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Tip of the Day: Let’s Avoid Yarn Chicken

Each week I am LIVE on Facebook at 1pm on Thursday. During my time with you, I let you know what is going on around the farm. My community is also my accountability partner, so I show you my latest project’s project and make a new goal for next week. But probably the most fun for me is talking about a tip or trick for knitting or spinning or making. Here’s where to find my Thursday Threads LIVE

Last month my tip of the day was how to avoid Yarn Chicken. And I also gave you an idea about what to do if you run out of yarn before you really want to be done. I hope you enjoy it!!

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Getting Ready for My Tour de Fleece Project

It’s now 17 days until the start of the 2021 Tour de Fleece. I told you that I have 2 goals. My long goal is to spin yarn for this really cute top. But I can’t just sit down and spin. I need to spin to a specification. Yes it can be a little off this way or that. I can take care of that with a change of needle. But I do need to get close to a fingering weight yarn.

I am particularly concerned about the lace detail of this top. So one of the first choices that I made was to decide on a 2 ply yarn. A 2 ply yarn will open up a lace when knit. And I’m happy that making a 2 ply means less spinning than a 3 ply!! But this wool is a little lofty. I has some noils in it as well. So I’m not sure if the lace will be seen with this handspun yarn.

So part of my preparation is to knit up a sample. Here’s what I’ve done so far. First, I spun up a control card of fiber. On this card I’ve noted the roving source, and I’ve put a piece of the singles and then a ply back 2 ply on the card. This is the card that I will use to make sure that each time I sit at the wheel that I’m making the same yarn mostly. Then, I measured out 2 two ounce portions of roving. This is the weight of roving that will fit on my bobbin. Then I spun 2 bobbins full. Next, I will ply up these 2 singles and set the twist.

Only then can I knit up a swatch. The swatch that I will knit will have to be knit in the round, because the sweater is stockinette. When you knit stockinette in the round it is only knit stitches. When you knit stockinette flat, you knit a row and purl a row. Purling uses more yarn and so the gauge is different than in the round. I’m looking to get the same gauge as the pattern in the swatch. I also want to include a few repeats of the lace pattern to see if this yarn will open up and reveal the pattern. I may also see about putting beads in the lace portion and see how that looks in the long run.

So yes, there are 17 days before the tour. But I need to have this background work done before the tour starts, so that each day I can make progress in the making of the 2 ply yarn for my top. Oh and by the way, this will be a Fibershed top as well.

If you are interested in joining my TdF team, you can do that here on FaceBook or here on Ravelry.

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A Conversation with Dalis of Dancing Leaf Dyeworks

I have a new podcast out in the world. I had a great conversation with Dalis of Dancing Leaf Farm. We talked about her journey as a textile artist. We talked about yarn and color and being a solopreneur. I also wanted to specifically talk to her about how she keeps her balance as a business owner, artist and human being.

I hope you enjoy it!!

You can listen to it here.

Want to watch on YouTube? Click here.

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24 days until tour de fleece 2021

We’re getting closer. I’ve been dyeing up combed top and I pulled out some mohair roving too. This mohair is really silky and shiny. It would be a great addition to an art batt. Or you could blend it in with other fibers. So far I have a lot of semi-solid colors and I’ve got a few variegated pans going too. Here’s what it looks like:

These are a minimum of 5 oz. Some are even 6 oz. They sell for $20 each with shipping! Get your’s here.

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WIP Wednesday: Always Socks on Needles

I always have a pair of socks on the needles. I finished my last pair about 2 weeks ago and I’ve been stitching along on these. The yarn is my Perendale Sock yarn that has mohair for strength instead of nylon. The colorway is an experimental colorway… (let me know if you like it). I’m really liking the way this is “flashing” and “pooling”.

I’m at my favorite place right now. I’m working on the heel flap and will probably get to turning the heel tomorrow or Friday…That is my happy place!!

What’s on your needles?

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Tip of the Day: Deciphering Mystery Skeins

In this video, I walk you through what to do when you have a mystery skein that has lost its ball band. Yes you can eyeball the weight….you can tell the difference between worsted and fingering. But I show you 2 tools that will help you to determine the size and almost more importantly how many yards you have in that little ball.

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Let’s Talk Yarn Standard Weights

So you want to make that really cool shawl/sweater/scarf/hat on Ravelry. It calls for a yarn that is discontinued, but you have the same standard weight yarn in your collection that would be really great. Can you just go ahead and use that yarn and get the same results as the photo?

Maybe…. Here’s a video of my understanding of standard weights and how they affect all your knitting.

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6 weeks until the 2021 Tour de Fleece

Hey spinners! Have you decided to participate with us? We have a team that you can join in our Ravelry group here. Or in our Facebook Tour de Fleece group here. I’m dyeing up new rovings that are fun and will be so colorful too.

I’ve decided my goals for the Tour. For the challenge days, I will develop my skill to spin singles that will stay singles. And for the rest of the tour. I’m spinning up a 2ply fingering weight yarn to make the Tenga top pattern. I just started to spin up some samples that I can swatch, so I’m getting a head start. I’m using a roving made from some BFLxShetland fleeces that I bought from a partner farm. It’s a delightful dark brown/charcoal color and really pretty soft as well.

What will you make during the tour? Comment below and let me know!!