Spin Off Summer! Blending & Spinning Tweed Yarn

Kate Larson 8 months ago

Spin Off Summer! Blending & Spinning Tweed Yarn Primary Image

Melissa shows you how to create your own tweeds.

The Summer 2019 issue of Spin Off just landed! One of my favorite articles in this issue focuses on tweed. Weaver and spinner Melissa Weaver Dunning shares a short history of tweed, explains that the seductive color combinations of tweed are “dyed in the wool,” and shows you how to get started spinning tweed yarn.

spinning tweed yarn

A few of Melissa’s teaching samples showing different tweed yarns and patterns. Photos by George Boe

Melissa tells us, “Knitters and spinners may be familiar with tweed as this type of heathered yarn, but the word tweed more commonly refers to a durable wool fabric.” She has studied the world famous Harris Tweed (affiliate link) for many years, captivated by the colors and textures of traditional tweeds. The inspiration for this article came after a visit to Donegal, Ireland, where she immersed herself in a different tweed tradition. Donegal is known for its own unique tweed that is often identified by pops and speckles of color created during the blending step.

spinning tweed yarn

Tweeds often start as very surprising color combinations. Photo courtesy of Melissa Weaver Dunning

During her trip to Ireland, Melissa visited Donegal Yarns Ltd. and saw how Donegal tweed is designed and made from start to finish. In her article, Melissa tells us about her visit with Nora McFadden as she designed and sampled new colorways at the mill. Many of us are very familiar with the tweed yarn produced at the mill; Tahki Yarns Donegal Tweed has long been found in yarn stores around the United States.

No matter what you plan to make with your handspun tweed, the complex colors of tweed yarns begin before the yarn is spun. Check out “Donegal Tweed: The Magic of Color” and learn how to plan, design, and spin your very own tweeds.


Featured Image: Melissa shows you how to create your own tweeds.