Spinning to Knit

Spinning to Knit

Last week, Jillian Moreno’s highly anticipated (at least by me!) book Yarnitecture was released. I got my copy on Friday and that sort of derailed any other reading plans I had for the weekend.

And, today being Tuesday I am going to share you my 10 favorite things from the book!

PicMonkey Collage

  1. The cover. Really. Did Jillian plan this just for me? I mean who could resist a book with all that great green on it!
  2. Are you a knitter who wants to spin? This book is entirely focused from a knitter’s perspective about the creation of yarn. In other words, she tells you the absolute best way to create a yarn you will want to knit with!
  3. There are fantastic photos (of course, that is sort of a given) that show clear photos of crucial things that new and old spinners struggle with – things like drafting, twist, and plying.
  4. She spends the entire book talking about spinning prepared fibers – and especially the amazing fibers available at Fiber Show’s and on Etsy. This is especially great if the idea of processing an entire fleece to spin is not your cup of tea!
  5. That being said, she still talks in depth about the LARGE variety of fibers there are available to spin!
  6. Yarnitecture takes you through yarn construction like you are building a house! She breaks it down into very manageable stages that help you make the yarn you want to make. I have been spinning a good bit of time and I had a number of “aha” moments!
  7. There is an entire chapter on the multitude of ways you can finish your yarn. Menacing your yarn is such a great phrase!
  8. Jillian demystifies grist for the spinner and breaks it down into something that is understandable and meaningful. (Especially if you are spinning for a large project)
  9. There an entire chapter on color and how to make color work for you as you are spinning – especially those lovely dyed braids of fiber. She inspires your imagination by showing you the tip of the iceberg on how they can be broken down to spin. After reading her inspiration, my mind is just flooded with dozens of ideas for fiber in my stash!
  10. Last, but certainly not least, there are 12 stunning patterns by a variety of talented designers using handspun yarn – from socks to shawls to sweaters – there is sure to be something that calls to you! I promise you my “knit list” has grown!

Jillian shows us that the possibilities are limitless when we are sitting at our wheel. Yarnitecture gives you the tools you need to build the yarn you want and then offers encouragement to knit something with it! Jillian is absolutely correct when she says, “I love knitting period, but handspun (yarn) takes it to a different level…” It absolutely does, Gentle Reader – and if you’d like to share that experience, this book is for you!


Fiber Friday: In Search of a Yellow Jersey

Fiber Friday: In Search of a Yellow Jersey

yel·low jer·sey


  1. (in a cycling race involving stages, especially the Tour de France) a yellow jersey worn by the overall leader in a cycle race, at the end of any one day, and ultimately presented to the winner.

I have been spinning up a storm in week one of the Tour. I have spun up the Columbia rolags, the Merino/Yak roving, and the Gotland roving. I am working through the vintage batts, and I have to tell you, while I was skeptical about how this would look at the start, I am LOVING how this looks spun up!

Still to come: Montadale top and Coopworth roving.

I am not sure how much time I will get to spin this weekend, and day one of “rest” comes on Monday.

The next rest day is July 19, but there is plenty of time yet to spin.

Let’s talk about spinning and plying for a minute. I think that I have been in a real spinning rut – same kind of yarn spun every time had pretty much been my modus operandi. However, I broke out of that shell significantly over the last year in the Sheepspot Fiber Club. I tried new things, spun fibers differently, and generally learned that not all fiber should be spun the same way. While, in theory this might make sense – it did not to me. I had my preferred rhythm and drafting method – don’t move my cheese, right?

Well, it moved and I found I liked it in the new spot!

I envisioned this Merino/Yak spun in a worsted weight yarn that would be soft and squishy, like the fiber was. I think I nailed it. I wish you could feel how soft it is. I have not set the twist yet, because I think I am going to re-ply, it could be better and more uniform.

That gets me to plying…that was truly my log jam in spinning. I can spin a nice single, however plying is a hit and miss prospect for me. More misses than hits. I have tried plying with Scotch Tension, but it really is awkward for me. The take up is sometimes too hard, and I think that does not allow enough twist into the yarns.

But, I watched a couple of videos last week that really were huge “aha” moments for me. One by Rachel Smith, aka welfordpurls (which will be available to the public in a couple of weeks) and one by Sasha Torres, aka Sheepspot.

So, I sat down at my wheel and left it in double drive and tried the things that Rachel and Sasha talked about. And, guess what…THEY WORKED!! I am so excited by this, you just cannot imagine and it has really spurred me to finish up the spinning project for my sweater. I have the singles spun, but I have been holding off because of my inept plying abilities! I will definitely be plying those singles up ASAP. The fear has been vanquished!

Update on TTL MKAL – I finished clue #4 – I know! YES! I have not started clue #5 but I am sure I will at some time this weekend.

All in all, it was a fantastic week in fiber!

Friday Linkage:

That’s all I have for this week, I have miles to go in search of that elusive yellow jersey!! Have a fantastic weekend! See you back here on Monday!



Fiber Friday, June 24th

Fiber Friday, June 24th

The spinning this week continues. I have been working patiently though this gorgeous Targhee from Sheepspot Fiber Club.

This is a serious spin – as in counting treadles and lacing my flyer to get a nice lace-weight yarn – these things are not things I have done before for any project! I have half spun up and have half to go. This is such beautiful fiber – I have never spun Targhee and so this was a real treat! It has so much spring and the fiber drafts beautifully – practically by itself! Truly, this is drafting so easily, I am able to pull just a few fibers out at a time getting a nice fine single. I am using the 15:1 whorl on my Schacht Matchless, so I am putting a good bit of twist into the single. I love how my ply back sample looks and this is what I will be aiming for when I ply this up. This will bloom drastically in the wash so my goal is a light fingering weight, heavy lace weight and I think I will achieve it! Stay Tuned!

Friday Link Ups:

For the book lovers out there when a book appears in your vision, not once but three times in a week it is a message from the Book Gods! I heeded their call and have queued it up on my Kindle to read. I also finished Still Life and loved it! My bingo card is getting close to my first bingo! Summer reading FTW!

That’s all I have this week, have the Happiest of FriYAY’s! I will see you back here on Monday – and Tuesday there will be a special update on the Summer Knit Along that you won’t want to miss!



A Full Weekending

A Full Weekending

Recipe for the Practically Perfect Summer Weekend:

  • The best Friday Happy Hour, complete with barbecued shrimp and martini’s.
  • Gardening time.
  • Strawberry top infused Blushing Mules, oh my was this good! Oh, and both GIN and vodka are spectacular, just sayin’.
  • Knitting and spinning. (Another item crossed off my Summer Knit Along list!)
  • Moving my blog to a new server. (A million thanks, Steve!!)

This combination makes for a much more palatable Monday.

How was your weekend?

P.S. If you previously subscribed to my blog, you will need to do so again, thank you!




The Yay-est of Days!

The Yay-est of Days!

Friday. Oh how I love you! But, some Friday’s are just uber-appreciated. Today is one of those days.

It has been a busy week here, work has changed things up for me and I have still not gotten into a good rhythm with the new schedule, thus Friday arrives and I am still feeling a bit “behind the eight ball” with a list that still has things to get done.

Time coordination – the bane of my existence. Seriously.

And, apparently plying is right up there as well.

Which brings me to the Fiber portion of today’s post! Thanks to Rachel for hosting Fiber Friday’s!

I spent some time this week plying up the singles I spun. Some of it was lovely, and some…not so much. It is the one aspect of spinning that I really struggle with. I look at all the amazing photos of plied yarns that drift around on Instagram and I am in awe that people do this so well, yet it seems somehow elusive for me. I struggle most with worsted spun yarns – but maybe that is because the loftiness of woolen spun yarns fills in the plying problems I seem to have. I am not sure exactly how to fix this, but I am really thinking a plying class is in order.

But, not one to give up – I will “re-ply” this yarn and see if I cannot improve the areas where it is under-plied, or not plied as the case may be. I will update you next week on how this re-do goes!

There is some welcome rain forecast for today, and while an “on the road” version of Happy Hour is not looking good for today, there will be a snacks and beverages to usher in the weekend. Photos courtesy of last week’s FriYAY celebration that were preempted on Monday for a more somber post.

PicMonkey Collage

And, lest you think there were no links this week – you’d be incorrect! There are a few, even a few spectacular ones:

First off – everyone could use More Love! (and right now it’s free!)

Gradient Knits – how I love thee!

Perhaps you’d like a Party on your needles?

This is such a fascinating construction method.

And, then there is Jutta! I am in love and I am pretty sure that Genevieve needs one!

That’s all I have for today, Gentle Reader. Have a fantastic Friday and be safe this weekend.


Fiber Friday

Fiber Friday

Happy Friday! I would say that it took long enough getting here, but it was a short week. However, I have felt confused on what day it is all week long! Tuesday felt like Monday, etc. But, today is Friday and that means I am joining Rachel for Fiber Friday.

I have been faithful to spinning on my Jenkins Turkish Spindle when I am outside with Sherman. I am happy to report that I am more than half way through the bump! The fiber is Cormo from Sheepspot Breed Club in the December in Ontario colorway. This was a good choice for me to drop spindle as it is so easy to spin! My spindling has improved as well!


I have not been spinning much this week on my Matchless, as I have been trying to get some knitting projects done instead, however I have so little of the Shetland to finish I will just sit down and get it done this weekend! (Perhaps while watching Shetland that I just picked up from the library!) We have rain in the forecast for the weekend so that might just work perfectly!

On a quick side note, my garden is going mad! There are peppers growing on the pepper plants, we have one tomatillo started, and (while there is not a picture) the potatoes are growing! My roses are crazy with blooms and buds right now too, as are my raspberries! It is a very happy time in the garden!

garden colage

As usual, I have a few links for you today…

Have a fantastic weekend, see you all back here on Monday!

P.S. Thanks for sharing all the books you did not like, I now have an awesome list to choose from!

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