Visitors enjoy a good yarn at the Loch Ness Knit Fest
Good job by the Inverness Courier, they've posted a slideshow of 36 pictures taken at the Loch Ness Knit Fest 2019.
With the weather feeling decidedly wintry here in the northern hemisphere, this month's pattern suggestions for handspun yarn include hats, shawls and the odd Christmas decoration.
I find so many pictures of spinning-in-progress where the colours are inspirational; pictures of singles on the bobbin or fibre before spinning. But I haven't tended to include many of these because beyond that I haven't felt that there's much of a 'peg to hang them on'. So this month I've invented a new section called colour inspiration which is a collection of such images. See what you think.
One more mention for the UK Supplier List. (Permanent link in the header above.) This is still new and I'm still adding to the database. Thanks to those who have got in touch suggesting new entries. If you know anyone who should be listed, or if you are included and would like to update your details, please let me know.
Read on for this month's cunning curated collection of inspirational information and entertainment for spinners, knitters, crocheters, dyers and weavers. This is the full issue for November 2019.
Find out how to receive a longer, ad-free version of HSN earlier in the month.
Photo right: Judith MacKenzie camel / silk, tiny Jenkins Bee Hummingbird. The cover photo is William Ablett's (1877-1937) The Spinning Wheel
Good job by the Inverness Courier, they've posted a slideshow of 36 pictures taken at the Loch Ness Knit Fest 2019.
Iceland is an isolated land with a limited number of plant species.
The colours that its inhabitants used varied through history depending on which trade routes were open at the time. The cold temperatures of the 13th century froze certain routes and brought about a "dramatic age of no colour".
The text on this page is merely en except from a longer paid article but it's a worthwhile read.
Here we see the full journey from a photograph of the sheep through to beautiful finished yarn.
Nora's fleece was dirty and full of vegetable matter. Here's how Araignee coped with the challenge.
This finished handspun project is made from a blend of linen and wool. How does that work out? "Cool on a hot day and a surprisingly warm layer on a cool day", says Rebecca.
This post covers the fibres, the carding and the spinning.
This is a fibre-to-finished story. The fibre was from The Fiberists and is shown in this post looking good enough to eat, resembling a pear with a little bit of a blush.
Araignee loves the finished item and "can't wait until it's cold enough to wear it".
The pattern is Bosc Pear by Tetiana Otruta. It's free in return for adding it to your Ravelry favourites or queue.
This is a nice collection of shots of various mushrooms and the yarn colours obtained.
Freyalyn attended a talk and workshop with Esther Rutter. Esther has recently published This Golden Fleece, a social, historical and personal journey around Britain's knitting history.
This event was based on the 19th century gloves in the Wordsworth collection. The class were shown books, knitting sheaths and a blanket as well as the gloves.
Drum carders are certainly pricey but Reddit user overclocker_kris made one for his girlfriend and made a timelapse video for the rest of us.
It's a fascinating watch, and a long discussion about it is here.
Rebecca admits to usually being shackled to utility, but here she casts off those shackles for a while in favour of colour, texture and bulky yarn.
This cape uses tail-spun locks and wolf yarn. Follow the link for details and pictures.
When there's not much to say except 'beautiful colour'
It's always fascinating to see how bright colours in dyed roving combine in the spun singles.
Often bright colours become more muted, which is the case in this month's sexy spindle shot. Spindle spinning by getinmymailbox, fibre from Freckled Fiberworks.
Blues and olive green come together in this camel/silk fibre dyed by Judith MacKenzie. evanitaewm is spinning using a tiny Jenkins spindle.
At first glance, ninjabex's first Britspin singles look a fairly sombre colour, but look more closely to see the beautiful violet and gold within the special John Arbon fibre.
A very sophisticated-looking green with touches of gold.
According to the tags this is naturally-dyed but annaskertje doesn't note what dye was used.
These colours are the very opposite of my own usual taste but there's something compelling about these fabulous colours and textures.
I've learned from this article that Andean spinning is more than spinning while walking or using particular tools. It's a way of life and using your body and resources around you.
Last month, Pamela showed how to use a spinner's multi-tool as a diz and for checking twist angle and WPI.
Here she explains how to decide sett for weaving.
You may be thinking that the title is stating the obvious, but wait, Jillian has more to say which isn't so obvious.
It "drove her nuts" when a little bit of the next colour crept in before one colour was done. She demonstrates what's happening in pictures and describes her fix.
The headline of this Evening Standard article includes "so long cotton" which I found a little odd as cotton is natural and renewable. The reason they made that comment is because production of cotton yarn and fabrics uses a lot of water.
This article has an interesting run-down of some of the cutting edge lab-grown materials including pineapple-leaf leather, mushroom leather, seaweed yarn and wild-flower puffer jacket filling.
I may be wrong but a yarn that heats up when exposed to UV rays and cools down when out of the sun does seem to be working the wrong way around.
But the claims for the yarn's properties sound impressive. Red Heart Heat Wave yarn is available now if 100% acrylic yarn floats your boat.
If you like Yvonne, click the image to find her page, you can use next and previous to explore more cartoons, and join the mailing list for a regular digest email.
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.
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This Cheviot, Leicester, Jacobs, Lonk and Black Welsh roving was reserved from a 'single farm yarns' project.
The farms are low intensity, high nature value with a strong emphasis on animal welfare. The fleece was processed in a Derbyshire mill.
Contact Kate Schofield (Lancashire Farm Wools) for more details, availability and prices by email at email@example.com.
Sometimes just a picture is enough
You frequently see art yarn in the yarn form, less frequently made into something. Even less frequently made into something as beautiful as this.
Ashford's Kate Sherratt wove this top in a very short time to wear over a strapless dress. She says, "artyarn wove up super quick! Sewing was even quicker!"
My small thumbnail doesn't do the yarn or the top justice, click through for the bigger picture.
This amazing image has been commended in a photographic competition and features a traditional sheep herding.
I don't often slip in one of my own projects, but I suggested the pattern last month and have since made my own in handspun yarn. The coloured yarn is a Freyalyn gradient and the dark grey is real Shetland from Adam Curtis. All spun during Spinzilla but possibly in separate years.
As decorated spinning wheels go, this is outstanding.
The Majacraft Pioneer has an undersea / mermaid theme. It was painted by Suzy Brown of Fiberygoodness / Tiny Studio digital magazine.
This video shows the process from sketches to finished.
opalsandbutterflies is an ice hockey fan and this cowl is in team colours.
The stitch pattern even looks like sharks' jaws in these colours.
The pattern is Pulled Glass and the teal was a batt containing BFL, merino, & mulberry silk from Sealy MacWheely.
According to the Worstead WSD Guild's November Meet Make and Chat blog entry, this is Steve and his home-made spinning wheel which looks like a very good job. You can enlarge the picture to see more detail.
StephieJo has made this crocheted Cardiff Cowl. She spun the yarn from a special colourway for her guild spin-a-long.
No word on whether she chose it to match her hair or dyed her hair to match the cowl.
A selection of free seasonal patterns which will work well with handspun yarn.
This is the first of two earwarmer patterns designed for bulky handspun yarn. This one is crochet, the following one is knitted.
both are ravelry patterns, no ravelry account is needed to view or download.
This one uses pineapple stitch, which is explained in the pattern.
It fastens with a button, and rows can be added or omitted to obtain the right size.
This earwarmer is also made using bulky handspun yarn. the yarn used in the pattern pictures is thick-and-thin which looks great. It also fastens with a button.
It uses cables, and may be a great project if you want to try cables for the first time. Basic instructions for the 5-st cable are included in the pattern.
Thanks to Ewespecial for the suggestion, which has an interesting construction. You knit a flat parallelogram (slanted rectangle) and when you stitch it together the swirls appear.
The pattern has sizes for child and adult. It's made on 5mm needles with aran-weight (8WPI) yarn. The Ravelry pattern page mentions 4.5mm needles but this isn't mentioned in the pattern itself.
This cute crocheted father Christmas gnome could be a gift or a fun piece of holiday decor.
The body pieces are created separately, filled separately, and then sewn together.
Once again you can view the free pattern on this web page but you're invited to pay for a downloadable ad-free pdf version.
Pictured here is catnach's handspun Don't Panic. Her spinning project page is worth a visit because her yarn is made from one laceweight single plied with a commercial silk yarn. The handspun single is a faux gradient ranging from magenta to turquoise and all made from fibre samples.
The pattern itself references Douglas Adams' stories. It's in five parts, each requiring more knitting than the last.
Harriet Riddell sews portraits of people while they pedal to power her sewing machine.
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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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.
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Shiela Dixon - Editor / curator
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