"If you'd like to weave tapestries, give it a try!", says Rebecca Mezoff. Find or make a simple loom, spin yourself some weft and maybe even some warp, and start making those little scenes"
Rebecca has a new book out and she has an article about spinning for weaving on Handwoven's website.
Tapestry weaving seems to be the thing of the moment. It's also the moment to think Advent calendars and decorations; this month's picks includes alternatives / complements to the usual Smittens garland. Also a couple of advent calendar scarves.
Read on for this month's cunning curated collection of inspirational information and entertainment for spinners, knitters, crocheters, dyers and weavers.
Can you get both shine and softness from long locks?
You'll see how Josefin got on in this blog post. Possibly the most interesting thing in this post is the part about 'planking' or second combing. Says Josefin, "with a roving as well prepared as this the spinning feels very light"
Louise of WoolWork (was KnitBritish) couldn't believe her ears when she heard someone claim that you can't buy 100% wool in Scotland.
To be fair, it is difficult for a small producer to make themselves known. Which is why lists of links like the one Louise has compiled are so important. As well as being a direct link for readers, links are also an indication to Google of the importance of the link's target.
Many of Louise's links take you to sites selling yarn, albeit breed- or even flock-specific, but some will also take you to suppliers of roving or fleece. I'd draw your attention in particular to the Woolsack site; Jane Cooper has done an amazing job of listing British suppliers of fibre, fleeces, and if this matters to you, wool from wool-only flocks.
This loom looks very much like a square pin loom or Zoom Loom. It's a potholder loom, designed for using wool loopers - these are made from a tube of knitted fabric, or apparently sold as waste by the hosiery industry.
Syne Mitchell describes the method and some ideas for varying the basic technique.
She wanted a smooth worsted three-ply yarn, and to keep the colours in the locks as distinct as possible. Flicking or combing the locks would achieve this best, In this article on Spin-Off's website, she discusses flicking vs combing painted locks.
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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Crafty Effie finished this test knit in August and I tucked it away safely and waited for the pattern to be released.
Jupiter Shawl by Sambaknits is now available. I have to say I prefer Effie's rendition. the one pictured with the pattern is subtle in colour. Although it alternates plain lace sections with striped garter stitch sections which helps to break up plain colour, Effie's colour choices look great. She combined a skein of her handspun yarn with commercial yarn.
She used her own batts, which you can see if you swipe the cardigan pictures. It has quite distinct blues and greens. It's interesting to see how these have played out / blended in the finished garment.
A selection of free seasonal patterns which will work well with handspun yarn.
Northward hat by tincanknits
This is not only a free pattern but also a ground-up tutorial. If you've never knitted cables before, this may be a perfect project.
I think this will be a great pattern for handspun. It uses 6.5mm needles and bulky yarn (or two strands of worsted-weight held together or even cabled). You'll need 70-120 yards of yarn (or obviously twice that if you're holding double).
There are pros and cons to using singles yarn. It's faster to spin because you're not plying. It has a character of its own and the colours remain clear. You have to be careful not to add too much twist because it can bias when knit (but not when woven). It's important to wash and set it and I'd add that thwacking or even gentle fulling can help.
Jan Gibb's pattern is provided here free to download and print for personal use.
I'm listing these under 'free' because all 24 patterns are available separately for free, but there is a paid option which includes a written pattern, the charts for all of the mittens and a blank chart for designing your own pattern.
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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