Handspun Yarn

The same building blocks that create the smooth, even yarn at the top also create the beaded yarn and bubble crepe at the bottom—and you’ll learn them in The Building Blocks of Spinning.

Sarah Makes Spinning Fundamentals Fun

Besides her absolutely spectacular spinning, there are two things you’ll notice immediately about Sarah Anderson: her curiosity and sunny disposition. She often asks, “I wonder what would happen if…” and then sets out to find out for herself. One of my favorites of Sarah’s experiments was to test whether chain-plied yarns would last as well…

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Jillian Moreno + SweetGeorgia = Clear, Gorgeous Color

Editing Spin-Off is my favorite part of my job, but a close second is what I think of as “personal shopping” for our readers—dreaming up fun combinations of books, magazines, videos, tools, fiber, and more to whet your appetite. I was excited to create the Spin Handpainted Top kit, but as you’ll see, I had…

A pair of lambs at Beech Grove Fiberworks. Photo by Kate Larson

Farm Fresh Fleece

There are two ways to grow wool: standardized and in great quantity, which is perfect for commercial use, or fleece by fleece, in what’s called a “handspinner’s flock.” Commercial doesn’t have to mean bad or lifeless–there is great wool to be found in repeatable lots, and those sheep can produce a lot of wool to…

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Thigh Spinning in the Pacific Northwest

At the end of February, spinners, weavers, and scholars gathered for the 1st International Salish Wool Weavers Symposium (SWWS). Hosted by the Suquamish Museum in Washington State, this was the first event of its kind. Learn more about the symposium in last week’s Spinner’s Connection story. Weaver and spinner Ashli Tyre attended the symposium and…

Photo courtesy of Esther Rodgers.

Esther Rodgers: Yarn Fest Color Feast

Esther Rodgers, otherwise known as Jazzturtle, is known for her buoyant blend of creativity and technique. She seems to fearlessly tackle that interesting nexus of yarn design, fiber and materials, and artistic impulse. And if you want to see her approach put into practice, you can wander through the Jazzturtle booth at a number of…

The contest looms were pre-warped, but all of the weft yarn was prepared and spun during the event. Photo: Cheryl Nachtrieb.

Sheep to Shawl with a Paco-Vicuña Twist

Do you like to spin wool and mohair? Have you ever tried lusciously soft Paco-Vicuña? The Recycled Lamb, a popular fiber shop in Golden, Colorado, helped to organize a unique spinning contest earlier this month at the National Western Stock Show. Much like a sheep to shawl contest, teams started with fiber and a warped…

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Decisions, Decisions

Every December, I try to come up with crafting resolutions for the upcoming year, because the ones about exercising more, eating better, budgeting my money, etc., just go nowhere. By now, I’ve learned to refine my existing skills rather than take on new crafts. I’d rather get better at spinning, even after 20 years of…

A dish of punis looks like candy—pretty enough to eat!

Spinning Exotic Fiber Blends

When my kids were little, I read Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish to them about a million times.  The page that has stuck in my mind all these years is something like  “Brush brush brush brush, comb comb comb comb . . . if you like to brush and comb you should have a…

Wool—timeless, colorful, beautiful.

Angels from the Realms of Fiber*

Folks, I’ve made it to fiber heaven. Angels with handspun wings of cotton, silk, yak, and wool lifted me off the earth and transported me into a world of inspiration, knowledge, and indescribable beauty. You may rightly ask, “Who are these angels, and why did they pick you?” They didn’t pick me. They shared their…

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Spinning Stripes

Ahhh, the colors of fall. The leaves are changing, the skies are cloudy and mysterious, and here in the Pacific Northwest the return of the rainy season means moss is springing back to life everywhere. I find that autumnal colors are the most inspirational for my spinning. I love the burnt oranges, bright reds, stormy…