Spinning Wool

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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In Praise of the Underdog: Down Breeds

Are you someone who always roots for the underdog? Who likes to support the little guy, or find the unappreciated hidden gem? I am, and that’s why, when it comes to wool, I’m a fan of the Down breeds. Many spinners stick to a fairly standard selection of wool: Merino, Bluefaced Leicester, maybe some Romney…

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Thankful for Sheep

The turkey is the iconic animal of Thanksgiving, which is coming up later this week in the United States and has already happened for our neighbors in Canada. While we’re giving our thanks, on Thanksgiving or any day, let’s be sure to save a special word of gratitude for sheep.  From the first primitive-breed sheep…

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I’ll Be Your Spinning Personal Shopper

Stephanie Stratton saved some special Border Leicester locks just for the Corespun Squiggle Yarn kit. This year, alas, I will not be attending any fiber festivals. I’m so jealous of those of you who are! That barnyard smell, the decadent fairground foods, the sheepdog trials, the baritone bleats of the sheep, and best of all…

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Anne Clark chronicles her spinning journey stitch by stitch

  I just met handspinner Anne Clark on Facebook, which is where an increasing number of spinners are connecting and sharing their work. Anne shared recently that she is beginning a new project to chronicle her first year as a handspinner. As she prepares to make a blanket with skeins she has spun over the…

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Wool from the Ground Up

    Kate's passion for all things sheep-related is deeply rooted in farming. Photos by Kate Larson. We love wool. I’m hard pressed to find a spinner who isn’t a fan of fluffy, crimpy, wool locks. But beyond the romance of sweet lamby faces and fleece huffing is a very real science, industry, and agriculture.…

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Productive Spindle Spinning: Yes, You Can!

    A mirror-smooth bowl will help keep a supported spindle spinning. Photo from Practical Spinner's Guide: Cotton, Flax, Hemp by Stephenie Gaustad. For the past two years I’ve participated in Spinzilla, first as a team member and last year as a Rogue Spinner.  I spent the better part of a month prepping the fiber…

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Spinning Training

1. Sarah Anderson demonstrates taking a bite of fiber for a slub in her video Building Blocks of Spinning. 2. Slowly allow the twist to roll into the freshly made slub. 3. Slub yarns can be so even that you can match up  the thick sots for a very cool textured yarn. Spinning Training Anne Merrow…

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Spinning With Amy Tyler at Interlochen College

  Amy likes to spin… a lot! Check out this beautiful stash. Photo: Amy Tyler. Amy's Wool into Stone Afghan was featured in Spin-Off Winter 2015. She used natural colored fibers to knit Michigan Petoskey stones. Photo: Amy Tyler.   Next week, handspinning instructor Amy Tyler will be teaching a beginning spinning workshop at the…