Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reflecting Back, and Looking Ahead

Happy 2013, everyone! I can't believe it's been a full year since I started my humble blog. This time last year, I started blogging with the intention of posting every single day for the duration of 2012 - a lofty goal, to be sure, and though I faithfully posted daily for several months, eventually real life became too hectic and my posts dwindled down a bit.

However, the spinning remained constant. I spun happily and contentedly through 2012, with hardly a day without the wheel whirring and fiber slipping through my fingers. Though I didn't set any specific goals or intentions for 2012, looking back, I think the theme for last year should be "Production" - because I spun more in the past twelve months than the rest of my spinning life combined!

From a total of nearly 7 pounds of fiber, I spun 15,118 yards of singles - over 8 1/2 miles of yarn! Though much of this yarn has been knit up already, here's a sampling of what's left and waiting to be transformed into something lovely. (A full account of last year's spinning, with lots of details, can be found on my Yarns of 2012 page.)

Some of last year's yarn!
Besides the spinning, I also (finally!!) knit a sweater that I totally and completely love...

'Rhinebeck' cardigan by Lisa Lloyd, knit in Valley Yarns' Northampton.
... and mustered up the courage to enter my handspun at Rhinebeck. Better yet and much to my delight, I came home with ribbons!! :)

Prize-winning bamboo and merino/silk handspun
I also wrote a Wool Combing Tutorial that I'm really proud of, and knit enough socks to render my store-bought socks obsolete. All in all, it was an excellent year, and I'm so happy that I got to share it with you!

For 2013, following in the spirit of some of my very favorite blogs, I'm going to set some specific fiber-related intentions for myself and do my very best to accomplish them all this year. I've thought long and hard about my list, and can't wait to get started!

*Spinning Goals*

1. Process and spin more raw fleece. I had an awesome time spinning up lots of colorful handpainted fiber last year, but would love to sink my teeth into my collection of fleeces, maybe even dyeing the fleece before spinning. As of this writing, I'm plotting out something wonderful to do with a gorgeous Border Leicester fleece from my stash - stay tuned for more!

2. Learn different spinning techniques. I'm comfortable with the short forward draw and the long-draw, but still haven't tried spinning from the fold, spinning flicked locks, or spinning directly from wool combs. It's going to be exciting to try these methods, and more!

3. Spin some new-to-me fibers. I'm planning on working with cashmere, mohair, and silk mawatas this year, and have a feeling I might get even more adventurous as time goes on.

4. Spin for a sweater. Now that I've gotten over my fear of knitting sweaters, it's time to take it to the next level and spin for one! I have a sneaking suspicion that this goal is going to tie in with Spinning Goal #1... :)

*Knitting Goals*

1. Knit more garments. Because there's really nothing like a handknit sweater, as I happily discovered last year!

2. Knit more with my handspun. I have so much of it, so instead of buying more yarn, I'm going to get creative and see what happens. :)

*Other Fiber-Related Goals*

1. Explore weaving. I had so much fun weaving my first scarf last year, and am really looking forward to learning more about weaving, especially weaving plaids and tartans, which have totally enchanted me recently. There may even be a new loom in my future!

2. Play with felting. Because it feels a little scary and reckless, and is therefore deeply mysterious. :) I also totally love how felted objects look.

3. Experiment with dyeing, particularly natural dyes. This awesome book should help me out with that!

I'm so excited to see what's in store for 2013, and hope you'll join me for a year filled with lots of creativity and fibery goodness! As always, thanks so much for reading! I absolutely love being able to share my fibery ramblings with you.

Oh, and Sylvia says hello! :)

Happy New Year, everyone, and talk to you again very soon!


  1. What great goals! I look forward to seeing your progress, especially through the raw fleece processing and natural dyeing. Happy new year!

  2. It's crazy looking back and seeing all of the amazing things you have done this year! I can't wait to see you take on all of these goals! Happy new year!

  3. OK- I'm so looking forward to hearing about (seeing) your new loom. Truth be told I'm really excited to see all the fun stuff you have planned for 2013. Happy fibering!

  4. Wonderful list of goals! I'm sure that each of these are going to take you interesting places and you will learn a lot this year. Also, I'm so glad you posted about the sweater before, I had forgotten how much I loved it. I also think that you will be excellent at dyeing, I can feel it.

  5. I love the list, especially with the spinning. And I cannot wait to see what happens with the spin for a sweater. My aunt got me Churro wool in New Mexico to spin and she brought me enough for a sweater... It's kind of intimidating.

  6. I couldn't for some reason post a comment on the previous post, but i'll just comment it here too. You turned that fluff i sent you, into the most beautiful gray yarn! Amazing! I hope it'll work well when knit and wasn't a pain to spin.

  7. And i also think you've got great plans for this new year! I also got some ideas for our coming swapping on them. :) i'll do some searching in the fiberfront i think. ;)