One of the delights of this time of year is the autumnal and sometimes spooky colour palette. Nature yields some berries and plants that can be used for dyeing. This month's patterns are as usual appropriate for the season and include mitts, cowls and hats.
As I write, both Spin Together, an online spinning competition, and Shetland Wool Week (virtual) are taking place. If you haven't seen it, the 'Welcome' video is worth a look, and it's good to be looking forward to SWW being a real event once more next year.
Yarndale, Perth Festival of Yarn and Bakewell Wool Gathering have recently taken place as in-person events. There are more events to come this year and some dates for 2022 have been announced, and so I feel the time is right to reinstate the UK Events Calendar.
Read on for this month's round-up of news, views and reviews for spinners, knitters, crocheters, dyers and weavers.
As a perfect complement to the story above, Woolly Originals tweeted this picture of elderberry-dyed yarn. Some natural dyes are not very 'fast' and will fade, but you can still enjoy the colour while it lasts.
Online classes have come into their own since COVID, and here Debby writes about her experience and shares the results of the workshop that she attended virtually, Inspirational Blending, taught by Dia Robinson of Twisted Urban Fiber Arts.
This is just one of the colourways that Debby made using photograpgs for inspiration. There are also pictures of the spun yarn.
Film noir and its use of shadows and light was the inspiration for Jacqueline Harp's study. She blended black fibre with primary colours in small increments "to bring out richness and add depth to fibers that would otherwise be a bit plain and one-dimensional."
These skeins are called Autumn Equinox. giftofgracefiberarts has posted a number of pictures showing the dyed fibre as well as close-ups of the yarn. it's worth a closer look to see the variety of colours in the braid, which was dyed by The Artful Ewe.
Felicia Lo visited a fleece auction run by the Lower Mainland Sheep Producers Association.
There's a lot more to the day than you might imagine. The fleeces were judged, the judge gave a talk about her process and criteria. It seems to be an enjoyable day out and I recommend Felicia's video.
The event seems to be aimed at connecting small producers with anyone who may be interested. This takes place in the US. Are there similar events in the UK and elsewhere? If you know, tell me.
This wonderful texture is achieved by teasing locks very gently to make the fibre airy and more spinnable but without totally losing the lock structure.
Alexander Reynoso has written his instructions for the Schacht newsletter and made an accompanying video (look for the link in the middle of this article). As a bonus, there's a link at the bottom to a related article by Jillian Moreno.
Don't look for a moral of this story. I'm not taking sides, the idea just made me laugh.
If you like Yvonne, click the image to find her page, you can use next and previous to explore more cartoons.
Keeping this wheel spinning
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This month's sexy spindle shot is suitably autumnal, in the yarn colours as well as the spindle designs. Check out that acorn.
Danaknitshere plans to experiment by spinning the same braid two different ways.This braid was spun end to end and will be chain plied. The other will be split and fractal spun. It'll be fascinating to see the comparison.
A selection of free seasonal patterns which will work well with handspun yarn.
Fright Night socks by Lara Smoot
This pattern has sadly been retired and Lara Smoot has requested that we don't seek out the pattern and share it, so I won't do that, but I will post this link to quiteayarn's project because I really like the socks and it may provide inspiration to do something similar.
This pattern can be used for a hat or head band. The band is thinner at the back than the front for comfort. The one shown here is made with a variegated yarn for the brim, and semi-solid for the body.
It will use around 200 yards altogether of a worsted-weight (9 wpi) yarn. Three sizes are given.
The remaining events in 2021 are a mix of in-person and virtual
Kendal Wool Gathering
Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 October 2021, Virtual event
Kendal Wool Gathering mixes demonstrations, fun activities and displays, all connected to the cloth on which the town's wealth was built.
A large number of exhibitors will be bringing a huge variety of goods including yarns, dyes, crafts, art, accessories, tools, felting, crochet, patterns, carpets, looms, spinning wheels and more. Outside there will be livestock, where you can meet a variety of sheep and Llamas, whilst learning about the important Lake District sheep farming industry.
23-24 April 2022, 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.
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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