Spin-Off Natural Fibers Issue
The [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock] issue is all about natural fibers. It’s just brimming with handspun projects to make, from cozy mittens to a charming gansey – even spindle spun socks! An article on Russian Down goats lets you in on some little known facts about the Russian fiber world and describes the many different breeds found in this diverse market. In Jennifer and Rich Johnson’s article “Shepherd Dreams”, this shepherding couple offer some valuable information for new shepherds to consider as they start building a flock of their own. This issue closes with a segment on spinning your pet’s fur because after all, that’s a natural fiber too, and as local as it gets!
In Kiersten Flannery’s article “The Scottish Spindle”, we learn about the history of this traditional whorl-less spindle (including a photo tutorial on how to use it!). Then Dr. Annamarie Hatcher takes us to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia to see Scottish spinning still being practiced today in the article “Scottish Spinning Traditions”.
Click here to check out some other types of drop spindles!
This issue also features a helpful piece on hackles. For reference, a hackle is the long comb-looking thing at the top of this photo; hackles are used most often to comb fleece, but they can also be used to flick locks and blend colors (and fibers). A photo tutorial details everything you’ll need to know in order to make use of this often overlooked piece of equipment.
Click here to check out our selection of hackles and combs!
The cover project from this issue, these mittens were well thought out from the fiber up. Amy Tyler chose Montadale wool, a strong and elastic fiber. You could also use a softer wool such as Corriedale Wool Top Fiber. Knit out of an elastic handspun yarn, these warm nubby mittens are designed to be sturdy enough to last a long winter – and then some!
My favorite thing about using a drop spindle is I get to walk around while I do it. How fitting, then, to make a pair of socks out of your spindle spun yarn! These were spun from 4 ounces of beautifully dyed Polwarth; I’m tempted to grab a braid of Nube by Malabrigo Fiber to make a pair myself.
This delicious looking sweater really shows off the earthy depth and texture of Romney wool. Whether you go for a natural un-dyed shade or your favorite colorway of our Maine Coast Hand-Dyed Romney Wool Fiber Blend, this is a great project for honing your ability to keep things consistent when spinning a lot of yardage.
|Maine Coast Hand-Dyed Romney Wool Fiber Blend|
|Romney Wool Top Fiber|
|Romney Wool Fiber Blend - Dark Grey/Fawn|
Crayon Flake Cowl by Sharon Barnes
This cowl is a wonderful opportunity to put your blending skills to use. It is shown in two versions: one was spun from dyed roving and top; the second one (shown above) comes from plying a set of gradient batts with solid black Merino. However you choose to approach this project, you can be sure that it will show off your handspun beautifully. Our Merino Top Wool Fiber Yarn comes in plenty of colors to choose from, or you could experiment with some beautifully variegated Nube by Malabrigo Fiber.
There are so many different types of fiber, it can be overwhelming to try and keep track of them all. With new breeds still being developed today, it doesn’t look as though we’ll have any trouble finding the right type of wool to use for our dream projects any time soon. The [Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock] issue introduces us to just a few of these perhaps lesser known breeds as well as ones more familiar to us, offering plenty of insights into how to make these carefully developed fibers live up to their full potential. With approachable projects to get us inspired, what a great way to celebrate the diversity of natural fibers!