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.
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).
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!
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.