Bobbin Winder How-To: Tools and Tips

Last week I made my case for taking the time (and investing in a bobbin winder) for rewinding from a spinning wheel bobbin onto storage bobbins. This method helps me store an entire project’s worth of singles before plying. What’s more, I prefer plying from lightweight plastic or cardboard bobbins. Here are three ways I […]

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Surrounded by the blossoms and abundant greens of an Indiana summer, I am stockpiling fleeces for fall spinning workshops. Among my autumn travels around the country, I get to spend an entire week with fleece-hungry spinners at John C. Campbell Folk School creating breed-specific yarns and cloth. I’m busily washing piles of shimmering longwool locks […]

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Natural Dyes: Foraging for Local Color

I shared one of my jaunts into madder-dyeing a few weeks ago, but I also love foraging for color. Just from where I sit in the morning and spin on my charkha I can see several wonderful dyestuffs that return unbidden each summer. What natural dyes are growing in your backyard? For the last few […]

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Tea and a Pound of Cotton

In these long, hot days of summer, I’ve carved out a morning ritual: spinning a bit of cotton while I drink my morning tea. This is the time of year that I can take a few deep breaths and try to gather myself in between haymaking on the farm, writing and researching, prepping for fall […]

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Roving Reporter Reviews: Andean Spinning

Handspinning videos abound. Many spinners I know watch loads of videos about fiber preparation, drafting techniques, plying, and so on from all over the world. However, some videos have a special place in my library. Andean Spinning is one of them—here’s why: The video is filmed as a conversation between two amazing women, Linda Ligon […]

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I’ve had a madder matter brewing, and it is beautiful. The Welsh Llanwenog fleece I shared in my last post is now making its way through madder dyepots as I experiment with seemingly endless natural dyeing options. I love to explore and sample, so I might not get anything else done this summer! Here is […]

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Llanwenog Wool and the Madder Matter

Shall I introduce you to my new best friend, Llanwenog? Fleeces are like friends: some we know well and can’t live without, while others are more like casual acquaintances. I’ve been hanging out with a Llanwenog fleece and we’ve hit it off! Let me tell you a bit about this Welsh breed. First of all, […]

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Ode to Pin-drafted Roving

Most spinners have easy access to roving and combed top preparations, but did you know that there is a step in between? Pin-drafted roving is one of my favorite preparations because it’s a balance between the bouncy, lively feel of roving and the smooth consistency of combed top. During my spring fiber travels around the […]

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