Monday, October 29, 2012

Fiber Explosion!

A few fiber goodies are missing from the photo
So last post I showed you a picture of the new fiber bookcase and I thought I'd show you some close ups and also what I dyed. Above is the goodie bag we got on the first night, some dyed fiber, some natural fiber, a dye packet and a few other little goodies. Since I got to stay for the dye lab I ended up with three pounds of fiber.

The first four were from dye lab during yarn school. The green was super wash and was an experiment with crock pot dyeing and using three different colors of green. The other three were hand painted which got a little messy. The pink/purple/turquoise one at the top is actually more muted than it appears in the photos. For the dye lab extension I repeated the greens in the crock pot and did another pink/purple/turquoise because I really wanted it to be neon. And I got my neons!

It is a little bit brighter than the photo shows

Jennifer was one of the wonderful helpers at Yarn School and she brought some of the wool from her own sheep. The little ball of fluff on top is a bit that someone carded up and gave me before I caved and bought some. Now I just need some hand cards! As a door prize I also got some of Jennifer's roving from the black sheep (Daisy). The rest are just a few more photos of what I brought home, but even that isn't all of it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Yarn School Part 2 + Dye Lab

Saturday morning at yarn school allowed us to split into beginning spinners and intermediate/advanced spinners. I decided to go with the beginners since I'm completely self taught and wanted to get back to the basics. Now, I knew most of it, but it also allowed me to try out different wheels. One of the other ladies was amazingly generous and brought a wheel for me to use for the weekend with also allowed me to get the bring your own wheel bonus fiber, but I still like trying the others. After that we could merge back into the large circle or continue playing with drum carders or drop spindles. Or ever just sit, knit and talk if we wanted.
Winding a ton of silk thread off of my drop spindle with the help of my new friend Cindy. Yes it did take two of us.

Beth's yarn on her the wheel she just bought!

Being silly with batts
We also had two guests come out Sheri with her adorable angora bunnies and Laura from Laura's Pygoras. Sadly, due to the rainy weather Laura couldn't bring her pygoras to visit, but she brought a lot of her fiber and goodies for us to fondle and purchase if we wanted. And if you ever have a chance to feel or spin with pygora, please do. It is soooo super soft.
Sheri and the angoras

Sunday was the last day for those just doing yarn school and I took some shots of the circle since I had neglected to earlier in the weekend. We also had demonstrations of spinning art yarn which was loads of laughs. Jennifer and I also figured out the easy way of adding large inclusions to a spun single, but only after we tried to most roundabout way. And she generously gave me a little red plastic frog to spin into a single because I want to make a frog hat soon.
Art yarn!

It was around noon-ish when most people left leaving the eleven (or was it twelve) of us who were remaining for the extra dye lab with we started at 2. 

More dye lab!
Yarn cooling on the rack 
The end of a wonderful weekend!
And the results of dye lab, yarn school, purchases and trades was a super stuffed suite case on the way home which turned the empty bookcase in to...

Well, I was hoping to keep this to two posts, but I'll have to share the fiber goodies in another post because there will be lots of photos and descriptions. See you on Monday!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Yarn School Part 1

My side of the seven dwarves 7th grade room while Lulu and I packed up on Sunday night
I'm back from Harveyville, Kansas where I spent a wonderfully long weekend with a group of amazing women enjoying Yarn School. It was the most fun I've had in a long time and here is the proof. We arrived on Thursday evening and a spinning circle had already been started in the gym. Meeting everyone was really neat as we were from all over the US. Friday we were split into two groups for dye lab and fiber prep. Lunch was at an alpaca ranch! 

We got lockers that held out fiber to be dyed

My group started out in the dye lab and we got wonderful instructions from Adrian of Hello Yarn. There was some crock pot dyeing, some hand painting and some people even played around with dyeing the fiber in mason jars. We had 8 ounces each of super wash, merino, shetland and a 100% wool blend to dye for a grand total of two pounds to dye. Some ladies even brought some of their own fiber and yarn to dye.

My little crock pot steaming away
Just look at the cute face!
Guard dog puppies

I didn't get any photos of the fiber prep that we did, but we got to work with drum carders, viking combs, and hand cards. Though we also got distracted by the helpers hanging out the rinsed fiber we had dyed that morning.
Can't remember if this is from Friday night or Saturday morning with all of our fiber hung up

And that is the conclusion of Yarn School part 1! The rest will be up tomorrow with the additional dye lab extension photos as well!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bison Tacos

As you can see I forgot to get a photo until I was half done with my first taco.
My brother and I try to get together once a week and have dinner together. We generally use this time to watch some DVRed shows together as well: Boardwalk Empire (starts back September 16th!), Modern Family and 30 Rock are just a few of them. Anyway, back to dinner, sometimes we make it and sometimes we just go get it somewhere. Last Thursday night we made tacos! Bison tacos with an amazing taco seasoning that I can't remember the name of right now. I'll edit when I remember it. But it was amazing! There were also Ghiridelli brownies that didn't manage to get photographed, but just picture some amazing soft, rich, chocolaty brownies still warm from the oven.

Have a great week and I've got some more exciting projects to share soon!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Easter Egg Dyes

I dyed up some fiber a while back with Easter egg dyes and realized that I hadn't shared it yet. It was a late night dyeing session when I couldn't sleep and it made me remember how much I love dyeing things up. Fiber, fabric, clothing, occasionally skin... Here it is ready to be heat set:

A very non-edible looking taco...unless you like blue/green/yellow/grey looking tacos
And here it is after.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Invasion of the Hexagons!

I'm falling behind on my Tour de Fleece posts, but it is still coming along slowly. And I have been spinning at least 15 minutes every day! There hasn't been much color change on the wheel recently as I've been project hopping. I've sampled four other fibers and just got around to washing them last night so they are still drying. Two are silk hankies, one is shetland and the other is merino top. The merino sample is Ashland Bay's Snapdragon and I'm about halfway through spindling up the rest of it. The finished yarn will be a thick and thin two ply.

Now about the hexagon invasion...I was wanting a small project  I could work on while watching movies and after having seen some gorgeous hexagon pieced quilts I thought it would be a great project. They are addicting to make, very quick and easy. So now I've got to little hexagon projects going.

This is just a small sampling of each set. The lower one is obviously Halloween themed because I figure if I start it now it should be done by then. And the other is leftovers from Moda's Buttercup charm pack. I'm thinking of making decorative some pillow cases from them, but I'm not 100% sold on the idea yet. What do you think I should do with them?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tour de Fleece Day 4!

I've been spinning away with a beautiful gradient of green from Fiber Optic Yarns. With spinning it as lace weight singles it is taking some time.

The color is less yellow/more green than the picture shows.

On day one I actually spun up a sample of some silk hankies I got and tried it as a two ply though I still want to see it as a three ply before I commit. I'll have to get photos of that little sample up soon. And get better photos up of the gradient.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Big News!

Big news! I am going on vacation in October to Harveyville, Kansas! And what is so exciting about that, you might be asking yourself? Well, that is where twice a year Yarn School is held. A wonderfully long weekend of spinning, dyeing and hanging out with other spinner all while learning lots! I heard about it a couple of months ago and knew it was something I really wanted to go to and now (or rather in October) I am!

One of the really neat things about Yarn School is that it is part of The Harveyville Project which is located in the old high school and elementary school buildings in Harveyville. Seriously, we sleep in the old classrooms. Everything I have heard about Yarn School has been wonderful and I can't wait!

I'll also have more posts coming with Tour de Fleece starting this weekend!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tour de Fleece

I mentioned Tour de Fleece in an earlier post and don't think I ever really explained what it is. The Tour de Fleece stared over at Keep on Knitting in the Free World in 2006 and simply put, the cyclists spin and the spinners spin. Here are the guidelines that went along with it:
Guidelines (NOT RULES): 
1. Spin every day the Tour rides. Saturday July 1st through Sunday July 23rd. Days of rest: Monday, July 10th, Monday July 17th. (Just like the actual tour)
2. Spin something challenging on Tuesday July 18th (Gap to L'Alpe DE d'HUEZ)
3. Take a button if you want one. Then we can use the button on our blogs in show of solidarity. Link button to:
4. Wear yellow on Sunday July 23rd to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful?
5. Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie)
Of course the days change every year. We start on Saturday June 30th and end on  Sunday July 22nd with the rest days being on Tuesday July 10th and Tuesday July 17th. The buttons can also depend on what team(s) you have joined for the year. All of this is done on Ravelry and it looks like we have somewhere around 4800+ participants this year! As for teams, I'm not sure how many there are, but I'm on Teams Stashbusters, Sprinters (lace spinners), TARDIS, Spunky (for Spunky Eclectic fiber)  and Ashford.

Last year I kept up in the beginning (or maybe that was two years ago), but then life got in the way. This year however I am determined to spin at least 15 minutes every day. And I haven't decided on what my challenge is going to be, but I'm thinking either spinning beaded singles or spinning a chunky art batt. It would be the first time I've ever spun from a batt if I do that and spinning chunky is a challenge all in itself for me since my default seems to be lace-weight to light fingering. Or if I'm spinning silk then I'm in the cobweb weight. I'll let you know what I pick.

So there is the run down of the Tour de Fleece!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gifts to ME!!!

Picture from Caliope's Fibre

I've been really good recently with my budgeting and with saving up for my hopeful vacation in October. I say hopeful because I still have to snag a spot when registration opens. You will know more if I get to go...But a while back I was really wanting to spin a batt. Now, this isn't something I have ever done before and there is no local place for me to get one. So I decided to splurge a little. Enter Etsy. I found some beautiful batts even one including crab fiber!
Picture from Caliope's Fibre. The white is crab fiber!!!!
But I wasn't sure I could justify it, until two days later a coupon for Tour de Fleece goes up. It was meant to be and now I have somewhere close to 10 oz headed my way from Caliope's Fibre. I have two of each of these beauties headed my way and I can't wait! See I told you this was gifts to me. I also got myself a May Beach Bum sample box from Sampler Village. I mean I'm half way to my vacation savings goal so I needed a little something for me. I promise there will be tons more pictures when both arrive!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Late night projects

I’m part of the Spindler’s group on Ravelry and May’s spinning challenge prompt is: my precious. The great thing is that we can interpret the prompt in any way we choose, though most of us are leaning towards the Lord of the Rings interpretation. Last month I dyed up some wool in a yellow/green/blue color way and also dyed up some silk hankies with the left over Easter egg orange dye tablet. It didn't turn out exactly how I wanted so I over dyed it to tone the neon orange down.

I also finished the pink singles from the last post and am working on plying them. I'll post pictures of it once it has been washed, whacked and dried.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Never Ending Project

This pink merino is haunting me. Really it is. I think It has been on my wheel for about a month and I'm still not done spinning up the singles. Makes me wonder if it is taking so long because I can only stand pink in small doses. I am determined to get the singles done by the end of the month so I see some major spinning in the next few hours.

I also realized that I haven't shown off my Spunky Eclectic club fibers since I showed the spun up Peace on Earth fiber. So here is January, February, March and April! I ordered an extra of the January because I loved it so much. Each month comes with a slip telling us the month, color way name, fiber content, what inspired the colors and some tips on spinning it up.

Clockwise from top right: January "Birds 'n' Berries" Targhee; February "Abstract" Corriedale with sheep sticker; March "Little Fishes" Merino; April "Robin Red Breast" Gotland
One thing I'm loving about club is that the colors aren't always ones that I would choose on my own, but Amy does such an amazing job with her dye jobs that I love them all. I'm also getting to see, feel and (eventually) spin up new fibers I haven't tried before! Also with the forum on Ravelry, I love seeing how everyone spins their fiber up.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Extraterrestrial Abduction Day

Yes, you read that right. And, no, I am not just pulling these out of a hat and making up holidays, though that could be rather fun. Today is Extraterrestrial Abduction Day! So let's celebrate it with an extraterrestrial related craft or hunting down a copy of E.T. and curling up in front of the TV.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crafting Spaces

I've decided that instead of one big long boring post on my new place I'm going to break it down into smaller posts. The first one I share is going to be the crafty spaces because, in all honesty, they were the first spaces completely set up. I have two major areas, the first being the sewing closet.

Comes complete with a cat

It sounds kind of silly, but when you live in an efficiency apartment and have a pantry, a small closet, a medium closet and a huge walk-in closet in combination with not having that many clothes to need 3 closets and no space to put the sewing stuff. Closet it is then. Right now my fabric is stored in the cabinet of my bookcase. I might move it up to the closet shelf.

The other crafty area is my desk. I found this at the Salvation Army and was debating if I wanted to spend that much on a desk when a guy waiting for his wife pointed out that it had been there for over 14 days. Well, 14 days means 25% off and I was sold. As you can see there is already a project taking over the desk. I'm trying a new way of scaling up patterns-radial projection. I think it might be my new go-to when scaling up patterns.

So there are my crafty spaces.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

1912 Titanic Sewing Project

Have you heard about Janyce over at the Vintage Project Lending Library's (VPLL) 1912 Titanic Sewing Project? The basis is that April 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking. And the VPLL is taking the patterns from the La Mode Illustree and transcribing the patterns, graphic and information and having an army of seamstresses stick their way through the fashion journal. Now these patterns are a far cry from what most of us are used to. To be frank, they are going to be vague. I'm hoping that having worked with vintage patterns like this before will make it an easier project. And what can I say, my inner nerd is super excited about starting.

So pretty much this boils down to making a pattern a month for the rest of the year and tracking my progress on my blog. I'm looking forward to sharing the journey and the finished projects with all of you! Stay tuned!

*When I say an army of seamstresses, I mean an army- there are over 400 who have signed up for the project!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


A quick post on what I've been up to aside from moving to my own little apartment (tour to come in the next post). Sadly there hasn't been much going on but I joined the Spunky Eclectic fiber club in December and spun up the club fiber last week. And let me just say that the club is amazing! I am already spinning up January's club and can't wait for February's.

And I might have had a little too much fun with the photo edit feature...

I've also spun up a bit of some silk hankies on the wheel and was amazed at how quick it was to spin up. Since I needed the bobbin that it was on I made a tiny little hank of the silk. It is spinning up slightly thinner than the columns on the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the penny.