fiber

My new obsession…

I know I have been pretty quiet lately. Life has me incredibly busy. I can’t ever sit still and I always need to be making things. It’s been so hard to focus….I fee like I have crafty ADD.

I just started weaving. Yes, just what I need….ANOTHER hobby. I really love it though. It is super relaxing and a pretty great stash burner. Of course, now I want to bring ALL THE TOOLS into my place. I recently bought myself a small tapestry loom from Board and Bread. It’s gorgeous and great to work on. I bought myself a larger loom from Loom and Spindle on etsy, which is also a great starter loom. I ended up staining it a bright teal color.

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My new Board and Bread loom.

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Weaving with my daughter.

I had some embroidery hoops left over and, on the weekends, I’ve been helping her warp them so she can weave too.

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Passing it on…

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A larger wall hanging for my Mom.

So you can see, I just can’t get enough. I’ve already warped the looms back up and am ready to jump into some more weaving…well, as soon as the heatwave ends…

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Gifts for birds…

Sunday, August 24th, 2014 | fiber, Field Trip, Random Craftiness, yarn | No Comments

For a while I’ve been collecting scraps of yarn and bits of fiber leftover from various projects I have been working on. The intention was to go out into the world and stick them in places where the birds could get them. I live in a condo, so there isn’t really anyplace for me to have one of those suet feeder things to stuff with this sort of thing.

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A bag of scraps…

So on a Saturday morning, I handed bits of yarn to my kids and had them leave them around the neighborhood. They hid bits in bushes and trees. This way the birds of Burbank will have truly lovely nests.

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Hiding yarn in trees…

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Belated 2014 Tour de Fleece Roundup

Oh look! Another seriously belated post. Go figure!

But hey, I’m one step closer to clearing all those drafts out!

Here is what I completed this year for Tour de Fleece. I wasn’t spinning with a team or anything, so it really is NBD…but I thought maybe someone out there might wanna see what I had spun up.

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My completed skeins.

That’s pretty much all of it (well, minus a skein I had spun pre- tour and plied during the tour).

Pictured above is 2 skeins of Creatively Dyed (that I purchased at Stitches West a few years back) 20 milk protein/ 20 seacell/ 60 wool, try 3-ply, 729 yards total and 1 skein of wool/silk/abunchofotherstuff, 2 ply (ply only), 95 yards.

Also, just for fun, I figured I would show off a skein of non-tour yarn. Below is the yarn I spun for Courtney for her birthday. I called it Autumn Candy Corn and it is 80 Merino/ 20 Silk from Bee Mice Elf Fiber (purchased at CogKNITive Fiber Retreat last year), 2 ply, 390 yards.

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Autumn Candy Corn!

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My handspun…all growed up.

There really is something special about seeing folks create projects with yarn that you have spun.

Last CogKNITive Fiber Retreat, I had donated some yarn for raffle prizes. The stuff you see below was from that donation. My friend Loretta (who is seriously one of the sweetest people I have ever met in my life and is amazing with a crochet hook) got her hands on it and made the lovely cowl you see below.

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Look at it! It’s so….pretty!

These are her photos from her Ravelry page. The pattern is the Danube DK Shell Cowl by Cathy Campbell.

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It really turned out lovely.

This really has me wanting to make something with my own hand spun. I haven’t made anything with my own yarn in awhile…I should do that.

(Well, when I am done with all of my current WIP’s).

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Tour de Fleece, Days 2 and 3

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 | fiber, handspun, spinning, stash busting, weaving, yarn | No Comments

I started off Tour de Fleece with a bang, getting quite a lot done. I knew I couldn’t keep up that pace though. Maybe I was overachieving to prepare for the dip in productivity during the work week?

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Tour de Fleece, Day 2 progress.

Not bad progress for day two of the tour. Day three was a different story. Monday I got all of 5 minutes of spinning in. It was a crazy day…and with the kids and our parents coming out to Los Angeles, this week might be light on spinning time.

I’ve been trying to get other projects done too though. I decided I want to try weaving and needle felting things I love. I had a friend that was in need of a good luck charm…so I made this.

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An attempt at a black hole.

I should have taken this picture next to something else for size reference. It was tough, because it is small (I think maybe it had a 4 inch diameter). I did the weaving first, then I needle felted on top of it. I think my friend liked it. After making it, I thought of a couple of improvements I could make. I am planning on taking another shot at it, but in a bigger size.

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Practice, practice, practice

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Playing around with patterns.

While I wait for all of my supplies to arrive for that project I keep procrastinating on, I decided I should try out a few things so I know what I am doing when I actually do this stuff for reals.

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I have so much scrap yarn for this stuff!

First things first…I needed to try out drawing a design and weaving on top of it. No problem…achievement unlocked! Oh look, I can make fringe too!

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All done!

I also attached it to one of the sticks my daughter and her friends collected for me at the last Girl Scout event. Yay, nature!

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I played around in the round too.

I also tried weaving on an embroidery hoop. Just something easy so I could try it out.

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Then took them to work and decorated my cubicle.

Now I have proper office decorations. Maybe I will start a collection of all of my little experiments and just hang them up at work. It’ll give me something to stare at and pet if I ever get stressed out at work.

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Tour de Fleece 2014 – Day 1

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Some itty bitty crafting.

Ok, so my participation in Tour de Fleece this year is a little half-assed. I know I have serious stash to spin down, and honestly, the Tour is a good reason to do it.

For those of you unaware, Tour de Fleece is an event that spinners participate in on Ravelry during the Tour de France. There are actual rules for it, most based on what your team affiliation is. Different groups have different rules. I’m not a fan of rules, so we can call this Team KnitHitsTheFan, party of 1.

I waited until late afternoon to start my spinning. I spent the morning straightening up my project corner so I would be ready for that art project I am waiting to start (my twine is in the mail). I found some unassembled hearts, so I seamed and stuffed them. I also did a little bit of weaving. That’s that round thing in the picture above. Trust me, it’ll look better once I get more stuff on it.

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First Day Tour projects.

Since the holiday was on a Friday, I moved knit night to Saturday. It was a good reason to get together and start the Tour off right. Court brought her supported spindle to spin on, and I rocked Lucy all evening.

I guess my first day wasn’t too shabby. I thread plied 176 yards of wool single that I had sitting on a bobbin from about a week ago. I also busted through 4 ounces of 20% Milk protein/20% Seacell/60% Wool that I got from Creatively Dyed a few years back. I have three 4 ounce braids, so I am planning on spinning them all, then plying all three together.

I hope to come up with a plan of attack for my fiber, but I know how ADD I am. I’ll just end up pulling things out of the stash willy-nilly and and if I get bored spinning a color, I’ll switch to another. That is pretty much how I operate.

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Droppin’ some wooly knowledge.

Recently, my friend Wendy brought her drum carder to my place so we could card the fleeces I have lying around. Just another thing to help me avoid working on any of my knitting at Friday Night Knitting.

We set that bad boy up right away and Courtney started showing my minis how to use it. With any luck, I can get them to card my fleece for their allowance!

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Teaching the boy to use the carder.

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And the girl…

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Not too shabby!

Of course, it wouldn’t be Friday Night Knitting without some sort of mishap. This time, we took a fair chunk of knitting time and tried to break into a bottle of wine.

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It finally took a screwdriver and a hammer to get into it.

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TBT…Fleece edition.

I have a confession to make…

I sometimes shove a load of pictures from my phone into blank posts and save them as drafts, only to forget they exist. I can’t tell you how many of these “pictures only” drafts I’ve deleted from my blog after looking at them and not remembering what I wanted to write.

It just so happens that this is one of those posts.*

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Fleece!

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Hand carding! Making Rolags! Excitement! Adventure!

I can tell you that these were the pictures I took at Friday Night Knitting when Courtney brought over the fleece we bought at Stitches West. We dumped it on a bed sheet, separated and weighed it.

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Courtney playing with the hand carders.

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These big clear bins are great for keeping my fluff in.

After making some rolags, I tried spinning some of it. It’s nice and soft.

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I thought I would try spinning some of it.

I can tell you this…I am not done carding it. Carding this stuff is one of my least favorite things. I mean, I dislike brushing my own hair, why would I enjoy brushing sheep? It’s pretty sad…but on Friday nights when my friends come over to knit, I’ve been recruiting them to do it for me. I’m lazy, really. I did hit up a friend that just moved in nearby to see if I could use her drum carder to finish this stuff. I know I’ll make a mess, but it’ll be way more speedy than how I am doing it (or not doing it) right now.

Hopefully she can find it among all of her moving boxes. Keep your fingers crossed!

(*These pictures are over 2 months old. I had a lot of drafts that were FAR OLDER than this.)

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I’ll get there eventually…

I am sure that everyone has different ways of calculating the enormity of their stash. I believe mine boils down to volume. I’m constantly justifying it by saying things like “Once it’s spun down, it won’t take up nearly as much space”. The problem is that I haven’t been spending much time (until recently) spinning it down.

I live in a condo with three other humans that also have stashes of their own. From sports cards to toys, it all takes up space. Space we don’t seem to have. Sure, I have an armoire dedicated to my yarn (and some beads and other craft supplies), but I also have a pile of garbage bags behind my closet door filled with fiber. I have it jammed in a cabinet in my dining room and in the closet by the front door. It’s everywhere and it is starting to feel overwhelming.

(There you go…I’m sharing my fiber hoarding secrets with you…)

I am also starting to feel like I should be making more things with my hand spun yarn. I haven’t done much with what I have so far yet. I’ve sold some, or given it as gifts, but I should really be making things with it too.

On the other hand, I am trying not to beat myself up about all of my fluffy things. I will get there. I am skipping yarn crawl…so maybe that might be a good weekend to binge spin.

In the meantime…you can take a look at my new pretties… all dry and skeined up! They’re just waiting to be tagged and placed in the space I made in that armoire for my very own yarn.

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This is some scratchier fiber I spun up. I am not sure what to do with it yet. (I’ll take suggestions…)

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Blarney Yarn Fiber, Red Fish Dyeworks and Octarine Fibers!

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