And there goes August!

August 29, 2011

And goodbye August, or nearly so! 

Woosh, the month went flying by, just like that! 

For starters, it’s been busy on all fronts. Home, work, yarn, etc. But a good type of busy I suppose, it definitely makes the time go by faster. 

I took a few days off from my day job and traveled to WY to visit my parents. While I was there my mom and I set up a outdoor dye studio and did some natural dyeing with sunflowers. My mom and dad went out into the country one evening on their 4-wheeler and walked up and down the ditches on the side of the road picking sunflowers that in turn were boiled so they’d release the dye. 

I will say this about my parents, they have always been extraordinarily patient with my crafty and artistic endeavors and never once in all the years I’ve been coming up with one crazy scheme or idea after another did they tell me no/that’s not a good idea. It’s how I am raising my son, I think it’s an excellent way to parent. So, thanks mom and dad! :) 

So the first day I was home we did the sunflower dyeing and after that was done (1+ pounds of roving plus hanks of yarn) my mom and I tackled the handpainted yarn project. In the next two days she helped me dye 50 skeins of yarn! It was crazy productive, I have never knocked out that much yarn in that short of time. 

Since then I’ve had time to focus more on spinning, I hope to have time to update my Etsy store soon as well and continue to prepare for craft shows this fall and other events coming up in September. 

Somewhere in all this I start classes in September (I’m finishing a degree via online coursework), got my son off to his first day of school, work, have a trip to Denver planned, etc. Busy! But again, busy is good, it keeps my life interesting even if most of the time I feel like it’s like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride around here. 

How about some photos?

This is what sunflower dye looks like in progress. I prefer to call it something nice, like peridot. My dad thought it looked like calf scours. Being from ranch country, I guess I can see why he had such an opinion!

When the yarn and roving came out of the kettles it veried in shade from a pale green to a buttery yellow. I plan to spin the roving and ply it to get the full effect of the subtle color shifts. As you can see, the deck at my parents house was absolutely built for someone like me and yarn madness!

Here a couple shots of the handpainted spree, these were taken on day one. As I said previously, by the time we were done we’d completed fifty skeins!

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it! Happy Almost-Autumn, we’ll all need hats, scarves and socks before you know it!


Goodbye July

August 1, 2011

This weekend was blistering hot so staying indoors seemed to be a fantastic plan! Saturday morning I dyed a pound of faux angora fiber using my oven and had it all shut down by 9 a.m., just as it was getting uncomfortably warm in my kitchen.

That task complete, I hauled a box fan downstairs to my work area, grabbed a giant glass of ice water, put on a good record and set out to tackle the giant reskeining project that had been looming over my head for the past week. When I first started handpainting yarns I didn’t reskein it but as time has gone on I have learned to appreciate the much better presentation of the yarn when I do so. I personally tend to fixate on one block/pool of color, it prevents me from seeing the big picture.

For example, here is a skein of my handpainted before reskeining. I kept fixating on the red tone:

And after: much, much better!

In order to make this project successful I set up my yarn swift at one end of my work desk and my yarn winder at the other. Then I wind, wind, wind, until my arm gets tired!

 

When I was done, I had this! The bottom row is worsted, the rest to the top is sock yarn.

 

Last year, my friend Donna who owns and operates Nor’East Architectural Antiques contacted me, she’d found an antique yarn winder at an estate sale and would I be interested? Of course I was! It arrived shortly thereafter and has by far become one of the most valuable pieces of equipment I have in my collection. In this photo there are six skeins of worsted weight yarn on the winder, each skein is 250 yards in length.That’s a lot of yarn! When I’m done winding I just take the wheel off and slip the skeins off the bottom. So easy! If anybody out there knows more about these winders I’d love to hear from you. I have no idea how old it is but it’s sturdy and a complete workhorse piece of equipment.

 

Now that I’m done with that type of project I have to get caught up on my spinning. As usual, I have everything I need, I just need more time! :)

 


Yay for the weekend!

July 29, 2011

Another hot but lovely weather weekend coming up for Montana!

Last weekend and for a portion of this week I got a lot of solar dyeing accomplished, I presently have 18 skeins of sock yarn to finish reskeining. Some will be making an appearance in my Etsy shop, I will be sure to put out an announcement on the Fabulosity Yarn by Joy Hayworth Facebook page when I’m ready to go live.

As much as I would rather not heat up my kitchen with the dyepots when the weather is so warm, I will be doing so on Saturday as the next round of dyeing I want to do involves handpainting yarns and rovings and I will use my oven to set the dyes. Fortunately the mornings are wonderfully cool and all I have to do is open the patio doors and let the breeze come in, it keeps things way more comfortable when I do so.

I will also be spinning this weekend, perhaps outdoors on the back deck in the early evenings when it’s not so warm out there. I have a good assortment of things on deck for spinning: merino blend wool, faux cashmere roving, Romney fleece, etc.

I also managed to snag a bag of random scraps from Julie at The Enablerie ( http://www.facebook.com/Enablerie) last week, it arrived yesterday! I was running a little low on cardable bits to run through my drum carder so this was exactly the boost my carding supply stash needed! One project that is in the works involves a large amount my Bedlam batts, so this will supplement it wonderfully. :)

Under all things (Sp)inspiration, this morning on my drive to work I was at a stop light and this happened!

I was so shocked (it was really rather low, as you can see by the powerlines in the photo) that I almost dropped my phone in my haste to get it captured on film. The guy up there in the basket waved, seemingly unphased that he was rather low to the treetops but a few minutes later I saw the balloon again and while still low, it seemed to be gaining some altitude. As it’s probably pretty obvious by now, I’m all about the rainbow themes so this was a uplifting (no pun intended!) moment for me on what was otherwise a rather sluggish morning.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend, I know I certainly will!


Progress!

July 27, 2011

Any Stephen King fans out there? As creepy on every level that the book The Tommyknockers was, I have never been able to shake off what a brilliant concept it would be to be able to get things done while occupied elsewhere. I’d rather not turn into an alien though, so scratch that concept.

Really though, lack of time and not enough hours in the day plagues me constantly. I stay busy because I have to and because I have this wild dream that someday I’m going to quit flying a desk and spend my time playing with the dye pots and the spinning wheels. I’m a pretty firm believer in making things happen. What I’m not is patient!

The last couple days though I’ve managed to successfully get a lot done even when I wasn’t around to supervise, and I have the hot temperatures and blazing sun to thank for it. Solar dyeing has helped me knock out 12 skeins of sock yarn in 2 days, not bad at all. How fast can I skein it, that’s pretty much what drives the progress at this point!

I had started out by dyeing some Romney fleece in a rainbow (surprise, surprise!) of solid/varieagated colors:

Hugely encouraged by this success, I moved onto the above mentioned sock yarn. Skeins drying (they will look much better when fully dry and reskeined, you trust me on that) from yesterday and today:

 

 

 

And a sneak peek of worsted weights to be available shortly!

 

I once heard that the definition of multitasking is not giving any one thing your full and undivided attention. Maybe in the professional world but in the yarn world, I seriously beg to differ. :)


Oh, hello!

July 25, 2011

I figured I should blow the dust off this blog and you know, actually use it! I’m still around, still spinning and dyeing yarn! Mostly these days I can be found at Facebook, I have a page there for my yarn under “Fabulosity Yarn by Joy Hayworth” that anyone can join. In fact, the more the merrier. I’ve been updating my page regularly with photos, shop news, etc.

But I was thinking today, that since Facebook took off in such a huge way there seem to be less blogs available for spinning and dyeing. Maybe I’m not looking in the right place, but I know that when those that I do follow update I get hugely excited to see what they’ve been up to.

My point is, I’m going to try to do better at updating this blog for all things Fabulosity Yarn. I keep an online journal elsewhere and I’m pretty sure my friends are sick and tired of my rambling on and on and on and on (and on!) about the yarn. So, I thought why not come back here and give it the attention it really deserves? I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes.

Right now as of this writing it is July in Montana. July means hot. It also is the time of year when I start working on building inventory for Fall arts and crafts shows, my Etsy store, etc. High temps and a hot kitchen don’t really go hand in hand. This past weekend I decided to give solar dyeing a try and I have not been disappointed for one second!

Solar dyeing is really almost ridiculously easy. I hate to quote that Ron Popeil guy but you really do set it and forget it when it comes to this dye method. I fortunately have some good sized glass jars on hand as wells as others in a variety of sizes that were just sitting there unused. I started out the weekend by layering some merino roving in a gallon glass jar and sprinkling a rainbow of acid dye colors over it. By the end of the day the dye had all absorbed/exhausted and the water was clear. Success!

Sunday, entirely encouraged by the results of day 1, I grabbed a pound of Romney fleece that I scoured a couple weeks ago and smushed it into more jars with dye, hot water and vinegar. As you can see, the rainbow theme carried through the weekend! Again at the end of the day I was thankful for almost 100 degree temps and a much cooler kitchen.

Also on Sunday I dyed two 8-ounce bundles of faux cashmere in gallon jars. These babies were so hot at the end of the day I needed oven mitts to get them back in the house! That’s the thing, be careful if you do this! Water heated by the sun in a glass jar is hot and broken glass is not good so, you know, caution!

All that fiber now drying, I shifted my focus to sock yarn. This morning before leaving for the day job I put six skeins out to solar dye, I am admittedly dorking out about getting home tonight to see what results I will get! One of the hardest things about having a day job and still trying to be a spinner/dyer is that I am often struck by inspiration when at work and unable to do much if anything about it. The knowledge that I’m still getting something done on the yarn front while I’m working my day job is oddly soothing.

As long as the hot temps last, solar dyeing is going to be a part of my routine. It’s all about finding the silver lining, apparently! :)


Long past due update.

August 6, 2010

That resounding thud was just me falling off the yarn journal wagon. Has it really been since January since I wrote here last? Good thing this site doesn’t get a lot of traffic!

Obviously am still in the yarn business, I just stink when it comes to updating!

A few things of note for housekeeping.   I have a group page over at Facebook that anybody can join, just search for the group Fabulosity Yarn. I’m also at Ravelry, again listed as Fabulosity. I’m all over the place, actually. Which is probably why my updating skills leave something to be desired!

Once again this year I will be at the Holiday Festival Crafts & Bazaar in Sheridan, Wyoming. The show is always the weekend before Thanksgiving, so this year it is Saturday, November 20. I love that show, I always see familiar faces from both vendors and attendees who come back every year.

In the meantime, I’ll (try to) do better about updating, if there’s anybody out there still reading, hi!


Happy New Year!

January 4, 2010
Wow, 2010, I can hardly fathom it!

I had the good fortune of having four days off work over New Years, I am almost dreading going back to work tomorrow because I’ve gotten used to doing everything that falls under “not work” during my time off.

As usual, there was a lot of yarning going on in my house. Yesterday I spent amost the entire day dyeing roving, today I spent several hours spinning. I have 3 new skeins of handspun twist setting and about 50 skeinlets to wind.

I realized a few days ago that a lot of the supplies for carding that I’d accumulated in the past three years are rapidly dwindling. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised, I have carded a lot of fiber, especially for what eventually becomes my Bedlam yarns since I bought my drumcarder in 2007. Building supply for me from the beginning had to be a gradual thing due to financial constraints, I suspect rebuilding will come about in the same manner.

If anything, I find myself wishing I lived in a community that had a spinning/fiber arts store. We have a couple yarn stores here but the spinning supplies are almost nonexistant other than undyed roving or the occasional solid color. It  irritates me because I’m pretty much a instant gratification sort of person and having to order everything online does nothing for my impatience factor. In July 2009 I visited my best friend Jen, who lives in Maine. We made several trips to the Portland Fiber Gallery & Weaving Studio while I was there and I was so impressed with the fact that all I had to do was grab bags and start stuffing assorted fibers and blendables into them. I would so dearly love to own or co-own a spinning/yarn/fiber arts store with Jen some day!  Though I wonder if we’d spin it all before we could sell it!

Rambling on, as usual!

Here are some photos of recently listed items at my etsy store: fabulosity.etsy.com

Skeinlet Sensation (mini skeins of my handspun) I’ve offered over 50 of these not counting custom orders!

Bedlam yarns, as mentioned above:

Handpainted commercially spun yarn:

And a new to me creation, Scraptastic yarns:

I didn’t make any resolutions this year, I never keep them anyway! I do plan to kick up the spinning an dyeing to even higher levels than before, I think I have finally struck a good balance when it comes to managing my day job, home, kid, husband and online college courses (why yes, I have indeed lost my mind!). It sounds crazy busy, and it is. But it’s all doable.

Happy New Year everyone and if you’ve stayed with me to this point, thanks!


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