Year Long Spin-Along

https://plymagazine.com/ply-books/51-yarns-spinalong/

Ply Magazine, to celebrate their first book, is going to be hosting a Year-Long Spin-Along.  51 Weeks of chances to win  a year-long subscription to their magazine.  Being honest with myself, I cannot express how very happy I am that I pre-ordered this book before I even knew about the contest.  Now I get to participate, you can without purchase, follow along, and I saved $4 off of the cover price, lol.  This brings my thrifty heart a great deal of joy.  More importantly than all of that, this will bring 51 weeks of challenges to one extent or another.  The first few are easy enough, but I hope I will be able to get to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this year so I can pick up some supplies for a few of the challenges.  Spinning a dual coated sheep will be interesting, but I have to find a source for the outer coat, a source for the inner coat, and a source where I can buy both coats mixed together.  Likewise with the lock spinning, I can find them, but my thrifty soul has issues with spending $10+ on an ounce of locks (very pretty locks don’t get me wrong) then another $5+ for shipping and handling.  If I can get a good price on some pretty locks at the festival then go me.  If I cannot get there this year, that is up in the air and I’ll blog when I know, then I’ll have to suck it up and find some good sales.

Had to share the excitement!  Happy Crafting!

Weaving Tools

https://www.interweave.com/article/weaving/free-weaving-tools-guide-from-weaving-today/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wt-alo-fb-180223-Freemium-WeavingTools

This is a brief article to promote the free pdf guide to weaving tools.  I thought that the article, though I really recommend the PDF as well, was thought provoking.

The author, Interweave Editorial Staff, I guess they know who wrote it, begins with an interaction they had with a very enthusiastic “Earth-Mother” Type.  *I like to think of them as the Simplicities.*  Those that eschew any tools that are above the bare bones basic.  Those that say “I didn’t buy a Niddy Noddy, I just use my foot.” Or “I’ll never buy a wheel, why waste the money when I can just spin with a stick.”  Or, “There isn’t any need to buy a big loom, I can do anything I need with Backstrap Weaving!”  (Okay, the last is an exaggeration but you get the idea.) *

So the author is being lectured about how tools can be very simple and don’t have to be complicated, then they ask the killer question.  Why?  Why would you want to stick with the simple tools when there are more sophisticated tools out there?  *Not that we should all go out and buy a Golding Loom, though that would be pretty neat.* If there are tools out there that help you be a better crafter, and let you get the results you need, then take advantage of them.

*If you have foot, ankle, knee, joint issues, and want to spin then either a drop spindle or an electric wheel might be better for you.  If you have rotary cuff problems then you probably don’t want to mess with a drop or supported spindle too much but a nice wheel or electric wheel might do the trick.  For weaving, if you have knee, etc. problems then a floor loom with treadles that you have to push down might not be the thing for you, a table loom where you can just flick a switch and the shafts respond might work.  If you have shoulder issues then a backstrap, inkle, or perhaps rigid heddle loom might do you more good than a table or floor loom.  (I”m not an expert, this is just some advice, for more information contact a guild, health professional, or support group.)

If you just HAVE to try everything in existence out, (and  can afford it) then go for it.  Honestly you don’t know if something works for you unless you try it out.*

This synopsis is almost longer than the article.  But, in conclusion, don’t let anyone shame you.  There is NO Cheating in crafting.  Even if you haven’t shorn the sheep, washed, processed, and dyed the wool, then spun it, finished it, wove it, cut the cloth, and sewn the shirt, your project is still handmade no matter which step you started your process on and no matter what tools you had to utilize.

Happy Crafting!

Roving Reporter: The 3 Things you Need to Knit with Handspun by Kate Larson

https://www.interweave.com/article/spinning/roving-reporter-3-things-need-knit-handspun-yarn/

This is a great article, though I found the title a little misleading.  I read it as “3 things you HAVE to knit with handspun” what the title really means is “Three things that enable you to knit with handspun”.  Instead of project suggestions as I thought it is tips to allow you to use your handspun in patterns by discovering how much you have as it relates to the amount needed for a given project.  I am very glad that I read it, though now I want suggestions, LOL.

Happy Crafting!

3 Tips for Drumcarding Top

http://knittyblog.com/2017/08/3-tips-for-drumcarding-top/

There are a lot of resources out there for learning how best to use a drum carder, these past three articles are a great resource for introducing a lot of the concepts involved in drum carding.  This blog is probably a good one to follow also.

With this article, I especially liked the tip where the author says to hand card some of your smaller bits of fiber first to spread it out a bit more.  I had never thought of that before, but it makes perfect sense to keep things thin and even.

Happy Crafting!

Top to Batt: More Adventures in Carding

http://knittyblog.com/2017/08/top-to-batt-more-adventures-in-carding/

Again this is a great article!

I had a similar experience recently with a beautiful hand dyed top I picked up from a local dyer.  I wanted to create a striped batt by separating out the yellow from orange from red.  The colors blended a bit more than I thought I wanted, but the end result is two fantastic batts, with sparkle (I like sparkle so I added sparkle), that I plan on spinning separately and then plying together.  As soon as I am done enjoying the fluffiness that is their batt form.

Happy Crafting, and read this article.  Short but sweet!

The Sandwich Part of My Batts

http://knittyblog.com/2017/09/the-sandwich-part-of-my-batts/

I love the newsletters I get from Strauch Fiber Equipment.  They always lead me to such wonderful places.  In this case the article points out, in a very quick way, a method of adding in extra materials into a batt, that goes through a drum carder, without getting extra things stuck in the drum carder.  Great article!

Happy Crafting!

Ask Madelyn: Warp Tension

https://www.interweave.com/article/weaving/ask-madelyn-warp-tension/

If you weave, read this article.  If you don’t weave but you’re thinking about weaving, read this article.  If you know someone who weaves, read this article.

I enjoy articles that explain why things are the way they are.  I know that it is important to have a tight tension on your warp, it never really occured to me Why I needed a tight tension on my warp.  Or that my tension wasn’t tight enough and that is why I have all of those sagging threads when I’m trying to weave.

Read this article!

Happy Crafting!