Planning Sweaters with Spindle-spun

My friend, Chillon Leach, has been busy. She is a busy liturgical artist and painter. In her spare time she has been a knitter. But, a couple of years ago, at a Knitter’s Guild meeting she saw a demonstration of a drum carder.

Chillon 1

That experience captured her imagination.  Soon, she decided to learn how to spin and got her first spindle.  As she completed a sample of wool, she knit it.  I first saw this sweater at a Weavers Guild meeting. It was on its circular needles (still is)  and was at mini bolero length….just long enough to model.  It is currently a somewhat short, short-sleeved sweater on circular needles.


Chillon came over on Monday to shop the fiber stash.  She had started the sweater

Chillon 2with my 2 ounce, medium wool balls of dyed fiber.  She says they are the best beginner fiber.  Thanks, Chillon!

So, now it was time to move toward completion.  She laid out the sweater and laid out ball of like fiber to make the decisions about how to proceed. The handspun purple is for the trim.  She chose complex colors that combined warm and cool hues to make lively stripes.


I did not have quite enough for her to finish the sweater, so she will have to go to the Textile Center shop to fill in with my fiber.


So all of this is to say thanks, of course, but also to demonstrate that you can be very productive with a spindle.  She has since purchased a beautiful spinning wheel at a Weavers Guild auction.  She is collecting breeds and spindles  and avers that she can spin nearly as fast on a spindle as the wheel.  I agree with her.  If you just carry it with you, you will always find little bits of spinning time that add up to big yardages.


I also wanted to showcase how she works with color. As she considered the balls of fiber, she made preliminary decisions about stripping to narrow repeating colors, drum carding for heathered quiet colors and alternating rovings as she spins.  She was looking at combining warm and cool colors for liveliness while remaining in a similar value range.  The blue and the rusty brown (walnut dyed by Chillon) anchor the sweater.  It sits peacefully on the body, as though the blue and rust provide the landscape in which to reside.  The purple, teal orange and white provide the light.    It is stunning.

About Sue's Luxury Fiber

Sue's Luxury Fiber: fiber for the spinner, felter, weaver & knitter.
This entry was posted in dye, fiber, handspinning, Weaver's Guild of Minnesota. Bookmark the permalink.

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