Even after 21 years of handspinning, prepping fiber, dyeing, and knitting with my handspun, I still have so much to learn. Yet that learning process adds to the fun! And because it’s me, naturally I’ve systematized my learning process. First and foremost, I make a to-do list. My spinning queue holds more than specific projects; […]

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After completing a big, dirty project—say, processing raw fleece and spinning yarn from Jack the very dusty alpaca—I like to imagine a lazy spinning vacation. Cabana boys stop by my lounge chair every hour with trays of frosty drinks and samples of luxury fibers that were hand-dyed at an indie workshop that also makes artisanal […]

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How to Spin and Knit with Variegated Yarn

Spinners have many opportunities to see the world through rainbow-colored glasses. Since we possess so much control over our raw materials, we can incorporate colors before, during, or after spinning. I always love spending a day in my studio’s kitchen with dyepots, especially now that I’ve learned what types of dyes work best on protein […]

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My handspinning journey took some interesting turns after I moved to Kansas in 2000 and began teaching at a small university. Despite—because of?—the demands of my career, I kept playing with fiber. Since the university’s art department offered textile classes, I now had access to new some new toys and expert advice. These new resources […]

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Closet Full of Sheep: Surplice Sweater

When experienced spinners undertake a large project, they generally spend some time planning the yarn. They might even (gasp) try to match a commercial yarn or spin for a desired knitting pattern! As a beginner, I took a more haphazard approach, as we’ve seen from my first vest, first socks, and second vest. I just […]

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