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Changing colour When the weather suddenly turns cooler, cowls and scarves are warm and quick to make. Many of the stories this month feature cowls and mitts, Socks, shawls and scarves. Following on from previous stories about fractal spinning and gradient dyeing, there's a running theme this month of colour changes, fitting in perfectly with the arrival of autumn. (photo above right: sandandskycreations' Carson Shawl. Cover photo: my own Foxgloves yarn from picperfic's Luxure Fibre Club)

Top Stories Wedding shawl

Knitbug's Wisdom This beautiful shawl was spun and knitted by longdrawjames as a gift for the bride.

Another of my favourite finished projects is this warm, practical and stylish cardi jacket

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Contents News and articles from around the web Fibre East 2013 Images and reviews Tour de Fleece 2013 From the blogosphere Tips and tutorials 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 How to spin art yarn and knit a cowl Have you wanted to make big and funky yarn and don't know where to start? Or have you made art yarn but not sure how to use it? Knittyspin for 'deep fall' 2013 is just out and as usual contains plenty of inspiration. This article by Ashley Martineau combines two art yarn tutorials and a free cowl pattern. Click through to the Knittyspin index for more articles, patterns and reviews, and to the Knitty index for more general knitting-related items.

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From the blogosphere Wedding shawl This gorgeous shawl was spun and knitted by longdrawjames as a gift for the bride. He spun the incredibly fine yarn from cashmere and mulberry silk, making 1100m from exactly 100g. For more details and pictures, use the link below for James' Ravelry project page.

The work they say is mine Most of us spin and knit for pleasure and may have a cosy view of those doing so in the past for income. This post by Shetlander Louise of KnitBritish is a sobering read. She writes about the Truck system; a barter system which seems to have been thinly-disguised exploitation. Knitting seems to have been a hard living to these people rather than a pleasure.

Have you seen the new feature on Ravelry? If you have a Ravelry account (if you don't, get across there and sign up now for free) then you'll know that it has been a little bit awkward to add the details of your fibre and spinning. We've had to call it stashed yarn. Ravelry have added a new feature for spinners. We can add fibre as fibre stash and turn it into yarn when we spin it. Thanks to Tina of Peacefully Knitting for giving us more details on her blog.

Knitting with handspun I've mentioned fractal spinning here in recent months. Splitting your fibre differently for each bobbin of 2-ply yarn helps to achieve better striped effect and avoid solid blocks of colour. So far I've not knitted any of my fractal-spun yarn but here's a great example from Dani of littlebobbins. The 'Miss Winkle' pattern is great for seeing those sripes pan out. The fibre is superwash merino.

Cowlmania Valerie the knitbug feels that August is bittersweet, some warm days with some hints that Summer is coming to an end. Her cowl contains colours reminiscent of a late summer sunset; gold and violet and pinks.

She spun a super bulky yarn and just knit using a zigzag stockinette stitch that she provides a link to.

Patchwork handspun shawl Abby of folktalefibers didn't expect this shawl to be so large. She started with a skein of her 'patchwork' handspun and knit until she ran out. Then added the edging in a complimentary handpsun yarn.

Carson Sunrise When SandAndSkyCreations started this project, she chose three colours that she hoped would make a shawl to "look like a wonderful sunrise". The finished item really does. The colours also look autumnal to me and look wonderful beside the pumpkin she's posed it beside in one of her photos. Despite some catastrophes along the way, she says that it was "worth all of the craziness" and she loves it.

Applying dye with a spray bottle Rebecca of Chemknits has tried applying dye to a skein of yarn using a small spray bottle. She likes the effect which is similar to kettle or handpainting. It looks very efficient and economical too.

Wisdom Valerie's Wisdom cardy has an autumn look to it. The two different handspun yarns that she's combined have earthy colours and the pattern is almost like a jacket. The double-moss stitch gives a snuggly look yet it has attractive shaping.

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Tips and tutorials Making your handspun sock yarn go far Spinning yarn is labour-intensive work, making the resulting handspun even more precious than commercial yarn. Here are three tips that will help you to use every inch of your yarn and make socks that will last.

Not Written in Stone If you're new to four-shaft weaving then you may feel confused about weaving drafts, especially as there are different ways to draw the same pattern. Laura Fry gives us a comprehensive run-down on these diagrams.

Weaving Calculations - Plain Weave on a Rigid Heddle Loom By coincidence, another weaving tutorial which will tie up beautifully with the last item. kibbles of Nerd Wars takes us through the necessary calculations for reed size, ends per inch and yardage for your warp. She's using a rigid heddle in her example but most of this will apply to multi-shaft looms too.

How do you drumcard stripes? Amelia of Ask the Bellweather says that the highlight of her drumcarding workshop is the striped batt. In this post she explains how to add colours to the carder so that the colours merge with a heahered look and the batt doesn't fall apart at the colour boundary.

Turmeric dyeing If you've turned your fingers or kitchens utensils yellow then you may know that it's a powerful dye, albeit not very lightfast. It gives such a pretty yellow and you may have it readily available so you may wish to try using it to dye yarn or fibre. Amy Clarke Moore gives some details and step-by-step instructions, an excerpt from Eva Lambert & Tracy Kendall's book Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing

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Keeping this wheel spinning Your news here Are you a teacher, pattern designer, supplier, dyer? Would you like to reach the growing readership of thousands of hand spinners and at the same time help to support Hand Spinning News ? Read more

Gallery Sometimes just a picture is enough

She Wore a Raspberry... Beanie Also in Finished Objects this month is Emily of R1-K1-Spin with her Autumn Vines Beret which she extended into a beanie. The fibre is Teeswater dyed by Southern Cross Fibre.

Lovely Spindle Taking first place in the 'most beautiful spindle-and-fibre picture' this month is Dani of littlebobbins. The spindle is by Michael Williams. No word on the lovely mauve fibre but it sparkles! Click through for a larger image and more of Dani's spindle collection.

Tibetan woman spinning wool This beautifully-captured image by Flickr user Dexter Cruez shows a Tibetan woman spinning wool for carpets in Pokhara, Nepal

Woven scarf This scarf's beauty doesn't come from a complex design or colour changes but from its simplicity and incredible neatness. No information other than the fact that it's hand spun and hand woven by Flickr member yukonakamura.

Handspun juneberry triangle Appropriately shown against a blue sky, this Juneberry Triangle looks perfect for a fine day with that first chill in the air. Made from handspun yarn by lilirious.

Handspun Half Circle The colour changes here are beautiful. I'd love to know more about the spinning method but all we know is that handspun polwarth/mohair singles

Neapolitan Cowl When lonestarknits began this cowl she commented "Every time I knit with my handspun yarn I think - wow... It is so fresh! so new! every yarn is unique!" She was looking forward to seeing the colour changes and here they are. These pictures show the finished cowl in its beautiful colours and lovely stitch pattern.

Koolaid dyed yarn We've had stories about Koolaid dyeing (a US drink with strong food colouring). Here's an example of plied yarn made from such dyed fibre. A much healthier use for the stuff. Try to match the colour to the flavour.

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

Crocheted Felted Beach Pebble Bag Pattern Maybe it's now too late in the year to sunbathe but any time is a good time for a trip to the beach. Thank you to Fran for her pattern for this crocheted pebble bag. It's perfectly at home among the pebbles on the beach and is big enough to carry your things, including that beach towel if you fancy a dip. For her bag, Fran used natural Gotland fleece - carded with some silk for the 'amonite fossil' decoration.

Gradient Cowl So you've fractal spun your fibre and want to see those stripes in all their glory. Or you've carefully spun gradient-dyed fibre from one end to the other. This super simple cowl will show off the colour changes, be easy to memorise and has a lovely texture. It looks great from both sides and there are a number of ways to wear this type of cowl. It has five-star rating and very low difficulty.

Handspun popcorn lace cowl Again with colour changes, this cowl is shown in yarn that has dramatic colour changes but would also look good in something more solid. The watchword here is bulky. The purl-side-out popcorn lace pattern in a thick or thick-and-thin yarn looks very snuggly.

Tea Scarf Designer pixeldiva used a strong red handspun merino yarn to crochet this ruffle scarf which she says is "so snuggly soft it's like my neck is wrapped in a hug". My suggestion is to use yarn spun from a batt containing sparkles for a warm eveningwear accessory.

September Fingerless Gloves Just right for a sudden change in the weather is a finglerless mitt pattern that has a small gauge but knits up surprisingly quickly. Made here in commercial yarn but I'm sure that the raised detail would really show off a semi-solid handspun sock-weight yarn. The pattern has a high rating and those who've used it have reported that they were fun to make.

Houndstooth woven scarf I'm grateful to Craftsy for posting this article about the houndstooth pattern with some pattern suggestions for knitting and weaving. This scarf by L Jensen reminded me of the purse I made from handspun black and white alpaca and I'm now keen to spin and weave a similar scarf. Craftsy don't provide a free pattern for the scarf but the houndstooth or pinwheel design is very simple: alternate two black, two white in your warp and then the same with your weft. If you need a little more detail, here's a video showing the technique. I also selected free knit and crochet patterns over at HSN's sister publication, Purl Two Together. The new issue will be available very shortly. discuss any of this

Events 2013 Yarndale 28 and 29 September Skipton Auction Mart, North Yorkshire For you if you love yarn and are passionate about all things woolly. It aims to celebrate the beauty and diversity of wool, cotton, linen and silk fibres in all their forms

Masham Sheep Fair Masham, near Ripon, North Yorkshire, 28 and 29 September A fabulous fair with plenty of sheepy things, lots of fleeces and fibres for sale and a spinning competition to enter. An action packed programme on both Saturday and Sunday, with a Sheep Show, Sheep Racing, Craft Market, Bishop Blaize Procession, Fleece Stalls, Wool Competition, Sheepdog Demonstrations, Hand Bell Ringers, Morris Dancers, Art Exhibition and Tours of Theakstons & BlackSheep Breweries, as well as the Old Time Children's Fair.

Shetland Wool Week 7 - 13 October 2013 A busy weekend dedicated to celebrating Shetland wool and textile heritage. The full events list includes workshops, demonstrations, open studios, spinning, knitting, weaving and Britain's most northerly sheep.

Wool Week 14 - 20 October 2013, multiple activities throughout Britain Run by the Campaign for Wool with patron HRH The Prince of Wales. Wool Week 2013 will begin in the United Kingdom on October 14 with lots of events around the UK.

Fibre Flurry - 26 and 27 October, Bournville, Birmingham The third year promises to be the best year yet. Workshops and exhibitors over two days

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

Derbyshire: Alison Daykin offers week and weekend courses and also has a less formal groups three evenings a week: Dumfries and Galloway: Sue Macniven offers Residential Courses or one to one workshops in Twynholm or at your own venue Hampshire: Spinning and wool workshops at The Old Dairy, Westover Farm, Nr Andover. For more details go to 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 Lancashire: Spinning workshops at Knit-Wise. All materials included for ÂŁ40, contact Cathy (lazykate) on 01695 580590 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 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. Manchester:Spinning courses with Dee Sayce. also sewing, felt making, weaving, dyeing, batik and silk painting (external link to beetlefelt) 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. (external link to Spinning School's calendar) Nottinghamshire: Spinning courses with Juliet Hill (external link to Juliet Hill Handspinning) Norfolk: Single-day spinning courses link to Norfolk Yarn website) Norfolk: Spinning workshop for beginners link to spottypigfarm website) or call 07930 605578 Scotland - Perthshire (and Italy): workshops on spinning (beginners or more advanced), fibre preparation and blending, felting, dyeing and knitting. See the Workshops tab on for updated details of forthcoming workshops by Deborah Gray e-mail Sheffield: Tuition and Demonstrations by Diane Fisher, the Murmuring Wheel (external link to Diane Fisher's calendar) Sussex: Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton sometimes has courses on spinning (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 Yorkshire: Spinning courses with Ruth Gough, various workshops for individuals or groups, at Wentworth or your venue (external link to Wingham Wool Work) Yorkshire: Rivers MEET Craft CafĂŠ, Methley, Leeds, West Yorkshire is now running an Introduction to spinning using a drop spindle workshop with Paula Edgintgon. For more details tel: 01977 279729 or see discuss any of this Happy spinning and don't be a stranger! Shiela Dixon - Editor / curator If you're reading this newsletter on the web and would like it delivered to your email inbox for free 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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Hand spinning news for september 2013  

This month's fluffy finds. Spinning News, Reviews and Do's

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