Spinning My Way Through National Craft Month

I bet you’re a serial craft monogamist. Unless you’ve figured out how to spin and weave simultaneously or knit with your fingers and crochet with your toes, you probably have to put one down to engage in the other—but there’s hardly a spinner who doesn’t dabble in another craft. To me, that’s the meaning of National Craft Month.

Yarn spun by Catrina Reading.

Yarn spun by Catrina Reading. Photos by George Boe.

March is the month when we celebrate making all kinds of things with our hands. I can dream of what I’ll knit as the fiber flows through my hands. That was the spark behind Spin + Knit, a special issue released in 2016 that celebrates the confluence of the crafts. In introducing the issue, I shared my own multicraft story:

Fiber at Your Fingertips

The first time I gave any thought to learning to spin, I was standing outside one of the vendor barns at a sheep & wool festival when a friend pulled out a package that caught my eye. It was a purple wool/silk hand-dyed top, and I remember how the silk glistened in the autumn afternoon light. I put my hand inside the bag and petted the fiber. It took a few years and a lot more fiber-petting (and wool-huffing) before I considered myself a true spinner, but sure enough I was bitten by the bug.

Over the years, I’ve been unable to keep my hands off an ever-growing list of fibers. As a spinner and knitter, I have the joy of feeling these fibers at least four times: When I give in to the temptation to buy them; when they pass through my fingers on the way to becoming yarn; when I enjoy the yarn as I knit it into fabric, and when I wear or use the textile I make.

The Soldier Canyon Scarf, designed by Dani Berg, showcases a chevron pattern punctuated by purl ridges that transforms colorful yarn into eye-catching arrows.

The Soldier Canyon Scarf, designed by Dani Berg, showcases a chevron pattern punctuated by purl ridges that transforms colorful yarn into eye-catching arrows.

This issue combines the joys of spinning and knitting—two wonderful crafts that are perfect complements. Within these pages, you’ll find patterns that use small and large amounts of handspun yarn; that use yarn fat and skinny; that shout with color or whisper in neutrals. There are articles about making the most of colorful batts and about using fiber from a sheep you meet. There’s a section on exploring a sheep and wool market and one on using wildly textured art yarns. I hope you’ll find delight, education, and connection in this issue—more of the things that lead us back to spinning every time.

Happy spinning (and knitting!),
Anne

Featured Image: A tempting hand-dyed braid of Merino wool—oh the possibilities! Photos by George Boe.


Celebrate Craft Month and learn more about spinning to knit with these resources!