So this month the weather is cooling down and I am thinking about how warm I will be with a wool hat on my head this winter. More wool blended with angora but this time it is a creamy white. The wool is from a fleece I bought at the Maine Fiber Frolic from a Maine sheep farmer in Starks, Maine. It was a coated sheep, meaning a nice and clean fleece in a heathery beige natural wool color. I blended it up on my little drum carde...
Spinning is repetitive and even meditative. Draft the fiber, let the twist in, wrap it on the bobbin, draft the fiber, let the twist in, wrap it on the bobbin, over and over again. You can quickly see why it was easy to mechanize the yarn making process, it is a simple one. One that has been going on for centuries. And yet when I counted on one online shop there were fifty seven different kinds of spinning wheels to purchase for making yarn by ha
Time for Dyeing! I went to an amazing Madder Root Dyeing Intensive class at Fiber College in Searsport, Maine! There was so much to learn. I have used commercial dyes in the past but was curious to know how to perform a more natural dye process. My conclusion after class . . . it is time to invest in a dye pot or two. The class I took was at the annual Fiber College event where you can learn about many creative skills, dyeing, spinning, wood carvin
I was recently invited to demonstrate my fiber skills in Eastport, Maine. I spent the day at the Fiber Arts Show that was going on during the Eastport Salmon and Seafood Festival. I didn’t actually see much of the town, I guess I will have to go back. I spent the day at my little space assigned to me and my fiber demonstration. Many people have a bit of experience with sheep wool. Sure there are people who only know it because the label on their sweater...
Hi, This post is going to be about what I am spinning this week. Occasionally I will buy a bit of fiber to blend with some other luxury fiber to test it out. I don’t want to sell people something that is not enjoyable to spin. I also love experimenting with various fiber blends. So, this past week I have a bit of Corriedale/Merino cross sheep wool and blended it with Angora bunny fiber. Corriedale is a longer wool when crossed with the Merino made a nice
Knitting back and forth in knit and purl rows makes a nice smooth fabric. People love wearing knit fabric. It drapes nicely, washes well when made of the right fiber, even t-shirts are make of “knit” fabric. But then there is lace knitting . . Some time after knitting was invented someone figured out if you made holes in the fabric it looked interesting and even pretty. There are regions in Europe where different styles of lace knitting evolved: Orenburg,
Seven kinds of Spinners. Ok, so this list is mostly in jest, and seven was chosen because it’s my favorite number. Let’s begin. Free Fiber - Often the beginner spinner starts as the Free Fiber spinner, finding fleeces that have so much vegetation and hay in them they need to take an allergy pill before trying to clean them, but hey they were free! This is a great way to learn how to get yarn from any kind of fleece but is time consuming. Eventually the Fr
I know it sounds silly, but really, if you want clean fleece and to spend less time picking the pasture out of your fleeces then, read on. The small flock owner can market their wool to hand spinners and nice clean wool will multiply sales of wool. What is the deal with sheep coats? When I described to a goat farmer that I put coats on my sheep she looked at me like I was a bit nuts. However, most sheep breeds are only shorn once per year. How the sheep f
Well, here I am starting a blog and not sure where it will lead. The world spins so fast around us, all the appointments, work, kids, family, events, and life seems to just go faster and faster until your head is spinning too. But making yarn is slow, it forces you to go slow. Sure, some people are "faster" at making yarn than others but it still really takes six months to a year for an animal to grow the fiber for the yarn, maybe three months if it's a...
I started spinning because I love knitting and the idea of making my own yarn to knit with seemed amazing and so real. I love the tactile nature of fiber arts. So many things we do fade away or vanish into the ether, E-mail, digital images, Facebook etc., all are out there on the web and can’t really be touched. Knitting is tactile and has substance, though sometimes lace knitting seems imaginary. Several sites I researched years ago claimed spinning was “