A few months ago, one of my best friends from high school posted a picture of some gorgeous yarn on her Facebook feed. I wrote to ask what she was planning to make. She told me she’d spun the yarn herself and was selling it on Etsy. That led to a conversation about our Etsy stores and our shared passion for the fiber arts. I was thrilled to find she is still my sister at heart in so many ways!
Since that day, we’ve spent many hours on the phone talking about our home-based businesses as well as our families, lives, etc. It’s amazing how much we’ve always had in common. There’s a reason we were such great friends in high school! I’m incredibly glad we have reconnected, and I wanted to share her amazing skills and work with you!
Meet Liz Myers of TheFiberCalling …
1. How long have you been knitting and where did you learn?
I am a self taught knitter and have been knitting for 16 years. I learned to crochet from my grandmother when I was 5 years old and never had a desire to learn to knit although my father knit in high school. Once my daughter was born and was about 2 years old, I had a sudden urge to buy mother-daughter matchy matchy sweaters.
Well I got online and started searching and discovered rather quickly that the price was pretty substantial for handknit sweaters. I thought “I can do that myself!” So off I went, purchase some yarn and needles, went to socknitters.com for my first go at knitting and the rest was history. My first knit project was a pair of socks! And I’ve never looked back!
2. You mentioned you have an area of specialty in your knitting. Can you tell us more about that?
Once I started knitting, I learned that I really had a God given knack for it. I was soon knitting cardigans and anything that I could using two or more colors. Those in the knitting world know this is color work or multiple colors that vary in different rounds as fair isle knitting. Fair isle is my first love and passion. I love creating amazing garments using this technique, which includes steeking! The first time I “cut” my knitting I was terrified! But I soon learned, it was easy peasy. I’ve gone on to teach this technique to some advanced knitters. The technique is quite easy once you get the hang of it, and the combining of beautiful colors is just as exciting.
3. When did you start spinning your own yarn and how did you learn to spin?
I began spinning about 3 years after I learned to knit. I soon acquired quite a LARGE stash of commercial yarn. As many of you know, this is not at all hard to imagine. Our love of our crafts, and the ideas in our heads usually prompts us to buy yarn like there is no tomorrow. So after acquiring enough yarn to open my own “mini shop” I thought, “there has got to be a better and cheaper way” to fulfill my love of yarn and save money while I do it. My friend and fiber mentor Charlotte Wolfe of Prairie Winds Farm made that happen for me. We’d known each other for a couple of years by then, and I knew she had sheep and fiber, but had not yet taken her up on her offer to teach me to spin. Well one day I just decided, I’m going to try this out…what do I have to lose?
Well, once again, it was meant to be. Charlotte had an old Ashford Traditional wheel, and I mean you had to get a little foot and leg action to get that thing going! But once I got the hang of treadling, drafting etc., it was all she wrote! Charlotte graciously allowed me to take the wheel home to “practice” and next thing I knew, I had handspun yarn galore. That was the start of my next obsession with all things fiber related. I then began collecting as much fiber, of all types, breeds, etc. and spinning as much as possible. It became a bit of a dilemma for me trying to separate and divide my time between knitting and spinning. But as the years have gone past, I’ve married the two along with my other hand crafts like crochet, needle point, embroidery as well as yarn and fiber dying.
4. Tell us a little about your typical spinning project.
A typical spinning project for me always starts with fiber! I am a naturalist, so I navigate to wool first. I love all fiber, whether it’s wool (of all breeds), alpaca, silk, llama, bamboo, tencel….the list is endless of fiber out there for spinning. I love blended fibers, and my first love is merino/silk blend! I am a sucker for any colorway that is a merino/silk blend.
I generally purchase hand-dyed fiber from some wonderful dyers such as Three Waters Farm, The Wooly Wich, and Classy Squid Fibers just to name a few. I also have quite a little collection of “bare” fiber that I dye myself.
A typical project consists of about 4 ounces of a given fiber, my lovely Ashford Joy spinning wheel (which I’ve had now for about 12 years) and a good episode of Ms. Marple Mysteries, or Midsomer Murders and I’m ready to go for a day of spinning the fiber into singles, and if I’m lucky to get through 4 ounces in about 6 hours, I will ply it, or begin plying the same day.
Lisa here again … I’m so glad Liz was able to spend some time sharing her amazing talents with us. I hope you enjoyed learning more about her knitting and spinning! As a bonus, Liz is generously offering a free pattern download of her knitted Skater Skully! Want a copy? All you have to do is ask!
Check out Liz’s amazing selection of handpun yarn in vibrant colors and interesting blends at this address:
Follow Liz on Instagram and Pinterest for info on her latest spinning and knitting projects.
Thanks for stopping by! Until next time…