Become part of the circle sharing inspiration for spinning and other fibre crafting. It is a warm and reassuring place, sort of like a favourite chair near a cosy fireside, where beginners and experts come and go as they please. It's a place to share what we know, learn from each other and display what we've created -- while supporting and inspiring each other on the wonderful journey associated with handspinning and wool-related crafts.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Alpaca in Birmingham ...

I have recently found out about an event at the NEC in Birmingham, England all about Alpaca. As well as showing alpaca, there is an Alpaca Fibre Arts Village.

"A new feature for the Futurity is an Alpaca Fibre Arts Village where fibre artists, 
whether alpaca breeders or not, take a low cost table for the two days to display 
and sell their product. The ‘village’ will encourage hand spinners, felt makers, 
weavers, knitters and crochet makers to come and practise their art in public. 
There will be a knitting table stocked with yarns, needles and patterns where 
anyone can come and have a go. 
Tops, fleeces, yarns and end products will all be for sale.
Alpaca fibre is known for its lovely handle, warmth and lustre and is 
one of the ‘noble fibres’. Most of the alpaca tops, yarns and end products 
will have been made in Britainfrom the fleeces of alpacas bred in this country. 
The feltmaker Liz Clay, spinner and lace knitter Jean Field will be holding 
workshops at the event."

I thought I would share this here in case anyone was interested in it. The event is on 16-17th March 2012 at the NEC, Birmingham. Website for more details is http://www.britishalpacafuturity.com/

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

February 2012 Woolly Wednesday ... come join us

Welcome to Spinspirations Woolly Wednesday gathering for February, another month goes by - come and let us know what you have been doing with wool this month. All crafts and inspiration welcome.

Woolly Wednesday falls on the first Wednesday of every month. Think of it as a creative gathering, or a virtual guild meeting. Bring along any fibre-related project, whatever it may be. If you are starting out in fibre arts, share what you are interested in pursuing. Let's show each other our projects, share any tips, tutorials, ask questions, seek advice. Add your post to the Linky below and we can visit one another and share, support, encourage, be inspired!.

Please feel free to add the button to your blog's sidebar with a link to Spinspiration, a lovely way for us all to link together. Just copy the image to your desktop and then in your blog design - add a gadget, add picture - upload the picture and then add the url (http://spinwheelspin.blogspot.com/) and the image will link to here.

Join us with the linky below, link to a recent blog post of your woolly adventures in the last month or to a post in the month ahead, we look forward to seeing you, no time limits just join us when you can.

If anyone has anything they would like to read about here, do let us know and we'll see if we can help with advice, links or suggestions. Similarly if anyone has anything they would like to share, maybe we could have guest posts sometime.  Our little online gathering is a place to share.

Dawns February Woolly Wednesday adventures

Whoosh another month.  More Dorset Horn spinning and plying, almost finished the fleece now, just a little more carding and spinning and she will be done.

Plying Dorset Horn

Was hoping for some warmer days to wash and dry (outside) some more zwartble but that's not happening so maybe I could get it dry indoors if done in smaller batches - we'll see.

Singles Icelandic on the Niddy Noddy

In the meantime I decided to leave the Icelandics I spun and finished last month as singles so have set the twist in them.I decided to set these with steam whilst under slight tension and it has worked perfectly. They are holding together really well and as balanced as can be for a single ply! I used my steam cleaner to do this - rather than a pot of boiling water or the kettle and it worked really well - easily controllable and hands clear of hot steam! Yay for another use for the steam cleaner.

Setting the Single ply

Skein  to be wound

I'm going to use some up on some weaving squares for my long-term project of a breeds blanket I mentioned previously. The rest I'm not sure - maybe a bag or cover for something, I might spin up the other Icelandic colours first so as to have some more colour variation.

In other spinning news I have been on a Yarn design workshop with friends and had a fabulous day, lots of laughter as well as spinning. We did lots of samples of different yarns of which some were really out of my spinning comfort zone although I persevered and actually quite fancy practicing them now. Practice makes perfect right? Will share some pictures and experience another time.

Workshop on yarn design
(blurred on purpose for sharing the picture on the blog!)

The workshop was run by my Spinning Guru, a lovely teacher who helped me much in my early days when I used to go to her house for spinning classes one evening a fortnight. Many of the people on the workshop have been to her or go to her now so there was a good mix of abilities. I was quite honoured at one point to be handed a larger amount of wool and alpaca than others for one of the yarns as "you're an experienced spinner now" were the words of my guru! I guess I am compared to some others, but always feel like I am learning. I shall experiment a little more with what I have learnt and share experience and photos on this another time.

I gave my wheel a good clean and oiled the wood before the weekend, forgetting that Danish Oil has quite a pungent smell and did this in the house one night. Hmmm not such a great idea when I almost instantly got a really bad headache! Lesson learnt. Note to self: oil the wheel in a ventilated area - preferably outside in future.

Lots of ideas running around in my head, have picked up a couple of 2nd hand books recently and watched some videos and feeling all inspired to push my spinning to new things, alongside continuing spinning a lovely standard yarn of course.

What's keeping you busy, or inspiring you?

Kelly's February Woolly Wednesday

Hi everyone
Still concentrating on spinning up my two Lleyn fleeces. I have almost finished the first one.  Here's a bit to show you.
And just for a little break, I spun up the wool I dyed with madder a couple of months ago. I had two lots. A darker orange and a beige. I spun as singles and then plied the two colours together. I like the result. Not sure what I will do with the yarn yet.  There's enough for a nice little project.
Hope you have all had a great month and now back to that Lleyn for me until it is all spun up!  Looking forward to visiting any other links.  Wishing you a great month ahead.