Do you have handspinning questions? Are you looking for answers? Don't worry, Ms Spinster understands and is ready and willing to answer any questions. How do you think she came to be nicknamed: PatsyZ Most Excellent Spinnin' Guru.Calm

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The Origami Mobius Vest - Part One

After several requests,  I've put together a little presentation to explain my Origami Mobius vest.   Here is the front, with slash pockets and a wide shawl collar.  The yarn is all handspun and woven on a rigid heddle loom.  Since it is warp-faced, that means it has twice as many warp ends as weft picks.  The warp is actually from sample yarns from multiple classes.  The weft is turquoise as well as the selvage threads. 
 The back doesn't have any collar at all, this is due to the Mobius fold that creates the illusion of a front collar.  The back is seamed down the middle to the waist and the back lower band is eased to give a better fit at the hips. 
Try it with graph paper.  You'll need to cut and tape so that you have a length 10 squares by 120 squares.  The thing that allows the origami folding to work is the fact that as a weaver we can make a fabric that is beautiful on both sides.

 1.  Four squares equal10 inches, the size of the vest fabric for my vest is 10"x 120" plus a bit for ease at the hips.
 2.   I've numbered the front side and colored the back side with red hatching marks so you can keep track of the folds. Start with the back side facing you. 

3. The first fold is four squares from the center back (between 6 and 7) on both sides and is a perfect 45-degree angle, so the back side is now showing.  Both sides become parallel to each other.
4. The next fold makes the pockets by folding the sides under and toward each other.  On the backside, you will see the side that is numbered.

5. Turn it over and you are looking at the front with the deep V pocket folds which need a little bit of stitching at the side bottom to keep a lipstick, credit card, and tissue.

 6.  Now we will make the collar fold, mine is a long shallow fold.  It starts one square above the last fold and ends ten and a half squares away.  The fold brings the back side to the top as the shawl collar is shaped. (The exact angle depends on your own shoulders.  Start with this amount and adjust to fit.) 

7. The shoulder fold is eleven and a half squares up from the bottom edge.  

8.   This should allow you to tape (whip stitch) the back center edges together.  Now you have the front view.

9.  And this is the back view.  The cut edges (1 and 12) are whip stitched to (6 and 7).  Try this with graph paper first until it is clear where you need to make folds.

In the next blog entry, I'll discuss the construction including hiding a cut edge and adding ease for hips at the back waist. 


Cellulose fibers - flax, in particular, have been in my hands a great deal this summer. I have finished two important articles for the PLY magazine's flax issue. I can't say exactly what the articles are, but I'm very pleased and I have a created a teaser video about the last finishing step that you might need after you scour your yarns.  The scouring usually activates the lignins that are part of the fiber creating a very stiff yarn.
Enjoy, better yet join me in one of my classes at SAFF in NC, in October

The Year of Spinning Cellulose Fibers, Join me

I declare this my year of CELLULOSE!  I've taught cellulose classes twice in MI and VA, plus GA, NY, and OH.  I'm still scheduled for more of the same classes at MFF, OR, and SAFF. Cellulose is any fiber that doesn't come from an animal.  Not WOOL.

These incredible fibers are obtained from plants, like the seed hair - cotton or the bast fibers; flax, hemp, and ramie. They're perfect for spinning fine and creating beautiful weaving yarns. The first photo has natural and yellow dyed flax plus white ramie yarns shown as skeins and woven into a table mat.

The earrings are 2-ply handspun flax, which is perfect for any Irish Crochet patterns you might have.  I will point out that once flax is spun, it magically becomes linen under your fingertips.

Cotton yarns are soft and supple.  The brown cotton yarns in the third photo are plied with soysilk and knit into a summer scarf.  This year we are featuring Sarepta brown cotton fibers from Louisiana.  In Cotton classes, I always start students spinning the cotton while still attached to seeds.  Then we move into the ginned lint and finally the rovings.

In most workshops, we have time to do a comparison dyeing to show how the same dye, prep, and concentration change by the fiber involved. Don't forget to bring an apron and rubber gloves.

Banana fibers, historically called abaca, were stripped from the leaf sheath of a non-edible type of banana plant.  Sometimes this fiber was called Manilla Hemp.  The banana fiber we'll use is harvested from the entire Banana stalks and leaves left after the plant has finished fruiting.

Not only are they not wool, they don't act like wool, they don't feel like wool or spin like wool.  Sign up today, at Michigan Fiber Festival or Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair.

Patsy Zawistoski

August Michigan Fiber Festival Mystery

Spinning friends, especially Michigan Fiber Festival friends, I need a few more inquiring minds.

I am seeking more curious students to sign in for the Saturday workshop, 

CSI: Yarns and Fibers - Are You Up to the Challenge?  

This is a very informative fun workshop.   I hope you are ready for sleuthing and solving the mysteries of fibers and yarns.  You may even have some unlabeled and unknown fibers or yarns in your own stash.  Some of us call these “UBBFYs or “Unidentified Bags or Balls of Fluff or Yarn.”  

It's a new class with rave reviews in California where students left very excited about all they learned and how they can put it to good use.  I'll be bringing my digital microscope, to help you get a close look at the fiber.   Guess what fiber is shown on the top slide.  If you are still puzzling over the answer, the bottom slide is even closer. We will also learn the other methods for identifying fibers.

On Friday, which I know is the first shopping day, (but I do give you early shopping time), is the very popular, Handspinning Options for Painted Rovings.  This workshop teaches you how to quickly make various yarn styles with that specially painted roving.  This allows you to consider which 1, 2, or 3 yarns you want for the project, using very little fiber or time.  You'll also gain a better perspective for making or choosing painted roving combinations.  

If you want to get in either class call or log in quick because they are thinking of canceling the class.  By the way, the fiber is brown cotton.