Hand Spinning News
Do you find that getting out in the fresh air conflicts with your crafting time? Two stories this month combine the two. Not just getting out in public but spinning / knitting / crocheting while walking.
There has been a whole lotta woad dyeing going on and we also have a bumper collection of free patterns this time. I sometimes neglect the crochet in my pattern choices but not this month.
Read on for all of this and more. This is the edited, free issue for September 2017. Scroll to the bottom to find out how to receive a longer version of HSN a couple of weeks earlier.
Photo right: Pining for Autumn, saltwaterrosestudio. Cover photo "France Gard L'Espérou Fête de la transhumance 2009"
by Ancalagon used under CC-BY_SA2.5
Sheep stunt for the Tour of Britain
Thanks to Madeline and Ellie who both tipped this story.
Nottinghamshire farmers created this living sculpture of a bicycle from grazing sheep in order to highlight food production and health as stage 4 of the Tour of Britain passed by.
As you might guess, the sheep weren't trained but were attracted to tasty food arranged in the bicycle shape.
The NFU news story has links to a Facebook page containing some 'making of' photographs, and there's a video containing some dodgy puns and drone footage of the result.
Sicilian oranges made into clothes
Adriana Santonocito has been praised for her "creativity and entrepreneurial spirit". Her idea of making yarn from orange rind is creating jobs in her region and making use of an an abundant waste product.
The fabric has made it to the catwalk as part of Salvatore Ferragamo's Spring/Summer collection.
The yarn is a manufactured cellulose fibre (I'm guessing similar to the tencel / seacell, bamboo, banana and other fibres which we may be familiar with.) The 'citrus textile' is said to be soft and silky when used pure, and can be blended with other fibres.
Francesca Marchese's story is at the link below. There's a little more information and more pictures at the Orange Fiber website.
Yarn that generates electricity when stretched or twisted
The switch from fossil fuels to renewable sources may seem to be happening slowly, but these days may be as historic as the switch from coal to oil (equally slow but surprisingly recent).
How great to see yarn playing a part in the development of energy 'harvesting' technologies.
This yarn is made from carbon nanotubes in a gel.
The video shows that the applications don't only include generating energy for running or charging things, but clothing with built-in health sensors.
Thanks to KnitHacker for sharing.
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Spinzilla 2017 spinner registration
Spinner registration for Spinzilla 2017 is open. (For a very short time longer as I prepare this free issue of HSN) It's a 'spin as much as you can in a week' competition, with prizes and proceeds going to a crafty good cause.
The main action happens between 2-8 Oct but the prep and chat is well underway .
Team Hand Spinning News is full (teams are 25 spinners) but you can choose a team to join or spin 'rogue' (without a team).
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From the Blogosphere
Three colours from woad
Also in woad-related news, Goldilox showed us last month the results of tailspinning some woad-dyed cotswold fleece.
In this post she harvests some more, and explores the colours that you can achieve other than the well-known blue.
Knit/crochet whilst walking
Do you spin / knit / crochet in public? How about while walking?
thetwistedyarn doesn't mind being called a weirdo for doing so. She's recently taken up running and hasn't managed to knit while running (though it has been done).
The norfolk horn: part 2
Norfolk Horn is very reluctant to felt, officially classified as 'fine' (but may not be so fine) and has a varying amount of dark fibre mixed with the white.
Jenn's first instalment of her Norfolk Horn article was popular last month. Here is part two, which contains some in-depth stuff about the properties of the fleece, plus this stunning finished project, which is Norfolk Horn fleece, silk and alpaca.
I don't often feature video podcasts (vlogs?) because I'm a bigger fan of text and pictures.
Something I can really get behind is the idea of slow TV (remember this show featuring hours on end of spinning and knitting? It's now on Netflix)
Rebecca of Chemknits has done something similar, single-handedly broadcasting several hours of spinning and plying live. You can now find it all on Youtube. She spun and plied her own dyed roving (all dyed using food colouring); there are three videos showing the spinning and plying, an introduction, and a presentation of the finished yarn. For the impatient, there's a timelapse showing the entire singles spinning compressed into a minute and a half.
The spinning Jenny was an important milestone in the Industrial Revolution; it was a machine that spun yarn with multiple spindles.
I've been watching with interest as hederafibers have been building a similar machine. They started with 10 spindles, but soon increased this to 25.
The video I'm linking to shows the machine turning with (almost) all of those spindles operating. There are many other pictures and videos showing drafting and winding-on with various iterations of this machine. The spindles have been successfully filled and skeined.
Heritage Park (Canada) Sheep to Shawl
The Glitter Mafia are clearly having some fun at this sheep to shawl event, and they have some fabulous customised spinning wheels and loom.
Swipe or click left and right for a collection of pictures, showing the spinning, weaving and the finished shawl.
Spruce cone dying
Who'd have thought that such colour could come out of spruce cones.
scruffydogyarn collected bags of the cones. This is an initial experiment with a small piece of Romney roving.
How much waste does an alpaca produce?
This is an interesting experiment.
Goldilox spun this cria alpaca fleece and during the process she noted the weight of the fleece, the waste and the yarn before and after washing.
Alpaca don't produce lanolin so the difference in weight between the unwashed and washed yarn is down to the dirt, and there's a surprising amount.
Crook and whistle: a peek inside a sheep dog trial
This article contains some very well-captured photographs and some details about what happens at a sheep dog trial.
It relates to a forthcoming show at Wisconsin, USA. I don't remember seeing a sheepdog demonstration at any of the UK shows I've visited, but I believe that Masham may have hosted them.
Moorland Blanket - Ta-dah!
Thanks to Lucy of attic24 for this astounding post. It doesn't involve spinning at all but is a masterclass in using colour based on a photograph / real view.
The blanket perfectly captures the scene. And it doesn't finish there, others have used the colour choices to make cushions, hangings, bags, garments and more.
I urge you to click through for loads of inspiring pictures and more details of the Moorland crochet-along.
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Tips and tutorials
How To Knit A Swatch
Yes, the subject of swatches comes up again and again, but I try to remember that new people are continually discovering these crafts. Plus, this is a pretty comprehensive article on the subject from WEBS with one or two tips that I've not seen mentioned before (such as the 'knitting groove').
To find out about that and other groovy tips on the subject of swatching, read the article on the Webs Yarn Store Blog.
Hipstrings Striped Top
The difference between these skeins is subtle, but if you click through and see 'the bigger picture' it's more obvious.
The original fibre had colours going lengthways, and these pictures show the different results that can be achieved depending on the way you choose to spin the fibre.
A good point well-made by Jillian Morino.
(Jillian has obviously been feeling 'batty' this month. Here is another article in which she makes a gradient yarn from a striped batt.)
Sampling shropshire lamb
Rebecca shares with us her methodology for examining and sampling a fleece.
She's using methods she learned during her spinning certificate. She's looking at a Shropshire Lamb fleece which turns out to have a weak spot, indicating a time of sickness.
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.
Keeping this wheel spinning
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Sometimes just a picture is enough
Finish line Saturday
I don't think it's perverse at all to get a thrill from finishing a project or even two on the same day. But this is how Janelle says it makes her feel.
I've linked to her finished scarf under this month's free patterns, and this yarn is Targhee from a fibre club. Pictures of the top and singles on a bobbin are also in the post.
3 ply 2 ways
A 3ply2ways project demonstrates the contrasting effects of navajo plying and regular 3-plying. Sometimes the difference is striking.
Here the difference is not so obvious, but you can still see how navajo plying concentrates the colours.
quiltotaku made two socks, one from each plying method. She wasn't sure that she would have enough handspun yarn for the pair, so she used a contrasting yarn for heels, toes and cuffs.
There are more photos in her stream showing the singles on the Turkish spindles and the two skeins of yarn where the difference is more obvious.
The clear winner of this month's "splendid spinning in public photo" (or it would be if there were such a thing) is this Instagram from saltwaterrosestudio, who says, "Making yarn while walking in crunchy leaves is bliss".
The way that the hair, tights and yarn all match the autumnal colours in the background is quite remarkable!
The wrap could well be one of Kathleen's handwoven baby wraps.
Artyarn on a drop spindle
alishawro wanted to see whether she could spin an artyarn on a drop spindle. "I'm pretty happy with the results!" she says.
Playing with paper
it's hard to believe that the yarn being used here is shifu, paper yarn.
Since Jean learned to make the papery thread, she's learned tricks to make the process more accurate.
More fascinating pictures at the link below.
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A selection of free seasonal patterns which will work well with handspun yarn.
Wine Glass Lanyard by Ashlea Konecny
I'm including this despite the fact that I'm not convinced about the wisdom of the idea.
I'm so clumsy and accident-prone, I need a good grip on the glass itself.
Thanks to Knithacker who has linked to three free wine glass holder patterns for crocheters. this one is my favourite
Taffy Toes by Tabetha Hedrick
Taffy Toes is listed as one of LoveKnitting's best free patterns. It has a "delectably simple construction", top-down, which has won it a very low difficulty rating and 5 star rating on Ravelry. The lace pattern is written and charted.
The yarn needs to be regular sock weight and the pattern suggests something that stripes, although I'm sure solid would work too.
Book Sleeve by Martina Behm
Whether you make this for the suggested knitting planner or any other sketchbook or notebook, this cover will make a statement about your love for spinning and knitting, as well as protecting the book and adding some pockets.
It uses 200yds of fingering-weight yarn (14wpi).
Regina Marie by Sara Huntington Burch
This is a surprisingly small shawl. It uses around 300 yards of a lace weight yarn (although I don't think the yarn weight is critical with a shawl.)
I'm linking to the pattern's Ravelry page which contains an erratum and a new download that you'll want to see if you've previously downloaded the pattern.
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Designer Stephen West certainly has some original and interesting ideas.
This is theknittingredpanda's Eyeball Shawl, made using handspun and hand dyed yarn.
"I totally love it and it turned it so big", she says, "I think I can legitimately call this a shlanket."
The pattern is here.
Regina by Alex Tinsley
Another Regina pattern, but unrelated to the above shawl as far as I can see.
This hat doesn't look so slouchy in the pattern, but Aprils has a definite slouch which I really like. It has an interesting lace / cable pattern and is made in fingering (14wpi) yarn
Cinnamon Roll crochet pullover by Olivia Kent
This is versatile and will add a layer to almost any outfit.
it's an an "Easy/Intermediate" level crochet pattern and appears in Lion Brand's five most popular kits. The pattern is available here separately.
It calls for a worsted weight (9wpi) acrylic yarn, so I think anything in that weight goes.
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Bakewell Wool Gathering
Bakewell Agricultural Centre Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October
This year sees the fifth year of the Bakewell Wool Gathering, an event for wool lovers in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales.
There will be exhibitors, demonstrations of fibre crafts and a fleece stand selling plenty of local fleece
Happy spinning and don't be a stranger!
Shiela Dixon - Editor / curator
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