WnS Ep. 181: More Advent Spinning, finished Shetland & Karma

Dear Spinning Circle,

Direct YouTube link here.

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. You are most welcome. I hope you feel most welcome because you are welcome here.

Patreon 2021’s Video has been released this morning for you to watch and catch up with what’s happening here at Wool n’ Spinning – Patreon post here.

Enjoy the show!

Live Chat Assistance here.

There is a lot going on in our community! It’s a lot to cover and remind you of each week. If you are curious about what happens in our community, please click the links below, reach out to me: rachel @ welfordpurls (dot) com, or reach out on Instagram/Ravelry/Slack (if you are a Patreon member, @welfordpurls_admin).


  • Be sure to sign up for the monthly Wool n’ Spinning Newsletter at welfordpurls.com

How I Spin: Exploring Blends – Part I transcript here; vlog here

Upcoming How I Spin content to finish off the year in November & December exploring how the recent explorations of blends resulted for me, thoughts for the future & kicking off luxury fibres for the new year. For more information, please head to the Co-Executive Producer or higher on Patreon.

Book Club, Anti-Racism Group & More:

  • Book Club – for more information, check the #books channel on Slack (patrons only)
  • Anti-Racism Group meets monthly – for more information, check the #books channel on Slack
  • For a softcover copy of How I Spin: A Sock Study, check here & e-book link here
  • Unbraided: The Art & Science of Spinning Colour – e-books here & book orders here

On & Off the Needles & Bobbins

Works in Progress – Spinning

Kingdom Fleece & Fiberworks Advent Calendar

Columbia/Dorset fibre, multiple colours

Spinning each day, trying to keep up!

Advent Vlogs Playlist here

Small Bird Workshop UK Shetland – washed

Lendrum Saxony, long draw off distaff

pre-drafted to loosen up fibres, lots of short bits & neps

West Coast Colour Karma – 50/50 Merino & Yak (video)

Combed preparation, Yak short so holding fibre very lightly to avoid the fibres separating

First skein needs a bit tighter plying – will sample when 2nd skein finished & re-ply

Plan: All-over colourwork sweater or Shifty

Community Participation

For December, tell us about your holiday plans!

Episode thread here or comment below here on YouTube!


  • Natural Shades Along Ravelry thread here & use #sweaterspin channel on Slack
  • Tin Can Knits ALONG Ravelry thread here & use #sweaterspin channel on Slack
  • 51 Yarns SAL Group A here & Group B here

Wool n’ Spinning Radio this month featured a bonus episose this month with Rebecca (@rebbiejaye) in our community. Have a listen here.

Ask Anything

Mimifan asks on Ravelry: I’m about to do my first larger combo spin and was looking for advice on these braids. I’m shooting for a mostly tonal yarn that will either be a 2 or 3 ply depending how thick I end up spinning. Appreciate any feedback.

Breed & Colour Study – Charollais

Sera shares on Slack: I finally finished my Breed and Colour Study!  I knit the Klastar hat by Wooly Wormhead.  I was going for a Foliage and Flowers vibe because of the picture that Katrina used as inspiration.  It turned out to be super cheerful, I think. :)  I spun the background yarn with with more marling than the contrast colour. (BG Yarn – 1/2 of each colour spun to one bobbin: dark green-light green-yellow, and the other half split 4 times to spin to the second bobbin: light green-yellow-dark green x4.  CC Yarn –  1/2 of each colour spun to one bobbin: red-white-pink, and the other half split twice to spin to the second bobbin: white-pink-red x2). I enjoyed the spinning and trying out a short backward continuous draft.  The knitting was a bit unpleasant because of the courseness of the yarn and the tight stitches in the clusters, but wearing the finished toque isn’t unpleasant at all.  I enjoyed working with these colours because they aren’t ones that I would normally choose, but I quite like how some of the combos ended up. My favorite is the marled dark red knit with the marled dark green.  I figured out a sneaky way to hide my ends as I knit so the toque is fully reversible.

Handspun Knitting

Sera shares on Slack: I guess I nailed it with my Comfort Fade Cardi that I made earlier this year – the Pantone colours for 2021 are yellow and gray! My “zero” to hero project is done – Andrea Mowry’s Comfort Fade Cardi! I didn’t go from raw fleece but it was my first sweater spin.  I enjoyed doing it so much that I’m already 75% done with my second sweater spin. The yellow fibre was the Pegasus colourway from Paradise Fibers, an 80/20 merino/silk blend, and the gray was just Ashland Bay gray merino. Yarn A was 100% yellow, Yarn B was 66% yellow, 34% gray, Yarn C was 34% yellow, 66% gray, Yarn D was 100% gray. I resisted the urge to micro manage and just knit them as they came, though on the sleeves I alternated knitting each row from the inside of the ball and from the outside of the ball so the colours would change at a more similar rate to the body instead of having wider stripes. Reflections: Silk indeed effects grist. The pattern was a good one to start with because the different colours broke the spinning up into sections and that made it less overwhelming. Knitting with bright yellow is not necessarily calming, so I had to take a break and come back to it. I love the sweater. I have a lot of yarn left over, using about 100 yds less per colour than what was called for, despite adding length to the body and sleeves. How I made each yarn: Yarns A and D were solid yellow and gray, respectively. Yarns B and C were 2/3 yellow, 1/3 gray and vice versa. For these I weighed out 2/3 of the quantity needed of the yellow and 1/3 of the quantity of the gray (for Yarn B, the opposite for Yarn C) and then split each into 48 pieces, the pieces of the dominant colour were then approximately twice the size of the pieces of the other. Then I alternated each colour as I spun, starting each bobbin (2-ply) with the opposite colour for maximum marling.

Lauraline shares on Slack: One finished project! Handspun mill ends pin drafted roving from @Elizabeth C, spun short fwd draw on my Little Gem, 9.8:1 ratio, 2-ply. Pattern Headband with a twist from Mirella Moments.

Zero to Hero

Ruth (@kitwich) shares on Ravelry: There are so many lovely items to view and inspire me and I look forward to doing this again. However, this year,2020, this is my favorite-to-date of my spin/knit projects: I purchased a blend of Alpaca/Wool from Mountain Meadow Wool which became the base color. I sorted and spun a lovely Nuts & Berries Shetland/Silk blend from Inglenook Fibers for the color changing secondary yarn. The result makes me happy and I wear it quite a lot.

Kaylee (@kpollander) shares on Ravelry: Finally finished a shawl that I started from a fleece in August 2019! A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into it as I didn’t particularly enjoy spinning or plying the yarn, and I frogged the first pattern I cast on because the lace was very challenging with such a dark color. All that said, I absolutely love the finish product and used up most of the yarn. This is my first Fleece to FO project and know there will be many more in my future. Pattern is Flagstaff by Dee O’Keefe.

51 Yarns SAL (Group A): Default Yarn

Megan (@lykkemeg) shares on Ravelry: Default Yarn

Fiber: ideally a medium staple length, medium crimp, Shetland is my default fiber

Wheel: any, although I have now learned I prefer a saxony style

Structure: 2 ply, low twist in singles, low ply twist, woollen supported long draw, fingering weight

Reflections: When I thought about my default yarn, I learned that my default yarn was very planned out. I was a knitter for 20 yrs before I started spinning, and I always gravitated to colorwork knitting as my favorite. When I first started spinning and was learning about yarn structure I heard that 3 plys were round and good for cables and texture, and 2 plys were good for colorwork because they tended to flatten next to each other when knit together. I started gathering up some of my favorite colorwork yarns, jamieson’s spindrift, knit picks palette, jamieson and smith, and dissected them apart to see how they were constructed. What I found was that they were all 2 ply and they all had very very low ply twist and also very low twist in the singles. When I knit with them, I paid attention and found that yes indeed, the low twist 2 ply tended to make them lie flat into each other when knit in colorwork.

So, I put these dissected samples of yarn onto a control card, and used that as my control card to spin my fair isle yarns. I used spinzilla one year to spin up 5 different colors of Shetland and knit a traditional Shetland fair isle vest with this control, and thus, my default yarn was born!

Thank you so much for joining me today!

Until then, Happy Spinning!

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