Friday, November 16, 2012

Back in Action

I guess just have been neglecting my little corner of the internet but I have been busy with life and all that it entails. Halloween was fun, Abigail had a lovely birthday and I made it through giving a needle felting presentation at my guild. I think I got a decent picture of the felted fruit this time.

Here is a journal I made out of used grocery bags and some wrapping paper that I had lying around the house.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Felt Pretty Well

By felt I mean the fiber craft, not the feeling of things. First are is a random blobby thing with 5 are a few of them:
And then something I am rather proud of...Here I have a cornucopia of fall foods. I had these all done for Thanksgiving last year but they got put away and forgotten about and now that I am doing more sculptural felting I remembered that I have not photographed them yet. I have included my measuring tape for scale because they are so itty bitty and that is part of their charm.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Small Things

In addition to the bear sweater I have knit a few other little things. First is a tiny pair of baby booties that I am not sure will fit a newborn they are so small.

I also made myself a felted bag to keep my spinning wheel tools close at hand while spinning (I used some yarn leftover from my hand spun sweater)

Last but not least I got a good amount of hand carding and spinning done. This purple Romney yarn is destined to be paired with some natural grey Romney on the loom (I still need to spin that). I am not sure what the end product will be yet, I just know I want to weave with it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Like It Was Made For Him

Jacob asked me to make a sweater for his very best friend, Matt. I picked out the yarn a while ago but on Saturday I finally found the right pattern. I was unsure about the pattern when I first stumbled upon it I was expecting a smaller size but found a model of an adult. I read on and discovered the pattern is truly a custom fit sweater so it doesn't matter the size of the wearer as long as you get gauge. On Sunday I got Matt measured and cast on. Before it was even time for PJ's I had Jake going through the button bin to pick out the buttons he wanted to have me put on it. As luck would have it we found the perfect button in the bin AND  it was the right size for the button hole!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another Addiction

I have been having lots of fibery fun lately. First I finished carding up the fiber I dyed with Easter egg dyes.
I also got around to taking a picture of the plyed yarn I made from the roving I bought at the spring fair.
My guild is also making some friendship hats in which we all spin up some yarn, cut into 30 yard skeins. Then we all take about 8 of these mini skeins from each other and make a hat using some of each yarn. Originally I spun this yarn:
to use but Jacob begged me to make him a hat out of it so I ended up using something else. My hat did not turn out like planned but in the end I think it will work. This is a shot of it before blocking. 
I hope it will look a bit better after I finish blocking it.
Finally, the new addiction is weaving mini squares. While looking for something else on YouTube I came across a video of  a woman with a little square loom that she was weaving WHILE warping so when you are done with one, you are done with the other. I followed the link to these little looms and figured I could make one for WAY cheeper than they were being sold for. Rather than spending 25 bucks plus shipping I spent 3 bucks at the craft store and invested 30 minutes of time and voila! A little lap loom!
Less than 24 hours later I have a tidy little stack of woven squares that will make a neat little blanket when they are all sewn together.
Now that I have finished knitting the hat and it is blocking I can go back to whipping out more squares - seriously these things only take minutes to make and they are tons of fun. I didn't even get bored doing plain white ones. While I am still working on the hexipuffs, I think I will be using my samples on these little squares as they are more suited to different grists of yarn and stick to sock yarn for the hexipuffs.
I think I will make a larger square loom to do bigger squares out of that I can then felt. These things are a great size for sample weaving and I may even make a few more in this size with different setts just for the purpose of sampling before weaving.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sheep, Sunshine and Celebration

So I guess I am behind on my blogging but it's spring and there is much to do. First was the Spring Fair. I live for this event as it is when I get to buy my fleece for the year. This year I bought a Jacob fleece. I have wanted one since I saw the Yarn Harlot post a picture of a shawl she made using one. I was enchanted by the many variations of color in one fleece. The day I got it home I was able to get it all sorted out and washed. I am proud of myself for getting the 'hard work' done on day one. 
In addition to my fleece I also visited some vendors and bought a bag of blue roving with the intent of making a hat for Jacob, but I am not sure if that is what this is destined to be as it is spinning up differently than expected.
I also bought a ball of top in some beautiful soft colors that is now a skein of yarn but I don't have a picture of that yet so here are the singles on the wheel.
Oh, and a shawl pin:
On another day I took the kids to the fair to play. There were bouncy houses, 


And of course lots of critters. This is Abby petting Juniper, a kid goat.
The big hit of the day however was this miniature house. It was being raffled off and had some beautiful hand made furnishings that so inspired my son that we stood looking at this thing for 20 solid minutes.

In fact on the next sunny day we went out and collected sticks for him to build his very own mini furniture (which of course means I will be learning how to build it for him).

As to the celebrations there have been a couple. First was Brian's birthday. Then our very good friends decided to get married so down to the courthouse we went and witnessed for them. Andrew and Anna we love you lots!  
Last but not least my family made my 32nd birthday a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


A few weeks ago I was at Yellow House Yarns to pick up a copy of a knitting magazine. Of course I had to look around and I found something that I decided I really had to have - a beautiful spring shawl that changed colors and patterns throughout. I decided against the yarn they made theirs with in favor of a heavier yarn because I knew I wanted my shawl to be a nice warm comforting shawl. After looking around a bit I settled on some Malabrigo Rios. I bought two skeins and headed home to cast on. After fighting with it for a while I gave up on the pattern and made up my own. After I used both skeins I decided i wanted my shawl a bit bigger so I went back to the yarn shop and after a lot of searching with Megan, one of the owners, we found the one remaining skein in the colorway I needed. I finished my shawl and got it all blocked and dried in time to wear to my shift at the Shepherds Extravaganza at the spring fair.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend was very fun for us. We joined a gym and got started  learning our way around the place. On Saturday we dyed eggs with the kids and I just couldn't let the leftover dye go to waste. So I grabbed some wool and a handful at a time I used up the rest of the dyes. I did manage to burn myself rather well with some boiling water, but in the end I got a wonderful pastel rainbow of wool. I still need to process it and spin it but for now it is pretty to look at just as is. We had dinner in with good friends and opened a lovely bottle of wine.
Sunday we got up to see that the Easter Bunny remembered us and we ate our dyed eggs. Later we headed to brunch with Ron and Julie and then came back to our house for a visit. While the kids were resting Brian got to play his video game and I finished up some spinning. Overall I think everyone had a pretty good weekend.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


So I guess today's post is about using up some junk. First we have the sweater that I bought a few years ago at Good Will for the purpose of reusing the yarn. I started to take it apart and here is what is left - a front and half a back:
The problem I kept running into is that the yarn kept breaking...and not just in a few tough spots but ALL the TIME so I knew I wasn't going to be able to re knit it without a bunch of trouble.
I was about to throw the whole lot of it in the trash when I remembered that I got a pair of very fine hand cards for Christmas that I thought might be able to make the yarn fiber again. Here is a tuft fresh off the carders:
I hope to be able to toss this on the drum carder and spin it into a stronger yarn. If that doesn't work It's going in the garbage. I think what I discovered is that the sweater was made of non-virgin wool (perhaps the yarn was already re-purposed once before).

Next up is what I call one of my 'Junk batts'. I used the fiber left over from flick carding some locks that I spun a while back  I tossed it all on my drum carder and got this lovely batt:
Here are the singles all spun up.
I thought about plying this back on itself or perhaps leaving it as singles but I wanted it to be a little stronger. so I got out some shiny (but dirty) locks out of a bag of mystery wool and combed them into a roving that I spun into another set of singles. Here is the pair waiting to be plied.
Finally the resulting yarn. I think in hind site I should have used the batt as the outer part of a core wrapped yarn. I think that would have showcased the colors a bit better ad given it and even more fun texture.
What I am learning is that these sorts of yarns area  BLAST to spin but are far from what I like to knit with on a normal basis. I am sure I can think of something to do with it though.

Last but not least is that I have been bitten by the bug...the hexipuff bug that is...I don't care if it's the "popular pattern" right now, I think it's a cute idea and I have a ton of odds and ends that lend themselves well to this application. I have learned quickly how to adapt the number of stitches for various thicknesses of hand spun and hope to be able to use everything from lace weight to bulky.
I was using my small bits to make key chain socks but after making the last sock I realized I don't know where the key chain is and so I will make my little samples into these for now. I love the idea of having a snugly quilt that is just as awesome to lay on top of as it is to cover up with. Not only that but I will be able to look at this and have a little mini record of my previous projects and I think that's pretty neat.

Friday, March 09, 2012

I don't know why I am still surprised by the changes that happen to colors when I spin but here I am surprised again. This is the ball of singles spun from the rolag in the previous post - next to a spindle full of the white singles it will be plied with.
The colors are dark and rich and I really love them. I knew in order to keep them that dark I would have to ply it back on itself or leave it a singles but I wanted to make the 'same' yarn I had before to compare end results better so I went ahead and wound the singles into a plying ball. As you can see this lightened it up rather well.
Finally the finished skein of plied and set yarn. In the end it was much closer to the desired result I was trying to achieve with the first set of rolags that came out rather orange. I really like that I got a bit more of the rainbow effect I was looking for and who knows what changes will happen to the colors when I knit or weave it.

Monday, March 05, 2012

I had a very nice weekend with my family. We went out to dinner on Friday, and spent Saturday morning lounging around the house. We had a Saturday afternoon visit and dinner out with Grammy and Grandpa in the evening. On Sunday we stayed home. The kids played (with toys), Brian played (with his computer) and I played (with wool). We cooked a very nice dinner of crab cakes and Cesar salad together on Sunday and after we all went for a long brisk walk. All in all it was a wonderful weekend!
Sunday morning the kids and I made Calm Jars. I saw this project on Pinterest and thought it was a wonderful idea. I got them each a mason jar and let them fill it with various glitters and fun shaped bangles. Then we filled them with water and glued the lids on.
The object is when you are upset and/or having a fit to shake up the jar and sit and watch it until the glitter settles. It is just about the right time to let emotions settle too.

I am spinning a second set of 'scrap' rolags I dyed with food coloring. This time I wanted to see if I could get more distinct colors and try to get the blue dye to take better. I gave the blue dye a 3 minute head start from the red and yellow. Here is a (crappy) picture of one of the rolags (the other two are already spun)
The result of the dye in the rolag is much like I expected but it is spinning up very differently than I thought it would. Over all this is a dark yarn whereas the last one was a light yarn. I will post that once I am all done with that. Today's projects will be to finish that spinning, comb some wool, spin a different set of singles to be plyed with the dyed rolags, and make some boxes for my storage cubes.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Better than I thought.

I was a bit disappointed with those rolags from my last post. I thought I was going to get more individual colors, less blending and certainly more in the blue and green colorways. That was not to be and as you can see in the post below, the rolags came out looking, well, sorta pukey. I didn't chuck them though, I went ahead and spun them up on my drop spindle, and as I did the colors started to become a bit more distinct and in the end I liked what I had. Then I had to decide how to keep the color transitions. I had two options: The first was to ply it back on itself in a Navajo ply that would give me a three ply yarn but cut my yardage down to 1/3 the original. The second was to ply it with something else and that is what I decided to do. I grabbed some scraps from my combing project and whipped them up into singles. Here are the two singles wound into a plying ball ready to go.
 After plying and setting the twist I am happier with the yarn than I thought I would be when this all started. I have a little skein made from scrap wool that might otherwise have been tossed or used as stuffing for something. As it sits there are 54 yards here so really, more yardage than I thought I would get too.
All in all while messing around with some scraps I gained a bit of knowledge on how to make a multi-colored yarn that I really quite enjoy and a few insights into making the dyes behave the way I want also.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wool Days

Well, I have a bit of catching up as usual but her it goes:
Not so long ago I decided to try an experiment with my new drum carder. I started with some brown "mystery wool" that I think is Romney. Then I cut up bits of yarn (leftover thrums from the Sheep To Shawl) and sprinkled them in.
It worked. Sort of. 
I like the look of the color interaction but I am not sure how well the bits of yarn will stay in with wear. So next time I think I will card up the little yarn bits first.

This last Sunday I declared it a "wool day" and spent most of the day playing with wool in various forms. First I was updating my spinning notebook with a fiber blending project I am working on. Here they are all blended, spun, skeined and stored in recycled jelly jars:

I also have issues throwing things out so the scraps from the blending got spun up into a little mini skein that I knit into a sock for my key chain and had some left over to put into my spinning notebook.
I also wanted to get some wool washed so I could spin. The fleece I bought in April was Romeldale, a fine wool that I wanted to treat with care so I washed the locks one by one in the sink. Here they are dirty, ready to be washed:

A dunk in hot soapy water of the first 2/3 of the lock, then flip it, do it again and repeat in the rinse water. 

Here they are sitting to dry on the drying rack all nice and white:
Then they were flick carded one lock at a time and set in my spinning basket waiting to become yarn:
And then some spinning on the wheel - going for lace weight so we'll see how big it gets when plyed and set.

The kids wanted in on the wool fun and because I really loved the way the colors of my scrap bits behaved together I decided to dye a larger batch and see if I could make a batt that would get me similar results. Here is the wool all dry and ready to be carded on the drum carder.
After running each color through the carder individually I separated them into strips and layed them on the carder in a sequence I hope will gain me the desired yarn. 
 Here is the pretty batt all rolled up. I ended up with two of these as I did not want to overload the carder.
Yesterday I still had the wool bug so I spend some time carding some more of the mystery brown wool that I used in the skein in the first picture (Just a plain brown batt, nothing exciting to look at). I also carded up the remnants from combing out the locks of wool for my spinning basket. That yielded 3 rolags that I soaked in water and vinegar and then dropped some food colors into.
After the color had set, this is what I got:
A bit more muddled than I wanted so I am going to have to play around with the way I am dyeing things to get the desired results.
And last but not least is my current knitting:
A companion scar for my most recent hat. I love how soft this yarn is!