Spinning on Default through 2020

Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends! I hope you are safe, surrounded by friends and family (at a safe distance), and enjoying the day!

I have been writing away at our Yarn Substution content every chance I get! It has left me a bit drained from writing but I have so many thoughts circling in my mind about the yarns I have been creating since the New Year. As the year has progressed, I have felt more passionate and excited about my making then I have ever before. While I have spent time thinking about why this may be the case, rather than spending too much time analysing, I have just really enjoyed creating.

A few of my spins have been larger volume so I thought I would share them with you today. The first was a quick spin I did after Fibres West was cancelled. THe 100% Falkland was dyed by my friend Lynne of West Coast Colour. Gorgeous preparation and a really easy spin, this was finished in less than 2 weeks.

Total Yardage: 896 yards / 230 grams

Yarn Stats: DK, 1768YPP

Spun 28:1, continuous backward draft with 3 counts (singles), Z-twist singles/S-twist ply

West Coast Colour 100% Falkland on F***ing Pantone

This spin came together so quickly and I felt so inspired that I decided to spin up some more Falkland I had bought from Lynne at the same time. This time, it was an earthly heavenly mix of colours that just have me swooning every time.

Total Yardage: 1124 yards / 200 grams

Yarn Stats: Light Fingering, 2250YPP

Spun 28:1, continuous backward draft with 5 counts (singles), Z-twist singles/S-twist ply

West Coast Colour 100% Falkland, random strips of spun fibre

These two spins were so fast and enjoyable – just completely potato chip spinning during all the upheaval of COVID-19, the unknown at work and hourly changes that were coming down the pipeline. It was incredibly stressful. When the kids were sent home and we were into home learning, I wondered how the Spring would go.

In the chaos that was all of this, I found myself needing a lot more sleep and alone time. To decompress and de-stress. Work was amped all the time but as we got more and more skilled at using the PPE, the stress people were feeling seemed to slowly dissipate – not completely disappear by any stretch but lower.

I decided to take on a large project spin from my stash for one of my Make Nine sweaters for the year – Gentle Morning. I’ve talked about it at length on the podcast. The yarn was some 100% Cheviot from my stash. I thought it was over a pound but I was wrong. Instead, it was just shy. Still enough for this sweater spin though.

100% Cheviot from stash, local-to-me, Birkeland Bros, Abbotsford, BC

Yarn Stats: DK, 1324YPP

Spun 17:1, Lendrum DT, continuous backward draft with 5 counts (singles), Z-twist singles/S-twist ply

Prior to dyeing – creamy-white (pictured above); post-dyeing by Katrina of Crafty Jaks in Silver Mist

I will write a separate post about that sweater because it was one of my favourites that I’ve made of all time. So relaxing and quick to knit but so enjoyable and interesting. Great pattern!

Lastly, I spun a large 12 ounce combo spin from stashed fibre. One of the braids was Three Waters Farm but the other 2 were unlabelled and stashed for years. I decided to dive in and spin this on my Ashford e-Spinner 3 to continue to enjoy spinning on it. I loved being able to tote the spinner around with me and I think this was finished as quickly as a result!

Three Waters Farm Falkland with 2 other braids from stash, also Falkland

Yarn Stats: DK, 11WPI

Spun Ashford e-Spinner 3, 12 o’clock, continuous backward draft with 5 counts (singles), Z-twist singles/S-twist ply

Lots of barber-poling, overall homogeny of colours, knit swatch coming soon!

That’s a lot of spinning to start off the craziness that has been 2020! I hope to continue on this trajectory but I’m not sure that will continue to be possible as I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with the amount of knitting I have ahead of me – haha! The amazing thing about all of this spinning has been the quiet time of reflection and has definitely helped me to process, understand and heal in the midst of the upheaval with the unknown, deaths in the family and more.

Spinning some large quantities means I have some yarn to play with, as well, and I am looking forward to knitting some swatches!

Join the Conversation

  1. Beautiful, beautiful work!! It was inspiring watching you blast through an “impulse” sweater spin like that. What a blessing our crafts are during times of insanity.

    1. rachel Author says:

      It’s so true! I think being able to sit down and focus on something so simple is often our salvation.

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