Two months ago I put out a challenge to spinners everywhere to enter our “All Wrapped Up in Natural Fiber” contest to create a scarf made with natural fiber and perhaps even with fiber they raised themselves. You’d be amazed at what arrived in our office! We had a great response and you’ll be able to see the results of the contest in the Fall 2009 issue of Spin-Off.
As I was going through the submissions, I was really impressed at how well everyone followed our guidelines (I asked for a lot of information about the yarn!). I know that most spinners don’t keep track of this information while spinning, but it is hugely helpful to know the details that go into the yarn since you can’t reach into the magazine and feel the hand of the fabric or the grist of the yarn. (When that technology is available, don’t worry—we’ll use it!)
Keeping track of that info doesn’t need to be daunting—it is all contained in your yarn and making a few notes while you’re working will help you if you need to recreate the yarn in the future or if you decide to submit something to Spin-Off! I have a simple system for keeping track of the yarn I make. I save a bit of the fiber, the singles, and the plied yarn and wrap it around an index card where I note where I got it and what it is and how much I started out with. I measure the wraps per inch and the yards per pound right when I make it, and well as how many yards I spun. I keep all the cards in a box by my spinning area. When I need to recreate the yarn, I have all the info I need all on that little card. I’d love to hear about your systems for keeping track of what you’re spinning.
One book that I always keep within arms’ reach (and fits into my spinning basket) is the Spinner’s Companion by Bobbie Irwin. It’s a great, quick reference—and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked it up to look up things like difference between Scotch-tension and a bobbin-lead wheel or what exactly is grist and how should I wrap my yarn to measure wraps per inch? It has all the details, definitions, and illustrations for those quick questions that come up when you’re spinning.
Speaking of challenges, I’ve also challenged you to create original haikius for a 12-month wall calendar that we’ll be offering later this summer. Here’s one that came in early:
Round and round the
And then it drops. Damn.
The author won’t let me identify her <cough>Linda Ligon <cough>—and it won’t be in the calendar. So help me out here—we need a lot of haikus! Just write up three short lines related to spinning, fiber, and the changing seasons or whatever springs to mind. Submit your spinning Haikus by June 29th!
We also are looking for entries for the Spring 2010 Handspun Gallery—which will feature your versions of the Button-up Neckwarmer designed by Mavis Adam and featured in the Summer 2009 issue of Spin-Off.
And we’re always looking for your stories to share on our back page. The pages of Spin-Off are true reflection of the spinning community, because it is from you that we receive the content—if you have a great idea you’d like to share with your spinning peers, consider submitting it to Spin-Off.