Category Archives: yarn

Goodbye July

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! 🙂

 

Holiday Festival Crafts & Bazaar 2009

Well hello there! It’s that time of year again! November usually means NaNoWriMo to most, but to me it means that it is time for the Holiday Festival Crafts & Bazaar! This will be the 3rd consecutive year that I’ve attended with my mom and this year we have 3 other people joining us to really make our booth full of all sorts of wonderful handmade goodness.

I will be there with my wheel, lots of wool and lots and lot and lots of yarn. Lots. I’m rather overwhelmed and this is just the yarn!

I also have a giant bowl full of skeinlets (mini yarn skeins), wool soap socks, fabric covered buttons, felted beads, mittens, scarves, a few bags and omg I am forgetting because my head will explode if I try to think of it all now!

My mom will be there with her handwoven baskets, tapestry tablerunners, hardanger embroidery and the cutest wee felted purse/pouch things I’ve ever seen. My sister has put together a great assortment of handmade envelopes and cards, my friend Karen has over 2 dozen felted bags as well as a large assortment of scarves and shawls. My friend Danielle is bringing a whole bunch of felted slippers (they look like clogs, they are so cute and I can vouch for their comfyness!), and amazing felted hats as well as a wide array of knitted hats for babies.

I am super excited, as I always am this time of year! It’s a long day but it’s so much fun and we have been fortunate enough to be located in the same area every year so people have started to remember us or come looking for us, which is always flattering.

So as always, if you find yourself in Sheridan, Wyoming on Saturday, November 21 come see us! We’ll be at the Sheridan Holiday Inn at 1809 Surgarland Drive. The show starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Sheridan is going to be the place to be, there are SEVEN shows next weekend! I love it. I love every single crazy minute of it!

March? Really?

Well hello there!

I cannot believe it’s already March! Though if winter would truly end I’d be even happier. My spring fever is killing me!

As I did last year, I have once again created a Bunny Bedlam 2009 edition. Bunny Bedlam was created last year when I was walking through Hobby Lobby and saw bags of polyester bunny batting/fiber fill. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head at the time, wondering if I could spin it into yarn. By itself, I suppose you could but I decided to blend it with white merino blend wool roving and sparkle. Last year I had yellow, pink and green to mix in, this year I could only find purple, green and yellow. Apparently this was a bad year for pink bunny batting. 😉

This year, 100 yards:

This led to another crazed carding session for a second series of Brouhaha. White merino blend wool roving as a base and I mixed in tons of sparkle, commercial and handspun yarn scraps, a random assortment of mixed wools and some pulled sari silk. I crazy plied one skein with a 3 ply wool thread and left the other as is. 100 yards. This yarn takes forever to spin, as does nearly all art yarn as I’ve learned!

Brouhaha Series 2

Finally, a litta bitta fame! A super cool girl who goes by JennyBangBang at Etsy purchased my first Brouhaha series and she featured it in a video she made! It all makes me ridiculously smiley!

Otherwise I’ve been busy as usual dyeing roving and yarns and spinning as often as I can. So until next time may your stitches not drop and your yarn not tangle! (This is advice I really need to follow.)

New Stuff and Historical Stuff

I’ve been busy with my day job, as usual. Somehow in the midst of everything else though I’ve managed to keep up with spinning, dyeing and some other crafty endevors.

One of my most recent spins, I have ridiculous amounts of love for this:

The Hunting Of The Snark. 116 yards. WPI: 10 to 11. 5 ounces. Merino blend wool, acid dyes.

I realized recently that February will mark my third year of spinning. I’m not entirely sure where the time went. When I look at this yarn I think “Wow, I am a spinner of yarn.” I know that sounds arrogant, but that’s not how I mean to come off! 🙂 It’s just amazing to me to realize that I started out using a drop spindle I bought on Ebay and am now here 3 years later with two wheels and a literal arsenal of tools and supplies that I’ve bought with sales of yarn. In a way I’m really glad it took me so long to get what I’ve got. If I’d ran out and bought everything at once I probably would have lost interest.

Then there’s this, cobbled together in a fit of YES I CAN when I saw a kit for the same exact thing at Hobby Lobby.

It’s a bunch of random jewelry bits and beads that I’ve been hanging on to forever and a day, some safety pins and some elastic. Voila. I wore it yesterday and a lot of people commented on it. I might make a few more, even if they are just for me because this kind of jewelry is right up my alley. Of course, nearly all the bead sellers I bought from at Etsy a couple years ago are now gone. This bothers me greatly.

I guess that’s all for now kids, thanks for reading my sadly neglected little yarny blog! 🙂

Progress, I make it.

O.k. I realize that the pile o’yarn probably doesn’t look like it’s expanded much, but since my last update I’ve added 8 new skeins to the pile! I’m getting really tired! The show in Sheridan is exactly a month away. I was thinking of taking a break from spinning and dyeing yarn this weekend but then my eyes landed on the cones of undyed sock yarn, the huge bag of 8 ounce dyed rovings and the stuff that I might have accidentally ordered onlien in a fit of “OMG I NEED THIS STUFF.”

Ahem. 🙂

In between all this I’ve managed to squeeze in a custom yarn order at Etsy. I am so flattered that I was chosen to create this yarn! The lovely customer wanted roving dyed in shades of silver and brown and then handspun super bulky and thin. It was hard for me to deliberately place huge slubs into the yarn but the results were so nice! Super soft and an amazing texture. I’m really pleased with it, I can’t wait to see what she makes with it!

300 yards. I never formally named it but started to think of it as Sepia.

And with that, I’m keeping my promise to myself to get to bed at a decent hour tonight so off I go. Goodnight!

Just Keep Swimming

Argh! I’m drowning in yarn over here! Seriously, that show needs to get here now so I can have some space again!

Actually, too much yarn is never a problem. The growing pile makes me feel rather accomplished actually. Though I feel like I’m cheating on my Etsy store! 😉

Updated pile: (Curtains made by Jen, are they not fabulous? I love them!)

And a bunch of handpaint that I need to reskein. *thud*

My favorite of the bunch:

If I could just learn how to spin in my sleep I could take over the world. Actually, scratch that. It reminds me of The Tommyknockers by Stephen King and I really have no desire to turn into an alien. 😀

Fly By

Oh hello little yarny blog. Neglected, aren’t you?

So what have I been up to? Lots of stuff, all accomplished on weekends and occasionally late into the night. I’ve been trying to spin every night, so far I’ve managed. I’ve also been making a lot of randomly designed creations on my drum carder that eventually become the base for my Bedlam yarns. I used to spin each batt as it came off the carder, which would create a bunch of low yardage skeins that I’d sell in a bundle.

To be honest, that process was extremely time consuming for me so I’ve taken a break from it. Instead, the Bedlam collections have evolved into Litta Bitta Bedlam. Basically I’m saving up all the batts that become Bedlam yarns and when I’m ready to work with them I pull the batts into roving, toss all the small bundles of roving into a basket and grab them randomly as I spin. This really mixes it up as you can probably imagine and I love the results.

I tend to get paralyzed by certain projects. For me I think it’s just the (perceived, I’m not that arrogant I promise) expectation to produce. It’s of course flattering to get the requests but for some reason it backfires on me and I find myself occasionally unable to move forward. So instead, in the case of Bedlam yarns, I think I’ve found away to avoid that problem. And yarn problems are good to have, don’t get me wrong.

I also don’t actively set out to create any specific batt anymore either. Each batt is a couple days creation, as I gather little bits here and there and card them as they come my way. If it is even remotely spinnable it goes into the carder, the packrat in me won’t let anything go into the trash. When the carder is full, the batt is ready. I pull it off and start over. And I’m always surprised by what is in each layer as I start pulling the batt into the roving, kind of a “Oh! That’s what I did with that scrap!”

Hey, I’m easily amused. It’s all good.

I don’t have any photos of the super top secret roving creation (o.k. it’s not a secret, I just didn’t take photos), but here are some recent results:

In other areas, I’ve been working frantically towards building stock for a show I will be in coming up in November in Sheridan,Wyoming. This will be the second year in a row I’ve gone armed with yarn and other goodies, I hope we are as successful this year as last! If nothing else being able to go and take my wheel with me is always fun, you meet a lot of really interesting people when you roll into a place carrying a spinning wheel. 😉

And, by this time next week my best friend in the whole wide freaking world will be here! Jen is coming in on the 18th and leaving the 28th. Yarn madness and baby smooshing will commence! OMG, I am so excited to have her here! Can you tell?

So next week a bunch of stuff will all happen simultaneously. A metric ton of undyed yarn will arrive (I might have gotten a wee bit carried away, I freely admit it.), Jen will be here and the spinning wheels will be running as the roving stash is busted out. I seriously cannot wait. Vacation and so many good things! I’m so glad I waited to take time off this year. It was hard but in the end it will be so worth it!

Have a great weekend all!