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Lost sheep photo; credit: Photo courtesy of Nan Bray, White Gum Wool

A Vicarious Summer Vacation

Here in Colorado, where Spin-Off is born, the weather is struggling to turn over to spring, let alone tease us with thoughts of summer. Yet, as local schools and universities end their classes and the promise of sunshine and warmer weather beckons, I can’t help but dream of a summer vacation. Luckily, Spin-Off’s summer issue…

A quick trim before the show!

The Annual Sheep and Wool Festival Post

That familiar feeling has been in the air for the last few weeks. It starts when my friends start making their plans for Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, which may not be the first fiber festival of the year but still heralds the beginning of the season. I saw photos of a friend’s wool fleece…

camel

Three Spinners, a Camel, and a Supported Spindle

Heather Zoppetti may own her own yarn company, Stitch Sprouts, and receive all the yarn she could want for her handknit design work. But Heather’s fiber needs aren’t all met by commercial yarn. Heather is a spinner. As a designer of exquisite lace, Heather knows that she can get the loftiest and finest laceweight yarns…

Worsted-spun three-ply Horned Dorset in a hot-water bath

Adventures in Washing Wool Yarn

Six Yarn Washing Tricks I Learned from Kate Larson I’ve been spinning my way through the Wool Breeder’s Premium Spinning Collection, and this weekend I was ready to get my hands wet washing wool. I spun the Horned Dorset top from Beech Grove Fiberworks first, followed by the CVM roving from Spinner’s Eden Farm. The…

Skirting fleeces at Fiber Feel Day. Photo courtesy of Local Cloth.

Asheville’s Fiber Feel Day

Local Cloth is a grassroots nonprofit organization that has been helping to grow the crafts economy in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina since 2011. Founder Judi Jetson had worked in creative economic development while with Handmade in America. Judi and a group of dedicated fiber producers, processors, and artisans collaborated to identify the…

Learning and growing in the fiber arts community. Photo courtesy of Alpaca Partners.

Camp Macusani: Connecting Special Needs with Alpaca Love

Camp Macusani, now entering its third year, is a Colorado summer camp that helps families in the special needs community to explore fiber arts. Organized by Cari and Dan Corley of Alpaca Partners, campers spend four days with alpacas and sheep, learning about animal care and exploring spinning and weaving. The goal is to “expose…

A flood of color in the Wild Hare Fiber Studio booth at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Photo: Melissa Yoder Ricks.

Looking for Fiber Festivals?

It’s that time of the year: flowers are blooming, lambs are bouncing, and fiber artists of all stripes are headed to their favorite fiber festivals. I’m able to visit quite a few fiber events throughout the year, but I enjoy hearing about the ones that I miss on social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Ravelry are…

Lisa, Rosie, and Yarn Rosie

A (Yarn) Bomb of a Birthday

With spring finally in the air, it’s time for some COLOR! Whether you wear your color on the fence like the spinner below or you mix it up in a dye pot like Dagmar Klos, it’s time to chase away the winter grays with some seriously vibrant hues. Reader and Advisory Panel member Debbie Held…

Meet the Steel City Fiber Collective. From left: . Photo: Nora Swisher.

Makerspace: Steel City Fiber Collective

Last fall, a group of inspired fiber friends in Pittsburgh launched a unique crowd-funding campaign. They had visions of a fiber artist’s playground—a makerspace filled with the tools of our trade.  They wanted to make equipment available and offer classes to grow their local fiber community. With the $10,000 Kickstarter funds, they planned to “provide…

A happy Liz in the Kristen's Fiber Studio booth. Photo: Jan Smiley.

Carolina Fiber Frolic in the Springtime

Last month, I was able to join a group of cheerful fiber artists in the mountains of western North Carolina. As I made my way south to the Sapphire Valley, the dogwood trees were blooming and the mountain air carried hints of springtime. The Carolina Fiber Frolic (CFF) is held each spring and fall, welcoming…