My Knit with Singles Swatch

This past April, our spinning Guild (Nutmeg Spinners’ Guild) hosted Amy King (Spunky Eclectic) and her two-day Sock Intensive workshop.  I’m not much of a sock knitter, but I love learning about all kinds of different spinning techniques!  One of the yarns that we made was an energized single.

We often talk about the effect that yarns that are not balanced have on knitted and woven fabric.  During the workshop, Amy also discussed different ways to mitigate these effects when knitting.  I’ve always understood the concept but have never actually experienced it for myself.  So here I was with this bobbin with a fair amount of energized singles and it occurred to me that this was a perfect opportunity!

And so, my experiment began (see photos below).

1.      I started with 2x2 ribbing and a seed stitch border.          
Result: Each of these areas are fairly straight.

2.      Next came a section of standard Stockinette Stitch.         
Result: This section showed a definite slant to the right.

3.      Then a section of Garter Stitch   
Result: This section is fairly straight.

4.      In the next section was Stockinette Stitch in which I knit through the back loop and purled through the front loop.          
Result: This section is fairly straight.  This also created a very interesting effect!

5.      Last, but not least, was the Stockinette Stitch in which I both knit and purled through the back loop.  
Result: This technique also created a straight fabric.

So, there you have it.  Have you ever made a sample “just to see what would happen”?  What were your results?  Please share!

51 Yarns and Why I’m Doing It

I rarely participate in spin/knit/etc.-alongs and when I have (Advent scarves), it has always been at my own pace.  This January, I took part in a challenge on Instagram called “We Make Yarn.”  Come to find out, no one minds if you go at your own pace, post photos late, or even if you choose not to participate in one or more parts of the challenge.  I also discovered that I enjoy participating in these types of challenges.  Mainly because they do just that … they challenge me.  They provide me with an opportunity to look at things differently, see more of what other folks are doing, try new things, and at times even laugh at myself!

The most recent challenge that I am doing is Ply Magazine’s 51 Yarns Spin-Along.  This challenge is particularly good for me because it is forcing me (ok, ok … I’m forcing myself) to try my hand at spinning several different yarns that I wouldn’t spin otherwise.  We’re almost halfway through the 51 Yarns and this has been so much fun!  I don’t think I’ll ever be very good at art yarns but, at least now, I can say that I’ve been able to spin samples of many of them.

If you’d like more information on the 51 Yarns Spin-Along, check it out at https://plymagazine.com/ply-books/51-yarns-spinalong/.  It’s not too late to start, remember it’s your challenge and your spinning!  So please join in on the fun!

And So It Begins …

For several years now, a few of my friends have been encouraging me to start a blog.  Well, here goes ...

About six years ago, I decided that I wanted to teach spinning workshops when I retire.  For a long time, the thought of having this “Retirement Career” was a great dream, but it all seemed a bit abstract.  In addition to all of the demonstrating I was doing, I started teaching some private lessons.  Then Knit New Haven hired me as their spinning teacher.  Next came a few workshops at Sheep and Wool festivals. 

Now, I’ve always taken a lot of spinning classes and have had the opportunity to talk to a number of more experienced mentors.  I have always battled with “Impostor Syndrome” (Scientific American defines this as “a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity or fraudulence despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary”) but during these conversations, I learned the even the most successful instructors often dealt with these feelings.  Knowing this suddenly made it so much easier.

About two years ago I submitted a proposal to Ply Magazine for the Spring 2018 issue on Planning.  Jacey’s mood board had asked "Can you avoid spinning disaster by planning the ultimate spinning toolbag? What about planning spinning trips?"  Well, she accepted my proposal and I wrote the article.

Now here I am, three magazine articles published (one in Ply and two in Spin-Off), one more about to be published next month in Ply, an excerpt of my Spin-Off article posted in Spinning Daily, a blog post on Spinning Daily written to augment my Spin-Off article, and a another article that I am currently writing for Ply's Summer 2019 issue.

And let’s not forget how completely bowled over I was when Jacey asked me to serve on Ply Magazine’s Advisory Board!!

I guess it’s safe to say that my “Retirement Career” isn’t such an abstract idea anymore!!