Tag Archives: tour de fleece

Meet Wave & Perri + Getting Started on a Turkish Spindle

Since making our announcement on last month’s blog post, we’ve received some requests from our customers who would like to get to know the Woolery’s new owners just a little bit better. Wave and Perri are very excited about owning The Woolery and look forward to continuing the mission of providing a wide variety of quality supplies and equipment at a fair price to the fiber arts community.

perri22Perri will use her retail background to ensure that The Woolery continues to offer the best personalized customer service possible. In addition to rug hooking and cross stitching, Perri enjoys restoring antiques and assigning Wave “Pinterest Worthy” projects for their home.

wave22Wave’s marketing background will help ensure that The Woolery continues to lead the way in offering interesting and unique new products. Wave will also focus his efforts on the e-commerce experience offered by The Woolery. Wave’s outside interests include woodworking and photography.

Married for more than 30 years, Perri and Wave have two grown sons and make their home in Lexington, KY. They look forward to joining you on your fiber journey!

Being able to take your handspinning project with you wherever you go can be especially handy during the summer months. Vacations, picnics, and other outings don’t have to mean that you leave your spinning at home! A Turkish drop spindle travels well and is quite easy to use – and when you’re finished spinning or plying,  the spindle slips apart, leaving your yarn in a neat ball that’s ready to use!

One of our own spinning gurus, Taevia, has a unique way of starting a spinning project on a Turkish spindle which doesn’t require a leader. She has shared her step-by-step process with us this week so that you can give it a try, too!


Step One: Begin with a small amount of spinning fiber. Gently wrap one end around top of shaft and secure with one hand.


Step Two: Using your other hand, begin to draft out more fiber, wrapping it around the shaft a few times.


Step Three: Draft the fiber some more and introduce enough twist to produce a single ply in your desired weight.


Step Four:  Wrap your yarn a few more times around the shaft, then loop it over your index finger as pictured above to make a half hitch.


Step Five: Place the loop over the shaft of the spindle and pull the working end of the fiber up – this will secure your yarn, allowing you to continue spinning!

Step Six: Now you’re ready to spin!

As you amass more yardage, you will need to wrap your yarn around the arms of the spindle. The standard way to do this is to wrap your single over two arms, then under one arm as you tension the working yarn and slowly rotate the spindle as you wrap. This will create a ball of yarn that is wrapped around the arms of your spindle, allowing you to fit a considerable amount of yarn on your spindle, depending on the weight of yarn you are spinning. When you have finished spinning or plying, simply remove the shaft so that you slide each arm out of the yarn ball you just created!




Handspun Heaven

Many handspinners raced to the Tour de Fleece finish line on Sunday with several beautiful skeins of handspun yarn added to their stash. Below are just a few from Team Woolery – click here to view more in our Ravelry group!


Do you find yourself wondering what to make with your handspun creations? We have a few suggestions in today’s blog post, and there are also some great reference books such as the Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs or Spin to Weave to come to your rescue! 

We’ve come across some lovely weaving projects using handspun yarns on Weavolution recently – below are just a few ideas to inspire you!


L-R: Sofa Pillows, Saori Scarf, Twill Blanket, Ruana.

For handspinning knitters, Knittyspin is a really excellent source for free patterns – you can view all of their pattern archives here!


Ravelry is another great source for patterns and inspiration. If you’ve only spun a small amount yardage-wise, look for small projects such as scarves, hats, mitts, or baby items:


L-R: One Row Handspun Scarf, Handspun Slouch Hat, Handspun Fingerless Gloves, Crochet Handspun Baby Socks.  

You can also mix small amounts of your handspun with a commercially available yarn for colorwork and stripes, or use it as an accent edging on a special project. Finally, if you’ve spun enough to make a sweater or socks, there are patterns for that, too!


L: Handspun Sweater; R: Simple Handspun Socks.

Plus, you can always sub in your handspun yarn for any pattern if you are able to calculate WPI correctly. Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy video tutorial on our YouTube Channel!

Now that you have a little inspiration, we can’t wait to see what you’ll create with your handspun yarns. Happy Spinning!

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team


Summer Spinning!

Kariina1’s Grey Shetland

Summer is a great time to step up your spinning – you may recall our recent post about a unique event happening in our Ravelry group last month called the Tour de Fleece. Our event was inspired by and coincided with the Tour de France cycling race.

We’re amazed at the incredible projects our customers shared with us throughout the event and would like to share a few with you this week!

We’ll begin with the winner of our prize drawing, Kariina1, who spun this Shetland fleece. Shetland are a hardy breed with a soft, insulating undercoat and a coarse yet sturdy outer coat. Their fleece is warm and long-wearing, and depending on where it came from, it can be quite soft – even on par with cashmere!

Helloforest’s Bluefaced Leicester

Bluefaced Leicester is a popular breed amongst spinners, prized not only for its lustrous fiber but its ease in spinnability. Commonly referred to as BFL, this fiber takes dye beautifully, as you can see in Helloforest’s finished skein at left.

Skeller’s Undyed Romney

FarrahW's Targhee

FarrahW’s Targhee

If you’re no stranger to spinning with BFL and looking to expand your horizons, consider giving Romney a try.  BFL and Romney are both considered longwools, a category of sheep breeds that originated in Britain.  Romney fiber is as versatile as the sheep itself, and the finished product is ideal for outerwear.

We’ll round out our spinning survey with a relatively new sheep breed, the Targhee.  These sheep were developed in the early 20th century in the United States and bred to be the “ideal sheep.” What does that mean exactly? They are naturally hornless (often referred to as a “polled” breed) with a white fleece – no brown or black is tolerated within the breed except for small amounts on the face, ears, feet or lower legs.  There are very exacting standards for the fleece itself (which you can read more about here), resulting in animals with uniformly fine, dense fleece that are well-suited to a variety of spinning methods.This is just a sample of many projects our talented customers shared during the Tour de Fleece – click here to view more in our Ravelry group & be inspired!

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team

Flex Your Spinning Muscle + Spinning Wheel Bag Clearance

Wether you are a bike racing fan or not, The Tour de Fleece is a great way to challenge yourself to tackle something new.  Since 2007, spinners have committed to spin every day during the Tour de France, the world’s premiere cycling event.  You can take the challenge on your own or join a team. This year The Woolery is sponsoring a team on Ravelry.  It’s not too late to join Team Woolery!

Those of you answering the challenge have yet another reason to stay competitive from now til July 22: we’ll be randomly selecting a member of Team Woolery to win a $100 Gift Certificate at the end of the Tour de Fleece!  (For full details on how to be eligible, click here.)

One way that spinners can challenge themselves is to prepare their own fiber. We have two new kits that will make it easy for you to tackle something new!

Each Combing Wool Kit (above right) includes Wool Combs (choose from single or double row) and one pound of fleece to get you started.  Robin Russo’s instructional video Combing Fiber will show you everything you need to know to get started, but we also have a step-by-step photo tutorial here on our website!

The Deluxe Hand Carding Kit (above left) includes one set of 8″ wool carders, two pounds of fleece, the Ashford Book of Carding, plus an easy-to-follow video to get you started.  Below is a video preview of the four different techniques you’ll learn with the included video, How to Card Wool.

Spinning Wheel Bag Clearance Sale!

On-the-go spinners know that a padded bag can not only protect your investment, but make traveling with your wheel a snap.  These top-of-the-line large padded bags are custom-made for The Woolery and come in your choice of five stylish colors.  They’re machine-washable, featuring adjustable and removable cotton webbing straps, 2 carry handles on top, 3 front pockets (one large one zips up) and one large inside pocket.

Click here to shop our clearance blowout happening now for a savings of $60 off the original purchase price! 

Viva la Tour!

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery Team!