Tour de Fleece is about halfway through as I write this, so I've collected some of my favourite updates and present them in this month's issue. Next month we will obviously see more, with round-ups and recaps.
TdF has always been an online event. Many real-life events and classes have had to move online over the last year for obvious reasons. Josiekitten reports her experience of taking an online workshop this month. It's good to see in-person events now being planned, some for this year. But now that Zoom-style classes and events have been tried and enjoyed, do you think this is this something that will continue when the pandemic has blown over?
Read on for this month's round-up of news, views and reviews for spinners, knitters, crocheters, dyers and weavers.
The distillery, along with Harris Tweed Hebrides, the Harris Tweed Authority and the islands' education services worked with schools to bring about their own cloth.
The children learned about the cloth while coming up with their designs.
The winning design was woven by the distillery's own Stephen Passmore and last year, Isle of Harris Distillery collaborated with designer Judy R Clark to create an uniquely special Made To Measure jacket from this cloth.
Cari is the name of the sheep that donated this fleece. Araignee has posted a picture of the sheep along with a sequence of pictures showing the fleece before and after washing. She put the yellowed bits straight into these jars of dye, and set the jars out in the sun.
This is a lengthy but very interesting blog post. Lara has written about spinning cotton; her reasons for using support spindles, her research, a DVD recommendation and the types of bowls she uses. She illustrates and describes her spinning, plying and scouring processes.
Caesar weed is tropical but is invading parts of North America. So Karlissa Keller was performing a service when she gathered some from her local park (as long as the seeds aren't inadvertently distributed).
Here is her account of retting, preparing and spinning the fibres.
Carrie Sundra explains how you can build your own device to measure your yarn as you ball it, or more specifically, to measure the rotations of a wheel so that you can calculate the length of the yarn.
I haven't tried it but I would suggest that this type of electronic counter could more easily be attached to the vertical type of skeiner and I guess that would be more accurate too, as you'd be counting much larger revolutions.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a fibre that can sense, store and analyse information.
Up until now, 'smart yarns' have had electrical / mechanical properties along their length. (Such as the yarn in this story, also seen this month.) This new fibre contains tiny interconnected individually addressable chips along its length. It's unobtrusive when woven or sewn into a garment and can collect data over time, and react, for example change according to the physical activity the wearer is involved in.
Story shared by Fiber Sprite Pamela, who finds it "cool but a little creepy"
Everlane has launched its lowest-impact collection of clothes to date.
The 'Cleanest Denim Collection' consists of jacket, shorts and jeans which are made from certified cotton and a stretch yarn which isn't made from harmful chemicals. It uses microplastic-free dyes and recycled trim.
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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Review of Power Spinning (video) from Sarah Anderson
This is a review by Sukrita Mahon of a video which in turn is about electric spinning.
Power Spinning is long and detailed but not free. Read Sukrita's review if you're curious about e-spinning and are looking for a thorough introduction. She finds that the video has merit but feels that all of the information may be already out there for free.
Hook This, Weave That has finished this lampshade using handwoven fabric.
This earlier post shows the weaving on the loom, and mentions "those kits that you can buy". Google 'lampshade kit' and you'll easily find kits that include the wire frame in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Wildpurls knitted this jumper in around a month. The yarn is very interesting. She spun two quite different colourways and plied them together. She held them with a commercial kid mohair. You can easily see the halo in the pictures which I think is lovely. I also like the way the colours have pooled in the body, I find this more pleasing than stripes.
Amy McKnight says that the humble rigid heddle loom is very versatile. Here she explains how to make this bag using the small Cricket loom with a variable-dent heddle to create the textured fabric for this bag.
I like the arrangement of garter and openwork in Helen's pattern and I particularly like the graduated colours in this example. It really is reminiscent of the shore.
I'm linking to Helen's blog post which contains the link to the pattern and also contains a code which will give you 25% off the already-reasonable £4 price. (Code is good for the rest of June.) All proceeds are going to Helen's favourite charity.
The example here uses one type of yarn which has long colour changes, such as you might get by chain/navajo plying a braid of indie-dyed fibre. It requires 1540 - 2200 yards, which is a few 100g braids.
The artist became interested in seeing his paintings worked into carpets after seeing a picture of Picasso before a tapestry based on his canvas Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. He worked closely with the weavers and saw the exhibition before his death on 21 May.
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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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.
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