Monday, December 16, 2013

Grand Opening Sale!!

Yeah, baby!  It's time for a grand opening sale at the Etsy Shop!! Technically it started yesterday, so I'm a day late posting about it here.....  But!! That doesn't mean you can't take advantage of the next 29 days of sale!! :D  Dec 15, 2013- Jan15 2013 save 10% with the coupon code SpinGrand0 (<-that's a zero, not an 'O')
click to make bigger! ;)

Also, every purchase counts as an entry for a drawing at the end of the sale.  There are options!! One lucky person will have a choice of a yarny package that consists of yarn and stitch makers, or a spinners prize package of Batts and an oriface hook!  Prize valued at approximately 50$ :D

Oh! and the winner of the pre grand opening sale give away was Sharon Stacey!! Congrats Sharon!! 

Okay, now go buy some stuff ;)

~Kara

Friday, December 6, 2013

Found it Friday - A bug that makes silk

Only he uses it differently then silk worms!  Big thanks to my mod home girl, Lime Riot for sharing this with me!



Nifty how nature works!

~ Kara

Monday, December 2, 2013

Free stuff!

Seeing as I'm done the craft show circuit for the year, I've decided to do an awesome give away!! You can win this awesome prize package that includes: 1 hand woven hand spun mug cozy, 1- 25g bag of Earl Grey de la Creme Tea, one mesh tea ball infuser, and a perfect cup measuring spoon.
Click the image to make it bigger!

The Rules:
1. Everyone who 'Likes" SpinHeartSpin Handspun Yarns and Other Wooly Treasures on Facebook is entered.  This includes people who have already liked my page.
2. 1 bonus entry for each of the following:
  • Tweet this image, include the @spinheartspin so I can see it! 
  • Share this image on Facebook from my Facebook page!
  • Share the details of this give away on your blog and let me know too! So I can enter your name!
3. This give away is open to everyone everywhere.
4. Winner will be announced December 15, 2013

Okay, so Good Luck, and I hope you enter! 

~Kara


Sunday, December 1, 2013

The making of Mawata

This is another post that comes with a warning! But it's not for the same reason as the other post with a warning. Not even close!  This warning is for vegans. You may find the following content offensive. And the last picture is gross. Now you know. And here I go.

Yesterday was the last craft sale I had lined up this year.  This morning I woke up with a really intense drive to get at my level 3 homework. I'm so very close to being finished the silk module.  I've got some stitching to finish, and a mini woven piece to take off my makeshift loom, and about 6 stitches to cast off on my silk knitting to cast off (geeeee, when I write it out like that... Honestly. I don't even want to think of how chaotic that seems/is)  I've got my labels on the skeins, and they are ready for me to determine TPI, WPI, and counts and what not. But there's one more part of the module that I had to get done.  I started it this morning.  This morning, I made silk mawata, otherwise known as silk hankies.  Here's the photo journal of that process, with the odd little comment.   I did live tweet as I was going, but I'm posting here too. And it will be on Craftster.org too.

Let it begin!! Hubby had a handy dandy thermometer for me to borrow, so that i could make sure my pot never got above 65'c.

The making of silk mawata!

Into the pot! Silk cocoons float, so I grabbed a broken strainer, thinking it would keep them under the water. Apparently they are buoyant enough to lift it....

The making of silk mawata!

So I grabbed another small pot and laid it atop to strainer.

The making of silk mawata!

I kept having to tweak the temperature on the stove to keep it from getting to hot or to cold.  What a fussy process!!

The making of silk mawata!

After 40 minutes of cooking these bad boys, I decided they were done.  They say until they become transparent, but they were super soft, so I didn't wait any longer.

The making of silk mawata!

First 3 or 4 onto the frame my Dad made for me (Thanks again, Dad!!)

The making of silk mawata!

The full frame.  So much silk! wooohooo!

The making of silk mawata!

And here's the last one, and the photo I feel like I need to share, as it tells the whole story. Truth of it is that silk comes from silk worms. More often then not these creatures need to have their lives taken in order to harvest the silk.  It's an unfortunate part of the silk industry. This is what comes out of the cocoons, dead bugs and bug poop. Yes. Poop.  they did just eat so many more times their weight in mulberry leaves, after all. 

The making of silk mawata!

In hind sight, I half wonder if I could have sliced the cocoons open, removed the yucky stuffs and then boiled the cocoons.  You can see I didn't open/use the ones that were super gross on the inside, poor little guys died for nothing.


But there you have it! it was about 2 hours of work, from gathering supplies to the final vinegar rinse.  Worth it, as I'll be able to finish up that module by the end of this week!! 

~Kara


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I win. Take that scissors.

I found the end!! I picked up that darn bobbin for at least 5-10 minutes every day since I found it had be visited by scissors. I skipped a whole day for a craft show, but on Sunday I picked up the bobbin, and she looked like this:
snarled mess


Not even 30 seconds after picking a string to tug, I found it! I found the end!


I found you!

And a few days later I had a bobbin full of plied yarn!

Finally Plied

Now to set the twist tomorrow, and it will be ready for my next (and last before the big Esty shop update!) craft show on Saturday!

It feels so good to win this one.

~Kara

Set Sail

Fair warning. What you are about to read is far more then I've ever shared on my blog, and far more then I've ever shared with many people at all.  But I share because I know I can't be alone. I share because I need to work through it, and know that others may see see it, and then to, realize it's okay to have these emotions, and that it is possible to come out on the other side brighter, happier and while still there can be moments of fog, the sun does break through.



On November 15th we got our very first module in the Journey of the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity course.  And I printed and read it. And I read it again.  Choose a starting point.  One that was a pivotal moment in your time line that affected your creativity.  I have many pivotal moments in my life.  One's I hardly remember through my own memories, but definitely had a definitive effect on me, like my sisters cancer when she was 5 and me just 2. Ones I remember all to well sometimes, Like the one time I finally broke it off with the worlds biggest looser, and no, not in the weight department. He was mean, and not a very nice person.  That year at fashion design school, that was full of really screwed up events.  The moment I walked into that bar and met Mr. Right, but did not even know it for at least 3 months. Or that time I was unexpectedly pregnant at 19 (with my now husbands baby) that I miscarried.  Or when I found out I was pregnant and it stuck, which produced Mr. Duck.  Or when I got Married.  Or moving to our current community. Or discovering the joy of spinning, by accident while searching for homemade cloth diaper patterns for Zoo.
 Or that moment, when I discovered I was pregnant with Miss Jo.  Nothing has ever stopped me in my tracks so abruptly and fully and forcibly.   It was unexpected.  I was tracking my cycles.  We were abstaining when we should have.  We had decided two was enough, and that I would begin the steps to make an addition to the family impossible.  It was the day of my appointment that I realized that I was pregnant.  I took the standard pre procedure test, and it confirmed it.  "yes. You are pregnant. What are we going to do from here?"  Well, while I'm prochoice for others, I'm so strongly pro life for me.  That was a completely unthinkable thing.  It wasn't going to happen.  So began the internal battle that felt all to familiar.  It was like I was 19 again, reliving the obviously conflicting feelings.  One moment would be joy and elation and wonderment and that feeling you get when you look into the future ands see all your hopes and dreams.  Then the next moment, regret, and denial, and utter fear, though this time not for the fear of the unknown, but the fear of the known. Knowing just how hard it is to have a baby, the pregnancy, sure, that's easy enough (for me anyway) but the after fact.  The knowledge of the challenges that lie ahead, all struck fear in me.  And I began to feel resentful. I felt like I was robbed of things. Robbed of the fun things you can't do while pregnant, like take your 5 year old skiing for the first time, teach figure skating, or of future events I'd planned that involved only the 4 of us, and that would be nearly impossible if not completely impossible with 5.  And of course, when  you feel resentment, there comes the guilt following shortly behind.  Guilt because you should be so thankful for such a wonderful gift. Guilt, because you should love being pregnant. Guilt, because you get what others can't have.
 So that's my starting point, and I'm sure you are wondering just exactly how that ties into the whole Creativity part of the journey.  Well, that comes down the line a bit, after having birthed my baby girl via c-section.  And struggled through trying to breastfeed a baby that refused to.  And all that comes with having a baby.  I'll get into all that in further posts.  But this moment is the one that set so many things in motion, like my endless need to escape the stressors of my life, which sent me to Olds College for Fibre Week and the Master Spinners course, opening a whole new world of yarn and possibilities.  It deepened my passion for this art, in an odd way, as it drove me to escape into my yarns.  To have a 'very valid excuse' to be taking time for me and my need to make.  This is where I begin.  I will heal the hurts I still bear from this part of my life through creating yarn.
Step one is to finally journal, and I'll tell you now, there will be a lot more in that then I'll share with you, but I will keep posting, getting to where I am today on this journey. 
At some point I will find my mentors in this. They must be there. I just couldn't say who they are/were off the top of my head, but I suppose that will also come with the journaling.  This is my start of that process.  Water colours, sharpie markers, and crayons.  And tea. everything's better with tea ;)
Journey to the Golden Fleece :: Where it starts

 Now if you've you've made it this far, thanks for reading it.   And I leave you with my current mantra: "Embrace the Chaos"

~Kara

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Making it official.

Not like it wasn't already.  Spinning is a HUGE part of my life, and as it stands, it will be a long and wonderful part my life. So, why not emblazon it upon my flesh forever?  My lady, on my side. There's more to do, as this is the outline only. There will be yarn, and words and color.  But that all takes time. I'll be sure to update when there's progress.

~Kara

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sometimes scissors happen

Happily plying along and this happens 
It appears as tho scissors went walking across my bobbin, and I can't find this guys twin.  In a move that surprised me, I did not loose my mind. I did not hunt out the offending little hand who gave those scissors legs. I took a breath and walked away.  It's not the end of the world. It's just a cut thread. It's disappointing, as I was set to have this yarn finished by the end of the night. Now it sits. 
A little mangled from trying to find that cut end, but still in decent shape. It's fixable, I can splice. If I find the end.

This probably helped my emotions
My 8 year old, shortly before the incident, walked in and grabbed an empty spindle, a handful of fluff and started spinning.  Completely on his own accord, absolutely no cajoling  was required.  It was nice. 
 
Today, I'll try to find that end, if I can find the time. It's my husbands birthday, so there are a few important things to do like cake making, and house cleaning, and I have to pop into work with the two littles tagging along.  It will make for a long day, but as Dori says 'just keep swimming' and that's what I intend to do!

~Kara

Monday, November 4, 2013

Journeys

I've come to the realization that life is not simply a journey, but a series of journeys intended to shape you in to your best you.  They can be journeys that challenge you, affirm you,  change your direction, propel you forward or knock you square on your butt. These journeys can be presented to you as choices, and you can seek them out, or they can throw themselves at you, or you can have made the choice before you even noticed you had a choice.

The Master Spinners course is one of these journeys that I went out and found. It was a journey I chose to take as a means to an end.  At the time of the decision, the end goal was a vacation. And at the time a vacation was something I felt guilty and selfish about wanting, but the thought of it as being education justified it, freeing me from my guilt.  The end goal now, being nearly half way through my journey is so much more then a justifiable vacation.  The end goal is a career as an author, a teacher, a skilled business person.  Some of these things will come naturally, some will require practice and training, but I'm up for this journey.  It will be long and present it's challenges, but I'm looking forward to everything this brings my way.

A new part of the fibre journey I'm on that was presented to me recently is the Journey to the Golden Fleece.  The original thought I had a week ago when I decided to take this journey, was that is was an escape from the rigours of homework, and technical spinning.  (see a trend here? so do I....) But after signing up and receiving the initial task I see that this will be more then a vacation for my mind.  This is creative journey, and one I'm taking as a journey of self discovery as well.  I know there is so much magic that can come from my fingers. I know the need to just make and the need for freedom screams to me some days, and I don't always get the opportunity to do that. With this course I will have to make the time to just create, and the guidance through out will help direct me.

As a part of this journey I've decided to do the "unapologetically me" thing.  I will be posting the randomness that comes into my head here, and on Facebook, and Twitter and Pinterest.   No doubt I will still be posting as much as I normally do (which is sporadically and infrequently but that's just how it will be for now) But don't be surprised when I start pinning really weird stuff!

If you happen to be a spinner, and wish to join The Journey to the Golden Fleece you still have time! They are accepting sign ups until the 15th of November.

Off to spin (some very basic and plain yarn ;) )

~Kara

Friday, November 1, 2013

Found it Friday - Happy Sheep Pictures

Just some pictures of sheep that make me happy today!

Colorful sheep!! I'll spin the wool of the guy in the back.   Love that blue colour!

Found on The Purled Ewe

A sheep groomed as though he was a prize winning show poodle!  Look how fun he looks! 


Found on MudFooted

The joy of finding these pictures is I have two new blogs to visit!  

~ Kara


Sunday, October 27, 2013

What the? Etsy? Oh yes she did.

Excitement!!!!  I opened an Etsy Shop!!!  For now it will mainly be spinning fibres and tools, with a few yarns as I'm gearing up for craft shows, and have a feeling yarns will sell better then spinning fibres  considering the number of spinners in my area is small, but knitters and crochetters are everywhere!

Here's a sampling of what's available right now in my spanky new Etsy shop, SpinHeartSpin.

Collage of items 1

Happy shopping and thank you for checking out my new endeavour!

~Kara

Friday, October 18, 2013

Found it friday- Turn baking soda into washing soda!

Right this minute, my oven is pre heating to 400'F  so that I can turn my baking soda into washing soda.  Now, some of you may be wondering why one would want to do this, and just how does it relate to spinning?  Well,  washing soda is good for making laundry detergent, and general other cleaning things. But the very specific reason I want to do this is because in order to degum your silk cocoons, you need washing soda! And you need to degum your cocoons to make muwata (aka silk hankies)  It's sometimes hard to come by, and I'm thinking it's a bit more expensive per ounce then baking soda.  Don't quote me on that though. I haven't been on a big search for washing soda, and I have lots of baking soda kicking around.  So this is the easier solution.

But wait! It's found it friday!  Where did you find the recipe for this magical transformation???  I found this lovely post on Nature's Nurture, via a friend on Facebook.  Sarah (of Natures Nurture) links to her original source as well on her blog post.

I'll give you the basic outline of the process you need to undergo to do this bit of chemistry/magic.

1. Pre heat your oven to 400'F
2. pour your baking soda on a cookie sheet.  I lined mine with parchment paper so that removing it from the pan will be easier.
3. Bake your baking soda for 30 minutes, or until it looks grainy, more then powdery, isn't shiny anymore, and wont clump.

That's it. Simple! Now use in your silk cocoon degumming solution!   And spin those muwata you just made with the help of chemistry/magic.

~ Kara


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Knit notes- Gentle on My Mind

It's all knitted and blocked but it turned out much bigger the I thought ( don't forget I tweaked as I went to make it bigger, just forgot that blocking often makes things even bigger!) So, since it's wool, I chucked it in the wash with the towels. Let's hope for the best!  But here's the before fulling pic! 



~Kara

Monday, October 7, 2013

Block all the things!

Apparently I've done a lot of knitting (for me) this year so far!  I've been done knitting two of the three of these projects for quite a while. I finished my modified Gentle on my mind this morning. I decided that today was a good day to block them all.  They are obviously just getting a gentle block, but it's better then none!  I really need to invest in blocking wires. That shawl could use a stronger block for sure.

Block all the things


I'll be sure to get them each their own post, but for now they sit and air dry :)

~Kara

Friday, September 27, 2013

Found it Friday



My husband found this image, presumably on The Chive, and I laughed.  I kind of identify myself as a hipster (a little bit, but maybe more of a wanna be ;) ). And I've not once, but twice, sat in the Dodge dealership spinning cotton on a Tahkli spindle. (see, that's why I'm not a hipster, I drive a mini van ;) )

So while the statement obviously doesn't apply to me, I love it none the less.  It's like a whole new awesome level of hipster. 

~Kara

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Crisp fall air - Wordless Wednesday

I'm jumping on the band wagon.  Wordless Wednesday.  okay, so those are words, but this is the first and last time there will be words in posts like this.


~Kara

P.S. click to see it full sized ;)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Free pattern from Leethal? Yes please!

do stuff! » Fall pattern giveaway!! And lots of updated patterns!

It's no secret that I LOVE Leethal knitting patterns. They are fun, a mild challenge sometimes, and some are pleasantly simple, and al+l of them are wonderfully attractive.  Further more, her PDF's are incredibly detailed, and the instructions are quite clear.

Now go get one.  Now! before she takes them down!

~Kara

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Unbalanced

 I just spent the past 4 days waking up at 6 am to spin enough silk to do 1 assignment. And despite the math we learned in level 3 that I did to figure out just exactly how to balance this yarn and it ended up out of balance in the end anyway.  Needless to say, this was really frustrating for me. It was 1 hour of spinning every morning. And after all that, and while the yarn is really quite even, it's outta whack.

There is this theory we were taught in level 2 about how to identify the problem in a plied yarn.  When you hold your skien up and it twists, that is a sign of unbalance. Well, of course it is, you say.  But did you know the way it twists will tell you about exactly where the unbalance sits?  Like if you spun your yarn zzS (single single PLY) and it twist in the Z direction then your yarn has to much ply or to little single twist.  And if your yarn, spun the same direction, twists S direction then your yarn has to little ply or to much single twist.  Confused yet?  Well, it confused me. It still did until this morning.   So I did an experiment.

I took a chunk of commercial top and split it (Sorry Marg!!) into four strips.  With two of them I spun the ever livin' love out of them.  There were snarls and kinks and it felt like rope in the single.  I then plied it sooooo lightly to force it to be outta whack.   And I tell you, it is.


Unbalanced experiment

The other two strips I barely spun.  I think I put 1 treadle into 2-3 inches.  Not much twist at all.  Then I plied it beyond rediculously tightly. I think it nearly has an angle of 90'.  This most certainly will make any yarn unbalanced as well.


Unbalanced experiment


Well, there they are. Two samples that are way out of balance. They are clear, tangible, examples of that theory.  I get it now.

Unbalanced experiment


I'm going to be able to run my silk back through the wheel to correct my imbalance.  It wont be completely wasted time after all. Though I can't help but wonder, where did I go wrong?  Did I miscalculate? Did I miscount treadles or ply in shorter makes then I was supposed to?   Sure I can correct it, but at what point did I make the mistake?  Trial and error, and more coffee, I guess.

~Kara

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Take the Thel outta your Tog


So, I heard that there was a method to separating the Tog(long) and the Thel (short)on a double coated fleece with a drum carder.  So I tried it with a Scottish Blackface fleece I had.


Seperating Tog and Thel on the drum carder


Method:
Hold the tog in one hand and the thel goes against the drum of your drumcarder as you spin it. The thel is pulled out by the teeth of the drum carder, leaving you with just the tog in your hand. This method gives two types of prep, with 1/2 the effort it would take if you did it the traditional way (combing the long fibres out for a top, and then carding the short ones for a batt or rolags)  The down side: my drum has 120tpi. It's intended for fine fine fibres, and not a double coated fleece. As such some of my teeth are bent :(  If you have even a 72 tpi drum, then I think you'd be fine to do this and have no harm to your carder.

~Kara

Friday, September 13, 2013

Found it Friday

Oh look! It's a Friday, and there's a Found it Friday! ;)

Spin, it makes the world turn.  And apparently makes tiny 4 macro meter sized spheres vanish? 
explains it succinctly , with enough comedy to make science fun! 



I came across this article through the Spindle Lore group on Ravelry. 
The folks over there are having a pretty deep conversation about spinning and 
zen and why spinning seems so inherently centring.  I don't know about you all,
 but sometimes I feel like I 'vanish' when I'm in the spin zone. 

Happy reading!

~Kara

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Found it Friday!

On a saturday... again... oops.

This is just a fun video of two of my favourite creatures. Sheep and a bunny. Enjoy!


~Kara

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Knit Notes

Update on my Gentle on my mind hat from Leethal. 
I'm adding a neck coverage part, that will close with buttons, using some skills I learned from Leethal patterns. 

~Kara

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

And the Best Husband of the Year award goes to...

My husband! Looks what he did for me! He hung the old crib rails on the ceiling so I can hang my yarn!. I can fit a heck of a lot of yarn on those things. 
The kids are big now, and the crib itself was recalled right before the last kid was out of it. I guess we were the lucky ones that didn't suffer from the defect. That crib served us for 7 years, and in a new way, will serve us for many more.

The other thing that makes my Husband worthy if this prestigious award: helping me (read as: did all the heavy lifting and took orders like a champ) move the kids bedrooms around the house so I can have the best room in the house for crafting. So much light in here, theres a really big closet with shelves, it's central to everything, I have a big window into the backyard, and all my tables will fit inside. It's not all together, but it will be soon enough.  Right now the most important table is set up and in use.


Enough rambling. Time to card wool in my new space!

~Kara

Friday, August 16, 2013

Found it Friday

Today's Found it Friday doesn't have much to do with fibre, but it absolutely has to do with spinning.  Your body is the tool that you use when you spin.  You use your hands, your arms, your shoulders, your everything. Body ergonomics is so very important, straight back, shoulders down, knees at 90ยบ, reach back no further then your hips or only as far as is comfortable,  make sure you don't twist.  I could go on.  But the one thing we don't think of is spinning as an exercise, but it is.  You are using your muscles, especially those in your hands, wrists and arms (not to mention your legs and back and shoulders and and and ;) )
At Fibre Week 2013 I took Yoga for Spinners in the mornings, and Mediation in the afternoon.  It brought to my attention what I was neglecting, my stiff, tight and sore muscles.  I found that my days were much more pleasant when I really worked out the tightness in my muscles that I built up from the day before.  Spinning was more pleasant, comfortable and almost easier.
As I was talking with one of my classmates (who is a beautiful person, whom I only met this year, and who just exudes calm.  She practices yoga everyday) who also took the morning yoga, she brought up the website YogaJournal.com.  So on occasion I've been flipping through the videos, and clicking the amount of time I have, and then I stumbled on a set of videos that is aimed at people who are at a computer everyday.  These stretches have to be great for spinners too.  They open your chest, relax your shoulders and increase the flexibility in your fingers and wrists.
Since I'm not entirely sure I can insert the video into this post legally, I'm going to give you a set of links to check out.  They all go to YogaJournal.com.
Chest Opening Wave Breath 
Wrist Roll and Shake
Finger Roll and Forearm Stretch
Seated Forward Bend

You can find more videos that you might find helpful on this page.  It's where I found the above videos.

Spin on, and don't forget to stretch!

~Kara


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fine spinning tip

I've been spinning cotton like a mad woman, trying to get good at it. I found that even if I have my tension set to nothing (and by nothing I mean the cord is just hanging over the bobbin, completely relaxed) my wheel pulls to hard for me to control the intake and in turn the fibre slips out of my hands before it gets enough twist into it. What is the solution to this problem? Pipe insulation. 
Putting pipe insulation over the core of the bobbin somehow makes the wheel pull less.  I'm sure there's a good solid scientific reason behind this, but at this point, I'm just happy it works!  Makes spinning cotton ( and other fine yarns) much easier.
You can find pipe insulation at most hardware stores.

~Kara

Monday, August 12, 2013

Stop. It's homework time.

Level3 Master Spinner here we go.  I decided a while ago that the only way I could see myself getting my homework done this year was to wake up at 530 every weekday morning, make a pot of coffee and spin. With all the things on my plate, this is the only way. This started, officially, today. However I didn't get actual tangible skeins of cotton spun this morning. I did manage to spin a bit of every kind of cotton I have in the house, however.
With this little exploratory diversion I did learn something, so it was worth it.  (In order of appearance on the bobbin) Sea Island cotton is forgiving because of its length, but a tad slippery. I don't mind it, but it's not my favourite. Green Cotton sucks... Okay, it doesn't suck, but it is by far the hardest on the bobbin to spin. I found myself having to treadle like a maniac to get enough twist in it to draft without drifting. Peruvian Cotton is no better.  I think this is because they both have a crazy short staple length.  They are spinnable, but very tricky to spin.  Acala Cotton doesn't mind being spun thickly (for cotton that is). It has a grip to itself that none of the other cottons have. It's a good beginners cotton, that's for sure. And lastly Pima. Pima is a beautiful mix of just enough grab to itself and just enough staple length to make drafting smooth and quick. 
Cotton spinning is different then wool spinning, but not difficult. It just takes practice. And the right kind of cotton. 

~Kara

Friday, August 9, 2013

Found it Friday

Hey! Happy friday!! My inner alarm clock woke me far to early, so I figured I'd better get out of bed and do all those things I need to get done that are much easier without interruption!

Today I saw this pattern. And being Shark Week, I thought, what better time to share it!  Go check out her other patterns as well, I mean who doesn't need a beard toque or a bunny beanie?




 Now just to buy some appropriate yarn...  Maybe these will be this years Christmas Presents!


~Kara

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Knit notes

So, I've been doing a lot of knitting lately.  Most of it has been travel knitting, because spinning in the passenger seat is difficult. This trips project, Gentle on My Mind by Leethal. She's an amazing and innovative knit wear designer, who mostly makes accessory items (hats, mitts, scarves, bracelets, cozies etc.) I love her patterns, because you can use whatever yarn, any gauge, and any needle size, and still end up with something spectacular.
I'm knitting this hat with the idea of having the sides longer then intended, and hoping it works out overall. I guess we will see in the end. I'm contemplating hanging the number of stitches between marker A and marker B, so that it still sits snug over the head but has more length. I my head this makes sense, but I've never knit this before, and the construction is interesting, so it might royally screw up the back section. I'll have to wait and see! I'm using Berroco Lodge yarn. Ball band says to use size 10 needles but I'm fairly certain these are 6's. nice tight knitting.  

Anyway, I've not forgotten about Found it Fridays. I went camping and forgot to schedule it before we left. But I will have something for you next Friday for sure!  Also, this Knit Note got a lot longer then intended... Oops!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Found it Friday!

On a Saturday!! whoops!! Best excuse ever though. We went to the fair yesterday! And the pool, and the sidewalk sale and by the time we came home and I did all the things I needed to do but didn't because I was busy having fun with the kids, I was exhausted and completely forgot what day it even was....

Image Credit: http://foulawool.co.uk/foula.htm

So today I bring something @LouisebScollay shared on twitter! Foula Wool!  Another breed of sheep found on the Island of Foula, near the Shetland Islands.  I love discovering the crazy range of breeds of this amazing creature.  I'd love to get my hands on some, though from the sounds of it, it only comes as yarn. That wouldn't be so bad, because I do knit. Think of the fair isle sweater I could make with these Natural colours!
Check out their Story :  http://foulawool.co.uk/foula.htm  They even have a contact form, and I might see if I can get some wool to spin.  If it's as fine as they say, I bet it would be a dream to spin!

~Kara

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Master Spinner Level 2 Final Project

So, I left you all hanging.  It's like a really juicy season finale and you had to wait far to long to find out  just what happened!  Suspense!  Mystery! Did she or didn't she? dun dun dunnnnnnnn.....

I frogged it.  I frogged that damn scarf. It was surprisingly satisfying. In a way.  And then that tiny little ball of yarn sat for a while, lonely and beckoning.  I started carding rolags from some lovely merino fleece from Natchwoolie to distract me from my lingering frustration.  And I spun up 2 of the 3 bobbins of the merino, but something stopped me from spinning the 3rd.... It was likely the date, the fact that Fibre Week was only 3 weeks away and my husband was about to go on a week long fishing trip.  Or the thought:  "You know, you went through all that effort on that shetland silk blend.  And you are pretty proud of it.  Just use it. Make that little scarf.  DO IT".
So I did. I used a crochet cast on as the provisional cast on. I knit twisted stitches, I yarned over, I purled and knit two together. I bound off to "top' part, picked up the provisional cast on with ease and bound that baby off.  I cut through my knitting at the appropriate place ( talk about scary! cutting my haandspun in the middle of a project!!) I blocked that scarf, and when it was dry I held it up and smilled.  The yarn I lovingly spun from junk wool and silk, knit and frogged, and knit again, held up sooooo well to that abused. So well. I was happy to turn it in as my final project.

And because this post is nothing without a picture....  TaDa! pretty scarf!
Untitled

It's been through the scrutiny of my wonderful teacher, and got a pretty good mark.  But the mark isn't the big thing with this one, in the end.  I'm proud of this dinky little scarf.  It's soft, it drapes nicely, it's light and airy. And I'll actually wear it. 

~Kara

Friday, July 19, 2013

Found It Friday

It's Friday.  Shall we start a new tradition? Every Friday I will find something interesting, perhaps and most often yarn related, inspiring, funny, neat or just plain cool and share it with you all!  Sound good?

This week, Spinning directly from the sheep.  Yeah. FROM THE SHEEP. DIRECTLY.  Check it out.



1- It's just plain neat.
2- It's cool that there are sheep that still carry that primitive trait to roo.
3- Wouldn't that be fun to do?

Til next time!

~Kara

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Prep work

Fibre week, and the master spinners classes are 2 months away. I'm still not done my level 2 homework, and really I should be. I have reasons that are indeed valid, like a sore wrist, a family member passing away, and general illness of everyone in this household(including me 4 times in 4 months) there are something's I could have been doing, like reading 2 more books, but really... I guess I felt like I had more time. But none the less, things are almost done, and I've got 2 months in which to do them. I did however spin up some neked wool for the level 3 dye assignment. It's lovely. It has the odd flaw, but it's still really good, IMHO. Unfortunately it's only about 240 yards(from 8 oz) and I need 250. I guess that just means I need to buy more fibre. Awe shucks. ;D
~Kara

Friday, March 22, 2013

Final project level 2 update.

So it occurs to me, that I never did say that I had finished the yarn for my final project!  I've even started to knit it, and honestly I'm a tiny few stitches away from finishing it.  Or frogging it.  I've been keeping notes on my project page on Ravelry, and the easiest way to tell you all what has been happening is this:


Notes
I will be using this years Iknitarod as my timeline and motivation to get this project done in a timely manner.
Go mushers go! March 2, 2013: cast on 216 stitches (202+14 for fringe), and worked up the first row. I’m working with just a small amount of yarn, so I don’t want to run out! However, I’m pretty short(5’2”) so I don’t think the scarf will be to short for me.
Also, I’m using size 9 needles, as my 8s have a catch in them. This will help the scarf be slightly longer/wider as well. Probably not by much, but does it really matter in the end?
March 3,2013- two more rows in. Still afraid of running out of yarn…
March ? 2013- came down with some illness. It put me out for far to many days. Back at it, tho, and I’ve done 2 more rows. Will stop for now, I started loosing track of where I was while knitting.
March 11 2013- knit up to and including round 7. I’m still really hoping I don’t run out of yarn.
March 12, 2013 - well… I knit row 1 and two again, as the pattern calls for… Got to the end of row 2 and I’ve messed it up somehow and can’t find it…. I hate frogging lace. One sorry sad stitch at a time. Tomorrow tho. Bed time now.
March 18, 2013 - soooooo the fear of frogging held me back 6 whole days. I did not finish with the mushers. Well behind them, actually. :(. I did frog tonight, found the error, and knit back to the end of row two. For fear of running out of yarn in 4 more rows, I will cast off. Now just to find my size 10.5 needles and do that. Tomorrow. Or the next day… Or the day after that…
March 19 - cast off the top. quick and easy. Picking up the stitches though? a nightmare. That’s still not done. Maybe it will be soon? It’s driving me up the wall. Next go, I’m using a crocheted provisional cast o n with a really thick yarn. It will be much easier to find what is supposed to be live stitches!
March 22 - I’ve spent 2 hours in each of the past two nights “picking up stitches” More like untying knots. This is obviously not the fault of the pattern but a poor choice in cast on methods. The cast on method I learned from a youtube video, and I’d not recommend it to anyone. ever. And i even put my very first youtube comment on a youtube video, stating my opinion. I’m to the point that I might consider frogging the whole thing, and starting over. Super sadness.

Ha.  There you go. My super laziness to not type that all out again in different words is winning right now. 
But I'm mad. and frustrated.  and exhausted.  This is the most evil scarf on the planet. or. well, not.  But I don't think it will be my final project anymore....

~Kara

Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly away home...

Your house is on fire and the children have gone
All except for one, that's Little Ann
For she crept underneath the frying pan"

That's almost all I could think of while dying, carding and spinning these yarns!

Over on Craftster.org, we are having a spin along on the spinning boards. It was inspired by a member, Jexxican, who was spinning a yarn for an ALS charity auction. Ladybugs were her sisters favorite, so it's become a tradition for her.  I thought it would be fun to join in.  These are the two yarns I created, from start to finish.

It started with a dye day.  I had 2 red pots, and one black, to dye my silk noils in. It almost looks like Valentines day!  I had a couple random wool batts too, I used them to sop up the leftover dye from the dye baths.
What the lady bug started as.

Random wool batts


Ladybug #1, Merino top, BFL locks, and Silk noil.
The batts:
Ladybug Batts.
Ladybug Batt. Take 2
The yarn:
Ladybug yarn. #1


Ladybug #2 was simply spun from the merino top. One ply had sections of black shetland, which  I granny stacked as I came to them.
Ladybug yarn. #2.
Ladybug yarn #2. Close up of granny stacks.

It was pure bliss to just spin because I wanted to.  I've been avoiding my wheel due to feeling procrastination guilt.  I've only got 3 or 4 skeins left to spin for my homework, but I've been putting it off.  They are skeins with swatches! BUT!  I have been knitting the yarn I planned to use for my final project.  It's good yarn, but maybe it's not that much better then the yarn I spun for level 1?  I don't know.  My plan is to finish the scarf, block it and decide. If I hate it, and the perfectionist in me say's "Not good enough", I will spin some CVM or merino from rolags woolen and make a hat.  We will see what happens.  The count down is on to Fibre Week 2013!  Only 14 weeks (less 2 days) to go!  Oh! and I'm AMAZED to see that there are already 10 (TEN!) people enrolled in level 3!! Our class is nearly full! 

~Kara




Thursday, February 21, 2013

Odd

So I'm not sure why this came over me. But it did. I was wishing the silk in my llama silk blend was closer to the colour of the llama. So I looked at my coffee pot and thought "I bet coffee would be just the right color". So I poured myself one last cup of liquid life, gluged a bit of vinegar in the pot and tossed the already wet from setting the twist skein in the pot. Lucky me, the coffee maker has heat setting so I cranked it down and let the skien sit in there for 30 minutes. I love the results! The llama was a fawn brown to begin with and the tussah was bleached, but not to stark white, more of a creamy white. I kind of really want to make a lot more of this... It's 50 50, spun from carded rolags. Lovely drape, lovely shine. And it still smells a bit of coffee. Yum yum

~Kara





Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spinners block?

Or mental block? Either way, this is ridiculous. I've got that tiny bit left to spin on that bobbin. I've had absolutely nothing to do all afternoon since 12:30, and I only have to be out of the house around 3:10. That's 2hrs and 40mins of time I've wasted, doing nothing but opening the cupboards, cruising the webs, tweeting about my dilemma, and now blogging it, and general 'screwing of the pooch' as it were. All the while it would have taken me maybe 30mins to finish spinning that. What is wrong with me? It's something I love to do, it's not like its hard or something. I just can't get to the point where I can ply. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that that is supposed to be my final project for level 2? Maybe it's a fear of completion? Fear of failure? Fear of success even? Or a fear of completion leading to success which will make failure feel even worse? Or maybe I'm just lazy today. Or all of that. I don't know but I'm kicking my own butt right now for not finishing it. Oh well. There's always tonight, right?

~Kara