Swim cap

I made me a swim cap! Perhaps not the kind you would expect when you read the words swim cap. This swim cap is made from my spindle spun yarn, nalbound, waulked and embroidered, all to keep me warm during my daily baths through the winter.

When my wool traveling club and I decided to take a course in the påsöm embroidery technique for our 2022 wool journey I started planning projects on which I could play with påsöm. I wanted to try the embroidery on different wool structures. At the same time I longed for another nalbinding project and knew a nalbinding hat would be the perfect candidate. I decided to make the hat a swim cap for my daily cold baths.

I made me the loveliest swim cap for cold baths. It’s not that cold yet, though, 11°C in both air and water this week when I took the picture.

Back and forth

I used wool from Elsa the Gestrike sheep for this yarn. While I wanted to make the hat I also wanted the process to be sweet and grounding. I decided to card, spin and ply one spindleful at a time and nalbind that little ball of yarn until I had to spin another ball. It became sort of an explorative process where I also got the chance to test the quality of the spun yarn in my nalbinding and get instant feedback that I could loop back into the spinning of the next ball of yarn. The approach thus became a dynamic dance back and forth in the steps of the process, an empirical exploration of a new course of action and an evaluation of the yarn. The method was quite satisfying!

Sweet rolags make the foundation of my woolen spun yarn.

You can read more about this method in a previous post about the making of the hat and a pair of mittens, and also in a blog post about the making of my Moroccan snow shoveling pants that were made with the same approach.

Safety hat

During the spring we slowly went back to working at the office after the pandemic. I thrived when working full time from home and was quite stressed about having to go back, even if I would still be able to work fifty percent from home. When going back to the office I knew I needed a coffee break project to breathe myself through the noise and crowdedness at the office.

Nalbinding was the perfect safety blanket project, or rather safety hat. With nalbinding I always feel very safe – I think it has something to do with the grip of the project. I spun a ball at home and nalbound at work through late winter and spring.

The nalbinding has also been with me on the train to Austria and in the car to my aunt’s funeral. I have bound lots of memories and experiences into this hat.

A hat guide

I tried a new to me stitch for this project, the Oulu stitch. It’s a stitch in the Russian stitch family and quite like the Dalby stitch which I have used for several projects. They both create a structure with yarn in different directions, making the fabric dense and warm.

As I have never nalbound a hat before I used the hat guide Mervi Pasanen’s lovely book With one needle to help me with the shape and size.

From the book I also learned a new way to end a project. Nalbinding is usually done in a spiral. I started at the tip of the hat and increased in a certain pattern until I reached the finished size. Usually I try to make the stitches smaller and smaller, thus creating an even-ish edge. But the suggestion in the book was to continue the spiral on the back of the project, creating the tiniest wrap. I am really pleased with this neat solution.

Waulking

While nalbinding in its criss-cross nature is very hard-wearing and wind proof, these characteristics will get a boost from waulking. The material gets denser, warmer and more protecting against the wind and the cold.

Also, any management of a yarn with kemp in it will little by little push the quirky fibers out, making the resulting yarn or fabric warmer (since the escaped kemp fibers leave air pockets) and softer. I saved the kemp fibers that worked their way out of the hat in the waulking and got quite an impressive little ball of kemp. In the before and after pictures above there is a difference in the shade of the grey, which may partly have to do with the difference in kemp.

Waulking a project is always an adventure. I know by now that nalbinding shrinks mainly widthwise and very little lengthwise. So whenever I nalbind I make the proportions to fit that rule of thumb – a pair of mittens will be a lot wider than my hands but not very much longer. Still, waulking a project takes lots of testing and fine-tuning. I had imagined a steeper tapering of the tip, but I still like the resulting shape of it.

Påsöm embroidery

I planned the flower composition on my påsöm embroidery wool journey earlier this autumn. The most important thing really was to find a way to transfer the flower pattern to the very fuzzy waulked surface. I found a pen that worked okay, but still way better than anything I had tried before.

It was quite interesting to work the pattern in the three dimensional canvas that a hat is. I have always been biased to bias in hats – a biased brim, pattern or shape, just because why not. I decided to go for that with the hat too, in both the placement of the pattern, the direction of the stem and the asymmetry of the hat (or rather the tip hanging to one side).

The flower arrangement starts with a center dahlia (with the center on the right side of my head) from which one stem winds out to either side, ending on the left side with a green leaf. Another stem winds upwards and spirals around the tip of the hat with smaller flowers.

A sweet swim cap

Even if it’s not particularly cold in either air or water yet, I have of course tried using my sweet swim cap in my dips in the lake. The hat is very warm and cozy and the tassel keeps dangling just above the water surface. I am really looking forward to colder days with some ice. I think the hat will do an excellent work even at -18°C like we had a couple of times last winter.

A hat may be finished, but as always it’s so much more than a hat. It’s a part of a sweet dance, a safety blanket, an explo(ra)tion in colour and design and the result of many hours of just hanging out with wool.

Resources

As I posted a sneak preview of today’s post yesterday a couple of people mentioned having started to learn to nalbind bot never got much further. While this post doesn’t give you much of guidance to nalbinding I have put together a list of nalbinding resources for you.

Happy spinning!


You can find me in several social media:

  • This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
  • My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to missanything!
  • I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
  • I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden.
  • On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
  • You are also welcome to make one-off donations on my Ko-fi page.
  • Follow me on Instagram.  I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
  • Read the new book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.
  • In all the social media I offer, you are more than welcome to contact me. Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
  • I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.

Tweed pocket

I think it’s time for another tie-on pocket, don’t you? This time I let a men’s jacket in Harris tweed share his abundance of pockets for my tweed pocket visions.

I use the term tie-on pocket in this post to refer to the pocket I’m sewing, not to confuse it with the jacket pockets I’m using for it. Usually I just call the tie-on pocket a pocket, but that would be a bit challenging in this case.

My tweed pocket, made from a tweed pocket.

Diving deeper into the history and traditions of tie-on pockets I’m increasingly fascinated by how much we can learn from them. They can tell us a lot about gender inequality of history and present, but also about women’s empowerment in how they have used tie-on pockets.

Men’s pockets

I read The Pocket – a hidden history of women’s lives by Birgit Burman and Ariane Fennetaux that during the period on which the book focuses (1660–1900) men’s clothing was always equipped with several pockets for items that were considered important and significant to men – pockets for bottles, sandwiches, watches, coins and bank notes. Women’s clothing had no pockets at all, instead they had tie-on pockets. These could contain various objects – needles, herbs, handkerchiefs, coins, bread etc, and could be tied off, unloaded and changed several times a day should the bearer wish to.

A 1940’s army jacket with ten pockets. For men.

I came to think about the brilliant HBO series Gentleman Jack and the series adaptation of the life of Anne Lister, a 19th century lesbian woman who kept a journal in code. The diaries were eventually found but kept hidden to save them from destruction. Anne Lister was also an estate owner and colliery owner. She dressed entirely in black, which was normal for gentlemen at the time. In the series, all the dresses, jackets and waistcoats the character Anne Lister (played by Suranne Jones) wears have visible pockets, and lots of them.

While women’s garments do have pockets these days, it still doesn’t seem to be obvious. I usually mutter about skirts and pants with too small, too flimsy or too few pockets or no pockets at all. Count to that the increasing size and weight of smart phones, that can easily tilt trousers or tear ladies’ trouser pockets. I own a men’s wadmal jacket from the Swedish army, made in the 1940’s. It has ten very sturdy pockets.

A vision in tweed

Ever since I started making my first pocket I have been playing with the idea of a pocket in tweed, perfect for the autumn. I decided I wanted my pocket in Harris tweed. For a while I tried to find online stores in Sweden that would sell Harris tweed, but I couldn’t find any. I started looking at web shops in the U.K, but with shipping and import tax it would be quite pricy.

Some shops had fabric samples. Since I had abandoned the import idea I decided to go to the Scottish House in Stockholm, a shop specializing in Scottish clothes and fabrics. I asked for samples, but they didn’t have any. The shop keeper suggested I look for a tweed garment in thrift shops, which was a brilliant idea. That would give me the opportunity to use both the tweed fabric and details in the garment while at the same time upcycling a used item.

Meet Bernie

For a few months I monitored Swedish eBay for tweed vests and jackets, and in August I found what I was looking for – a large brown vintage herringbone men’s jacket in Harris tweed, with side, chest and inner pockets, for $21. I call him Bernie.

Looking at Bernie I count to five pockets, while my own women’s Harris Tweed jacket (also a find from Swedish eBay) has three. Two side pockets and one tiny and ridiculous pocket, way too small for a hand to put something in it, let alone fetch something out of it.

Meet Bernie, a generous jacket with pockets to spare and share.

The pattern seems to repeat itself – while Bernie has been equipped with generous pockets in large amounts, my own tweed jacket pockets are small and fragile. But Bernie is a generous jacket. He knows he has pockets to spare. He also knows that sharing some of his many pockets doesn’t make him less of a jacket. Quite the contrary – by sharing his pocket wealth he will contribute to making the world a better place since more people get access to pockets, people who are just as deserving of pockets as he is.*

And don’t worry, I will use every last piece of fabric from Bernie, so he still has the chance to contribute to lots of other projects.

* I didn’t come up with this myself. I borrowed it from Heather McGhee’s brilliant book The sum of us: What racism costs everyone and how we can prosper together. Read it.

Swedish or British?

So, back to my tie-on pocket project. I needed to make a decision about the model. I wanted to use one of Bernie’s pockets as an opening to my tie-on pocket. Most Swedish tie-on pockets have a horizontal opening (see my embroidered linen pocket and my påsöm pocket). I like them because it is easy to find my way into them. British tie-on pockets, on the other hand, usually have a vertical opening (see my upcycled linen pocket), keeping the shape neat and sturdy. I like that too.

A biased opning for my tweed pocket.

So what would I go for – a swift access to the pocket belly or a sturdy opening? Bernie’s side pockets were horizontal, but made for a large man’s hand. Therefore I feared a horizontal opening might be a little too wide. I could of course flip the jacket sideways and make the opening vertical. But with the tweed fabric being quite bulky in several layers with the welt pocket and the flap, a vertical opening might work against me. So I decided on a compromise – a biased opening. That would limit the wearability to one hip, but I always wear my tie-on pocket on my right hip anyway. Should I need one for my left I still have one of Bernie’s side pocket left.

Swenglish

I cut the pocket from Bernie with the template in Hamblemouse’s pocket pattern. Since Bernie’s pocket opening led to a pocket pouch sandwiched between the tweed and the jacket lining I cut an opening in the lining and sew the edges of the cut onto the edges of the welts so the opening of my tie-on pocket would actually go inside its lined belly.

I took advantage of Bernie’s inner pocket and used it for the lining for the back of my tie-on pocket to give it a secret inner pocket. It also harboured the Harris Tweed label, which I kept there as a sweet detail.

Sewing the tie-on pocket together was a little bulky, but I still like the rusticity of it. This pocket will not fold in the autumn storms!

The band

I wove a band for my new tie-on pocket with stashed suspended spindle spun yarn from rya outercoat fibers. I tried to stay as close to the two colours in the herringbone tweed as I could – one brown and one light beige, from the rya flock friends Bertil and Beppelina.

After having warped and made the heddles for the band I realized that I had made errors in the warping. There was nothing else I could do than unravel the whole warp and start anew.

A backstrap woven band for my tweed pocket. Stashed suspendle spindle spun yarn from outercoat of rya wool.

After the rewarping the weaving was such a joy. I really love weaving little bands. They are so portable and sweet and a perfect opportunity to learn something new on a small surface.

Dan and I treated ourself to a weekend away a couple of weeks ago, to Varberg on the Swedish west coat. I wove on the train there, connecting the far end of the band onto the coat hanger on the back of the seat in front of me. I also wove in the medieval Varberg fortress. It felt very special to weave in atmosphere where women most certainly would have both woven bands and worn tie-on pockets.

If you are a patron (or want to become one), I treat you to a bit of our journey to Varberg in my October video postcard.

Flaunting my tweed pocket

I wore the pocket at the office this week. I hadn’t finished the tassel lanyards yet, but wearing the tie-on pocket at work gave me the perfect little crafting project for the coffee breaks.

The pocket fits very well. I equipped it with my mobile phone and a banana and they got along just fine in the belly of the pocket. The pocket works well with most fabrics and styles, like tweed tends to do.

I have the feeling this tie-on pocket can become an everyday favourite. The biased opening is very comfortable and I like that I can wear the flap in or out. The inner pocket isn’t ideal for my mobile phone, though. Even if the phone fits fits in the inner pocket, it’s placed too high for the phone to get into the inner pocket from the main opening. But there are other things I can hide in my secret inner pocket.

Oh, I recently bought a bikini. The bottom piece has pockets.

Happy spinning!


You can find me in several social media:

  • This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
  • My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to missanything!
  • I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
  • I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden.
  • On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
  • You are also welcome to make one-off donations on my Ko-fi page.
  • Follow me on Instagram.  I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
  • Read the new book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.
  • In all the social media I offer, you are more than welcome to contact me. Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
  • I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.

Little bands

I have several little bands in my project basket that are only half-finished. The other week I decided to actually finish six little bands, in four different techniques.

My problem is that inspiration jumps me from behind and craves all my attention and I jump from one unfinished object to another. On the one hand I like having parallel projects. If I get tired of one I can always work on another and then get the mojo back for the first one. Working in different techniques is also a good way to stay our of strain. But I can also get very stressed knowing I have several unfinished projects in my basket, not to mention all my ideas for unstarted projects. It feels very good to finish some sweet little bands.

Little bands

Once you start weaving bands you realize there is always a need for one. Even if you don’t necessarily know the practical purpose of the band as you create it there will come a time when that very band is the perfect candidate for a job.

Six little bands have been the loveliest companions on inner and outer journeys this summer.

The more obvious purpose of the band is of course the making of it – spending time with a small, often handspun, project, watching it grow into an actual something and enjoying the weaving process without having to drag a loom around. All I need is a couple of sticks and I’m ready to dive into the process.

One of the sweet things about little bands is the portability. I weave all my bands with a backstrap loom – just a couple of sticks, a belt of some sort around my waist and something to hook the back end of the warp with and I’m ready to weave. I have spent time weaving in cars, trains, parks and office coffee breaks on both inner and outer journeys.

Recently I have also learned to appreciate my feet as part of my backstrap loom – I simply loop the end over my foot propped on top of my other knee and I weave until the foot falls asleep. Then I just change feet.

Three braids

First up in my collection of finished bands are three braided bands from odd balls of handspun wool yarn. Making braided bands is a technique I wanted to learn, so I tried different amounts of ends, different colours and different patterns.

Three 16-strand braids made of leftover balls of handspun wool yarn.

The first one was a simple grey band, I think I like that one the best. I also did one in blue with white patterning and one green with pink and white patterning. The pattern bands revealed my beginner’s mistakes, though, and they look quite sad. But it was a sweet technique to explore and I’m still happy with all of them.

You can see a lovely video where Sally Pointer braids a twelve-strand braid in linen yarn here. A twelve strand linen belt like Sally’s is on my to-craft list.

Nettle band

In July of last year and February this year I harvested nettles that I processed. There was a lot of waste, but I did manage to spindle spin two balls of nettle yarn, one tiny with the dew retted July nettles and one less tiny with the root retted February nettles. You can read more about the process in this blog post.

Throughout the processing and spinning the two retting techniques showed different colours. Once I had scoured them, though, the colour difference was smaller. Still, I used the dew retted yarn as a stripe down the middle of the warp. You can see it very subtly on the picture above.

Weaving the nettle band was lovely, it felt so good to make a little something out of material most people would frown upon. Weaving from weeds makes me feel rich, it’s sort of empowering to know that I can make something useful with my hands should I need to. And I do need, not of some material necessity but for the sake of making, to feel the making in the hands and the connection between hands and brain.

Scrap nettle yarn lucet cord

When I had finished the nettle band I had one tiny little ball left. I wanted to use as much of it as I could, so I decided upon a lucet cord. This is a very old technique that can be described as a 2-stitch I-cord. You use a fork-like tool called a lucet to hold the stitches. With this technique you can take advantage of all the length of the yarn except for the beginning and end.

A lucet cord made with the last little ball of handspun nettle yarn.

I have made a few lucet cords before, but only with wool yarn, which has some bounce, even in the worsted spun outercoat fiber yarns I have tried. Making it with plant fiber is a totally different story. Pulling the loop over the new yarn is more of a struggle and the yarn is less forgiving when it comes to uneven settling of the loop into the cord, but it was still very interesting. As always, spending some time with a material allows you to get to know it and how to work with its characteristics and its own mind.

Pick-up technique backstrap weaving band

I have a secret project going and for that I needed a band. I realized that it needed some extra sparkle, so I decided to make it with a pick-up technique. This takes a lot of time and is quite fiddly, so it’s not ideal for train rides or coffee breaks at work. But I did that anyway. I wove most of it at home, though, with full focus on the 16-row pattern.

One of the big perks of working with a pick-up technique is all the time you get to spend with the yarn. The technique is time-consuming, but that doesn’t bother me. Quite the contrary, I relish the moments when I get to dig my hands into the warp and pick the pattern up into the weave with a naturally curved wooden stick (or, I think I used a shawl pin made out of a twig). The natural materials in my hands make my skin sparkle with joy.

I spun the yarn from hand-teased Norwegian NKS wool on an Andean Pushka. You can see the process of spinning the yarn for this band in this video and the pick-up technique (for a different band) in this.

Little band in progress

When you read this I’m on a weekend getaway with Dan. Naturally, I needed a band to weave on the train. I warped, failed and rewarped, but all went well in the end. I used two colours of worsted spun outercoat wool from Swedish rya sheep from the same flock. The dark brown yarn is from the ram Bertil. The light fawn may be from the ewe Beppelina.

Band in progress: A wool band for an upcoming tie-on pocket project.

I will use the band for an upcoming tie-on pocket project I’m working on. I like playing with stripes in bands. There are so many possibilities and no right or wrong.

Weaving bands with handspun

Most of my handspun yarns are spun from Swedish breeds, and most of these breeds are prone to felting. This can make the yarns sticky, even the smoothest worsted spun outercoat yarns. A project that would be almost impossible to weave wide (like my Frida Chanel bag and loom stick wrap) is far less fiddly as a band. I do have to uncling the warp threads one by one for every new shuttling, but it doesn’t bother me at all when there are only 20–30 warp pairs. I’m just happy to see a brand new band take shape, ready to take its band space in the world.

Happy spinning!


You can find me in several social media:

  • This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
  • My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to missanything!
  • I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
  • I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden.
  • On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
  • You are also welcome to make one-off donations on my Ko-fi page.
  • Follow me on Instagram.  I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
  • Read the new book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.
  • In all the social media I offer, you are more than welcome to contact me. Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
  • I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.

Pretty påsöm pocket

On my recent wool journey I started three påsöm projects. Since then I have been working for many hours on the first project, a pretty påsöm pocket. None of this is my handspun.

If you have read my blog posts during the past year you may have seen my growing interest in tie-on pockets. A very old accessory – necessity – to give women the freedom of bringing things with them just like men have, only men’s clothes have been equipped with built-in pockets for specific items. A tie-on pocket can be placed hidden or visible and contain anything the wearer’s heart desires. My previous pockets were made of two kitchen towels and an evening purse.

Pattern outline

On my wool traveling club’s recent påsöm embroidery wool journey we first learned how to sketch the bouquet of påsöm flowers on the surface (broad cloth in this case), play with templates and stencils and transferring the shapes onto the sketch. When we were happy with the design we filled in both inner and outer borders with a permanent marker.

Once I’m happy with the design, I fill in all outer and inner borders with a permanent marker.

I chose a dahlia (at least I think that’s what it is) for the main attraction, flanked with roses and rose buds. All surrounded with greenery. I’m actually not a very flowery person, but the abundance of this technique and tradition appeals to me.

Colours

The colour palette is usually very bright, with especially reds and pinks among shades of green for the leaves. An occasional spectrum of blues or oranges can make a visit every now and then, with accent details in white and yellow.

Planning the bouquet

Just like planning a regular bouquet, you need to plan for the påsöm bouquet too. What is the centerpiece and where do the stalks go. I started with the giant dahlia and went on with the smaller flowers and the three flowers on top of the back piece of the pocket. Then I added the greenery, just according to my sketch.

Filling and blinging

Once the main pattern is in place it’s time to fill out the empty spaces with some more greenery and an occasional bud or smaller flower. The key word is abundance. I really enjoyed this part. I needed to watch every angle, see where the stalks went and fill in the gaps in a way that seemed logical in relation to the bouquet.

Once there was no more room to fill out I started the blinging process – extra sparkle to fill out the smallest spaces.

To fill out and add bling I watched the photos from the course carefully, as well as the book I had bought earlier, Påsöm, by Anna-Karin Jobs Arnberg (who was the teacher of our wool journey påsöm course). In the book as well as in the course there were lots of examples of old påsöm items to get inspiration from, as well as Anna-Karin’s new ones. From extra greenery incorporated in the flowers to bright stamens, pistils and unidentified leafy things to create depth and abundance.

Making a pocket

Once I felt finished with the filling and blinging it was time to make a pocket out of the embroidered broadcloth. I used a wild strawberry vintage cotton fabric for lining and inner pocket. A mora band (common in the traditional costume from the town of Mora) made a lovely edge of the pocket opening.

I joined the front plus lining with the back piece by hand with a backstitch, using a waxed linen thread. I like having the inner pocket for my mobile phone in the pocket. It keeps it steady and away from any accidents involving too close encounters with keys.

After I had finished the lining I steam pressed the embroidery. The result was quite astonishing, the stitches landed sweetly together in the flowers and leaves.

Close to the tradition

With the front and back neatly joined and the Mora band for the pocket opening I was getting closer to a finished pocket. But I wasn’t sure how to do the edging and the band. Anna-Karin’s påsöm pockets from Dala-Floda and the examples from the digital museum all had a buckle at the top to fasten in a belt or apron tie. The pockets were most commonly edged with velvet. I didn’t want either buckle or velvet, but I still wanted to stay within some reasonable closeness to the tradition.

I asked Anna-Karin for advice and she showed me pockets where mora bands had been sewn onto reindeer leather for the ties. She also showed me other items where reindeer leather had been used as edging and outer back piece.

I really liked the idea with soft reindeer leather for both edging, outer back piece and ties. So I ordered some reindeer leather while I finished the filling and blinging.

Reindeers and tongs

While the reindeer leather was indeed soft and flexible, it was still hard to work through with the needle. My solution was to use tongs to pull the needle through for a sweet waxed linen thread running stitch seam. Using the tongs worked very well, but it also took a lot of time to grab and let go of the tongs for every stitch. Still, in the end very much worth the effort.

It took a while to sew the 180 cm band back and forth. Edging the pocket was less complicated than I thought. The friction between the broad cloth and the suede side of the reindeer leather prevented the materials to slide from their position.

Even if the pocket is a mix between traditions from different villages in and around Dala-Floda it still looks reasonably traditional. At least in my beginner’s eyes.

Parting

As with any finished project, I felt a little sad when our journey together was over. Perhaps that is why I am such a project hoarder – I can’t seem to want to let them go. The process is such a sweet time to learn and dig deeper, to be in my hands and in the material. Even if the end product turns out beautifully and shows me a map of what I have learned, I do cherish the time I have spent together with the material, the crafting choreography and the mental process. Lucky me I have more pocket ideas in store.

A pretty påsöm pocket, ready to house sweet treasures.

Happy spinning!


You can find me in several social media:

  • This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
  • My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to missanything!
  • I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
  • I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden.
  • On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
  • You are also welcome to make one-off donations on my Ko-fi page.
  • Follow me on Instagram.  I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
  • Read the new book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.
  • In all the social media I offer, you are more than welcome to contact me. Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
  • I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.

Rya bench pad

Today is my husband’s 50th birthday. I have planned his birthday present as part two of a stwo-stage process of for over 2 years. This is the story of a rya bench pad.

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a book that fascinated me, Hammare och spik (Hammer and nail, also available in English) by Erik Eje Almqvist. The book builds on Enzo Mari’s idea of functional furniture with right angles that anyone can build. The book contains descriptions of stools, chairs, benches, tables, shelves and more that are based on standard Swedish timber measurements. You can read more about the bench here.

A rya bench pad is finally finished!

A garden bench

I really wanted to build something from the book, and for Dan’s 49th birthday last midsummer I managed to build him a lovely park bench (he calls her Judi by the way, Judi Bench, a dame).

We have spent many lovely meals sitting on the bench. During the summer we also painted a couple of coats of roslagsmahogny (a mix of pine tar, linseed oil and turpentine) to protect it.

As I secretly planned the making of the bench I jumped one step ahead and came up with an even more secret idea: I was going to weave a bench pad for his 50th birthday. And I wanted to weave it with rya knots.

Rya yarn for rya knots in a rya bench pad

I had the perfect candidate for the yarn. At the Swedish fleece championships 2020 I bought one of the silver medalist, a strong and shiny white rya fleece. My plan for it was just that, to spin a yarn for rya knots for some project. And now I knew what the project would be. I have woven rya chair pads before, but never with a yarn that I had spun for that particular purpose, only with stashed yarn.

I tried to read up on rya knot yarn but I didn’t find very much. There are lots of rya textiles in the digital museums and books about the history of rya yarn, but not very much of the spinning technique or the preparation. Many of the antique ryas seem to have a low spinning twist and a high plying twist in combination with a light fulling, so I incorporated that into my plan. And since I knew that a rya textile weighs a lot I decided to card the wool and spin it woolen. A combed and worsted spun wool is denser and would therefore require more wool and weigh more. Since rya wool usually has an exceptional shine I knew I would still get the shine even if I spun the yarn woolen.

You can read more about the intriguing history of rya rugs and their influence on rya sheep and Swedish landrace breeding in my blog post about rya wool.

Vävstuga

I don’t have a floor loom, nor do I have the skills to use one. Instead I weave on a rigid heddle loom or a backstrap loom. I do this at home, but for this project to remain a secret I needed to weave somewhere else. Luckily I am a member of the local vävstuga. A vävstuga is a weaving room with access to looms and weaving equipment. In my vävstuga, just a few hundred meters from our house, there are six floor looms, lots of equipment and skilled weavers who can lead me in the right direction when I am lost.

Every now and then I brought my loom to the vävstuga and I have been visiting it a few times a week when I officially was “out for a walk” or when Dan was out of the house. These moments were not very many, I have been able to weave only a couple of hours a week between early March and mid-June.

Warp and weft

I spun the yarn especially for the rya knots in this project. The warp and the weft are stashed and/or frogged handspun yarns. Oh, the joy of destashing my handspuns! I feel so much lighter now.

The main colour warp yarn is a 2-ply shetland yarn that was hibernating as a pair of half-knit bloomers that didn’t really sing to me. I frogged the project and soaked the yarn and it was fit to use as warp yarn. The stripes and the weft yarns are miscellaneous white and light grey odd skeins of singles that I have plied.

To knot or not to knot

I spun the rya yarns in February and March. Once the whole 1.5 kg rya fleece was spun I warped in the vävstuga and wove the border. I had brought a bread board to wrap the knot yarn around to be able to pre-cut the knots in equal lengths. I decided to go with 11 cm per knot with the yarn held double. The fold makes a sweet loop at the end and I think it brings extra life and character to the rya structure.

I tied the knot over three warp threads and skipped one warp thread between knots. After one row of knots I made three shuttlings with the weft yarn (Stashed yarn from Norwegian NKS wool). You can read more about how I have knotted my rya knots here.

Play

One of the benefits of working with stashed yarns is the opportunity it presents to play. The warp is my canvas and the knots my watercolours. The sweet bonus is that I can paint the smooth side of the project too.

And that’s one of the beauties of a rya, you can choose which side you want facing. In the beginning (ryas have been used since probably the late 13th century in Sweden) were used as bed covers with the pile down against the person sleeping under it and the smooth side as the “public” side.

Stripes!

I played a lot with stripes in this project. A rya has two sides, one piled and one smooth. None of them is the right or wrong sides.

I decided on white-ish stripes for the warp, just because I wanted to. My stash contained a lot of natural colour handspun yarn and wanted to use them organized despite them all being odd yarns from my handspun stash. I went for white as a main colour weft yarn with light grey stripes. So the smooth side is basically checkered.

The smooth side has an interesting pattern.

I went for stripes in the rya knots too, in light and medium grey. This gave a third dimension on the smooth side, with both the colour and the knotted fashion of the rya yarn. It looks like a fancy binding but it’s just the result of the knots giving the warp thread bundles a bit of a waist. Still, it’s just a tabby weave.

Twist and knot direction

Just for fun I spun the white and gray yarns in different directions. I figured it wouldn’t hurt, and perhaps the light would be reflected differently on the white and grey areas or the piled texture would get more life.

Different spinning and folding directions in the rya yarns.

I also knotted the white and grey pile differently – the white with the fold to the right and the greys with the fold to the left. I’m not sure it makes any difference, but I wanted to explore these aspects.

Watercolour painting

The most fun part was using the individual knots pretty much like water colours on a canvas. With a rya I have the opportunity to pick the colours (and of course textures, materials etc) any way I like to create a pattern or image. I decided to play with the light and dark greys.

In the beginning of the weave, let’s call it the bottom, I used only the dark grey yarn. For every stripe I wove I added some of the lighter grey from the right. At the top there were almost only light grey yarn. If you look at the rya from above you can se the subtle change from darker to the lighter grey. like the sun’s journey across the sky leaving a shadow spectrum over the rya bench pad in the course of the day.

Cutting the warp was really scary, but I did it and the finished weave looked lovely. The edges were reasonably even and there was less bubbles than I had expected (since there was a difference in elasticity in the white and grey warp yarns). No warp threads were broken and the weaving had gone very smoothly after all.

An embroidery to match the rya bench pad with the bench.

The last thing I did with the rya bench pad was to hem the warp edges and make an embroidery on the smooth side.

Time

Making a rya takes a lo-ho-hot of time. Mine is small, only 42×160 centimeters. The older ryas that were used as a bed cover would be close to ten times that size. I am in awe of anyone who has put so much time, love and skill in a project. But it was also necessary for staying warm and alive.

There is nothing I can do to speed the process up. The knots need time and that is what I have to give them. Even if I have been stressed in finding time to come to the weaving room nothing can rush me once I’m there. I’m just in the rya with the knots, once again feeling every fiber through my hands.

And that’s what crafting does to me. It’s there and it won’t be rushed. When I’m stressed crafting is one of the things that grounds me and gives me time to breathe, listen and just be.

Building the bench

The bench may look like a large project, but it didn’t take that much time. Buying the timber, getting it home and into the storage room, building and drilling holes for the graffiti took about 16 hours.

Weaving the bench pad

The bench pad is a whole different story, though.

The spinning of the rya yarn took, roughly calculated, 25 hours. One skein took about 2.5 hours (teasing, carding, spinning, plying) plus approximately 2 hours sorting and washing etc.

One report of weaving 7.5 minutes. That’s 7.5 rows per hour, so approximately 30 hours for weaving. Plus approximate spinning time for stashed yarns, let’s add another 10 hours for that. I would say, roughly calculated, 70 hours in total for spinning, warping, weaving, knotting and finishing. Now I am quite finished.

The bench pad is 160 cm long and 42 cm wide. There are 214 rows of rya knots that’s 4600 knots in total.

I used 506 meters (500 grams) of knot yarn. The total weight of the rya is 750 grams. And there are still 9 skeins of the white rya yarn left. Perhaps I will weave another rya, this time as a pillowcase for the sofa.

Gotta go, I have birthday cake to eat. I will sit on the bench pad with a ridiculously proud smile on my face.

750 grams and 4600 knots in a rya bench pad.

P.S. If you are (or become) a patron you will have access to my monthly digital postcards. The March and June postcards were secretly shot in the vävstuga as I made the rya.

Happy spinning!


You can find me in several social media:

  • This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
  • My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to missanything!
  • I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
  • I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden.
  • On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
  • You are also welcome to make one-off donations on my Ko-fi page.
  • Follow me on Instagram.  I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
  • Read the new book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.
  • In all the social media I offer, you are more than welcome to contact me. Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
  • I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.

Linen pocket

A while ago I started to take an interest in loose pockets. When my friend Cecilia and I got to dress in 18th century clothing when we shot the Walking wheel video at Vallby open air museum I desperately wanted to wear a loose pocket underneath my skirts. And when we were on a guided tour in the costume collections at Skansen open air museum I asked if we could see the loose pockets. Today I present my linen pocket. Warning: Nothing in this post is spinning related.

Can we talk about the size and weight of mobile phones? And the existence and if so the size of pockets on women’s trousers, skirts and dresses? With the few clothes that happen to have pockets large enough for a mobile phone the weight of the device turns the clothing askew. They may also tear or break.

As we got dressed for the Walking wheel video I insisted on finding loose pockets to wear underneath our skirts. Perfect for not so 18th century things like mobile phones, mini tripods and credit cards.

A loose pocket on the other hand is the perfect solution for both nonexistent, too small or torn pockets. It can be used and mended while keeping the trousers reasonably whole. The thought of different pockets for different occasions, seasons, mood or simply the crafting craving of the day is also appealing.

Loose pockets

A loose pocket is just what it sounds like – a loose pocket to wear around your hip, either plain and secretly underneath a skirt or visibly and decadently embellished, some semi visible with embellishments on only one half. Kjolsäck is the most common word for this accessory in Swedish – meaning skirt pouch. At a guided tour at the costumes collection at Skansen open air museum we got the opportunity to look at beautifully embellished kjolsäck pockets from different areas in county Dalarna.

Typically the wearer would keep important things like needles and a sewing or knitting project in the pocket, as well as herbs for staying awake during long church visits and perhaps something to keep the children at peace.

A pocket dream

I am not sure where this pocket dream came from, but it has been lurking in the back of my mind for a while, squeaking silently every now and then to remind me of its existence. I had an embroidery pattern in another corner of my mind, intended for something else, but as I realized that I could experiment with a pocket of my own I decided to practice the pattern on the pocket.

My plans for my first linen pocket.

Since I have no connection to either traditional regional costumes or reenactment I decided to make a style that I wanted and not follow regional costume rules or historical correctness. I just wanted a pocket to fit my needs now.

Recycled linen pocket

While I was planning my pocket project I decided to only use material that I had at home or that I had eBayed.

  • I bought two linen damask towels from Swedish eBay for the pocket material.
  • The linen embroidery yarns are also from Swedish eBay.
  • The linen weaving yarn is a commercial yarn from my stash.
  • I found a tablet woven band that I made a few years ago in a band weaving frenzy.
  • At the last minute I realized I needed key carabiners for the loops, and I got them from Swedish eBay too.
  • And oh, the embroidery hoop comes from a flea market.

A pocket recipe

Front and back

The first thing I did was to draw a line around my spread-out hand to find a size. I drew a shape I liked and transferred it to the pink (back side) towel. I made slightly larger version that I transfered to the turquoise (front side) towel. That way I got the opportunity to frill the front piece for a bellows effect. I also figured the bellowed front side would keep the pocket flat against my hip.

Embroidery

When the shape was drawn on the front side towel I started embroidering an amoeba shaped pattern with a couching stitch (läggsöm). I love the freedom of this stitch, I can just let the yarn lead the way and enjoy the ride. When I was happy with the embroidery I ironed interfacing on the back of the front side for protection and extra sturdiness. I cut out the front side and two back sides, with interfacing on one of them. To keep the shape neat I added an inner pocket for my mobile phone on the back piece and two band loops with carabiners for important stuff like keys and needle cases.

Shaping

While I ruffled the bottom of the front pice for extra room I kept it tight at the top for a neat opening. I added a protecting Kumpay seam at the top of the pocket opening. I found it in the book Secrets of spinning, weaving and knitting in the Peruvian highlands by Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez and in an online course by Laverne Waddington.

Weaving, tubular and flat

After having tacked the front and back pieces together I wove and sew a tubular band in a linen yarn as an edging. This is common in the Andes and I found the instructions in the same sources as the Kumpay stitch. It was a bit fiddly and has a charmingly irregular look.

At this stage I had a very limited amount of the turquoise colour left. For the ties I used the same weaving yarn and wove a 180 cm band, ending with pretty cords of the warp ends. The colour pattern is carefully planned and only a meter or so remains of the turquoise yarn.

I warped the ties as a circular warp, which always fascinates me. But then again, weaving is such an amazing art form and I am only nibbling gently at a very small edge of the weaving universe.

A myriad of details in a small project

I love making small projects. It gives me the opportunity to try new techniques and adding details. The couching stitch, the Kumpay edging, the tubular band and the cords, all quite time consuming, but on a small project still doable.

Herbs and things for the kids aren’t my first choices to inhabit my pocket. I’m more into housing my mobile phone (or my husband’s in this case since I took the photo with mine) and any sort of textile project. The mini Pushka is there for good luck.

For the finishing touch I hand stitched the woven band onto the pocket. I had no idea really what to do with the warp ends of the tubular band, and I decided to simply tuck them in between the two back piece layers and hope they would behave.

More pockets to come

I have loved my first pocket project. There will be more pockets. I have learned from my first project and I will make some alterations for future projects. The linen towel was a little to thin and wobbly, at least on the front piece that was single. I may alter the size and the amount of bellow room. I like the opportunity to fit stuff into the pocket, but at the same time it mustn’t be too big and clumsy.

This will be a summer pocket and for my next I’m planning a more autumnal and wintery, in wool. There is so much to play with and I am ready to dive in.

and oh, a book is on its way to me – Pocket: A hidden history of women’s lives, 1660–1900 by Barbara Burman and Ariane Fennetaux. I can’t wait!

Happy spinning!


Thank you all 237 (a record!) who registered for last week’s breed study webinar on Åland wool and all 65+ who came to the livestream. I had the loveliest time!


You can find me in several social media:

Peace of mind

These are troubled times. When my mind is racing and I need something to focus on I turn to nalbinding. Simple (but not easy), close and slow. Nalbinding gives me some peace of mind in a chaotic world.

All you need to nalbind is a thumb, some yarn, a blunt needle and time. Yes, nalbinding does take time, but it also means you get to spend time with the material you are creating, following every stitch over, under, behind, under, over again, through and around the thumb. Unlike knitting where I tend to zone out sometimes, nalbinding softly whispers for your attention.

Empirical mittens

I decided to work this process as simply as possible. Tease some wool, card some rolags, spin some singles on a suspended spindle. As the spindle gets too heavy for a comfortable spin I wind the singles into a centerpull ball and ply from there on the spindle. I end up with a sweet ball of around 12 grams. That leaves me enough yarn for a couple of rounds on each mitten. I get into a rhythm between preparing, spinning and nalbinding without getting tired of any one part. I also don’t get fatigued or strained by doing one step for a long time.

With a short fluff to stuff cycle like this I get a sense of presence in all the steps. I can make the connection between all the parts of the process and get instant feedback from one step to the next in sort of an empirical mini – or mitten in this case – study.

On my Instagram account I have saved a video series as a highlight called Fluff to stuff, where I go through the process from carding to nalbinding in this project. I have of course teased the wool first, you can read more about that here.

In the moment

I also break the rules and omit some of the steps I normally take – I don’t let the singles sit overnight, I don’t soak the yarn and set the twist before using it. Why? Because I don’t feel like it. In this process like to feel the instant feedback from the previous step into the present and from the present to the next. As the world spins at the moment I just want to be in the moment, channeling my worried mind into that particular step of the process. I need crafting in my hands and in my brain to bring some peace of mind in a chaotic world.

I get instant feedback between steps as I work with a short fluff-to-stuff cycle.

To be honest I don’t think too much about consequences of my choices, they are not the important thing here. And I don’t always have to make conscious choices. Sometimes the wool and the tools make the appropriate choices for me.

The safety of wool

Nalbinding is an activity where I feel truly in the craft. My hands are literally in the project since my thumb is the actual stitch gauge. For every stitch I make the yarn goes around and over my thumb, making it a tool just as important as the needle. The unwashed yarn smells of sheep and leaves a whisper of lanolin on my hands. The slow process of under-over-under-behind-between and under again brings a focus and a slow pace rhythm that is just what I need and can handle right now.

A forgiving craft

I make lots of choices in this project – where I break rules and skip steps. Luckily nalbinding is a forgiving craft, for several reasons.

  • The slowness makes it easier to plan your next step.
  • You basically can’t loose a stitch. You only have the one stitch on your thumb to keep track of (depending on the stitch you have chosen for the project). Should you loose it for some reason it will just tighten and the spiraling construction will lead directly to it.
  • I waulk all my nalbinding projects for extra strength and durability. Any fitting or other irregularities will be smoothed out at the waulking board.
  • Nalbinding is generally worked in a spiral. That way it is easy to shape the project as you go along.
  • Since nalbinding is a sewn technique you can’t work with a continuous strand of yarn. Instead you work with shorter sections – I use three arm’s lengths for each turn. Joins are a natural and inevitable part of the technique.
Nalbinding is a slow process but the fabric will last forever. Alder cone spindle by Wildcraft

Thoughts on nalbinding

Stitches

There are lots of stitches on different difficulty levels to choose from. When I started out I found very few descriptions on left-handed nalbinding. This actually made it easier for me to choose – I could only work with the ones that were described for lefties. After a while I got the hang of the principles and could translate the right-handed instructions in my head.

For Dan’s mittens I chose the Dalby stitch.

Needle

You need a large blunt needle. I have four – one that I bought at Birka World heritage, one I carved from an elm just outside our house and two that kind-hearted supporters made for me. Perhaps I should make some more this spring. Spring is after all the perfect carving season and needles are always welcome.

Lovely nalbinding needles. From the left: Hand-carved by me from an elm tree just outside our house, hand-carved by a student, hand-carved by a supporter and bought at Birka World Heritage.

Yarn

I haven’t really thought so much about the yarn for nalbinding. I like mine with quite a high twist, as my S-plied yarn untwists a bit as I work with my left hand. This means that for anyone working with S-plied yarn with the right hand the twist will instead increase.

2-ply yarn spun with longdraw from hand-carded rolags on a suspended spindle. Plied from both ends of a centerpull ball on a suspended spindle. The wool comes from the Gestrike Ewe Elsa.

It’s a good idea to work with a yarn that can stand the abrasion of going through the fabric so many times. A yarn from a dual coat wool is perfect to work with – it has the warmth of the undercoat and the strength from the outercoat. I used staples that I had sorted out from a Gestrike fleece, with mostly undercoat and a few strands of outercoat.

I spun my yarn woolen from hand-carded rolags. A yarn like this tends to be weaker than a worsted spun yarn. However, the tension the yarn is under due to the weight of the suspended spindle makes the yarn a bit more dense that it would have been with another spinning tool. Also, the combination of undercoat and outercoat keeps the yarn strong but not too coarse.

It’s a good idea to use a wool that felts since you may want to waulk the finished project. You can read more about how I have waulked a pair of nalbound socks here.

Mittens for Dan

The nalbinding project I have been working on for the past few weeks is a pair of mittens for my husband Dan. It was a Christmas gift, but things got in the way and they were only half-finished for the holidays.

For the beginning of the mittens I used an Åsen wool yarn that I had spun for a previous pair of mittens. This particular Åsen fleece had mostly vadmal type staples – mostly warm and airy undercoat fibers and just a few strands of long and strong outercoat fibers. It was not particularly soft and I saw a big nalbinding yarn potential. The airy undercoat fibers would provide lightness and warmth while the few outercoat fibers would bind the fibers together and add strength and integrity to the yarn.

As always with pairs of anything I make both simultaneously. One yarn length on the left and another on the right. When I ran out of yarn I picked out similar staples from a Gestrike fleece and spun the same way – I carded rolags out of teased wool and spun woolen on a suspended spindle. I gave the yarn lots of twist to make sure it would stand the abrasion of going up and down in the nalbinding. The resulting yarn was round, strong and kind, and not too different from the white Åsen yarn.

I just hoped that the yarns would felt reasonably equally, and they did. A design born through a take-what -you-have situation is a good design, don’t you think?

Future nalbinding projects

I have been working comfortably with the Dalby stitch for a number of projects by now. After these mittens I think it’s time for something new. Perhaps a more intricate stitch, perhaps a hat. The possibilities are endless. Still, whatever I choose I know it will be a process where I can feel close to my work, both physically and mentally. Where I can be in the project with just the needle and yarn in my hand and some peace of mind.

A hat embryo for peace of mind at the office office.

To tell you the truth I actually did start another nalbinding project already. After two years of working from my home office I have to be at the office office at least 50 % of the time, starting Monday. With over 800 other people in an open landscape office. I need wool for protection and nalbinding is my project of choice. I’m making a hat.

Resources

Here are some lovely resources for nalbinding

  • On Neulakintaat you can see videos of a whole range of stitches for right-handed and a few for left-handed
  • Mervi Pasanen has written a beautiful book on nalbinding, With one needle
  • If you search for nalbinding on this blog you will find some more posts.

Last week I launched an auction for Ukraine. I donated my gold medal winning embroidery yarn to the highest bid and the money to UNHCR’s work in Ukraine. The highest bid was 200€. The second highest bidder donated her 150€ too and I added another 100€. So I sent 450€ to the Swedish UNHCR and the embroidery yarn to Australia. Also, a foundation is doubling all donations to the Swedish UNHCR, so 900€ are going to their work in Ukraine. Thank you all who participated!

Happy spinning!


You can find me in several social media:

  • This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
  • My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to miss anything!
  • I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
  • I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden.
  • On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
  • You are also welcome to make one-off donations on my Ko-fi page.
  • Follow me on Instagram.  I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
  • Read the new book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how
  • Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
  • I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.

Full circle

I have finished a project! A lovely Icelandic-style yoke sweater that has been on my wish list for a few years now. I have knit it with my handspun singles lopi-style yarn. An Icelandic sheep sweater shorn in October on an Icelandic pasture, spun from November to February and knit in February into a sweater for me with a round yoke. A full circle from fleece to sweater.

I have been working with the Icelandic lamb’s fleece for this sweater since November, a lot more monogamous than I usually do. Since I decided to spin the wool in the grease I didn’t want to let it sit longer than necessary, so I made an exception for it in my fleece queue.

27 skeins of Icelandic singles yarn.

Telja pattern

The pattern I chose is Telja by Jennifer Steingass. I wanted an Icelandic style pattern that was designed for a lopi-style yarn in a yarn weight I could manage to spin as a singles yarn. I figured that my lopi-style yarn would stand the best chance of resembling the stranded colourwork if the original pattern was designed for a similar yarn.

Shifting shades

The light grey, lighter grey, white and dyed blues come from one Icelandic lamb. I also bought 200 grams of fleece from a dark grey lamb for some contrast in the colourwork. I used the light grey (in the middle of the picture below) as the main colour. As it turned out, the contrast between the light grey and the dark grey was too small, so I needed a solution that would show the pattern despite this challenge.

These skeins come from one and the same fleece. The middle skein is the overall shade of grey of the fleece. This is also the shade that I have dyed in two blue tones.

Some parts of the fleece were lighter, almost white, and I decided to spin these parts separately into a white yarn. In the sweater I used the white yarn as main colour just before, during and just after a colourwork section, making the light grey ex-main colour a contrast colour over the colourwork sections. I tried to make a gradient from the light grey to the white with a couple of skeins that were sort of a light light grey.

Will there be enough white yarn left to finish the neckline?

I was a bit nervous about the white yarn, though, I wasn’t sure I had enough of it. When I bound off the last stitch of the collar I realized that it was enough, I even had a meter or so left. At least just enough to tie the leftover skeins of the remaining other colours into a bundle.

I dye with my little eye

Last summer I read about the Bengala mud dye colours in Handwoven magazine. I got a bit obsessed by the earthy tones and decided to buy some and try. A few pinkish tones, orange and yellow, plus indigo that would work with the other colours. I hadn’t found a good project to experiment with, until now. I wanted two shades of the same colour and decided on the indigo.

I have said it before and I say it again: Dyeing is not one of my superpowers. The shades got a bit too close to each other and somehow they both dry bleed. But I still love the result. And I’m very happy that I dyed on the light grey, it gives such a beautiful depth in the colour.

I will continue experimenting with these colours in upcoming projects. I’m sure I will learn a lot.

A teared watercolour painting

I had some thoughts about the shades and colours in the beginning, but as soon as the stranded pattern started to unravel I just loved the effect. It looks a bit smudged, almost like a tie-dye or watercolour art painted with drops of rain or tears.

The pattern falls from the yoke like a watercolour painting. Photo by Dan Waltin.

I wanted the yarn to be as simple and ras aw as possible. With that comes a sweater with that same raw expression. As I knit round and round the pattern runs down from my hands and land comfortably in an organized structure. On the wrong side the soft floats emerge like gentle waves on a summer lake.

Using handspun yarn in a project where the gauge is crucial for the fit is a challenge. Even more so with a singles yarn. I realized that the sleeves (which I knit before the body) got a bit tight at the cuffs with the stranded colourwork. No, I can’t tell you that, it’s too embarrassing.

I got a bit nervous about the colourwork sections over the hips and yoke, though. I tried the sweater on after the hip section and it worked. I was so scared of the yoke riding up that I didn’t try the sweater on until mid-colourwork, and to my great relief it fit perfectly. I do have to remove my glasses when I put the sweater on and off since the neckline is an I-cord bind-off with no elasticity, but I can take that.

A joyous knit

The yarn was truly lovely to knit with and it gave a soft and kind structure, lightweight and simple. I was a bit worried about the risk of bias since the yarn is single (eventhough I have shocked it to full it slightly). Therefore I added faux side and underarm seams using a column of purls.

I have been wearing the sweater a lot lately. It’s both comfortable and comforting to wear and I feel rich and fortunate to have the skills to make myself a warming and protecting shell.

Full circle. The sweater is finished and I’m spinning away on my next project on a department meeting at the home office.

So, now I have around 750 meters left of the yarn. Most of it in the light grey colour. I may dye some of it and use it in another project. I liked the Shaina top by Yumiko Alexander. With some modifications and additions I think I can make it work.

Resources

I have written a few earlier post about this fleece from different perspectives:

  • In Close I write a poetic style ode to the fleece.
  • In the grease covers the main part of the processing and spinning of the yarn – spinning a low-twist singles yarn from the cut end of teased locks in the grease.
  • In The gift of knowledge I look at a spinning from a spiritual perspective using this fleece as an example. It also shows how I make accordion burritos of the teased wool for easier spinning.
  • A sore thumb forced me to switch hands and a new world opened in front of me, right there in my hands. It also resulted in the free five-day challenge Hands-on that you are welcome to join.
  • In Dear Fleece I give thanks to the fleece for teaching me so much and move on from spinning to knitting.

Happy spinning!


You can find me in several social media:

  • This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
  • My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to miss anything!
  • I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
  • I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden.
  • On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
  • You are also welcome to make one-off donations on my Ko-fi page.
  • Follow me on Instagram.  I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
  • Read the new book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how
  • Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
  • I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.

Gunvor’s Sirwal pants

And they are done. My largest spindle spun project so far, the Sirwal snow shoveling pants that used to be common in the Moroccan High Atlas Mountains. I call them Gunvor’s Sirwal pants from the sheep that gave me the wool. Since my 16-year-old has dibs on snow shoveling for pocket money I may use the pants for outdoor yoga and for walking down to the lake for my daily bath.

A while ago I bought Irene Waggener’s beautiful book Keepers of the sheep and reviewed it on the blog. One of the most striking patterns was the Sirwal pants, a pair of black and white striped pants that the shepherds used to knit while herding the sheep.

A patternless pattern

In the book Irene describes her first meeting with the pants in a museum, how she learned to knit them from her host Muah n’Aït Tabatoot’s demonstration. Irene has in turn written down the oral description and demonstration for the book. As all of the projects in the book the pattern is based on working with what you have in the form of wool, yarn, needles and body size rather than a detailed knitting instruction. I really liked the idea and think it would be a good challenge for me.

The challenge of keeping it simple

In the book Irene describes how Muah’s wife Nejma spun and plied the yarn on a floor supported spindle, wound it into a ball and handed it straight over to Muah for knitting. I wanted to make my own pair of Sirwal pants as close to the original as possible. So, a spindle spun yarn. I didn’t have a floor supported spindle of the kind Nejma used, but I do have Navajo style floor supported spindles so I used one of them. I also decided not to soak the yarn and set the twist after plying, to stay as close to the High Atlas way as I could.

“So, the yarn is not soaked and the twist has not been set?” you may say. That’s right. “But soaking the yarn will allow it to bloom into its final shape! And setting the twist will even out the twist over the length of the yarn!” you may continue. That is true. This will probably not happen with my pants. Something else probably will, though. I don’t know what, but if and when it does, all is as it should be. Instead of the finished yarn I got the loveliest smell during knitting and the softest hands. That counts for something too.

Gunvor the Gestrike sheep

Gunvor the Gestrike ewe who was my longitudinal fleece study sheep
Gunvor the Gestrike ewe who was my longitudinal fleece study sheep.

I used two fleeces of Gestrike wool, the first and second shearing of the Gestrike ewe Gunvor. She was the subject of my longitudinal study I wrote about in May 2021. She was a beautiful white sheep with large black spots, perfect for the striped Sirwal pants.

Gestrike wool has both long and strong outercoat fibers, soft and airy undercoat and some kemp. This results in a strong and warm yarn, perfect for my Sirwal pants.

A life through stripes

The fleece of Gestrike sheep can lighten with age and Gunvor’s fleece turned out to have that particular characteristic. I took advantage of this feature and used the blackest black from the first shearing at the bottom of the legs and continuted with the lighter shades as I worked my way up the legs. I like how you can see Gunvor’s life through the stripes.

The quality of the wool was different between the shearings too. The first shearing was shinier and a bit finer while the second shearing was a bit shorter and airier. I’m not sure it’s visible in the pants, though. The second shearing was a lot higher in lanolin. As I calculated the yield from the two fleeces I was amazed by the difference. From the raw fleece I got a yarn yield of 59 per cent from the first shearing and 38 per cent from the second. The amount of lanolin should be an important clue to this difference. Perhaps the second shearing also contained more short fibers and/or kemp than the second, that stayed in the combs when I teased the wool.

You can read more about shearing and lanolin content through the seasons in the post Shearing Day.

Bulky

Another challenge was the yarn. The tradition calls for a super bulky yarn, which is far from my light fingering weight default thickness. But a challenge is a challenge and I took it by the horns. I managed to spin the bulkiest singles I have ever spun. Add plying to that and I got myself a super bulky woolen spun yarn from hand carded rolags.

At first I tried to card the wool without teasing the wool first, again in an effort to stay as close to the High Atlas way as possible. But the kemp in the wool made the yarn very scratchy. By teasing the wool with combs I got rid of a lot of the kemp and I decided to keep the teasing.

When the pants were finished I had used 26 balls of yarn. 1200 grams, 717 meters from the two fleeces, between 500 and 700 meters per kilo with an average grist of 590 meters per kilo. You can read more about how I spun this yarn in my blog post bulky.

If you are a patron (or become one) you may get access to a Patreon postcard video I made in November, where I demonstrate how I spin the super bulky yarn.

Knitting

I started knitting as soon as I had the first ball of handspun yarn in my hand. This is how I continued with the whole project – spin a ball and knit it. A yarn of this weight doesn’t last very long, though. At the bottom of the legs one skein lasted about one stripe and at the hips around eight rounds.

Spin a ball, knit a stripe, hoping the two fleeces would be enough for the whole project.

Knitting the Gunvor Sirwal pants was quite strenuous. The bulky yarn and the large needles (5.5 mm) require some work. Add to that the tight twist and the tight gauge and, as I joined the legs in the crotch, quite some weight in my lap to manage. The finished pants weigh around one kilo.

Despite the heavy knitting it was lovely to work with the yarn. I love the roundedness of the yarn and the strong character it has. It takes its place in the world and doesn’t apologize for its existence. I got all giggly by the sheepy smell from the unwashedness of the pants in progress. As I knit I experienced Gunvor’s life, from the blackest of the black lamb locks at the shins to the more mature depth in the lead grey in hip height.

Outdoor yoga and cold baths

If you have been following me for a while you may know that I take baths in the lake every day and that I sometimes practice yoga outdoors. Gunvor’s Sirwal pants are perfect for both outdoor yoga and walking down to the lake on the coldest days.

A walk to the bath

Gunvor’s Sirwal pants are warm, reasonably windproof, and easy to put on after a cold bath, which is important since my fingers are stiff from the cold and I need to get warm fast. Yesterday afternoon I went down to the lake with an axe and cleaned up the edges of the hole in the ice. We’re five ladies in the cold bath group and they have all been cheering me on during the making of the pants.

An outdoor yoga studio

Practicing yoga outdoors is not a problem as long as you have clothing that suits the weather. Down to -2°C is ok with one or two layers of wool tights or sweat pants. I can even practice with bare feet on my cork mat at this temperature. With lower temperatures staying warm easily gets too chunky which makes it difficult to do the postures comfortably.

Gunvor’s Sirwal pants are perfect, though, even for temperatures below -2°C. I took the pictures above at -6°C and it wasn’t too cold. With the suspenders they stay up without getting too tight around the waist.

I practice yoga asana every day, and sometimes outdoors on our terrace. I just love having all the fresh air to myself. As I usually do my outdoor yoga at around 8 p.m. it’s dark, as dark it gets in a city. I get to look up at the sky and the waving pine branches above. It gives the practice an extra dimension of space that I don’t want to be without.

Gunvor’s Sirwal superhero pants, ready for your next wooly adventure.

Some people say the pants look a bit like Obelix’s blue and white striped pants, some say they look like Findus the cat’s green striped suspender pants. They remind me of swimsuits from over a century ago, which is quite suitable since I wear them in a bathing context. But most of all they make me think of superhero pants with their bold stripes and dazzling lightning bolts up the sides. Don’t we all wish to be just a little superhero-y every now and then?

Thank you Irene for making the pattern accessible and Muah for teaching Irene. Thank you Gunvor for the loveliest wool. I have learned a lot from this project.

Happy spinning!


You can find me in several social media:

  • This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
  • My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to miss anything!
  • I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
  • I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden.
  • On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
  • You are also welcome to make one-off donations on my Ko-fi page.
  • Follow me on Instagram.  I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
  • Read the new book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how
  • Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
  • I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.

Nalbinding Åsen mittens

The waulked and embroidered nalbinding mittens are finished!

For the past few months I have been on an Åsen wool journey. It started with my wanting to make a breed study on Åsen wool. I contacted an Åsen shepherdess who provided me with lovely fleeces. When I started to investigate the fleeces in preparation for the study I sank deep into one of them in the search for its soul. I may have found it in a pair of nalbinding Åsen mittens.

I like to investigate a fleece to find out how it wants to be treated to become its best yarn. In fact, that is my aim in all the fleeces I meet. Every fleece has a purpose and I think I owe it to the sheep who gave me the fleece to find its soul.

A nalbinding friendly fleece

This particular Åsen fleece had mostly vadmal type staples – mostly warm and airy undercoat fibers and just a few strands of long and strong outercoat fibers. It was not particularly soft and I saw a big nalbinding yarn potential. The airy undercoat fibers would provide lightness and warmth while the few outercoat fibers would bind the fibers together and add strength and integrity to the yarn.

Nalbinding straight off the spindle, breaking the rules of soaking and finishing.
Nalbinding straight off the spindle, breaking the rules of soaking and finishing.

To keep as much of the softness in the yarn I carded rolags and spun with a long draw on a suspended spindle. To make the yarn strong I chose the suspended spindle. The tension from the weight of the spindle brings integrity to the yarn. This was the first time I have spun this way. It was truly a lovely treat to explore this technique.

I gave the yarn lots of twist to make sure it would stand the abrasion of going up and down in the nalbinding. The resulting yarn was round, strong and kind. A few strands of black kemp here and there added to the rusticity of the yarn, which went well together with the ancient nalbinding technique.

Nalbinding Åsen mittens

I loved nalbinding these Åsen mittens. Well, I love nalbinding full stop. The technique is slow and I get to hold warm and kind yarn in one hand and a hand carved wooden needle in the other. The slow path of the needle up and down between the strands in my work and the working yarn gently hugging my thumb. Nalbinding doesn’t take up much space and I can do it anywhere. What’s not to love?

The comfort of nalbinding.
The comfort of nalbinding.

Waulking

I was almost sad when I had finished. Now what? Well, a nalbinding project is seldom finished just because the nalbinding itself is over. A nalbinding structure is strong and warm. The sewing of the yarn in all directions of the project makes it impossible to unravel. But my nalbinding projects aren’t finished until it has been properly waulked. The waulking makes the fabric even stronger and warmer. It also makes it windproof.

Nalbinding spirals

Nalbinding is done in a spiral. So for a pair of mittens I make the spiral from the tip of the fingers, round and round and finish at the wrist. I have learned – the hard way – that a nalbinding project made like this shrinks horizontally. Therefore I design the shape a bit off the end proportions – I make them a lot wider than my hands but not necessarily longer.

Nalbinding is generally done in a spiral, which makes the shrinkage happen horizontally. I designed the mittens to be a lot wider than my hands but not much longer.
Nalbinding is generally done in a spiral, which makes the shrinkage happen horizontally. I designed the mittens to be a lot wider than my hands but not much longer.

A few years ago I got a waulking board from Swedish eBay which I used with these mittens to waulk them to a size that would fit my hands. With soap and hot water I started working the mittens against the waulking board. The felting process didn’t take long to start. When I first got to know this fleece I noticed its excellent felting properties.

Woven square, 2-ply yarn and fulled square (from a woven square same as to the left) from Åsen sheep 16010. The fulled square took me less than five minutes to full to size.
Woven square, 2-ply yarn and fulled square (from a woven square same as to the left) from Åsen sheep 16010. The fulled square took me less than five minutes to full to size.

The spiral of the seasons

I was very happy with the end result of the waulking process. The mittens fit perfectly and the shape is very appealing. They are warm, snug and ready for the cold and the wind in the winter. I look forward to wearing them in an authentic setting (and not just for photo purposes in the middle of the summer).

The waulking is finished! The main shrinkage has happened sideways and the mittens have better proportions than pre-waulking.
The waulking is finished! The main shrinkage has happened sideways and the mittens have better proportions than pre-waulking.

I have been making these mittens during a few weeks in June, thinking of winter as the needle has been pushing through the fabric. When I wear them this coming winter I will think of early summer when I made them. It is a lovely cycle, kind of like the nalbound spiral in the fabric.

Finishing

When the mittens had dried after the waulking I brushed the surface lightly to give them a bit of a halo. But they didn’t feel finished, there was something missing. A spinning friend, Elaine, makes the loveliest embroidered mittens, often with just a simple heart on the back of the hand. They look somehow even more inviting with that embroidery.

A tone-in-tone embroidered heart on my waulked nalbinidng mittens.
A tone-in-tone embroidered heart on my waulked nalbinidng mittens.

I felt my mittens needed an embroidery too. Just a simple shape in the natural white nalbinding yarn. I decided on a heart, the kind of careless heart of a phone scribble. Unorganized but still clearly and undoubtedly a heart.

The waulked and embroidered nalbinding mittens are finished!
The waulked and embroidered nalbinding mittens are finished!

I love how the embroidery turned out. Tone-in-tone, but very clearly an embroidery. The round and free shape of the unwaulked yarn against the subtle but structured stripes of the waulked nalbinding. A bit of shine in the embroidery against the matte waulked background. A little shadow from the height of the stem stitch. I can’t wait to wear my nalbinding Åsen mittens this winter!

Nalbinding resources:

  • Excellent written (Finnish, Swedish and English) and video tutorials to a range of nalbinding stitches at Neulakintaat.
  • A new book on Nalbinding by Mervi Pasanen, With one needle. Available in Finnish and English.
  • My own tutorial of the Dalby stitch with the left hand.
  • You can also search for nalbinding on my blog for some more posts with nalbinding projects.

Happy spinning!


You can find me in several social media:

  • This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
  • My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to miss anything!
  • I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
  • I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden.
  • On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
  • You are also welcome to make one-off donations on my Ko-fi page.
  • Follow me on Instagram.  I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
  • Read the new book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.
  • In all the social media I offer, you are more than welcome to contact me. Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
  • I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.