requires 720 - 1620 yards of Fingering (14 wpi) yarn. The main body is worked in the round.

www.interweave.com/article/knitting/summer-lovin-the-laughlin-tee

Flower Beds crochet scarf by Alex Reynoso

Flower Beds crochet scarf by Alex Reynoso

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.

www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/flower-beds-2

Summer Trellis by Jill Zielinski

Summer Trellis by Jill Zielinski

Could this be the perfect summer sweater?

It's lightweight, using 3 and 4mm needles with 811 - 2351 yards of fingering weight (14 wpi) yarn.

It looks great with short or long sleeves. It has short-row shaping. The yoke pattern is written and charted.

When I send out the paid version of this issue, there will be two days left of a 10% discount using code KNITTRELLIS

www.knitterella.com/blogs/knitterella/new-pattern-summer-trellis


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But is it art...?


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2020 events

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.

BritSpin

BritSpin

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)

britspin.org.uk



A final word of thanks to everyone who blogs, writes articles or posts pictures on the subject of spinning, knitting, crochet or weaving. This newsletter wouldn't exist without people writing interesting and useful things.

If you enjoy Hand Spinning News, please don't keep it to yourself. Obviously the link to the full version is a benefit for paying subscribers, but 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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