Hand Spinning News for January 2013

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Hand Spinning News Happy New Year The email version of this newsletter may look much better online: hand-spinning-news.com Time certainly flies when you're having fun. The last year has gone quickly for me but it's great to once again be looking back at not only my own projects from 2012 but also many other blogs featuring a review of 2012 finished projects. A selection of my favourites are below. As usual I've also rounded up my favourite spinning stories for the month. The events list is back, showing a few of the the major 2013 events for your diary. As if that's not kept me busy enough over the last month, I can also bring you as promised the first issue of Purl Two Together, a little sister for HSN with a focus on knitting and crochet. Thank you to those who've subscribed already who will already have it in their inboxes. January's PTT is here and you'll also find the subscription box if you'd like the free monthly email. So for the first time this year, on with this month's collection of fibrey features, freebies and fun (photo right: RunsWithHonden modelling her handspun sweater. Story below.)

Top Stories 2012 FOs

Reflecting back and looking ahead I think I featured three of rjrahardjo's projects in 2012 but I had no idea just how much work she's done this year

Sara Boan decided not only to spend 'A Year at the Wheel' in 2012 but to blog every day. Read more

Read more

Contents News and articles from around the web Pick-Up on the rigid heddle loom, The Animated Bayeux Tapestry, 'Down the thigh' propulsion, Snuggling into bulky fibre From the blogosphere Advent Scarf, Reflecting back and looking ahead, peg and clamp, Death Warp, Christmas Beret, Inkle-ing, St Distaff's Day, Ho, Ho, Hurry! Favorite Things, First FOs of 2013, First skein of hand spun Gallery Showing off some of the best images I've found this month Free patterns A selection of free patterns which will work well with handspun yarn Events Some dates for your diary Courses and tuition Where to go for a day, weekend or a week to learn or improve your skills

News, resources and articles from around the web Pick-Up on the rigid heddle loom You can do far more with a rigid heddle loom than plain weave. Jane Patrick says that picking up is "easier than you think!" You can buy special pick-up sticks, or just use a stick shuttle. http://www.schachtspindle.com/newsletter/PDF/Newsletter2009Spring.pdf

The Animated Bayeux Tapestry According to everyone's favourite crowd-edited encyclopedia, the world's most famous tapestry isn't really tapestry but embroidered cloth. It's embroidered in coloured woollen yarns, which is all the tentative connection that I need to post this video here. This fascinating and amusing animation has more than a hint of Terry Gilliam about it. Many thanks to Dances with Wools for sharing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtGoBZ4D4_E&feature=player_embedded

'Down the thigh' propulsion A month or two ago I picked a blog post from kerryhill whose husband had made a shaft for a 13th century whorl so that it could be used once more. I also mentioned that Mike has been making some lovely spindles with thin shafts which are ideal for 'down the thigh' propulsion. Kerryhill has sent me this video of a friend of hers demonstrating the technique. http://youtu.be/xNuYXNkCSH8

Snuggling into bulky fibre I think I may have mentioned Woolwench's newsletter before, but no apologies for mentioning it again, it's a great resource, and just requires a free sign-up. December's newsletter is all about bulky yarn with a tutorial and video. But that's not all, having registered with her site, you'll be able to access an archive of (to date) eight newsletters on other spinning-related topics. http://www.woolwench.com/newsletter-archive/

From the blogosphere 12 on 12 There have been a few nice advent knitting posts, but this is by far my favourite. ewespecial made this scarf which has a different stitch pattern to make every day during advent, each section separated by beads. She reduced the number of stitches, making each daily section more manageable and therefore more enjoyable. She feels that the best part - and I agree - is that she spun the yarn from cotton grown by her friend. Please click through and read the full story. http://ewespecial.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/12-on-12.html

Reflecting back and looking ahead many recent blog posts have looked back over 2012 projects and goals, and list some goals for 2013. My first pick is a particularly interesting one, as Sara Boan decided not only to spend 'A Year at the Wheel' in 2012 but to blog every day. Unsurprisingly she didn't manage the daily blog post, but she has spun an amazing 8.5 miles of yarn. No wonder she thinks that the word to sum up 2012 for her is 'production'! In this 'looking back and looking forward' post she also links to a page where she lists all of the yarn that she's spun with details about each. It's vaired, she's tried different weights, fibres, drafting methods and plies. http://ayearatthewheel.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/reflecting-back-and-looking-ahead.html

peg and clamp Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog is always a good read, and this post made me laugh. While warping her rigid heddle loom using the peg method, she had a "stunning realization". Very chuffed about this, she held back from phoning her friends because she thought it might sound obvious. But I hadn't thought of this and I'll certainly make use of this tip in future. Read on for her 'light bulb moment'. http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2013/01/01/happy_new_year.html

Death Warp I generally seem to have about eight projects on the go at any time. I tried (and didn't quite succeed) to reduce the number by finishing more projects in 2012 than I started. I'm starting to accept this now rather than feeling guilty about it. It helps when I read about others who suffer from 'start-itis', such as The Treadler in this post. This is a first for me - the first time I've seen someone dye a warp. It's really pretty and I look forward to seeing the woven result. But that may be a little while, as she makes the point that unlike knitting, it's difficult to start a new weaving project before you've finished the one on the loom! http://thetreadler.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/death-warp.html

Christmas Beret This lovely beret is the first of a series of three knitted by Penny of Violet-White in her handspun. What's really great about this project is the post before this one in which she winds her first ball of handspun - something many of us may have done quite a few times, but it's lovely to be reminded of the excitement of winding a ball of real yarn and knitting a first handspun project. I believe this is the same yarn that she spun on Christmas day http://violet-white.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/christmas-beret.html

Inkle-ing Bogie of Knit Flix rememberd tablet weaving from her childhood and had the urge to try it once again. It's something I've read about and haven't got around to trying myself, but when I do I may use this great tip from Bogie which is to punch holes in playing cards. http://knitflix.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/inkle-ing.html

St Distaff's Day I have a framed print of this painting, Bouguereau's "The Spinner", and so it caught my eye when I saw this blog post from Spin-Off's Liz Good. Other than the fact that it depicts a spinner with a distaff, I don't think the painting has a connection with St Distaff's Day. Liz tells us the origin of the day which has to do with returning to work after Christmas. (I should also mention that Goldylox also blogged about St Distaff's day, it seems that many spinners celebrate the day by spinning. Did you?) Do follow Liz's link to Robert Herrick's poem. http://nls.interweave.com/track?t=v&enid=ZWFzPTEmbXN...

Ho, Ho, Hurry! Did you spin & knit for Christmas presents? Weekend Knitter did and she was still knitting in the early hours of Christmas morning but what really amused me was that she then tried the socks on her daughter's feet while she was asleep! I wouldn't have thought it possible without waking her up. I believe that these are the same socks featured in a slightly earlier post, which explains the reason for the very late knitting. When we're spinning to knit, we often end up with a ball that doesn't have a nice label stating the yardage. Weekend Knitter found herself in the unfortunate position of running out of yarn before finishing these socks and decided to unravel and start again at the smaller size. http://weekendknitter.com/2012/12/25/ho-ho-hurry/

Favorite Things What's your favourite spinning accessory? (Use the Ravelry forum to tell us). Sara's is her handmade 'Kate 45'. At three pounds of solid wood it stays put on the floor, it has four spokes and these are angled at 45 degrees. This adds a small amount of tensioning without the fiddle of a brake band. http://ayearatthewheel.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/a-few-of-my-favorite-things.html

First FOs of 2013 Crossing the finish line with her first finished projects of 2013 is araignee. I think the finished pair are made from bought yarn but at least two of these socks are from Corriedale fleece that she has dyed and spun. Did you finish your first FO of 2013 even sooner than araignee? Tell us on the HSN forum. http://araigneestangledweb.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/first-fos-of-2013.html

First skein of hand spun This is beegirl's first skein of handspun. What makes it even more interesting is that she's combined her handspun with recycled cashmere sweater yarn. She overdyed the cashmere, spun it to give it twist, before plying it with her singles. It's worked beautifully! http://burbsandthebees.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/first-skein-of-hand-spun-part-2.html discuss any of this

Gallery Sometimes just a picture is enough

Pom-pom it A finished hat by Grace, who's obviously delighted with her 'pom-pom it' hat. She says that it's warm and snuggly due to the chunkiness of the knit, and the bright colours of her handspun will certainly banish grey winter weather! http://knittinggoddesswithacat.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/fo-pom-pom-it/

Dartmoor dye project rug Thanks to spindleberry for adding this finished project to the HSN Ravelry group She followed Ashford's Dartmoor Dye Project from their club newsletter which gives 48 different shades, tints and tones. Do click through (Ravelry link) and see spindleberry's amazing picture of her 48 piles of fleece in the varying colours. She spun singles and wove on a Dryad rug loom at 4 warps to the inch, in a tapestry weave, keeping the four colours in their own groups. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/spindleberry/dartmoor-dye-project-rug

Robin Hoods Fireside Boots Lovely colours and an interesting pattern! Not boots but socks, the name comes from the turned-down cuffs which makes them look as if they might belong to our heroic outlaw. (There's a picture which better shows this here on Ravelry) Proving that your socks don't have to match perfectly, the maker, domesticatedhuman says that they "almost don't look like a pair!" http://www.flickr.com/photos/realknitfreak/8354624919/in/photostream/

rjrahardjo's 2012 FOs I think I featured three of rjrahardjo's projects in 2012. She spins very fine by hand spindle and tends to use single-colour. But I had no idea just how much work she's done this year until I saw this amazing collection of images. Around half of these projects are in her handspun. I suspect that she knows the secret of stopping time. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rahardjo-knits/8300376093/in/photostream/

Handspun sweater This is RunsWithHonden proudly modeling her handspun sweater. No word on the name of the pattern but it looks very cosy. Do click through and browse the other photographs, especially the close-ups of the zip and other details. It's beautifully made. http://www.flickr.com/photos/14419841@N04/8319147249/in/photostream/

Free patterns A selection of free seasonal patterns which will work well with handspun yarn.

Spiral Crocheted Afghan This pattern appears on Lion Brand's site (free account required) with a good rating and 'Easy' skill level. It calls for Lion Brand's 'Homespun' which is their handspun lookalike, so I'm assuming that it'll also be a perfect pattern for real homespun bulky yarn. http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L10355.html

Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes In these beautiful 'aqua' colours, it's easy to see that the pattern was inspired by the sea. The pattern suggests light fingering / 3-ply thickness yarn. The Ravelry page shows the shawlette knitted in a number of different colours. It has a high rating and low difficulty rating. It has a picot bind-off, which looks pretty. "a perfect project to take on your vacations" says Mindy. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/holden-shawlette

Totally easy and free handspun scarf pattern As I write this, the temperature outside is unseasonably mild, but I expect there'll be some harsh weather before Spring arrives, and so a very quick and easy scarf that also looks very cosy might be just the job. Still on aqua colours, this scarf is simple stocking stitch. Once again, the picture shows an item made in a commercial handspun-alike but I think it looks lovely and would be even better in the real stuff. http://phydeaux-designs.com/2012/10/totally-easy-and-free-handspun-scarf-knitting-pattern/

Fancy Mug Cozy Over the holiday I found myself looking for ideas for smaller amounts of yarn. One idea is a mug cosy and Kirsten Hipsky's is the nicest I remember seeing. http://www.yarn.com/webs-knitting-patterns-valley-yarns/valley-yarns-510-fancymug-cozy-free-pattern/

Felted furniture feet This pattern uses a commercial unspun yarn, but would be ideal in handspun, maybe something coarse and hairy you haven't been able to use for a garment. The pattern contains some useful information about machine felting and hand felting, in case you've not tried either before. With thanks to Knithacker for sharing http://www.harpaj.net/my-free-patterns/furniture-feet-a-free-pattern

Simple Handspun Socks Thanks to SandAndSkyCreations for this new simple sock pattern. She says "these are super simple and easy to knit and the pattern is great for showing off handspun from handpainted combed top." They're one-size in fingering weight, toe-up with a short-row heel. Plain stocking stitch shows off a striping yarn. http://sandandskycreations.com/blog/2012/06/18/simple-handspun-socks-free-pattern/

Banded Beanie I've been looking for a slouchy beanie that's a little bit feminine, and this fits the bill perfectly! I love the cable around the band. It uses a bulky yarn so should be quick to knit too. You may have to be quick. The designer Tina Sanders notes that the pattern has been published by Caron but since it's been removed from their site, and until they have a problem with it, she's currently giving it away. http://peacefullyknitting.com/2012/12/22/quick-post/ discuss any of this

Events 2013 Wonderwool Wales 27 & 28 April 2013, Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells Promoting wool and natural fibre production and its use. Exhibitors and trade stands covering all aspects of felting, knitting, weaving, spinning, crochet and textile art with raw materials, equipment, books and finished products for sale. Competitions and a range of hands-on workshops. A list of accommodation and camping in the surrounding area is available on the Wonderwool website. www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk

Woolfest Friday 28 and Saturday 29 June, Cockermouth, Cumbria A celebration of the best wool and wool crafts. From fleecy animals and rare breeds, through fleece, tops, craft equipment and materials, to finished clothing, accessories and unique hand-crafted woollen goods. Also workshops and masterclasses. www.woolfest.co.uk

Fibre East 20 and 21 July 2013, Thurleigh, Bedfordshire The third Fibre East, we'll be hoping for drier weather this year! Those in the Eastern, Midlands and Southern Regions an opportunity to join in an event which aims to encourage and promote British wool and natural fibres. http://www.fibre-east.co.uk/

Courses and tuition Please let me know if you are or you know a tutor with a calendar of events. Cornwall: Audrey Durrant is heavily involved with the Cornwall Guild and works with the Rare Breed Survival Trust. She teaches spinning, basic weaving, is a hand dyer and gives talks and demonstrations. Find out more at www.hawthornfibres.co.uk Derbyshire: Alison Daykin offers week and weekend courses and also has a less formal 'Monday night group': spinningandweaving.weebly.com Dumfries and Galloway: Sue Macniven offers Residential Courses or one to one workshops in Twynholm or at your own venue http://www.handspun-exotics.co.uk/workavail.html Hampshire: Spinning and wool workshops at The Old Dairy, Westover Farm, Nr Andover. Wool - qualities, uses and preparation 14 October. Hand spinning for beginners 21 October. For more details go to www.urbancottage.co.uk/courses or call Nichola 07905167922 Hampshire: Spinning workshops at fibre craft studio Beaker Button, the Fairground Craft and Design centre, Weyhill. Free spinning taster sessions. For more details contact 07738 534164 or http://www.beakerbutton.co.uk Lancashire: Spinning workshops at Knit-Wise. All materials included for ÂŁ40, contact Cathy (lazykate) on 01695 580590 www.knit-wise.co.uk for dates. Lancashire: Carol and Pete Leonard run a regular monthly workshop for hand and wheel spinners where students can either follow the 'topic of the month' or work on their own project guided by Carol and Pete. They also run a residential weekend each year. These are held at Alston Hall, a conference and adult education centre based in the Ribble Valley close to the M6 motorway. For further information please ring 01772 784661 or visit their website www.alstonhall.com London: Weaving, spinning, dyeing, tapestry weaving, and other yarn and fibre crafts workshops at The Handweavers Studio & Gallery. See the website for dates and details. www.handweavers.co.uk/shop/Workshops_Classes.html South Lincs: Single-day one-to-one spinning courses with all equipment supplied. http://www.alpacathingz.co.uk/(external link to AlpacaThingz website) Manchester:Spinning courses with Dee Sayce. also sewing, felt making, weaving, dyeing, batik and silk painting (external link to beetlefelt) http://www.beetlefelt.co.uk/workshop_spinning.html

Northamptonshire: Long Draw Spinning Tuition with Pam Austins, Spinning School. Pam is on a mission to teach longdraw. Most classes are held in Stoke Albany. http://www.spinningschool.blogspot.co.uk/p/calendar.html (external link to Spinning School's calendar) Nottinghamshire: Spinning courses with Juliet Hill www.handspinning.org.uk/index.html (external link to Juliet Hill Handspinning) Norfolk: Single-day spinning courses www.norfolkyarn.co.uk/Homepage/News/tabid/77/Default.aspx(external link to Norfolk Yarn website) Scotland - Perthshire (and Italy): workshops on spinning (beginners or more advanced), fibre preparation and blending, felting, dyeing and knitting. See the Workshops tab on http://www.perfectweatherforspinningandknitting.blogspot.com/ for updated details of forthcoming workshops by Deborah Gray e-mail deborah.gray7@btinternet.com Sheffield: Tuition and Demonstrations by Diane Fisher, the Murmuring Wheel http://www.murmuringwheel.co.uk/events.html (external link to Diane Fisher's calendar) Sussex: Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton sometimes has courses on spinning http://www.wealddown.co.uk/Traditional-Rural-Trades-and-Crafts/Textiles/ (external link to Weald and Downland Museum's calendar) Mid-Wales: Workshops with HilltopCloud's Katie Weston mostly focus on colour blending, full details at http://www.hilltopcloud.co.uk/HilltopCloud/Workshops.html Yorkshire: Spinning courses with Ruth Gough, various workshops for individuals or groups, at Wentworth or your venue http://www.winghamwoolwork.co.uk/content/15-courses (external link to Wingham Wool Work) discuss any of this

Happy spinning and don't be a stranger! Shiela Dixon - Editor / curator shiela@hand-spinning-news.com If you're reading this newsletter on the web and would like it delivered to your email inbox every month, just fill in your email address in the box somewhere up there on the right. If you've reading this in your inbox and would prefer not to receive any more, just use the Mailchimp 'unsubscribe' link at the foot of the email.

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