Monday, March 31, 2008

It's that time of year again...

It's getting warm out, and I'm starting to think more & more about spinning with bamboo, organic cotton, and other nice cool summery fibers. I just spun up two bamboo yarns today, with two more in the works - but they'll probably take a while to dry, so they might not get listed for several days.

I either have allergies or am coming down with something. I don't know which yet, so I'm just drinking lots of tea and waiting to see what happens. Yesterday I felt horrible & had no energy, so I got absolutely nothing done. I'm going to try to finish up some custom orders tonight - wish me luck!

I listed some yarns today, but the pictures are a bit gloomy due to the extreme lack of sunlight today. Hopefully I can get some better pictures taken tomorrow!

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm still busy being all touristy with my mom, but I just listed a new yarn in the shop:

sweet & sour handspun

That I love so much! I'm going to attempt to make some batts to sell next week (I aaaalways end up spinning them myself, plus I suck at taking pictures of my batts and they end up looking so boring), and I think I might make some in this same colorway! I love the richness and brightness of the colors. Yum!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

busy bee

If you don't hear from me for a while, it's because I'm scrambling to get together amazing packages for three separate swaps, finish all my custom orders, keep my shop updated + spin extra yarns to list next week, and clean my entire (very unbelievably messy) apartment from top to bottom, ALL in the next three days before my mom gets here! Ack.

The good news: I have a ton of homemade (by me + my partner) peach lambic beer that we just got from the brewery, and I did manage to list two new yarns today. Here's one of 'em:

jellybean bonanza handspun

Okay! Time to get busy...

Friday, March 14, 2008


My partner has finally started spinning. He already knew how to spin on a spindle, but he's started using the wheel now:


This skein was actually a collaboration - he wanted me to spin part of it, so I spun one of the singles and he spun the other and plied them together. I let him pick out the colors from my stash of dyed wool - the emerald sparkle puffs were his idea too.


This skein is so much prettier in person! He spun this from a batt he carded (again, stuff he picked from my stash - multicolored wool + bamboo + sparkle) and plied it with some beige thread. His first time plying with thread, awww!

Hopefully he'll keep spinning in his (almost nonexistent) spare time! I haven't decided what to do with these two skeins - I might put them up for sale, or maybe I'll knit something!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oh yeah!

I always forget to update this thing! And it doesn't help that I really want to put together some thoughtful, useful posts with tutorials and other interesting things, but I have no time so I end up posting whatever.

What have I been doing the past week? I'm...not exactly sure. Hah! Well, I know SOME things I did. I spun up some amazing tailspun yarn:



from some pretty dark grey mohair. I'm in love! It feels soooo nice. I have a project in mind for this one.

I also did some natural dying with Jenny. I'll probably post some pictures of the results later on.

And, I dyed a ton of bamboo. Well, not a TON. Maybe a pound? Bamboo drives me crazy - it takes 24 hours to dye, and then like 72 hours to dry.

I'm going to TRY very hard to get in gear and spin spin spin the rest of this week, because I want to be able to keep my shop somewhat full. And my mom is coming to visit the friday after next, so I will be taking an entire week away from the shop - it'd be nice to have some yarns stockpiled so I can still list stuff!

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I know some of you have been wondering how my patchwork-style yarns knit up. I've been wondering myself! This past week, I've found a couple of examples.



"Treasure" hat knit by jocelyngermany. This was one of my first patchwork yarns, and it's still one of my favorites! I love the way it knit up, and the little pocket on the hat. I'm a big fan of pockets.



This is a pillow-in-progress being knit by Natalie, aka cloudlover69 on etsy. I think a handspun pillow is the best idea ever! As soon as I get the time (so...never) I'm going to knit one for myself.

lavender mitts

And lastly...these fingerless gloves, knit by ME! These were a custom order that I'm really grateful for, because I finally got the chance to sit down and knit with my patchwork yarn! I'll add a picture of the yarn before I knit it if I can find a non-blurry one.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Shop Update

shop update

I finally got some more packs of felty baubles listed - and a bunch of single ply novelty skeins, which I haven't done in a while! I think I'm getting burned out on the patchwork yarns, so I'll either be spinning less of them or raising the price. Although I do have two patchwork skeins that will be going up on etsy this Thursday.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Crazy spin-off & dye session!

Wow. Where to start?

Yesterday I packed up my wheel and some hastily carded batts and carted it over to Molly's place for a spin-off. I was extra excited because two amazing etsy shopkeepers were also on their way - Steph of Loop and Liz of Hobbledehoy. I've always loved Liz's yarns, ever since she first started selling handspun like two years ago - and I've spent quite a bit of time drooling over Loop batts.

It was a blast! I spun up three skeins of yarn, carded some mini batts on Steph's Pat Green carder that she brought along, and helped dye up many pots of colorful fiber. The day flew by - we met around 1 pm and I didn't leave until 10! I was so pleased to be in the company of so many amazing fiber artists, and for once I wasn't the only crazy lady with multicolored bits of wool stuck all over her clothes. I've never really been able to spend time with other spinners, and I'm completely self-taught in everything (dyeing + spinning), so I loved just being able to inspect other people's wheels, watch other people spin, and ask lots of questions about how they do stuff.

I learned the most about - dyeing! I've loooong wondered at how Liz can be so amazingly prolific when she dyes. She's always posting about how she whipped out 10lbs of handdyed fiber in like 2 hours. I knew that she kettle dyes, but I never really got into kettle dyeing because I used to use a microwave, which was super fast, and now I use glass jars - I pour the boiling water into them, mix up all the colors, and plunk the roving in until the water turns clear. Except it doesn't always turn clear, since the water doesn't stay hot. It turns out that the method for cranking out dyed fiber is much simpler than I thought: multiple huge dyepots, all going at once! OH. Now I feel so silly, with my one little dyepot. I know what I'm going to be shopping for this week. Multiple dyepots really increase productivity immensely - we had three giant pots going at Molly's, with five ladies (my friend Jenny was there as well) all taking turns mixing up colors and plunking in fiber. We must have dyed several pounds at LEAST. Both Liz & I use Jacquard acid dyes, so it was fun trading our "recipes" for colors. Another big revelation for me was that when you kettle dye, adding more fiber at different times to the same dyepot will result in a range of different colors. It's so much fun! I dreamed about dyeing all night last night, and this morning I popped out of bed, revved up the dyepot (and a teapot while I was at it) and proceed to churn out a ton of dyed mill ends.


My leetle dyepot - it's hard to see in the picture, but there are two shades of green in the same pot.

dyepot 3/3

I started out dyeing up some greens, and an hour later my bathroom looked like this:

dyepot 3/3

And I wasn't even done yet in that picture! I went on to dye oranges, blues, and tans. I am so extremely pleased with my new dyeing method!

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures at Molly's. But I did take some pictures this morning of the fiber that I brought back with me:

tussah silk

Gorgeous tussah silk in green, yellow, and teal! This came out of the dyepots at Molly's. This was Steph's silk, but I fell in love with it and she let me keep it!

fiber score!

The mini batts that I carded on Steph's carder from one of my bags of scrap fiber + misc other things.

fiber score!

Batts, five colors of sparkle that I bought from Loop (I also got her Boysenberry batt, which I can't wait to spin), supersoft brown camel fluff from Liz, and rose grey alpaca from Steph.

Hurray! I cannot wait until the next meet-up. I feel so chock-full of inspiration and spinny love that I just don't know what to do with myself.

I guess I'll go spin!