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A Little More Abstract

Crafting For Those Dedicated to Experimentation

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Paradise Fibers

July Crafting

Okay, so I didn’t do a lot with Tour De Fleece.  Certainly not as much as I had hoped.  On the other end of the spectrum my crafting classes are going very well.  I have a lovely core group of ladies that are really enjoying the crafts I am introducing them to.  Wet felting was a sloppy bit of fun, needle felting went off like a rocket (if you call it stabbing something a few hundred times it generates a lot of interest), and these past two weeks my ladies have taken to spinning like they were born for it.

During my Guild Meeting I managed to weave most of a towel, I have since finished that towel, woven another and a couple of coasters since I didn’t have enough warp for a third towel.  I have also spun about half of my June Fiber box from Paradise Fibers.  Okay, so I know most people are through their July Boxes but I don’t have that kind of crafting time.

Tour De Fleece Days 7-12

I swear this is progress!  I am still working on spinning up my 4oz of fiber straight from the roving in an attempt to create a unique piece from my June Box.  While it does not look like I have made much progress, I swear it is there.  I Can see my piece of fiber getting smaller and my bobbin filling up bit by bit.  I do have to confess, I love my Woolee Winder.  I cannot even begin to imagine trying to get even spinning while changing hooks constantly.  I do realize that many people do not have any trouble changing hooks, spinning fine and doing a great job at both.  I am still very excited to see this piece done so that I can work on the next.  In between this piece and starting the next I will be teaching a spinning class at my public library, very exciting!

Last week I also attended the Southern Tier Fiber Arts Guild Meeting in Wellsville, NY.  The ladies were all lovely and I look forward to attending again next month!  This Friday I will be weaving a towel in Bradford, PA.  What fun!

Happy Crafting!

Day 3&4 Tour De Fleece

On day 3 I did not get much spinning accomplished, that darn work got in the way.  However I did manage to get half of my “Bloom” roving carded up to be spun in the “Monet” way.  It appeared as though for a true “Monet” spin the fiber was to be hand carded.  I did do about half of this section of fiber, a quarter of the total fiber, on hand cards but the other half was done on a drum carder.  I love how this fiber turned out.

As for the 4th day, I managed to begin spinning the roving from my wrist distaff as it came.  This is great practice for me, not only spinning consistently, but moving across the end of a piece of top.  Both skills are taking quite a bit of concentration so I can only do so for about an hour at a time.  This means that this 4 ounces of fiber is going to take quite some time to spin.  I fully intend to enjoy the experience to the fullest of my ability!

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I promise this really is about 2 hours of spinning.  There is some corkscrewing, but from my experience these things tend to work themselves out in the plying.

Happy Crafting!

Day 2 Tour De Fleece

I received my June Box from Paradise Fibers just in time for Tour De Fleece!  Their Suggestion was to spin this Bloom Roving in a manner different from how it would normally be spun by me.  One of the suggestions was to spin it in the Monet style.  Well I had no idea what that meant, so I had to investigate.  From what I can find out, without paying for the book or article which I might do in the near future, this is a method of spinning where a top is divided in half then half is spun straight from the top and the second half is spun from a carded preparation.  (rolags seemed to be what I saw).  Given these parameters I finished off my bobbin from the first day, split my top down the middle and started looking at it.  Half I wound onto my wrist distaff, the picture on the right, and the other half I decided I would take into work to card up.  (My drum carder and hand carders are living at work until my workshop series is over).

I’ve been watching the Craftsy Video Spinning From Woolen to Worsted by Jacey Boggs Faulkner.  She has some great suggestions on getting a more even yarn and how to spin more thoughtfully.  Given that advice I am attempting to spin this yarn more thoughtfully and at a smaller, more consistent, diameter.  My progress from Day 2 is on the bobbin.  I am enjoying this spinning experience and hope that I am becoming a better spinner.

Happy Crafting

Books and Knitting

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Mom has been a busy beaver with her destashing projects.  In the midst of that goal she began reading the newest book in one of her favorite series, “Gone with the Wool” by Betty Hechtman.  In this installment of a quirky series about a woman that inherited her Aunt’s  knitting retreat business they are exploring loom knitting.  Mom wanted to explore in more depth what they were talking about in the books.  Fortunately one of the crafting motto’s we live by is “If you see it, get it, you never know when you’ll see it again.”  Yes, I know.  This sounds like a wasteful motto, but thanks to this motto we happened to have some knitting looms on hand.  (Okay so we have the whole set except sock and afghan looms because I had a coupon and they were on sale at JoAnn’s a few years ago).  I had a project already started on one and Mom has gone to town ever since!  She made these six hats in 3 days!  One of the white hats has a bit of a problem since one of the rows seems to be a bit looser than the rest but all of the other hats are lovely.  We are currently debating if these hats are going to go to Paradise FIbers for their donation contest or to the local knit and crochet group for the local hospital instead.  Either way!

Go MOM!  Happy Crafting!

Kool Aid Dying Part 2

I had an absolute blast dying some Merino that I picked up earlier this year.  I am trying to gear up for Spinzilla this October, in preparation I decided I wanted to spin my own Colorways.  To spin my own colors then I need to generate them, starting with dying the fiber.  To dye these fibers I soaked the batches of fiber in water for at least 5 minutes, usually longer.  Once they were saturated I wrung them out.  While they were soaking I mixed up some kool-aid in the color I was looking for.  In the case of Yellow I added in some food coloring left over from Easter.  I will admit that I added in a glug or two of white vinegar to each of the baths in an effort to maximize the dye absorption.

It was so much fun to set up a few batches on my bathroom sink then go to work or to bed and come back to find the fiber a beautiful color and the water clear or almost clear.  Every single time it looked a bit like a miracle.

I had no problems with felting so I plan to spin up the multi-hued batt I created straight from the combed top.  The rest of the hues will be blended with different fibers, some silk, some other materials, to create rolags or mini batts to be spun up for Spinzilla!

By my calculations I have about a month to get this fiber carded and prepped for spinning!

Happy Crafting!

Spinning Along

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I have been having a blast spinning on my Schacht Ladybug!  In the beginning I thought that 3 ply yarns were all that I would create, but since then I have discovered the joys of 2 ply yarn.  While I still have consistency issues, the journey has been a lot of fun and created some beautiful yarns.  From the bottom up, the purple is a corriedale roving plied with a merino strand, the next skein is the same corriedale plied with itself.

From left to right the first ball is a pretty blue roving I got from Paradise Fibers (it has rose silk in it) plied with a white merino.  The second ball is the same roving plied with itself and a bit of a lighter blue roving I had from paradise fibers.  The third ball is a random batt I had lying around (It was  bit coarse and almost cotton like) plied with a merino.  All five have been washed so this is their final appearance.  As of the time that I am writing this post, I have NO IDEA what I am going to do with them!  Cowls, fingerless gloves, or weaving samples the possibilities are endless!  Such lovely dilemmas.

Happy Crafting.

Corriedale

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I told you I couldn’t keep my hands off of it!

I will probably wind up using this as an experiment in how much fiber my spindle can hold!

Have fun!

New Fiber

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My fiber from Paradise Fibers arrived Today!  1 lb. of Ashland Bay Corriedale Cross Wool, and 4 oz. of 64 Count Undyed Merino Top.  I am so very excited, the Merino is just beautiful, I’m almost afraid of it right now.  I managed to hold out for a whole ten minutes before I got my hands in the Corriedale, while it seems a bit coarse I have been working with silk for a couple of weeks so anything that doesn’t catch on my hands is probably going to seem a bit rough.  It spins beautifully.  I could barely put it down to post this and if I didn’t have to get to bed so I can go to work in the morning I probably would not have put it down at all!  I am still working with a drop spindle so it isn’t really ‘production’ speed, but that also means that this fiber might last me a good long while!

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