Abundant Earth Yarn - Swatching!

I finally made the time to sit down and swatch my Abundant Earth tweedy yarn. I swatched 6 different stitch patterns. Some didn't make it past a couple of repeats, they didn't show up or showcase the yarn well.

From the bottom:

  1. stockinette
  2. a butterfly/stem stitch - completely disappears, sad trombone.
  3. twisted lines on rev stockinette - boring!
  4. a puff stitch - interesting, but eats yarn.
  5. triangular lace - like it!
  6. lattice lace - like it, maybe more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's a peek at the butterfly/stem stitch that didn't show up in the tweedy yarn, right above the stockinette. It needs something less textured and more smoothly colored. And the twisted stitch on a rev stst background, it's fine and I like it,but not for this yarn. I want something a little more interesting visually.

 

 

Here are the two stitch patterns that are the contenders.

Maybe it's the combination of the woolen prep and woolen spin, or something in the the stitch pattern, but the top lattice pattern (#6) looks so textural to me. I think it really shows off the yarn .

The other pattern (#5) below, looks smoother, probably because of the the reverse stockinette of the triangles. I like it as a pattern, the combination the rev stst triangles and the stockinette diagonal lines, but not for this yarn. This might look cool in a speckled variegated yarn.

 

I think the lattice pattern (#6) wins! What do you think?

This is going to be the perfect travel knitting project for my flight to Denver for Yarn Fest next week. That's one project sorted.

 

WEBS Is Having a Spinning Summit and an Interview

Downtown Northampton

Downtown Northampton

Today WEBS announced their first Spinning Summit! It's being held September 29-October 1, kicking off Spinning and Weaving week and leaf peeping season. 

Come and spin with me, Beth Smith, Amy King and Abby Franquemont; we're teaching 12 classes over 3 days, color, breeds, spindles and lots more.

There will be spinners yoga, a spin in, a super swag bag and yes, a special Spinning Summit-only shopping spree, after hours, at WEBS.

Beth, Amy, Abby and I are all friends and we rarely get to teach together, so there are going to be some serious shenanigans. More info and registration can be found here.

 

Penny Shima Glanz of Little Acorn Creations interviewed me this week about my book, teaching and creativity. Penny is a hero of mine, she is a master planner. There are days I just don't want to work, but when I see her daily planning pictures on Instagram  they always get me off of my couch. Plus, she will always talk paper, pens, planning and planners with me! Thank you Penny, for letting me talk about things I love.

Abundant Earth Fiber - A New Spin for Me

Part of my 2017 spinning fun is to spin fibers and dyers that are new to me or that I haven't spun for a long time. My first spin for this year is from Abundant Earth Fiber. I was introduced to them at Madrona this year. I picked up two 50gm rovings in the Deep Water and Forage colorways. The fiber is a blend of medium-fine breeds such as East Fresian, Dorset and Lacaune all raised in Washington state near Abundant Earth Fiber.

The colors are tweedy blends, the two colorways I chose have similar highlights and Deep Water uses Forage and secondary color and Forage uses Deep Water as a secondary color. The color are gorgeous and rich and I couldn't just spin them by themselves.

 

Since I had a very limited amount of fiber I did some tiny samples. The fiber was easy to spin, open and fluffy with just little amounts of VM. I spun it with a woolen draft.  I did two quick samples of a 2-ply yarn. One marled, one ply of each color and one with the two drafted together and then plied. The marl is on the left and the drafted together is on the right. The drafted together mixes the colors up more.

 

Of course I couldn't pick from those two, so I ended up doing something different. I divided the remaining fiber equally and made a 2-ply. One ply is the two colors drafted together and one ply is one color at a time following each other. Then I plied them together. I love it! It's kind of marled and kind of gradient and very subtle. The end of the yarn with Forage as the plain color is on the left and the end of the yarn with Deep Water as the plain color is on the right.

 

The airy prep made this an effortless spin and the fantastic colors made me wish I had bought more. Yes, I was restrained for once. I have about 108 yards of 12 WPI yarn. I think a cowl is in order!

Madrona 2017

 

The fabled fiber retreat that is Madrona has come and gone. I was lucky again this year to teach there. I premiered three new classes to excited and excellent students. The newbies were willing to try anything and the more seasoned spinners were willing to try things a new way.

In Yarnitecture 2 we spun to a particular project. In Twist and Ply 2 we spun spiral, crepe, cable and boucle yarns, with boucle being the hands-down class favorite. On Sunday we spun low twist singles from lace-weight to bulky.

Outside of the classroom I listened to Susan Strawn and Lucy Neatby talk, I watched asecret teacher talent show for charity, I saw old friends, made new friends, signed books and might have shopped just a little.

Time stops at Madrona and every bit of you get filled up. You can walk into any room, the restaurant, the elevator, the lobby, the pavilion and there will be many people to share your obsession, whatever it happens to be that day.

Want to buy a new wheel or a loom? You will have a huge group of people cheering you on and volunteering to call your partner to explain why it had to happen.

No one eats alone, no one sits alone, no one shops alone at Madrona. It's like a giant ever-morphing fiber guild.

Thanks to my new friend John D for the photo of Franklin, me John D (and John Mullarkey growing out of John's head) at our book signing. Yes, Franklin, John Mularkey and me at the same table, it might have been a little loud.

An extra thanks to Lisa Kobeck who quietly makes sure everything happens smoothly and makes sure all of the teachers have everything they need, even if it's allergy pills at 6 am!

 

 

Lazy Spinner's Guide to WPI and Twist

I might have mentioned before that I am a Lazy Spinner. Give me quick and easy, as the crow flies, the fewer tools the better, all ish, that's me. And I love the yarn I make with my lazy ways, which is the most important part.

Here is how this Lazy Spinner checks WPI and even twist most of the time. I make a quick control card. I use big manila shipping tags and wrap a length of fresh yarn around it. I also record any number of spinning tidbits on it, anything that I want to remember.

Then while I'm spinning I periodically stop and hold my yarn again the control card. In the photos you can see that the yarn fresh from the orifice is a pretty close match. I can even see that the twist is close. I call that newly spun yarn good!

For the curious, I'm spinning a low twist singles, and the fiber blend has both mohair and silk, so the twist can pretty low.

 

#yarnlovechallenge

I have never done a monthly challenge before. I always convince myself that I'm too busy or not creative enough to make it interesting.

But something touched me about Mary Heather and Christina's #yarnlovechallenge on Instagram, it is exactly what I need right now. A focus on yarn and on the people who love yarn; it brings so many of us together.

It made me happy to see all of the smiling yarn-loving faces on the first day that I decided to do it. I'm @jillianmoreno on Instagram if you want to peek at my stuff, but make sure you look at #yarnlovechallenge to feel all the love.

Here's a little extra love from Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach, a perfect Friday song.

I Am the Child of Immigrants

Neither of my parents were born in this country, neither of them spoke English as their first language. They came here for all of the opportunities. My father was a doctor, he served in the US Air Force. He was Puerto Rican, an American citizen, but still treated like an immigrant. My mother was German, she worked a secretary. She held a green card until she became a US citizen when she was 60. They both loved this country and were proud to have an American daughter.

I am proud to be an American, I love this country and I am proud to be a child of immigrants.

What's Next?

That's my girl and her friends at our local Women's March. They can't wait to vote in the next election.

That's my girl and her friends at our local Women's March. They can't wait to vote in the next election.

I don't know about you, but I am feeling overwhelmed by the barge of negativity and hate since the election and since the Women's March on Washington. I am feeling scared and angry by everything that is coming out of our new administration. Have you seen who is up for consideration for Supreme Court nominees? 

There are so many things that I want to fight for and against, but I know I can get the most done if I choose one or two and put my energy, time and money behind them. It doesn't mean that these are the only things I care about or will fight for, but where I will place my focus to start. I can't just be outraged scrolling through Twitter, I have to start doing something. It's does mean I am starting by choosing to fight for LGBTQ rights over working against guns and choosing women's reproductive rights over the environment.

This weekend I'll be getting together with friends to talk about what we each want and can do. We've donated money and next we'll be contacting our representatives to Congress and the Senate. Each one of us has our own focus, but we feel stronger working together.

What are you doing next?