Natural Fiber

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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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Practical Spinner’s Compendium Review

“Nothing is created alone!” says Sara Lamb in The Practical Spinner’s Guide: Silk. In the Practical Spinner’s Guide series, four extraordinary mentors share their advice on all the ways to spin plant and animal fibers. The books in the series work together to give you a deep, inspiring and—yes—practical exploration of fibers and their uses.…

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Natural Fiber Directory 2016

In a world where so much is synthetic and manufactured, spinners have a unique connection to what is natural and real. Whether you spin wool or alpaca, cotton or silk, you have a piece of the natural world running through your fingers when you spin fibers grown by a farmer, rancher, or shepherd. You have…

Pyrope Shawlette by Heather Zoppetti

Spinning Luxurious Camel in Brilliant Garnet

Sometimes you spin creatively, or in pursuit of mastery.  And sometimes you spin just to feel the fibers run between your fingers. With the camel/silk blend that Heather Zoppetti chose for her Pyrope Shawl, you can do either. Heather spun the yarn for this project on a Tibetan-style supported spindle, making laceweight that was fine,…

Spin-Off Winter 2016: The Luxury Issue

Spin-Off Winter 2016: The Luxury Issue

The Winter 2016 issue of Spin-Off is actually the last one of 2015, by a vagary of publishing, and my seventh as its editor. This is the Luxury Issue, devoted to the indulgent in fiber, equipment, and intangibles. I asked Linda Ligon, Interweave’s founder and still our guiding star, for her thoughts on the new…

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A Q&A with Fiber Prep Instructor Courtney Mussatt

    Courtney Mussatt If you visit every local fiber festival and exclaim over a sheep’s crimp, or look at bags of raw fleece in frustration, or vow “Never again!” after a fiber prep experience gone wrong, we’ve got the perfect webinar for you. Join us on August 24 for the live version, or download…

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Fibre Arts in CanadaKim McKenna on Silk and Natural Color

  Kim McKenna takes a scientific approach to nature dyeing. Photos courtesy of Kim McKenna. Spinning for Aran knitting. Here are a few of Kim's fall workshops: Nature Dyeing – July, Armstrong, B.C. Ebb & Flow, spinning for Aran knitting – August, Abbotsford, B.C. Retreat hosted by Penelope Fibre Arts. Nature Dyeing – September, Lynden,…

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Natural DyesColor Like No Other

  Betty Barry's ombré yarns in stunning naturally-dyed colors. Photos courtesy of Betty Barry. Ombré at work! Shawl knitted with Betty's hand-dyed yarns. Dye Day sponsored by Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation. Betty shown center front.   The fiber scene, like any thriving community, is ever-evolving. Tools, techniques, and fibers come in and out of popularity.…