Beth Smith


Yesterday I had a long talk with my letsberealhere advisor. Her name is Amy King and if you ever need somebody to bring you to your senses she’s probably your girl. She doesn’t tell me what exactly to do but when I am making unrealistic goals and deadlines for myself she doesn’t hesitate to let me know that I’m full-o-crap.

So anyway I had plans to get some yarn spun for this experiment that I want to do and I started spinning for it about 10 or so days ago. I thought I could spin and ply 2000 yards of 2 ply and 2000 yards of 3 ply yarn in 2 weeks. And honestly if that’s what I was doing 8 to 10 hours a day, 5 days a week I can but there are kids and other things I promised to do and that kind of stuff so I in reality can only spin for about 2 to 3 hours per day. I have spun about 2000 yards of singles so far and we are 3/4 of the way through the month and I was giving myself a deadline of October 1 to have it all spun, plied and woven.

We talked about that project for a bit and then we talked about Maggie’s prom dress (which is a project in itself) and the Harris tweed jacket/skirt I want to make before the end of October and the Handspun/handwoven jacket I want to have done before I go to MIdwest Weavers in June. Together we decided that it’s a lot. And something had to be put off.

The prom dress doesn’t have to be started immediately so I ordered the fabric yesterday and put that on the schedule to begin in January.

The Harris Tweed I want to have at least one item sewn before Dana gets back from her Great Britain Tour so that is staying on the get moving today schedule.

The Corriedale spinning and weaving samples were really just for me although I’d like to have them for teaching at John C Campbell. But that isn’t until first week of April so I can nudge them a little

The Handspun/Handwoven Jacket is something that I feel like I need to do for June. I want to take a new finished object with me. This will be my first time teaching at a weaving focus conference and I need something new to show and/or wear since the last piece was finished a year ago.

So now I know the Jacket spinning must commence immediately. The Corriedale spinning all went into a bag together with the project notes so that I can return to it as soon as I can. But for now I need to focus on spinning a bunch of yarn as fast as I can.

These are the two patterns that are in the running. I’m leaning toward the Burda 6582 because it requires a yard less of 45 inch wide fabric than the Vogue pattern which translates to 2 yards less since I will be weaving this at about 26 inches wide.

I believe for the yarn size that I am spinning the sett will be about 30 ends per inch. Of course I need to do some sampling to be sure but that’s my starting point for figuring how much I need to spin. I’ll be warping with 2 ply and weaving with singles. That worked out beautifully with the dress so I’m going for it again.

So here’s my math:

26 inches wide x 30 ends per inch = 780 ends

I need at least 5 yards to cover 4 yards needed for the yardage plus loom waste so I should put 6 yards on the loo for possible sampling and testing.

780 ends x 6 yards = 4,680 yards of 2 ply

I generally just automatically plan for the same amount of weft even though I know it’s slightly less so 4,680 yards of singles.


I’m going to spin the majority of this on Martha and for this thickness I think a bobbin will hold 1000 yards of singles so that’s 14 bobbins all together. I think I can spin a bobbin in 2 days…lol. That’s with no distractions I think but I’ll get back to you on the actual spinning time. It’s probably closer to 4 days if i’m honest. So that’s 56 days of spinning and 4 days of plying thrown in there. 60 days of spinning. 2 months. My hope is to get this all spun and plied by The end of January. Woven by the end of February and made into a jacket by the end of March (that’s taking into account the days I stare at it afraid to cut it and mess it up).

All of this is just estimating at this point based on an imaginary sett. But I need to go cut out a muslin for the Harris Tweed jacket and then get to work on the spinning. All words of encouragement are welcome and appreciated!

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