Roving Reporter: A Traveler’s Spinning Inspiration: My Handspun Yarn Journal

Article Written By: Kate Larson

This is a great way of making sure that a time you enjoyed stays with you and if you want to create a piece of that to keep with you then these are amazing steps to help you along that path.

From taking your own photos, grabbing pamphlets, and keeping with it this short article is chock-full of tips on how to improve your fiber inspiration journals.  There is a great follow-up article that includes a finished inspiration page to…well inspire you:



5 Knitted Shawl Patterns for People Who Don’t Like to Wear Shawls

This author, while promoting a new book, is expounding upon the virtues of different ‘new’ shawl patterns.  This article mentions everything that I have a hard time with when it comes to shawls.  The way shawls slip off, they way that they involve a ton of yarn overs, the fussy look, the awkward way that they fit, and so much more.

This article shows five different patterns and explains how each pattern ‘solves’ one or more of the problems mentioned.  They look really neat and certainly make me want to consider the book for my libraries collection.

Fixing ‘Failed’ Fiber

This is a fantastic article that explores how fiber ‘mistakes’ can be easily fixed with a drum carder.  Everything from a splotch of too bright color to a bit of felting in the dye pot can be fixed with a drum carder.  The too bright color can be mellowed out with a few passes through the drum carder and carding the fiber can fix some of the felting by reintroducing air.  Admittedly if the fiber is too felted all you will be doing is breaking apart the fibers and introducing ‘nepps’ into your batt.  But really those can also be called ‘texture’ and creating an ‘art batt’.  This is also a great reminder for me that dimension can be added at other points in the creation process other than the dye bath.  *Don’t forget the sparkle*

Three Tips for Dyeing Dimensional yarn

How to dye yarn so full of color and life that it glows
Three tips to dyeing yarn with depth and dimension
By Brenda Lavell

This is written by the creator of Phydeaux Designs & Fiber; she is releasing a course on fiber dyeing that I recommend.

The first tip involves mixing colors of the same family or layering them imperfectly to create dimension to the project you are working on.

Shadows create dimension, and so using a gray can do the same for your yarn/fiber. (remember you can add but taking away is much harder).

*The entire article is fascinating and has a lot more tips and tricks than I put here.  These are just my notes*

The Slow Death of Vintage Skills

This author begins by exploring why a particular scene in a show has remained on her mind for an entire day, the scene is a woman being told that her bobbin lace in antiquated.

“Skills like knitting, sewing, cooking from scratch, canning, gardening and, yes, making bobbin lace seems to belong to a bygone era”

From there this author begins to explore how education began, at the mother’s knee with the children involved in all aspects of everyday life to one extent or another.  Food preparation has fallen by the wayside, including canning, baking bread from scratch, etc.  Sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, etc. this author laments not learning these skills when she was younger at her grandmother’s knee.  Gardening gets a mention also.

“BUT!  I see a revival!!!  Homeschoolers.  Backyard Farmers.  Crafters.  Survivalists.
Homesteaders.  These movements are growing and beginning to cross paths.  They are cool, hipsters, conservatives and hippies.  This “vintage revivalism” is gaining momentum.”

As people get more involved in understanding the health impact, and economic impact, of their choices in life they begin to go back to what was old.  I am really hoping that these skills are seen as valuable since Olean Public Library will be holding classes on them over the summer!

How to Use a Bead Loom: 10 Things You Must Know

  • Have all of the materials and tools you need on hand
  • warping the loom
  • adding the first row of beads
  • making sure that the tension is accurate
  • ending and adding threads
  • weaving in tails
  • removing the pieces
  • finishing techniques
  • etc.

Essentially this article is just a list of things that will be taught in a beading loom class that will be offered through interweave.