Year Of Projects: week 28

I have to admit I have really a hard time keeping the blog up, but let’s see if the new year keeps me on my toes!

I “blame” Highlandheffalump‘s and Jamie‘s (Liz is an artist very accomplished in anything fibre related, while James is curious of all sorts of crafts, and has an infectious enthusiasm), for the fact that while December 2019 brought with it the decision to start weaving, December 2020 ushered spinning into my life, and so it was that January opened for me with these beauties, courtesy of the lovely Angela and Simon at Adelaide Walker.

My very first fibre and spindles order!

I tried to read as much as possible before ordering, but of course any new endeavour is a shot in the dark! Still, since at this stage my goal is spinning to weave thin yarn, I made a leap of faith and went for lace weight spindles (the weight of the spindle related to the fineness of the yarn to spin on, at least for beginners).

From top to bottom: 20g Turkish spindle, 29g bottom whorl spindle, 20g top whorl spindle

So from top to bottom the three spindles I got: a Turkish (the cross arms are removable, and create a centre pull yarn ball), a bottom whorl spindle (the whorl being the fatter bit of a spindle) and a top whorl spindle.

I can easily see how spindles become a collector’s item, they are so pretty! These are hand turned here in the UK, and British is also most of the fibre I got: some undied white Jacob’s fibre to get the hang of spinning (and use in some project), some Shetland fibre (white and moor it) that I hope to turn into a scarf, and some dyed merino which being short is supposedly more difficult to spin, but still it should give me some kind of gradient, or at least that is the plan.

So the past four days have been spent trying my hand at spinning – I am still in the “park and draft” stage (which separates the three phases of spinning – drafting the fiber, adding twist to it, and storing the resulting yarn), but I have completed my first single, and now the plan is to try and spin the other single that will complete my 2 ply Jacob skein as suspended spindling, so wish me luck!

First session as “before”, four session with first single complete as “after”

Really enjoying it, but it is too early to say whether I’ll manage to be reasonable at it!

I have also kept myself busy with weaving – I am more than half way through the weaving of a twill Gamp from Janet Phillips‘ “Designing woven fabric” – such a great book, and it will work well for Rigid Heddle Loom weavers (you will need three heddles) as well as weavers on shaft looms, as it is based on 4 shaft twills.

Janet is a very experienced British weaver and fibre artist – I’ve listened to a lovely interview in Haptic and Hue podcast, and she is also giving a talk at the Handweavers’s Guild of America. The talk is free to everyone, but you have to register, see here – there are other talks with fibre artists, all taking place on Tuesdays at 9pm UK time, so quite convenient for me, as that is the start of my “unwind time”. Haptic and Hue is a very well done, and very interesting podcast, if you haven’t tried and like anything fibre, I do really recommend it.

I had a few issues threading the warp (I managed to miscount a session, and threaded 10 warp ends switching their shafts), but now I am in a rhythm, and I love seeing the fabric forming – when done, this will be me a reference library of 500 different twill patterns, which I can then use to choose the design of yardage for a couple of dresses, here is a flavour for it:

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group, and an idea – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fibre activities, then update your blog every week if you manage. The objective is to keep track of progress on any fiber crafts with maximum flexibility: post, don’t post, follow your list, change it – so really it is just an opportunity to get to know of more blogs and activities of those who share a passion for anything fibre crafts.

Author: lovestoswatch

I used to knit as a girl, then hanged the needles for two/three decades, and now I’m back, and loving it! The photo is my version of Linda Marveng's Aki, the first proper project after "being born again". After getting back into knitting, weaving has also become my passion (with a little sewing to turn my handweaving into garments).

16 thoughts on “Year Of Projects: week 28”

  1. WOW! 500 different twill patterns. That is amazing. I think your spinning looks quite good. But then, I am not a spinner lol. It looks quite even to me and I think you will be able to get your 2 ply quite nicely.

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    1. Thank you! And quite, honestly, you should try – VERY satisfying! The “Ashford complete kit” is a rigid heddle loom plus accessories and all you need to get started, including yarn… just saying 😜

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  2. Had to laugh. I have so far managed to avoid “craft creep” into spinning and weaving. Several of my local knitting friends have gotten into weaving this past year and love it. I looked at the cost of a loom and that was sufficient to keep me focused on knitting. When I look at my stash of yarn it helps me resist spinning. Plus I love the idea of helping young ladies start their own yarn making business – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it (so far).

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    1. ha ha, “craft creep”, that’s the word! And I’ll be straight, the biggest lie is that weaving will reduce your stash – still, with so many weavers around you, it sounds like a loom might be lurking around just biding her time to snatch you 😀

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  3. Your spinning looks great and nicely wound, before you know it you’ll have a dozen spindles and a wheel or two 😂. The weaving looks amazing, it makes my eyes go funny when I look at each of the different sections, it is gorgeous.

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  4. I love anything Adelaide Walker! Those spindles are beauties and your progress looks amazing. I can’t believe you say you are new to it. I didn’t have much luck with drop spindles until I got proficient with my wheel, now I find drop spindling quite easy and goes very quickly. Last year was my first time with turkish spindles and I love how it produces the centre pull ball as you go. Your weaving looks gorgeous (complicated) but gorgeous. You are an adventurous crafter and I enjoy seeing your progress and adventures.

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    1. thank you! Cost, space and my partiality for weaving rule a wheel out, though that was before I saw the electric nano… but in my quest for self sufficiency, electric isn’t really my thing, so for the moment I think any strong temptation may come from spindles “only”: they are so pretty! Haven’t tried the Turkish yet, as I want to spin pairs of singles on the same spindle to begin with, but I can’t wait to get started. However I can see that achieving thinner with park and draft is much easier, I can be as slow as I like, and consistency is still a problem. I’ve tried going “full hog” and I really really cannot do it, I am not fast enough to draft and spin, so it looks like I’ll keep to park and draft for a while yet…

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  5. Wow! That fabric you’re creating is going to be an amazing resource – as well as a thing of beauty. Your spindles are beautiful and thank you for the link to Haptic and Hue. I have no idea if the subject matter is going to be my cup of tea in the long run, but after a few minutes of listening to one of the podcasts, I knew I wanted to find my way back there, so I subscribed! 🙂

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