• blue and purple ball of yarn sitting on top of an unfinished hand knit shawl. Knitting is sitting on a brightly colored quilt.
    Spinning,  Updates

    Fiber Challenge Double Header Wrap Up

    As I wrote about during one of my posts at the end of June, I decided to undertake two challenges that were running pretty much concurrently – the Wrap It Up Shawl Challenge from The Livestock Conservancy, and Tour de Fleece. The biggest lesson out of that experience? Two big fiber challenges at the same time are too much, at least if they’re a time-limited thing. I managed to get 11 of the 14 pattern repeats in the Reflection Line Shawl done by the time that challenge wrapped up on July 14. Technically, the challenge window was related to when the lessons/video sessions would be posted. The Facebook group for…

  • Close up of a spinning wheel with geometric decorations sitting on a glass table. Black cat with red collar in the background.
    Equipment,  Spinning,  Updates

    Spinning Wheels Are Like Pretzels – It’s Hard to Stop at One

    Okay, it’s usually potato chips, but I’m not as much a fan of those snacks, so I changed the phrase. Moving on… A couple weeks ago, someone in one of the Facebook spinning wheel groups posted a photo of a wheel that they were considering acquiring. That inspired me to go check eBay for antique wheels. I do it from time to time, but rarely find anything worth dealing with the potential hazards of shipping a wheel (or find one that’s amazing but way too expensive for me). So imagine my surprise when I found a *really interesting* looking wheel. The seller described it as a “German Bride wheel”. It…

  • Spinning,  Updates

    #Spin15ADay Challenge

    Having taken stock of my fiber stash over the holidays, I realized that I needed to start spinning more before I ran out of space for fiber. Or needed to get (even more) creative when it comes to fiber storage. So I decided that my first challenge for the year would be #Spin15ADay – to spin for at least 15 minutes every day during the month of January. Over the course of the month, my spinning time usually happened in the evenings, but time spent on the task varied. Sometimes I was squeezing in 15 minutes with a drop spindle right before bedtime, and sometimes I was spending the afternoon…

  • Equipment,  Spinning

    Ashford Traveller

    I bought my first spinning wheel only a few months after I learned to spin in the spring of 2008. I had an on campus job throughout the school year, and summer work lined up, so I had a bit of money I could spend. After looking around a bit, I decided on an Ashford Traveller. It looked like a solid wheel, and wasn’t too expensive, especially if I got one unfinished. So off I went to eBay, of all places, to order one. Of course I was telling myself I wasn’t going to put it together right away after it arrived, I’d save it for some point in time…

  • Spinning

    Spinning a Yarn

    At this point, I’ve been spinning for over a decade. I was very lucky to have a local yarn shop, Mad About Ewes, in my college town. In addition to teaching various knitting classes, Libby, the owner, taught spinning. So one spring weekend, I spent the day learning to spin. Totally normal for a college sophomore, right? The first part of the lesson was on a drop spindle, which helped me understand how to draft the fiber and how twist travels through the yarn. The advantage of a drop spindle is that you can spin it, stop the spin, and then pull on the fiber (called drafting) and to let…