Fiberuary: Week 1 2023 (Color) Reflection

The Fiberuary theme for the 1st-7th of February has been “color”. My original plan was to do some gingham and/or plaid weaving, and then move on to simplified houndstooth weaving if I completed the plaid within the week.

I did not complete the plaid, but have been enjoying my progress on it throughout the week. It is nice because it is still simple weave, and the whole pattern is cared for by a combination of the warp colors, then periodically changing out the weft colors.

a top-down view of a rigid heddle loom with blue / white / green / dark red plaid in progress on it (the weaving is not entirely straight and square)
slightly wonky plaid in progress

My weaving on the plaid has improved slightly over time, and I am enjoying seeing how the colors interlace.

a close-up view of dark red, white, blue, and green plaid simple weaving in progress, fairly straight and squared off
closer view of the plaid as I have gotten it slightly straighter

The yarn is interesting, and some of it is even a little tweedy. I was able to capture a close up of the mixture of fiber colors in the green.

a close-up view of a green rectangle with red and yellow tweedy fibers, part of dark red, white, blue, and green plaid simple weaving in progress
reddish and yellowish fibers mixed into the green

While I did not complete enough of the plaid to get to simplified houndstooth within the “color” week, the simplified houndstooth is still queued up as my next weaving project.

Another way I have been observing Fiberuary is by reading fiber craft-related books. The two books I want to particularly mention in this post are From the Rainbow’s Varied Hue from the UCLA Fowler Museum Textile series and Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont.

When first starting to peruse From the Rainbow’s Varied Hue, I was surprised to find images of Filipino plaid pieces highlighted in the book. The plaid I am weaving is far from “traditional” (I am pretty sure the mystery yarn / thread is acrylic, for one thing), but it feels nice to have a little connection there.

Respect the Spindle is the fiber craft-related book that has been most highly recommended to me, and with good reason! It is highly approachable, and it provides a lot of helpful information.

You don’t need a PhD in physics to be a handspinner—but the next time someone suggests that you’re doing something very simple and old-fashioned, you can reply that you intuitively understand and work with mechanical engineering, advanced calculus, and rotational and fluid dynamics every time you pick up your spindle.

Abby Franquemont, Respect the Spindle

I have been enjoying spinning on my Ashford Traveller wheel, and feel I have made some improvement there, but have struggled with the drop spindle (there’s a post that touches on this slightly coming up). Reading Respect the Spindle encouraged me to do some drop spindle spinning. Lo and behold I have improved there a bit! Like on the spinning wheel, my spinning on the drop spindle has become a little more even / consistent, and I have been able to spin thinner singles successfully. I am mostly using the “park and draft” method, but have experimented with drafting while the spindle is suspended (with some success).

I am still mostly spinning undyed wool, but one of my drop spindles came with some dyed merino, so I did spin a little bit of pastel yarn in honor of “color” week for Fiberuary.

a pale wood top-whorl drop spindle with pastel pink / green / yellow singles spun, and wrapped on it in a criss-cross pattern
a little bit of color in my spinning for week 1 of Fiberuary
a pale wood top-whorl drop spindle with undyed white singles spun, and wrapped on it in a criss-cross pattern
making a little bit of improvement with consistency
a red 3D printed niddy noddy with undyed white singles wrapped on it
undyed spun singles on a niddy noddy
two mini skeins of handspun singles yarn: one is pastel pinks / blues / yellows, and the other is white undyed wool
mini skeins of handspun singles yarn