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Sweet Georgia Advent 2022 – Days 1 – 3

Below are some photos of the first three days of fibre from the Sweet Georgia Advent 2022. Each packet featured fibre from different breeds, (some dyed) probably a total of 10 different breeds. In addition to different colours, the variety of breeds allowed for some learning along the way. My original plan was to open each fibre packet, choose a spindle from my fleet, and spin it up that very day.

The photo below is day 1 and the spindle I chose is a TDF (Tour De Fleece) Mirkwood that I bought from a fellow guild member and support spindle enabler. It has a ball bearing tip, a gem stone at the end of the flicking tip, gem stones all around the whorl that sparkle as it spins, and it’s heavy. And, I love it.

The spindle on the right in the photo below is day two spun up on The Spindle Shop Dyavol style spindle. After a day of spinning with the Mirkwood, I was able to feel the difference that a heavy spindle makes, particularly when the fibre is on the medium/coarse side of things. The extra weight helps to get that twist into the fibres and keeps the momentum going. The Dyavol still performed well – spinning fast and long, with a long shaft for easy cop building and temporary cop storage.

I got to day three which was white Corriedale and decided it needed to add SOMETHING to it. White Corriedale is lovely, but so very, can we say it – plain. I added some silk/camel to it and made a smooth luxurious blend with it on my blending board.

For these rolags I chose my Allen Berry  Acorn and Oak spindle. This spindle is a beauty and brings me great joy when I spin with it. It too is on the heavy side, and despite the weight, it spins effortlessly and long.

And the final photo shoot of days 1 – 3. More to come.

Showing the fleet of spindles

Last Monday I had the pleasure of presenting some of my spindle collection to the Textiles students at Capilano University. I call the presentation “The Taxonomy of Spindles.”

In this presentation I show the different categories of spindles – suspended and supported, and talk about the differences within each larger category, such as top whorl, bottom whorl, cross-piece (AKA Turkish spindles).

It was fun to share my collection with eager students who know about fibre, spinning, and textile production.

After I did a bit of talk, I invited the students to gather around and try out some of the spindles. Nearly the entire class took me up on this offer. It was so delightful to support such interest in making yarn with a stick.

I know there are far more supported spindles than there are suspended spindles in this photo, but that’s where the fun and learning exist for me these days — figuring out the fibre preparation, fibres, and spinning techniques to get the yarn I want from support spindles.

A Mitt is a Swatch: Article for PLY magazine

In the Winter 2021 issue 35 of PLY magazine, I have an article called, A Mitt is a Swatch. Here are some photographs that support my article, in particular the pieces that didn’t make the cut.

Starting with blending board experiments, I made these rolags. I made two blending boards, trying to make them the same so once spun up, I could have about 70 grams of yarn.

And here it is in spinning progress. Singles spun on my Ashford Joy.

I made a two-ply yarn and then knit it into a wee swatch to see it better. Yes, I like this.

And here’s the mitt, with a bit of leftover rolag so I could show what it’s made up of; some leftover yarn, and the first small swatch. I call it a quick mitt because I didn’t include the thumbs – which take an additional 30 – 40 minutes to make (including having to weave in four extra ends.)

The mitt shows me much better what the yarn looks like; will eventually show me how the yarn will perform; and finally gives me a functional and beautiful (if I don’t mind saying so myself) object.

A mitten is a swatch – to read the entire article get a copy of PLY Magazine Winter 2021 Issue #35 (the Head and Hands Issue). It’s worth it.