Finished Projects, Using Handspun Yarn, New Used Books, And Spinning Q&A

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Show Notes:


What could possibly be more satisfying than completing a creative project? Almost nothing, except perhaps colliding with inspiration in the first place. This episode of The JillianEve Podcast is all about sharing ideas, progress updates and tips for bringing your vision from the brainstorm stage to something beautifully realized. That’s what Evie has been doing with the handspun vest she’s conjuring from start to finish — spinning, dying, knitting and even a sprinkling of decorative bead work to add a little extra sparkle.

Viewer questions and feedback are also featured throughout the podcast with a live Q&A chat full of practical information ranging from finding a specific shade of Country Classic Dye to using small quantities of hand-spun materials in stash-busting projects to delighting in the secrets unlocked by timeless, hard-to-find books that Evie recommends. Colors, patterns, even the history of differing weaving technologies — this episode is packed with information that crafters won’t want to miss!


(3:00): It may be spring but there’s still an occasional chill in the air. Evie shares her new throw blanket, woven with a mix of dusty rose and grey shades, plus fringe. A stash-buster that made the most of Evie’s Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn odds and ends.

(10:45):  A question about Advent Calendars. Plans are in the works for a “spin-along” option for next holiday season. Ideas welcome!

(11:25):  All about weaving with acrylic yarns. There are no “blanket” statements (pun intended) when it comes to factors such as fuzziness, structure, how tightly you’re weaving and the equipment you’re using.

  • If the acrylic is sticky the work is close together and can be challenging! Problem solver: Increasing your tension often shakes things loose. When in doubt, do a sample and see how it goes!
  • Acrylics can be challenging, but a great alternative for people who are allergic to wool or situations (such as for babies, rehabs or shelters) in which items will need to be laundered in hot water.
  • (13:52): “Acrylic has its place but of course it’s also plastic, so there’s a whole conversation about that as well. There’s no perfect material out there, so everyone just has to weigh pros and cons and see what works.”

(15:00): – The origin of weaving looms makes a perfect transition into fabulous out-of-print books and one in particular that Evie wants to share with information that is useful but hard to find:“The Book of Looms: A History of the Handloom from Ancient Times to the Present,” by Eric Broody.

  • (20:50): “Weaving is just so fascinating. On the one hand it’s so simple … but on the other hand so complex. The patterns and color possibilities are endless!”

(22:20):  Fun fact: The flying shuttle allowed for wider widths and faster weaving and ultimately sparked a critical component of the Industrial Revolution: the need for more yarn.

(24:05):   Evie recommends another classic, hard-to-find book about the art of spinning that brings back associations to projects from the past. Grief projects, for instance, bring back specific, poignant sense memories. Equally there are “joy projects” that recollect sweet moments in time, like the little sweater Evie knit for her son when he was a toddler.

  • “The Intentional Spinner: A Holistic Approach to Making Yarn,” by Judith MacKenzie McCuin.
    • (27:25): “I’m always making connections from fiber to music. You hear a song and it just takes you back  to a place, maybe a relationship. It takes you there 100%. Spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet, cross stitch, all of these things can connect us in that way.”
      • (28:48): A few words of advice about purchasing high-priced out-of-print books. Evie advises against overpaying (and invest the money in a loom instead!). Thrift shops and eBay are good sources for rare books.

(31:43): More stash-busting for Evie, who recently finished some socks from a vanilla-with-sprinkles pattern by Jenna Krupar. They are a great example of how to mix-and-match and use up small bits of hand-spun yarn.

  • The April issue of “Knit Pics” features a section on “color block” projects, such as geometric sweater designs that “scream 80s” but updated! A great way to show off a bit of hand-spun yarn!
  • Evie answers a viewer question about matching hand-spun and how commercial varies and affects durability with socks. 

(38:45): What are some of Evie’s favorite fibers for spinning? Wool, cotton, silk, alpaca.

  • (38:48): “I like to spin with all the fibers. Every single fiber is different and unique with different characteristics.
  • (39:40): “If it looks like fiber, I’ll try to spin it!”

(40:20): Which types of fiber are most challenging for Evie? Blends such as silk and wool can be especially tricky, but they can be a fun challenge nonetheless.

  • (41:08): “The challenge is part of what makes a project satisfying. Having something that presents you with an obstacle, figuring it out through creative ideas, trying things out, digging into your toolbox of techniques to make it work can be deeply satisfying as a creative person.”

(40:32): Can silk be spun on its own? Yes!  Evie is working on a light and flow-y silk project currently!

(47:49): Evie just finished spinning a Blue-Faced Leister (BFL sheep breed) and silk blend called “Downey Downpour” from Paradise Fibers (link below). So soft and so much fun to spin!

  • There will eventually be a video devoted to the vest/tank project Evie is working on, including a unique blend of striped pink and specially dyed mulberry colored BFL yarn that perfectly match.
  • Her custom dye for this project is Country Classics “mulberry” color #COC0-34.
  • For a special flourish, Evie is adding glass beading.
  • (53:29): “This is going to be hand-spun, then hand-spun and hand-dyed and then hand-beaded in the knitting. I need somewhere fancy to wear this! I’m so excited. It’s going to be so pretty.”
  • Beading is challenging and requires slow, meticulous work with a crochet needle. Evie explains exactly how she incorporates the beads and highlights her technique. Time consuming but fun!

(54:50):  About the excitement of inspiration — seeing or imagining something so compelling that it’s impossible not to turn it into a project — with or without a pattern, special planning or guaranteed outcome. It’s the definition of passion!

(54:51): “I know this happens to other creators out there, where you see the thing  … and something connects with you and you think, I have to make that thing. The materials have to pass through my hands come out the other side into a thing that did not exist until I made it. And now it’s in the world!”

(55:35): “It’s something about who I am, that I need to be creating things. And when I find a project that connects in that way, on so many levels, it’s just the best feeling. It’s better than an amusement park. The spinning and the dying and the knitting and the extra bead work! That’s my amusement park!”

Happy Spinning to all!

You can subscribe to Evie’s YouTube channel here!

If you would like to help support Evie’s content, you can buy her a coffee!


If you are interested in private virtual spinning lessons, send an email to evie@JillianEve.com.

Other Links and Resources:

Paradise Fibers Fiber of the Month Club – https://www.paradisefibers.com/products/fibers-of-the-month-club?rfsn=1897535.a62e6a6&utm_source=refersion&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=1897535.a62e6a6

Lion Brand Wool Ease from Knit Picks https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1600301&u=1929793&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=0

Knit Picks Affiliate Link https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=726901&u=1929793&m=59159&urllink=www%2Eknitpicks%2Ecom%2F&afftrack=

Paradise Fibers Bluefaced Leiscester Silk Blend https://www.paradisefibers.com/products/paradise-fibers-blue-faced-leicester-tussah-silk-roving-75-25?rfsn=1897535.a62e6a6&utm_source=refersion&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=1897535.a62e6a6

Country Classics Dye “Mulberry” COC034 https://www.paradisefibers.com/products/country-classics-dye-1?rfsn=1897535.a62e6a6&variant=20789673734

The Book of Looms: A History of the Handloom from Ancient Times to the Present by Eric Broudy

The Intentional Spinner: A Holistic Approach to Making Yarn by Judith MacKenzie McCuin

Blog post: The 5 Books That Taught Me How to Spin Yarn https://JillianEve.com/the-5-books-that-taught-me-how-to-spin-yarn/

Patterns Mentioned:


Vanilla with Sprinkles by Jenna Krupar (This is a pattern on Ravelry. I am currently unable to use Ravelry. I got this pattern a long time ago, before the site caused me any problems.)

Dimples Socks by Marielle Zatar https://www.lovecrafts.com/en-us/p/dimples-socks-knitting-pattern-by-marielle-zatar

Vest/Tank Top Pattern

Sugar Bush Serenity Knit Singlet https://www.yarnspirations.com/sugar-bush-serenity-knit-singlet/SBK0130-012470M.html

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