Dear Spinning Circle,

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 with me. I hope you feel most welcome because you are welcome here. 

Enjoy the show!

ONGOING Yarn Substitution Content – May – August 2020 – view the trailer here & INTRO video here

Be sure to sign up for the Wool n’ Spinning Newsletter at

For a softcover copy of How I Spin: A Sock Study, check here & e-book link for patrons (>$5/month) here

Unbraided: The Art & Science of Spinning Colour – EBOOKS available here & book orders can be made here

Breed & Colour Studies

Breed & Colour went live on July 15th! If you missed ordering and want to participate, there are still some options for you in Katrina’s shop here

The fibre we will be studying is Charollais, inspired by Greta’s photo (copyright, Greta @thewarmestrow, 2020):

 Options: Batt or prepared kit for you to explore on your own!

Community Participation

For July, tell us about your most challenging yarn you’ve ever spun! Episode thread here.

Book Club

#booksbooksbooks channel on Slack

As a community, we are delving into a Jane Austen Book Club. We will be reading Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen. Reading can begin anytime and @bethy40 (Becca) in our community will be coordinating Zoom Book Clubs for us to meet within to discuss chunks of the book at a time. 

We are currently reading How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. We are discussing dates to meet and come together for this monthly book club. 

Tour de Fleece – June 27 – July 19

Please post your finished spins/yarns in this thread here for a  random drawing – I’ll send out some stitch markers & twist angle cards next week!

@tdevknits – Trudie – (post no. 268) says “My progress over the last week or so. I plied the pinkish purple yarn I spun during TDF 2018 with lace weight cashmere. This will be my first skein of yarn I can actually use in a project. I also spun some Hobbledehoy nests.”

@rebbiejaye – Rebecca – (post no. 269) says “Stage 11: without fail, I am always surprised by how long plying takes. I got these two plied today, and each took me over an hour! I can wait until tomorrow for the third skein. Very pleased with my squishy alpaca/merino.”

@paintedneedle (post no. 273) says (follow-up from last week’s TDF post) “Another yarn baby done! 165 grams and 732 meters prewash! Will go in the wash now with the first one. Glad I have the bulky bobbin to ply big skeins. Would be nice to have a big ball winder. Guess I have to do it by hand once I’m ready to knit!”

@crittlet – Crystal – (post no. 286) says “Oh man I’m so behind. I swear I’ve been spinning. Finished plying my Three Waters Farm alpaca blend. It’s about to take a bath. Next up. Combo spinning. Which may or may not turn out to be a giant disaster.”

@t28girl – Dana – (post no. 291) says “I’ve still been working on my sweater spin, but I washed, combed and spun up some sample skeins from the CVM fleeces I received from Gaylene. I did a n-ply but would most likely do a traditional 3 ply. The white has a crunchy feel and the grey is very soft.”

51 Yarns SAL – Community-Wide Participation (2019 – 2022)

51 Yarns – Group A – Silk & Luxury

@lykkemeg – Megan – (post no. 959) says “This is an ugly yarn- on purpose- because it was meant only for sampling. I have spun many different silk blends, I have spun lots of silk noil for tweed, I have blended a silk hankie into other fibers, but I have never spun my own 100% tussah silk yarn. When I get a new fiber that I have never used I do this type of sample. I spun some thick, and I spun some thin. I tried all different sizes. I knew I wanted lots of twist for silk so I didn’t change ratios, but I do that on other fibers. I spun some with air, and some with smoothing. I spun some moderately high twist, and some with so much twist, that it broke. Basically, I tried all different things, and my fingers learned a ton about the feel of silk. I plied this together- just to see how a 2ply feels- but without any consistency in matching up my sizes. It’s just purely an experimental yarn. I learned a very smooth fine worsted yarn gives a ton of drape. However, I am intrigued by a thicker puffier yarn, especially for some texture in weaving. I may try this in the future given I can buy smooth worsted spun silk yarns very easily. I also learned that because silk is sooo smooth, my fingers don’t really give me a lot of feedback about twist. When I spin wool I rely on the feel in my fingers to know when my twist is consistent. With the silk, I found my fingers couldn’t really tell how much twist was in the fiber, and I had to rely on watching how many fibers I pulled out, with counting how many treadles, and drafting a certain distance to get a consistent yarn. Not a yarn to just relax with if you want something really smooth and consistent. But very beautiful.”

@lykkemeg – Megan – (post no. 960) says “Luxury fibers are such a large topic. I have spun camel and yak. I have knit with bison and angora. Each one is an experience in an of itself. I had never spun cashmere. Last year I found the garage sale of a century and happened upon a large outdoor garbage bag full of cashmere, mostly from here in Colorado, for $80! It is at least a sweater quantity, maybe 2. It is dehaired and soft and lovely. There is a dk brown, light brown, and white. I carded into rolags with my 120tip hand cards and tried a couple samples. I have been debating about what to make with this fiber- a sweater, a shawl? So, I decided to trial spinning it two ways to see how I liked it.

Things I learned? 1) I have never been very good at hand carding rolags, so after a garbage bag full I should be better! 2) when they say cashmere needs lots of twist they mean it. I had to use my highest ratios. 3) Other than high twist I didn’t find it that hard to spin- but I would have as a beginning spinner, but if you are an intermediate spinner I would say go for it! 4) Judith Mackenzie says to really rough up your cashmere. Full the yarn in hot water with agitation and again with the finished cloth. I did this and agree that for cashmere this is a good idea. It brings out a soft and lovely halo. I really fulled the brown sample and ton, since if it is going to be a sweater yarn I wanted to see how it would wear. I also wore it around in my jeans pocket for several days or threw it in my purse. It so far has stood up just fine! 5) The most amazing thing to me about cashmere is how light the fiber is for the amount of warmth and product you get. It’s like wearing air. Lovely stuff! I am excited to work more on this!!”

51 Yarns – Group B – Medium Wools & Tailspinning

@ruedoak – Jennifer – (post no. 418) says “And now my medium – a Romney that I processed and dyed. I do love the sheen the Romney gives.”

@TessaW – Tessa – (post no. 421) says “Hi Team B! I elected to skip over the last challenge – I’ve played with that stuff before and will again – but I’m back for tail spinning. Rachel’s Patreon video on it is clear and easy to follow. I stocked up on a bundle of locks from Sarah Elizabeth Fibre Works at Knit City last fall in preparation for this 51 Yarns spin and I dug them out today to play with. I don’t usually (deliberately) make art yarn but this was a fun experience and I look forward to trying the other tailspinning options out there.”

@ruedoak – Jennifer – (post no. 422) says“Tessa, it looks delightful. But, everyone, I find this a tedious spin! Rachel, you are right about taking an hour to make a yard. I did one run with Wensleydale X. Lovely long locks. But the butt end is not particularly felted, so hard to make and keep a hole. And my spacing between locks was longer than I liked, given the length of the lock. So then I used another fleece, which I had dyed and set aside for some craft work. Again it is a Wensley X – can’t remember exactly. But 2” at best. And I have some other locks in there as well. Again, keeping the butt end together to make or hold a hole is challenging. But I get the concept. And for a limited batch for particular project, I can see the value.”

Thanks so much for sharing Everyone!

Made with Love – ALONG

Community-wide call to everyone in the community to participate in our Crafty Jaks Along to honour some of the people in our community! Cast on date: April 1st, 2020 with cast off deadline July 31st, 2020

This is a time to do what we do best and get creative. This is the time to make and lift up others – please read Rebecca’s blog post to learn more about this Makealong and event if you would like to learn more about the creation of this amazing event. #mwlalong 

@2ndzephyr – Tamar – posted in Slack: “So this is fresh from the blocking mat and I am in love! This is my Danzig from our made with love a long. It’s made with CraftyJaks’s Through the Darkness and my Graffity handspun as the stripes. I just had to share my excitement.” 

Works in Progress – Spinning & Knitting – TOUR de FLEECE!!

Friesian FleeceShore Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge

  • Yarn: Friesian fleece, woollen spun 2-ply, WPI 11-12 – Lovely dark brown with heathering from the lighter tips
  • Needles: 4.5mm/US 7 
  • Size 36.5” bust (S)

Works in Progress – Knitting

Crosswise Cadence Mitts by Amy Odin

  • Yarn: Created by Elsie B. Targhee, worsted spun 2-ply handspun
  • Needles: 2.75mm/US 2 DPN
  • Size: M

Thank you so much for joining me today! 

Until then, Happy Spinning!

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