Welcome to 2023! I am kicking off the New Year by trying something I’ve never ever done before, and you’re invited along for the ride.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I’m a “process” rather than a “project” spinner. Even when I occasionally contemplate how I want a yarn to turn out (Tour de Fleece 2020 being the most dramatic example), I. Have. Never. Picked a project for the yarn before I made it. Rather, I waste hours trolling through Ravelry, other websites, and books, desperately hunting for some knitting pattern with the right weight of yarn, necessary yardage, acceptable skill level, and likelihood that I would actually wear the end result. (This is why I have so much handspun piled on the shelves in my study!)
But this time, it will be different. This time, I will spin with intention. It’s a “spintentional” spinalong!
January: Prep for February Spinalong – find fiber, pick pattern, etc.
For me—and I suspect others—this will be the hardest part of the spinalong. Because it means knowing ahead of time what you will use your yarn for, and spinning with intention to create a yarn specifically for that project. It could be anything: knit, crochet, weaving, naalbinding, or any other project that uses spun yarn.
In my own case, whatever “it” is will most likely be knitted. For once I’d actually like to knit something I’d actually wear, rather than shoved in a drawer and trotted out only for fiber events. (I’m sorry, Angelique!) Other factors to consider include:
- the yardage needed for the project
- the weight of yarn
- whether two or three ply is more appropriate for the project
- how the colors in the fiber will translate to colors in the finished yarn and thus the knitted item
- the “grist” or yarn density
- how much twist the yarn has
So much to think about. No wonder I’ve never spun for a project before!
January also provides the opportunity to prep the fiber, if needed. For instance, fiber may need to be blended, dyed, or made into rolags or batts or combed top made to enable a more woolen or worsted yarn. I’ll probably use this time to free up spindles to use for this spin, since they all seem to be full of unplyed singles at the moment.
February: “Spintentional” Spinalong runs February 1 – 28
The actual spinalong will take place during the month of February. Any method or tool for spinning is welcome. I will probably spin supported—I know, I know, what a surprise! Even though spinning with a wheel or eSpinner is faster, supported spinning offers the ultimate portability and flexibility to fit into my life.
Join us on the Spanish Peacock Flock Facebook group for ideas, inspiration, and encouragement. And reminders to keep checking the yarn-in-progress to make sure it’s on track with its intended design.
March & April: Finish the yarn and make The Thing the yarn was designed for
Two months should be plenty of time to ply the yarn and set the twist and then make the “thing” chosen back in January. It might be cutting it close for me, since I knit even more slowly than I spin. Which reminds me! I need to make sure that the knitting pattern is so simple I can follow it without paying close attention. Or if I screw it up, no one will be able to tell! I guess that means 100% garter stitch! A garter stitch scarf. A very, very long garter stitch scarf… hm, maybe a garter stitch blanket.
May 6: show off your F.O. at the Flock Meet Up at MDSW (time TBD)!
What better way to celebrate a successful project than to show off your finished object to a flock of fiber friends who’ve just been through the same experience?
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and we’ve decided to have a “flock meet up” for Spanish Peacock fans on Saturday, May 6th! Unfortunately, Spanish Peacock will not be vending at the show, so we’ll need to figure out a place to meet, in addition to picking a time. Stay tuned for details.