Bedazzle your Spinning!

Add beads to your spinning! |

Spinning with beads is such jazzy, dazzling fun. All those pretty glass baubles catching the light and making your handspun extra special! I get that you can string beads onto thread or yarn and ply it with handspun to get the effect, but always wondered how you'd accomplish it with singles. I recently investigated and gave it a trial run. It was so successful and joyously fun that I thought I'd share. You'll want to select some pretty beads and a large eyed tapestry needle that will fit through the hole in the beads: Pull off a staple length of fiber and twist and fold over the end in order to thread it onto the needle. Sounds impossible, but it's actually surprisingly easy. Once … [Read more...]

Be Fearless

Spinning Yarn Fearlessly |

When it comes to spinning  - experimentation is the rule for me these days. I've been taking the time to explore different methods and to play with color. I've had some help and inspiration with a new spinning resource: PLY magazine by spinner extraordinaire - Jacey Boggs. This is a compendium of spinning know-how that has sent my little spinning heart soaring with ideas and plans. Reading the articles and experimenting with the described techniques has provided me with more than one satisfying "aha" moment. I've also enjoyed the wisdom of several spinning podcasters who deliver plenty of well known fibery  facts that I was clueless about  in dozens … [Read more...]

Will Spin for Coffee!

Spinning Yarn for Coffee Cozy |

Sometimes I find that spinning an entire braid of fiber becomes a chore and my bobbins fill up with unfinished singles that I'm tired of spinning. At times like these, it's refreshing to break out my spindles and spin up a small project. A fast little color fix fits my mood this week and I took the opportunity to spin up some yarn for small projects - coffee cozies. Even though winter is waning, my coffee needs to stay warm all year long! Our Pick a Pocket Cozy is a great project for a beginning spinner. Depending on your gauge, you'll need about 50 yards of finished yarn. I calculated that I used 45 yards of my completed sport weight yarn to make the cozy on size 3.25 mm … [Read more...]

Road Cotton

Spin Cotton From the Roadside - so neat!

Since I returned to my home in Arizona from Greece, I've really come to appreciate my home state. True, it's too hot much of the year, and there's only a small window of time in which I can enjoy wool hand knits, but the desert is beautiful. I find ways to indulge my passion for knitting and fiber - even in warm country. This is cotton farming country - especially just south of my Phoenix area home. Fields stretch for miles in these areas and large mountains of cotton sit at the cotton gin, waiting for processing. Driving by that area, I noticed that seed cotton, fresh from the fields had blown from the trucks delivering it to the gin and mounded in fluffy little lumps on the side of the … [Read more...]

Handspun Oaklet

Handspun Yarn - Oaklet

After the process of dyeing, spinning and plying a selection of fiber, knitting with it is the absolute icing on the cake for me. This lovely lace shawl started life as a 4 oz length of natural BFL and silk roving that Carli dyed for me in her kitchen! I described my goals for the spin last year about this time in my Tour is On post, and showed you the pretty yarn in my Better Late than Never post. The May Shawl KAL, CAL, WAL (knit along, crochet along or weave along), hosted in our Simply Notable Ravelry Group finally nudged me to choose a pattern and get it knitted up. I used the free Oaklet Shawl pattern by Tricksy Knitter. I've enjoyed many of her patterns, … [Read more...]

Shake it up with Mmmmilk


Fiber made from milk? Well, it's actually made from milk protein, casein to be exact. Although it's a protein fiber, same as the animal fibers wool and silk - it's made in a similar manner as bamboo and tencel. The raw product is broken down in a chemical bath, then extruded into fiber. And a lovely fiber it is too - smooth and silky to the point of having an almost liquid texture. The color is an opaque white - very similar to the unique color of milk itself. It's a slippery spin - the fibers slide against themselves even easier than silk and have a nylon sort of flyaway texture, easily picking up static and clinging to neighboring fabrics. Nonetheless, I … [Read more...]

A Long Time Coming

Spinning Yarn on a Turkish Spindle

Good Gravy! After finishing my latest spin, my first on the turkish spindle, I looked back to see when I'd begun and saw that I've been nursing this spin along for nearly 6 months! I am powerfully happy to have it off my spindle! And yes - I learned a valuable lesson I can share with you regarding a turkish spindle. The fiber was merino from Wonderland Dyeworks in the Mountain Meadow colorway, gifted to me by my Dear Daughter in Law Cindee, two years ago on my birthday. Although it was beautiful stuff of the highest quality, it managed to get pretty compressed from it's travels with me to Greece and back again. Compressed fiber can be rescued by thorough pre-drafting and … [Read more...]

The Skinny on Silk Hankies

Spinning Silk Hankies into Yarn

Okay Spinners, if you haven't played with silk hankies yet, I have to recommend the adventure! Facing a stack of sheer , filmy silk hankies  is such a fun and rewarding spinning diversion. Once you've created the sleek shininess that is silk yarn, you'll have a whole new definition of luxury. The singles shine so impressively, that it's difficult to believe how quickly and easily they're spun up. The process is amazingly simple and straight-forward. Pick up a hankie and poke a hole in the middle with your fingers, pulling outward. Draft the hankie into a long loop. You'll notice that you have to keep your hands pretty far apart, since silk has such a long … [Read more...]

Spinning up Tussah Silk

Spinning Silk on a Drop Spindle

I'm not sure why it took me so long to try spinning silk. I was intimidated by the idea, expected it to be slippery and difficult to handle. Nothing could be farther from the truth with tussah silk. The draft is smooth and with the long staple - 7" or more - there's no spindle hitting the floor! So beautifully lustrous, soft and strong - and oh! That shine! Tussah silk comes from the wild silkworm, and although it used to be gathered from the wild, it's now mostly cultivated in China and India. Tussah silk is golden in color and is more durable than mulberry silk. Reading about tussah silk, I noticed that some soap recipes use tussah silk as an ingredient that improves the texture, … [Read more...]

My Perfect Hat

my perfect hat from purple stitch project beanie free pattern

I took out a skein of my handspun this week and wound it up into a ball. It was my first true three-ply - A merino dyed by Wonderland Dyeworks in several shades of blue that had been given to me last Christmas by my son and daughter in law. It had taken me about three weeks to create it. I'd filled my spindle, wound it off, then filled it twice again before plying the three singles together. . I really loved the result  and felt this would make something lovely to wear. In fact, I wanted to make a hat. Not just any hat, but a really great hat. The kind of hat that would be worthy of the scant 140 yards of twilight I'd … [Read more...]