Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It is done.

The past 7 years of my life are now neatly packed up into three binders and I couldn't be more relieved... Well, if I'm honest, I could be.  They could be marked, and I could have my transcript saying just how amazing the work was, and I could look at them in the Olds College library, and be proud.  But for now I'm relieved that my Master Spinner In Depth Study is complete and handed in for marking.  It's so incredibly freeing to have it DONE.

And since I've gotten it done, I get to play!! I had planned a dye week, and promptly ran out of room to dry all he fibre, so it turned into a dye day.  It's all very wet yet, but these are the colours I created, while in the pots.   



Fibre Week is coming up in just over 2 weeks and I'm incredibly excited to be taking a class with the incredibly talented Laurie Steffler.  This class is a 3 day class titled Breezy Silk Chiffon tunic/dress/vest.  I'll be learning to nuno felt, folks!  That's super exciting for me. I haven't managed to be successful at nuno felting, but I'm looking forward to trying it out!  I believe there is still some room in some of the workshops, but alas, not in this specific one...

I'm also really looking forward to being an assistant in the level four Master Spinner class!  I'm looking at this position as a good experience so I can better understand what it takes to teach the course, not just take it!  I'll cross my fingers and hope to be on the roster in the future as an instructor.

Well, I'd better get back to tackling the creation of more yarn, and cleaning the house!

~Kara

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bring it on, 2017.

Another years gone by. Another year I've neglected the blog, tried again, and got caught up, and forgotten. Another year of attempts and fails and successes.  I figure if I just leave it here, it'll be right where I left it, and I can find it again easily enough... I hope for 2017 I find that flow I had in the beginning.  Where I was excited to share and didn't find it terribly repetitive.... Perhaps it's felt repetitive because at 6 years into the Master Spinner program everything feels very .... already done.... sample this, spin that, this one'a a 2 ply, that ones a cable,  knit a swatch, weave a swatch, final project. 10 yards, 10 yards, 10 yards...  Over and over again. Monotony is tiring.  And boring. And maybe it's not boring to you, dear readers, and if it's not, I'd love to know! I'd hate to get your hopes up seeing a new post only for it to be the same old same old "Here's yet another sample...."
But do you know what 2017 means to me? It means the end of the monotony! I'm nearly done the spinning and knitting for my In-depth Study that will grant me a beautiful certificate saying that I officially know far to much about yarn and fibre!  I haven't recently 'taken inventory' but at a guess, I've got 4.5/25 yarns left to spin (4+ ounces each, so I have enough for swatches) and  50/125 swatches to knit and crochet. Then all the testing and writing.  So, yeah.... There's some work to do. But come June and I walk across that stage, I'll be singing from the roof tops.  That stage will be over. And on to the next one!

So, time to buckle down, get the work done, and on to the fun stuff!  But not before a small nod to the year that was...

You know, a lot of folks had a pretty awful 2016.  Lots of divorces, lost and passed family members and serious illnesses.  Yes, the passing of so many celebrities and big world changers has been a sad note here and there.  However, as I see it, it's the inevitable.  Our Heros, Icons and Idols, are all aging. They are all hitting that precarious age where nothing is guaranteed.  I suppose I'm just a bit to logical, but don't take that to mean I don't have a heart. I feel for those families and those who have found solace in their existence and works.  And of course there are the wars.....  I'm sure I could go on.  Loss of human life, no matter the human (because we all impact other some way or another), is tragic. My love and light to those who feel impacted by such tragedies.
I have to say I've been fortunate in those regards, and I count my blessings every day.  Comparatively I've had a pretty good 2016. My family has been healthy and happy. My work has been published again.  Not once, but twice, in PLY magazine. I've made some new contacts that I hope will bring me (and them!) more successes in 2017.  Despite my news feed on Facebook, reassuring me it's been a bad year globally, I really can't complain personally.  So now it's time to get back to the yarn, and back to the new year.

Happiest New Year, I hope it's as amazing as we all hope it will be!

~Kara

Monday, September 5, 2016

gotta take a selfie.

Over the summer, I participated in craft swap on Craftster.org.  It was a trading card swap.  Each participant was to make a whole bunch of their own trading cards that represented their own image. Instead of putting an actual picture on mine, I chose to do a self portrait in needle felting.  As well, a while back I did a self portrait in yarn as well, so I wove a little flag out it and used it on the card as well. I used Pixelmatr for Mac to edit the image until it was what I was thinking it should be.  Here's the end result:


Pretty close likeness, if a bit cartoonish... More practice I guess!

Happily Creating,

~Kara

Monday, August 22, 2016

The in between things

You know, I have to be honest.  I'm really, really, really looking forward to September first.  The kids head back to school on September first.  This week has been full of everything and nothing all at once. The everything: kids needing this/that/the other, school supply runs, new pets, general house maintenance that keeps getting interrupted due to the kids needing me.... The nothing: fibre fun!  I've not made a single thing in the past week.... Did you know it's next to impossible to lace knit when your kids are all over you? Both literally and figuratively... But, I've got some pretty pictures of things I've made in the past few months heck, lets make that in the past year... So I'll share those, in hopes that I can remember what it's like to make things! ;)

This fibre is called Loons on the Lake, and was a part of the Heritage Spinning Box.   It was on 100% merino top.

This one has no name. it's just pretty... still on the merino top base... 

This is a swatch that is intending to show that this yarn would be suitable for a pair of adult socks. The fibre blend was 80%cotton 20% nylon (faux cashmere nylon).  This was for one of the assignments in the Level 5 work book of the Master Spinner program.

This one is a 50/50 blend of merino and baby llama! It's so soft! 3 ply.

See, I have been up to lots... just not lately... ;)  10 more days!!!  10 more days! 10 more days!!!! 

Happily Spinning,
~Kara





Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Adventures in Lace

I took a little time last week to cast on a swatch of a rather nice rectangular shawl for my Wedding Ring Shawl project.  I was really quite frustrated after 3 attempts to cast on 12 stitches over 4 8 inch long knitting needles.  Fourth attempt I gave them up and went with a small circular set I had on hand.  

Obviously that fourth attempt was the ticket, and I managed to get through the basic increase in the centre of the shawl. However, I kind of want to see what comes of the rest of the pattern so I'm thinking of doing the math to figure out if I can do all the patterns in the shawl in this one small swatch.  I suppose it depends on just how adventurous I get... 


Happily Spinning,

~Kara

Monday, August 8, 2016

When your Genius says so.

I'm not sure where I read it.  Or, I may have heard it while watching a documentary, as the images in my head are so vivid as to make me believe I saw it as well.   Long ago, the word genius did not mean someone who was incredibly intelligent, it meant that the ideas that came to you, and especially to artists, inventors, scientists, were given to you from an outer force.  This force was called The Genius.  One recounting of a genius story was that an author (who is well known, but heaven forbid I remember those details!) could feel her genius coming at her.  She would be out in a field picking berries, and she would have to run to the house for her pencil and paper before her genius flew past, leaving her alone, without capturing that story.  If at any time, I find that essay/post/documentary, I will share it. It was great.


My own genius spoke to me last week while we were camping.  I had brought along the most gorgeous Shetland fleece that had actually rood. (Roo'ing is the shedding ability some primitive sheep maintain) and a set of hand carders.  I was carding up fine, tiny, little rolags,  when my fingers began to itch for a spinning wheel.  The words wedding ring shawl whispered though my mind.  And I knew my genius was speaking to me. The moment we got home (and unpacked, and slightly settled) I got my husband to rig up a little platform for my lace flyer so that it could sit on my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel in just the right way to work. And then I spun.

And then I plied.  This little sample is only 3 grams, and 48 yards long.  Now if I mathed right, then this 2 ply yarn will measure up at 7168 yards per pound, and a Bradford count of 48.4s (Which means I'd get 48.4 skeins, that measured 300 yards- because I spun woollen- out of 1 pound of wool, which then if you math, that only makes sense when you know that it's the singles that the bradford count measures)



A friend of mine has 3 books on shetland lace shawls she's willing to lend me.  So, I'm going to swatch this up before I spin on.  I want to be sure this is fine enough, and that I have enough fibre... 

Happily spinning,

~Kara
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tour de Fleece - finish!

Phew! I made it!  I managed to get a couple more yarns spun up in the last week of TdF.

A BFL merino blend, plied with a merino silk blend.

A merino and pulled sari silk blend, spun and plied on a spindle!


The big finish pic!  

I haven't managed to measure or weight more than two of them, but I would doubt I'm sitting at around 900-1000 plied yards... I'm impressed with how productive I can be in the middle of summer, while carting the kids about to activities and lessons! 

Happily Spinning,
~Kara