Dear Spinning Circle,
Happy New Year!
Thank you for being here today, especially those who were able to make it to the Live Stream. I appreciate your time spent here in this place and me. I hope you feel most welcome because you are welcome here.
In today’s show, we chat about some learning from the community about 2019. It is really fun to reflect back on what people have said in the Ask Anything thread in the Ravelry group. I share a new cast on that I talked about making in October and I share a couple of new weaving projects that I’m getting onto the looms. Enjoy the show!
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I have never intentionally spun for socks. I have casted on a pair of socks made out of a 2-ply that I spun about a year ago, but it was simply because I had finally accomplished a fingering weight yarn! However, the colors were awful and so I frogged. This year I really want to focus on trying to intentionally spin for a pair of socks. I find handknit socks to be some of my most used and loved knitted projects.
For January, I’ll be sending out the other batt to anyone who enters in the January Episode Thread and answers: What did you learn in 2019?
· Spinning yarn with a higher silk content where the silk dominated the finished yarn.
· Made #artyarn with the Ashford jumbo espinner. Learned solid techniques and mastering the wheel which is Irish tension.
· Learned how to support spindle spin
· Made a slubble crepe yarn
· Spun a round 2 ply
· Totally conquered beehives
· Spun hand dyed gulf coast native
· Spun a 4 ply yarn
· Learned it was ok to spin a 2ply!
· Finished my first sweater quantity on the wheel (easier than doing the actual knitting…)
· First thick n thin singles on the wheel
· First yarn on my new acquisition of a Navajo-style supported spindle
· Helped with a natural dye process for the first time
· Spun Dorset Horn (along with many of you)
· First proper tailspinning (I did mine on one of my heavier spindles, why mess with an orifice when you don’t have to)
· Spun Wensleydale woollen. I wouldn’t normally do this but I really like the yarn
· Finished a Polwarth study with multiple skeins of Polwarth and Polwarth blends
· First cable yarn
· Looking back, I tried more things than I thought I had, some more successful than others but all very interesting. Thanks for the prompt.
Things I’ve learned or come to realize over 2019:
· I much prefer to spin my own prepped fibre from raw fleece over commercial
· I’ve learned to spin a consistent cotton yarn on a tahkli spindle
· Spinning linen is a lot of work and hard on the fingers
· I’ve learned to knit continental style
· Perfect is the enemy of good
· Spinning from the fold is the absolute best! (for me)
· Save all combed waste to use for exhausting any left over dye in the dye pot before tipping out water
· Guide hooks on the flyer arm are easier to use and fill the bobbin more evenly than a yarn quide that you squeeze to move along, which is what I now have (careful what you wish for).
· An automatic insect spray repellent is great for peace of mind against moths especially if you have a lots of fibre or raw fleece
YEAR IN REVIEW- MAKE 27!
Wow- I did a lot in 2019. That was a blast!
Things I learned:
· I got a floor loom and wove on it!
· I became really good at top down sweaters for the first time (always did pieces before or bottom up- I really like top down)
· I learned several new ways to purl continental and really improved my ribbing
· I did my first tubular bind off
· I spun 12 ounces of cable yarn for a vest- first large structured yarn spin
· 51 yearns- finished year 1 of groups A and spun a lot of new yarns!
At the beginning of 2019 I made a list of 27 knitting projects. Out of these I finished 14 of them (mostly garments). I have 3 active WIPs, 2 that will go on my list for next year, and 6 I decided to scrap. NOT BAD! I also spun and wove and sewed many projects!
Great idea, Emonie; and thanks for the invitation to post, Rachel. I did a long reflection in a blog post yesterday, but I’ll see if I can sum it up into 9 points.
· I made 7 sweaters, 4 entirely by hand and 3 partially by machine. I still have a lot to learn about fit!
· Swatches lie, even big ones properly blocked and weighted, and there’s no swatch like the first five inches of the sweater. Learn to expect to rip.
· It’s ok to relax and go with my gut. I can’t account for all variables and “there is such a thing as overplanning.” :D Look for that balance between intentionality and instinct. This requires peaceful attention.
· Knitting machines are amazing. I have a lot of questions about them.
· I started weaving on a rigid heddle loom and I love it. It fits into this stage of my life in a way that nothing else does.
· I kept up (almost) with 51 Yarns; it’s a lot of work but worth it to me to do all the sampling and documentation. Looking forward to year 2.
· I started monthly reflection blog posts which are helpful; I look forward to them every month.
· I can be multi-craftual: think in seasons. (Thanks Felicia.)
· I love crafting with and for my kids – that’s where all the spontaneity in my crafting comes from and that’s awesome
· Homemaking is a creative practice, and while it’s usually not my favourite, it’s very rewarding when I give it some respect.
Enjoying reading everyone’s reflections. Looking forward to the livestream tomorrow.
2019 was an interesting year for me. My job took a lot more time and energy than it has done in a long time, which is mostly good but sometimes a bit frustrating as it leaves little room for the amount of crafting I’d like to do.
· Bus knitting is awesome, and it’s rekindled my love for knitting seamed sweaters so they stay portable.
· I can sew knitted sweaters together by machine. Consider my mind blown.
· Working from raw fleece is amazing, and the variety one can get is brilliant.
· Commercial top totally has it’s place (see the bit about time above) but choose carefully.
· I love spinning very fine. Who knew.
· Crazy art yarn makes great accents in weaving.
· I spent a week at guild summer school learning techniques for the rigid heddle loom, and it was absolutely fabulous. So inspiring!
· Sewing with handpun, handwoven is all I expected it to be. Want to do more of it.
· Late entry: I’ve avoided spinning alpaca fleece pure because I find it annoying to prep. Turns out it doesn’t need much prep, pulling it apart with my fingers and spinning it from the cloud works just fine.
What I learned in 2019 and general reflections/learning/things I’ve realized:
· Made 29 items in 2019, including 5 sweaters, 4 pairs of socks, 7 shawls, 5 woven blankets/stoles, lots of tea towels off 3 warps, 2 bath sheets off 1 warp and a couple of miscellaneous items
· Finished 23 spinning projects in 2019, including 2 sweater spins, 3 sock yarn spins, 5 textured yarns, lots of samples
· Learned to weave on a floor loom and read a draft (photo no. 1)
· Completed the first half of the 51 Yarns SAL that we began as a community in January 2019 (photo no. 2)
· Recorded Live Streams and many podcast episodes, including Wool n’ Spinning Radio episodes with Katrina (photo no. 3)
· Completed Unbraided: The Art & Science of Spinning Colour with Katrina (photo no. 4)
· Completed 2 workshops for the School of SweetGeorgia: Spin to Knit a Sweater and Spin to Knit Socks (photo no. 5)
· There was a lot of sadness this year that threatened to overshadow the good things that were happening around me – while my Dad went through his initial workup, he insisted that we go on an amazing trip to the Yukon (vlog here) and in the end, the trip ended up being a pilgrimage for me to where I grew up, the houses we lived in and showing the kids that, and visiting my grandmother (photo no. 6)
· In knitting, most proud of my Mariechen cardigan (photo no. 7)
· In spinning, most proud of the boucle yarn I made for December’s 51 Yarns SAL (photo no. 8)
· Very proud of the countless hours of content, PDF downloads and blog posts for both welfordpurls.com and Patreon (photo no. 9)
Breed & Colour Studies
In December’s newsletter, I shared the beginnings of my Breed & Colour Study thoughts that will be vlogged about in the How I Spin content beginning January 2020. For the initial thoughts, please have a look here (YouTube).
Works in Progress
Hyssop by Leila Raven
· Ripped out a previous knit to re-claim this yarn
· Was torn about which pattern to choose out of Leila’s new book, To The Point: The Knitted Triangle.
· Wanted to knit something that would really showcase the yarn because this is still to this day one of my favourite yarns! Chose the pattern with the wrapped stitches
· Pattern calls for aran weight yarn – substituting sport/light DK and downsizing my needles to 4mm from the called for 5.5mm for a slightly smaller shawl
Copenhagen Cardigan by Petite Knits
· Westcoast Colour Falkand, striped and pre-drafted
· Moderate to high twist
· Traditional 2-ply, light fingering weight
· Will be knit with Mohair/Silk blend from local dyer – Farmers’ Daughter Yarns
Lots and lots of tea towels!
4-shaft pinwheel pattern — simple draft and playing with colours
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Until next time,