Saturday, December 31, 2011

The end. Of the year that is.

Is it really the last day of 2011?  How on earth did that happen?   How ever it happened, it happened.  So with ththe end of the year come resolutions.  Resolutions to do more, see more,  eat more, or eat less, have more fun, be more productive(!),  spend more time with family,  get fit, loose weight, gain weight....etc.  You know the usual suspects.  My Resolution?  To keep on keepin' on.  Nothing fancy.  Just to finish the things I've started would be win in my books.   Finish my homework.  Finish the faux chinielled blanket I started my daughter.  Finish the work table in my craft room.  But mostly, finish my homework!   I wont promise to blog more.  That's just wishful thinking.  I'll be blogging still though,  don't you worry.

And to finish up the year, here are a few pictures of things I've not posted because they were for swaps.
These are the BFL locks I've been washing lock by lock.  They take color wonderfully.  I shipped them off with a few chunks of bamboo top.
BFL locks and bamboo tops

These next two are Shetland tops, kettle dyed.
Shetland top, in oh so blue 3oz.  With homemade drop spindle

Shetland top, in cranberry 3oz.  With oriface hook

And this yarn was1/2 spindle spun, 1/2 wheel spun.  It was pencil roving from The Woole Shoppe.
Merino


Remember Spin in your Jammies day?  Well, I've recieved my wonderful package from Tomorrow Farm!  A lovely batt and some yarn samples.  And again, my camera has up and walked away (go figure) so no pics of those lovelies.  For now anyway:)


And since I have the whole "finish what you start" resolution,  I'll finally post the pictures of the craft fair I've been meaning to post since the end of November.   I did really good at this sale, and alright at the other (that I didn't take pics of)  The big upside to the second craft show was not monitary at all though.  The big thing from that one was a new (Local!!!) spinning friend, and I made the cover of the local free paper!!  Which was all to exciting, as it gives a lot of press to spinning, and the notion you can even do that anymore to a lot of people who would have otherwise not known.  And, at both fairs I was able to convince a few young ladies to try the drop spindles.   I still have the sample of yarn, which I think I'll work into some project at some point.

Craft fairCraft fairCraft fairCraft fair


I hope your 2011 was a fabulous as mine was, and I hope that 2012 is just as fabulous.  2011 proved I could take on anything, and I'll keep that with me for the years to come.

~Kara


Sunday, December 18, 2011

What's been up..

I've been having fun spinning and crocheting and making a doll (most specifically a poppet)  So here are far to many pictures of wonderful things!!!!!!!!!

These yarns were inspired by a picture posted by Pluckyfluff on her facebook page.  She was plying a core spun with vintage chenille.    I had odd singles and eyelash yarn.  These were my results.

Miscelaneous singles plied and wrapped with eyelash

BFL wrapped in eyelash

And since spinning the pink one, I've made this hat for my Daughter.   It has a whole bunch of odd singles in it.  I love it!

fun and funky hat
A friend of mine saw this roving I painted, and said she needed a scarf made out of it.  Here's the whole process.  I spun it "fractally".   Though I didn't split my roving quite right, as the shorter color runs ran out before I ran out of the longer ones!  Oh well, this yarn is still beautiful, and it makes a wonderful scarf :)

Merino painted top

attempt at a fractal spin!  Merino

seed stitch scarf.  yarn spun fractally

close up of the seed stitch

And I was in the Fiber Swap on craftster.org and received this wonderful fiber from Zombie Queen.  I spun it up slubby, and it's been turned into Poppet hair and a free form crochet cowlette.

Handpainted top from Zombie Queen

Poppet hair again

cowlette - freeform crochet

I think for now, I'll leave it at that.    I don't want to explode your computers with to much yarn and craft!!!


~Kara





Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fibre Week 2012

The schedule is up!!!!  click here to see it!

Now to set myself a firm schedule to be finished my Level 1 homework.   March 1st!  Less then 2 months to get a lot of washing, and spinning a writing done.  Wish me luck!


~Kara

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Art yarn: A topic of discussion.


What makes a yarn art?
Who decides it is art and no longer craft?

IMHO, Just because it is spun thick and thin does not necessarily make it art.  Art is either created with intent, or is a form of expressing emotion or thought.   But even with that being said, even if I spin something creatively, using non traditional methods (traditional as in woolen vs worsted, different types of plies)  does that constitute art?  Or is it just a yarn spun creatively?
I think the term has also become synonymous with poorly spun, and something that would fall apart if you were try to use it traditionally (weaving, knitting, crochet).
I also feel the term is way over used. A quick etsy search for the term brings up  this yarn that is a traditionally spun yarn, with a few different colors and some sparkle.  And far to many like it.  Does this really constitute art?   I think not.
And also this yarn which is waaaaay closer to art, but can still function as traditional yarn.

I've spun the yarn below, but wouldn't call it art.  Yes it has nubs, but overall it's a traditionally spun yarn.

wool, bulky with nubs

And this, which is more artful, but still not art.  It is a yarn spun creatively.

FOCR offering on Craftster.org

And this, which is art.  It was spun with intent, to evoke the feeling of summer.

Spun Summer - On the Noddy

So where is the line?  Is there a line?  is it a thick bold line, or is it blurred and skewed?

Okay, your turn.  Discuss!

~Kara

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The last knit

A friend of mine shared this video with me, and think it's jsut great, and the end so true.  That need to create never goes away, no matter how much trouble you get into while creating!



Happy watching!

~Kara

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Yay me!

So a while back Flannelberry Fibres had a giveaway and I won 2nd (or 3rd?) draw!  Wewt!  My fat lootz made it the other day, and I'm totally thrilled to bits!

Tussah silk noils, yak top (YAK! wow!) and 3 jars of Jacquard acid dyes -in jet black, red and blazing orange.   I'm excited to try out the dyes, as I've always been hesitant to spend as much as they are on dye, but maybe they are worth it?  (the Black especially, maybe it even turns the fiber black! ... and not grey, like the other brands I've tried...)  Ooh and there was tea!  There's always tea in her packages! Wewt!
Anywho, here is a picture!

....... you know, I'd really like to know why my camera so often grows feet and walks away......  If you see this, check back as I'll find that thing.  I *just* had it!!..........  
Turns out hubby had it!  Here's the great stuff I recieved!


loots from Flannelberry!

And Tomorrow Farm on Etsy (and Rav) had a Spin in your Jammies day on Black Friday.  She just wanted a pic of you spinning in your jams, I'm always spinning in my Jams, so how could I not participate?  I won that draw to!!  I'll post pics of my great prize from them when I get it!
And here's me spinning in my jams!


AND!  (Yeah I've had a lot of happy moments lately)  I was a craft fair (which I'll post about in a bit, I've finally gotten the pics from my momma.  Hers looked way better then mine!)  A woman saw me spinning and has since convinced her husband to buy her a wheel for Christmas.  Yay for new spinning buddies!

It's been a great November/beginning of December.  So far a great end to a great year!

~Kara


Saturday, December 3, 2011

All worked up....

I always love to see what happens to the yarn I spin.

This top (which I kettle dyed myself, and you've seen it before)

Kettel dyed Merino -8oz


Was turned into this yarn (which , eep! you've not seen before, leaving me wonder what else there is you haven't seen yet!)

Merino handspun 2ply, 8oz


It then went to a yarn loving home and was turned into this beautiful Summer Flies Shawl by a good friend of mine!



It's gorgeous!  Well done Jess!


~Kara


More pics and such over on her blog  ::learning to love the little moments::

Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Tease wool locks

This video was prompted by question by someone on Ravelry.  "I received some Leicester locks, but how do I spin them?"    I searched the web for something that would illustrate my confusing words (I at least found them confusing)  but couldnt' find anything.  So, I'm filling the void with this video shot by my almost 4 year old!

How to tease wool in preparation for spinning


 Enjoy!

 ~Kara

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where does time go?

I swear I've written up a few post in the past few days but haven't completed them to the point of publishing!  sheesh!  But here's something I can share quickly!
Flanelberry Fibre is having a sale!

Go buy stuff!!!!  :D


~Kara

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wovember

***  I wrote this piece mid way through November, then got caught up in life and neglected to post it!  Eek!  I think that the articles on that site are still very relevant, and Wool should be a more prominent fiber in today's world of textile.  So I'm saying, lets keep supporting wool and it's producers.  Wear it all year round! Not just for a month! ***


Have you heard of this yet?  Wovember is a movement to wear as much wool as possible in the month of November, to bring awareness of the deplorable misuse of the terms wool, woollen, woolly, in commercial garments that contain no actual wool.  And wool being the fibre that comes from sheep, and sheep alone.  It is also to promote the use of wool as a textile, and showcase the beautiful animal that gives us such a wondrous product. Speaking of that animal, no other animal produces the same fibre with the same properties as wool.
Unsure of the properties of wool?  Let me sum up the wonderful qualities this fiber.

Wool is wicking.  Wicking is the ability to absorb and hold hold moisture, while still feeling dry and keeping you warm.  Wool can carry up to 30% moisture and still feel dry.

Wool is elastic.  It can stretch and hold shape.

Wool is insulating.  So not only will wool keep you warm when you want to be, you can make a beer can cozy out of wool, and it will keep you beer just as cold as one of the petrochemical cozy's out there.

Wool self extinguishing.  You can't burn it.  So while wearing it, it wont melt to you if you are at a camp fire, as you would had you been wearing  a garment described as woolen but made of acrylic or polyester.

Wool is fabulous.  You can't get ALL of these features in any other fiber.  Sure, you can get some of them in other fibers, but not ALL in one, as in wool.

And lastly Wool is sustainable!  We do not have to dig deep into the earth to get it, then push it through countless processes to turn it into fiber!

So up with Wool!  Up with sustainability!  Up with cozy socks on a cold winters day!

~Kara


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dye day

Today, its cold.  And it's raining.  Yes, raining.  On November 10th... Where's our snow?!   But when it gets dreary, I like to spin, and boy do I ever have a lot to spin right now!
On Sunday, I dyed up nearly 3 lbs of wool.  It was the first time I've done a huge batch like that in years.  Literally.   Sure I've done some quick stick it in a jar solar dyeing, but nothing like hand painted rovings, or kettle dyed locks.  My first two rovings turned out quite hideous, but sometimes a hideous roving turns into a beautiful yarn.  I call it the ugly duckling effect.
Anyway, enough words.  Time for a whole bunch of color!

Four different colorways here, left most 2 are merino top, and the two on the right are Cotswold roving.

 These are a  few of the beautiful BFL locks I hand washed. They took color beautifully.

 8oz kettle dyed merino top. It's spinning up quite wonderfully.

 These first two are the ones I'm considering ugly ducklings.  The yellow in the back is not an ugly duckling, it's beautiful.  It's all Cotswold.

Some of this will be spun up, and some will be sold as rovings,  mostly for thrummed mittens, as I'm not certain there's a single spinner up here, besides myself!  Though I do intend to change that, by having a few drop spindle kits at the craft fair on the 20th!

Anyway, back to spinning for me!  Hope you are having a wonderful day!

~Kara

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

And she keeps spinnin'spinnin'..

I promise I'm alive, still kickin', still spinnin'.   I've been busy with Craftster.org Mod stuff, like starting a felting challenge and getting learn to spin lessons up.   I've also been 'working working' at my hubby's shop, and there goes a whole day, I tell you.  Doing paper work is BORING.  But necessary.

I've also jumped off the deep end and have overfilled my craft plate with an upcoimng craft show... 17 days and counting left until the 20th.  I'm no where near prepared.  I hope my order of wool (that I also last minute ordered, because procrastination is the name of my game)  comes in quicker then quick, so I can get to dyeing and a bit more spinning.  I see fluffy singles, whimsical thick and thins, and a few solid color "standard" yarns.  I also plan to some small braids of roving for thrummed mittens, and learn to spin kits.  So that is what will be filling my plate for the next little while.

But here's a little teaser pic of what I'm working on currently.  I haven't weighed it out yet, but I think I have nearly 8 oz of this to spin.  It will be plied with a single of the brown.  So 4 oz like this and another quicky 4 oz just straight up spun.  Then ply them together and you've got yourself a manly yarn.

Yup so that's the story.  What I've been up to.   Oh!  And I won the runner up prize from Flannelberry!  Wewt! go me!  I'll share it when I get it!

~Kara

Monday, October 24, 2011

Flannelberry Fibre!

The wonderful Colleen over at Flannelberry is having a give away!   And not just any giveaway, one that's catered to you!  If you're a spinner(like me), you'd get a goody bag with spinning goodies!  If you weave, you'd get weaving goodies! If you knit or crochet, you guessed it, knitting or crochet goodies!  And let's not forget the dyers!!  Of course they'd get dye stuffs!  And a book, one that has me intrigued, I do say.
All you've got to do is go over to the link above, and enter a comment.  And don't forget to check out her awesome fibre, yarn, weaving and dyeing supplies!  She's got fast shipping, and great prices!  Check her out!

~Kara

Saturday, October 22, 2011

a WIP post

spinspinspin.  fasterfasterfaster.  MOOOOOOOOOM!!!  Seriously?  Mom just wants to spin.
knitknitknit.  fasterfasterfaster.  MOOOOOOOOOM!!!  Seriously?  Mom just wants to knit.

Despite the interruptions, I do get things done... not much, but still something.  This is what I've been up to lately.


Awesome Possum Helix Scarf

This scarf was started in the spring, shortly after I received this yarn from a wonderful Cratster member, all the way from New Zealand.  It's a merino possum blend and it's so nifty.  The reason this is taking so long is because that's a size 2 needle. Seriously, why didn't I ask that awesome craftster to get me some worsted or sport weight instead?  Oh well, it's gorgeous none the less, and I'll pick away at it until I'm happy with the length.


Boggy

I wanted something quick and instant gratification,  and this is what happened.  Long draw, prepared top,  not much thought in it, more just spinning for the sake of it.  It was fun!  I don't particularly like the colorway,  but I know my likes aren't the same as others, and someone will love this.


DorsetX in progress

And my current wip, is a dorset cross wool that I got to haul away from the shearer on shearing day!  This wool is destined to become a french knot sheep embroidery piece that I will send to the farm in thanks.  It was so gracious that they let me be there.   It's the least I can do.  And I know it'll be hung in their home, as their dinning area is filled with sheep pictures and sheep knick knacks.

Anyway, back to the spinning!

~Kara


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Phat Fiber

So there's this thing.  It's called Phat Fiber.  Once a month a limited number of boxes stuffed with samples of fibre, yarn and ephemera from small buisness fibre shops go on sale.  You need to be a part of the club to know where and when to go to a secret site that only Phat Fiber fans know about.  (You can sign up to be a part of the club at their site).   This months theme is The Witching Hour, and if you are just hearing about this, it's to late for this month, but really I just came to post to brag about my win!!  I scored one big box of fluff!!  Yippeee!  I was oh so very tempted to get a yarn box too, but hesitated just a bit to long. (seriously, like 1 minute. That's how fast they go)   And it's mean to be a hog.  So I'll leave the second drop for those less fortunate then me, because I'm nice like that.
Next months samples are themed 'Wine Country'.  I picture far to many purples and burgundies and champagnes to pass that one up.  The anticipation for next month is nearly as bad as it was for this month.   But this time I'll have some beautiful fluff to play with in the mean time.

~Kara

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wheel lust

Once upon a time I thought my next wheel would be an Ashford Country Spinner.   But after watching this video of Lexi Boeger (aka Pluckyfluff) interviewed by the Knit Girllls ,  I really want a Majacraft Aura!  8 oz bobbin capacity?!  Corkscrew orifice and a delta so that you can spin both lace and crazy arts on it?!  And that new fancy tension system?  Talk about control.  That's almost to much in one wheel.  Yup, one day  I'll be getting a Majacraft Aura, but not any time soon.  I've somehow got to justify the price tag.  ;D

... Maybe the Country Spinner doesn't look so unaffordable anymore... She might be my next wheel anyway.  Who knows! Maybe both one day!*

~Kara

*A girl can dream, can't she?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thankful.

Up here in Canada, it is Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving means Turkey, stuffing, smashed potatoes and gravy and a heaping helping of cranberry sauce.  And don't forget the pumpkin pie!  We had a fabulous meal last night with friends, who after I kept pulling food out of every nook and cranny of the fridge, told me I shouldn't have gone to such an extent.  But it's thanksgiving!  A full meal with far to many options is the only way to do it!

Thanksgiving also (and truly more importantly) means that it is time to reflect on all the things you are thankful for.  Here's my great big list!

I am thankful for my Family.  My Mother, who taught me how to sew, and cook, and bake like a fiend.  My Father, who took us camping as kids and let us eat doughnuts and runts (candies) for breakfast.  My Sister and Brother, whom I both love unconditionally and fully.  Life wouldn't be nearly as fun without them.  I'm especially thankful that my sis kicked cancers ass at the tender age of 5.  She's my best friend, and I'd be lost without her.  My nieces and nephews, who are all a joy to be around.  Of course, my loving Husband, who is my rock.  My beautiful children, whom I live for, my reason to to keep going.
I'm also thankful for my In-laws, who have become family over time.
 
I'm thankful for Friends, and although they are few, all you really need is one or two really great friends.

I'm thankful for the roof over my head and the great yard behind it.

I'm thankful for the beautiful view from my front window.

I'm thankful for my ability to spin.

I'm thankful for my creativity, and the fact that it keeps me grounded (and busy :) )

I'm thankful for the giant stash (not as giant as some, but giant none the less) that keeps my creativity flowing.

I'm thankful that I stumbled on Craftster.org, because it reignite the flame of creativity that had I had lost.

And mostly I'm thankful for my blessed life.

What are you thankful for?

~Kara

Friday, October 7, 2011

I'm still here

Seems to me I tend to blog in spurts, don't you think?  I'm still here though, and still spinning. And still washing.   I planned to make a vow to wash wool at least once a day this week.  It's happened twice.  And only enough to make my 10 yard samples for the sections of a sheep homework.  But at least it's progress on the homework front!  Yay progress!

I've also joined the Fibre swap on Craftster.org.  The wonderful organizer of that swap has allowed us to pair our selves and the awesome Zombie Queen has invited me to spin with her!  ( I just sat there in the corner with my knees and toes together, head down fiddling with the hem of my dress.  Knowing I really wanted to dance with her, but couldn't work up the courage to ask!  even though I knew she wanted to. )  So I've got yarn spun for her, but I know she reads this, so I wont be able to share any of that spinning until nearly the end of November!

So that's my update.  I'm still here, still spinning, still washing (sigh....) still alive :)

~Kara

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I cheated on my lady...

Truth be told, I'm not monogamous crafter.  My heart does not lie only with my wheel.  Yes, spinning yarn is fulfilling, it moves me and shakes me.  It's absolutely wonderful.  But I only learned to spin 3 years ago.  Before that, I sewed.  I've got experience and training in fashion design.  I don't get to make as much clothing and such as I used to. It's quite difficult to sew with 3 kids trying to help.  Not so hard to spin though.
With that said. I cheated on my Lady.  (My wheel, she has no name, but she is a lady, not a tramp ;) )  My crafting space needed much attention.  I really couldn't get a thing done in there with the state is was in.  So the other night I took to the giant task of cleaning it out!
This is what it was before:
before it all started
During:
Mid clean up/ re-organization
getting there.
And After:
"Done"
"done"
And after all that work, I got to play.  And I stayed up far to late sewing my self this spanky new purse.

Just a bag I made
But now I'm back at the wheel, and I've spun this beauty up for the FOC Raffle swap on Craftster.org

FOCR offering on Craftster.org
FOCR offering on Craftster.org

Pretty and squishy!  I love that yarn...

~ Kara


Oh, I've also been meaning to ask my readers, do you like this font?  I'm not sure if it's easy to read, or sometimes just annoying.  It's pretty, but is i functional?  Let me know! 
Fix the font!  One comment that it was hard to read is enough for me!

And! I nearly forgot this linky... :) Here's hoping I win the great prize :)


Button

Monday, September 26, 2011

OOOH Cyclocarder!

Okay check this out! It's so neato!!! A drum carder powered by pedal power!


Originally posted about here:
http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2011/09/cyclocarder_katharine_jolda_vi.html

 I think I want one.


~Kara

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yarn Porn

Pictures of yarn. Not naked people doing naughty things.

I spun this and it has since been dubbed Lemon Lime Sherbert
no name
This one is not mine. This one was spun by LaughingLark on Craftster.org

I'm still working on washing the wool I have, but I have recently re-arranged my craft room and the supplies within. I'll show the mess before and after another time (when it's actually finished!) ~Kara

Friday, September 16, 2011

Progress!


Check this out!  Look at the difference in this wool!  Washed lock by lock is SOOOOO worth it for this wool.
Dirty/Clean

  I'd say I've washed about 1- 1.5 pounds already.  I've got to take a break though, as we are off to visit the in-laws for the weekend.  But I can't wait to get back to wash more.  Over all I've spent at least 3 hours washing so far.  But it's turning out to be a zen experience.  Even with the little ones 'helping'.

This fleece is going to be so wonderful as a warp yarn, or a super fine lace weight, and I'm almost afraid of carding it!  Straight from the lock for most of this!

Oh! And this is what 6 lbs of BFL fleece looks like, in case you were curious.

6 Pounds of BFL


~Kara

Thursday, September 15, 2011

6 lbs to go....

Today I start the daunting task of washing 6 pounds of Blue Face Leicester fleece lock by lock.  I've decided that even though it's a greasy fleece I'm only going to wash it, instead of scouring it.  But maybe, just maybe I'll change my mind and scour it anyway.  I just know that it will take a good long time to dip each of those locks 4 times.   Spinning a slightly greasy fleece isn't all that bad.  Once upon a time I wondered why on earth anyone would even touch a greasy fleece.  Now it's something I enjoy!  It's fun to see the pieces of the sheep, to be able to lay out a dirty fleece and identify the parts, sort them and spin them into just the right yarn.   Okay, so I can't quite spin just the right yarn yet, I'm not there in my learning, but that's the whole point of becoming a Master Spinner.
Anywho, wish me luck because the washing isn't  my favorite part, but it's something that must be done!

~Kara

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Colour!

Time sure flies when you are having fun, doesn't it?  

I've been taking advantage of summers last hurrah.  No, not the beach.  I've been solar dyeing!  I plan to do one round of 6 jars every day until the temps go back down again.   One can never have enough color.
Jars of color! (yep, we like pickles.... >.> One day I'll peel those labels off.  Promise.)

Solar dyeing day 2
Solar Dyeing day 1

My scarves and hankies:
Some of my favorite outcomes
Beautiful silk scarves drying on the line

Wool:

complete pile of dyed wool 3 colors in one jar (2 jars shown)

And speaking of dyeing, this past week my sister and her family were up here to visit.  We went into the forest for a hike and I came across quite a few things to harvest for natural dyeing.  Check out these awesome mushrooms!   I think they might be these ones.  If you know for sure, because you are an awesome mushroom identifier, let me know!
Mushroom for dyeing
I also got a big bag of some type of moss/forest floor green stuff I hope will give me an interesting color.
And a friend of mine has these mushrooms popping up in her yard, and is giving them all to me.  They promise some great greys and green greys.


Another most fabulously fibre related development, I bought a double treadle kit for my Traveler!!  And it's here!  She's just as excited as I am (yes, my wheel is a girl.  She hasn't told me just yet what her name is though....)  I've also got 4 more bobbins!  Wewt!  More yarn can be made!  I can switch projects more often!   I had half a thought to paint the treadles with pretty things, but i want those on faster then fast, so a quick coat of varnish it is.  double treadle kit drying


She's ready!

Yep, it's been quite the busy week for me! What with the oldest back in school, "real work", and the visits from family, I'm surprised I got this much accomplished! I hope summer lasts a few more weeks for most you you out there, it's said to end tomorrow up in these parts.

~Kara