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#spin15aday2018challenge

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We are going to do it again, though some of you have never stopped! #spin15aday is coming up starting January 1 and we’ll be taking the #spin15aday2018challenge! Are you in?

What to do:

Spin. 15 minutes a day. Simple.

You get to decide what you are spinning, how you are spinning, when you are spinning. All we want to do is promote everyone to spin 15 minutes a day. It adds up, really it does.

There will be gift-aways to keep folks motivated as well as small project purpose challenges during the year that if you want to join in and do, great, if not, not worries. Just keep spinning.

Note: there are no yardage requirements, there is no race, it’s just about the hygge of enjoying the time spinning fiber.  

Spin with a wheel, a spindle or a rock and stick! It’s up to you!  We just want you to share when you can on Instagram using hashtags #spin15aday , #spin15aday2018challenge or whatever hashtag is up for the small project challenge.

I’m excited. Are you excited? I sure hope so.

Ready.Set.Spinnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

Spin 15 a day 2

 

 

 

 

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Wool Breed: Colored Ryeland

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, nearly five months.  Time to get back at it.

This week’s wool breed is Colored Ryeland.

Ryeland Sheep

Picture from Wikipedia

I’ll be spinning up this 20 grams  @bakewell_hearts shared with me awhile back.

Historically, the Ryeland sheep are thought to be from as early as the 1300’s, where monks raise the Ryeland sheep among ryeland pastures.

As for the royalty of Queen Elizabeth I (reign: 1553 – 1603), rumor was she had a love of Ryeland stockings.  It would be interesting to know how the wool was spun for the stockings and how they wore.  With the shorter staple length, I can see a woolen spin but just not stockings that would last long.

What I have learned about the current Ryeland breed is that the sheep in Great Britain/Australia are thought to be closer to the original breed, where as the Ryeland in New Zealand are producing a heavier, coarser wool.

 

Here’s the Great Britain/Australian wool facts:

Weight: 4.5 – 6.5 lbs (2-3 kg)

Staple Length: 2 – 5 inches (5 – 12.5 cm)

Microns: 25-28

Lock structure: dense, blocky lock with pointed tips

Fiber Prep: card, spin woolen.

 

 

Until next time…

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Harris Spinner

What would you do if you ran across a bulky spinner for $40 on Craigslist?

A. Admire the photos and move on.

B. Ask yourself why you would even need another spinning wheel

C. Contact the seller, find out if it’s available, then drive an hour one way to buy it.

The answer: C

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This is the Harris Spinner by a H. C. Harris.  Not much is known about the maker through internet searches, though there is another spinner @threadbender on IG that had gotten one about 11 years ago and she shared what bit she could.  It was most likely made in the 1970’s somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.  If you happen to have any information I would be ever so grateful if you would share it with me.

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It took a bit of waxing, oiling, lubing and a few supplies to get it up and working.

Here’s a short video of it doing what it was made for:

Until next time….

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Inkle Weaving and Books!

There is nothing fiber-wise that I won’t jump in headfirst when it comes to trying.  The inkle weaving loom is no exception.

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I’ve noticed a few weavers posting about their inkle weaving and looms on Instagram lately, which made me sit up and take notice.

Before I ordered my inkle loom, I binge watched YouTube on how to warp, weave, finish and do lots of other nifty tricks on a very old form of weaving.

My loom arrived last Friday night and I was able to get some warping and weaving done on Saturday.

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I still need more experience on getting a good, quality edging, though I’m okay with how things are going. It’s all about the learning, yes?

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I also ordered The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory, which arrived today, along with this wonderful little book, When Coyote Walked The Earth by Corrine Running.

I first found this book of Pacific Northwest indian folktales at my local library and decided it would be a great book to have to read to my new granddaughter. Lucky for me, I found a used hardcover copy on Amazon. I had no clue it would have the original book jacket, be in good shape and be a first printing from the original copyright year, 1949.

I think this will be a book that we both treasure.

Off to weave a bit. Until next time…

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Homespun

Grab a cup of tea, your spinning wheel and fiber and take 15 minutes to enjoy this short film from the US National Archives now available on YouTube. Full credits and information available

Enjoy!

Credit Information from YouTube:

Published on Jun 14, 2016
 "Homespun" Made by Sharon and Thomas Hudgins

This film was made with funds from the United States Information Agency's Young Filmmakers Bicentennial Grant Project.

From the USIA records: A documentary film about the traditional craft of handweaving in America. Photographed at the Hambridge Center of Weaving in southern Appalachia, the process and history of weaving is explored to the background of authentic mountain music.

Creator(s): U.S. Information Agency. 1982-10/1/1999 (Most Recent)
 Series: Moving Images Relating to U.S. Domestic and International Activities , 1982 - 1999
 Record Group 306: Records of the U.S. Information Agency, 1900 - 2003

Contact(s): National Archives at College Park - Motion Pictures (RDSM), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road
 College Park, MD 20740-6001
 Phone: 301-837-3540, Fax: 301-837-3620, Email: mopix@nara.gov

National Archives Identifier: 53137
 Local Identifier: 306.7151

https://catalog.archives.gov/id/53137
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Spinner’s Gold – Qiviut

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For New Year’s eve, I stash dove into my collection of fibers and pulled up 1 oz. of spinner’s gold – qiviut.

I purchased it back in August 2015 when I went to visit my friend, Larraine, up in Alaska.  I’ve been holding onto it for the right time and reason.  I believe going into a new year spinning it was just what I was waiting for.

Here is a bit of information on Qiviut:

Qiviut Down Length: 1/2 – 6 inches (2-16.5 cm)

Qiviut Down Diameter: estimated between 11 and 19 microns

Qiviut needs to be dehaired and is great for knitting, though it has not fiber memory.

It has a natural color of soft gray-brown.  It can be dyed, but why?

At the price per oz. back in 2015 ($40/oz) it would go a long way if mixed with another fiber with a low micron count.

I plan to knit a simple, lace cowl for myself.  Hopefully I can get enough yardage to ply it on itself.

Until next time…stay warm.

 

 

 

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January #handmadeholiday2017

In the spirit of taking back the holidays, I am suggesting a  year of #handmadeholiday2017 on Instagram.

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Make a list, check it twice…then start the year off with a stash busting hat and a few gift tags to print out to complete your gift.

Let’s start with the hat.

This month will be devoted to hats.  The Family of Stripey Hats from Churchmouse Yarn & Teas is a free pattern and is perfect for using up bits of worsted weight yarn stash to create unique hats for everyone you want to gift a handmade, hand knit item to.

There are many knit-a-longs starting soon, though the one I’m joining in on is #caramomcoffeeKAL for the new pattern design from Boyland Knitworks.  Another stash busting pattern for fingering weight yarns, especially if you have a drawer full like I do.

Next, grab a page or two of cardstock and print out some of these lovely tags.

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For a very simple set of 8 tags I made myself.

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I love using a paper lunch bag, maybe decorated with a pinecone and cinnamon stick or just a ribbon added with a tag. How easy and yes, thoughtful a small package can be.

Just keeping it simple.

Until next time…

 

 

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History Makers: Mary Red Dan Smith and a Spindle

If you follow the link to Cape Breton’s Magazine, you will be able to read the story of Mary Red Dan Smith and a Spindle.

An interesting story of how a piece of wood about 5 inches long, with notches at the base and tapering into a cone to a tiny round ball at the top was used as a small spindle, or dealgan beag (Gaelic meaning for small spindle).

I was able to find one made by @happay on Instagram (as pictured above). 

An interesting spindle, just over 6 inches high and weighing in at 1.7 oz, it seems light, but for a spindle, is quite heavy. 

Initially spinning on the dealgan-style spindle was a bit awkward, though given a good hour or so of practice, it was becoming more of a fascination to me.

The beauty of this spindle is it also acts as a nostepinne.  As the length of single is spun, it is then wrapped onto the body of the spindle in the same manner of wrapping a nostepinne.  The ending result being a center pull ball, that you can then ply your single from.


There is not much information on this type of spindle available on the web.  I am trying to research it deeper to to see if I can discover anything more.  With my trip to Edinburgh just a few weeks away, I am hoping to obtain more information while there. 

Until next time…