Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Enjoying My Drop Spindle

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   Since I uncovered this basket of romney locks I have enjoyed using my drop spindle again. I gave it up about a year ago when I wanted to learn how to use my spinning wheel, and not wanting to aggravate my left hand as much. 
    It is going well as long as I don't spin more than an hour at each sitting-and that's tops probably should cut it down to 30 minutes. I do alternate with flicking the locks and then spinning.
    I really enjoy this, my yarn is still not real even, especially the joins and I have allot of joins with spinning each lock. I need to search on you tube for techniques on improving that.
   I am missing my spinning wheel too-I need to take the time to stain my new jumbo flyer kit, put that together and get it on my wheel-I am anxious to try out making bulky art yarn too-looks fun to make.

What have you been creating??

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Friend Having Fun with "Art Yarn" and Felting

  My friend Barbara at Pineland's Treasures  makes these amazing mini to larger vessels from knitted wool yarns that she then felts. I really love them.  They are really nice to hold needles and thread especially when hand sewing.

   I had sent her some really newbie spun yarn to play with and she had so  much fun that she asked for more so she could make me one too. This one is a much larger vessel than she usually knits up-love it!

  She turned this newbie-art yarn- into a real Pineland's Treasure.  Thank you Barbara


Pokeberry "Blues"

   Yesterday I was still sorting through some areas in my craft room-studio and remembered that I had not updated some dye pages in my hand made journal.
    So I dug out those two skeins of pokeberry dyed rug wool-these had been stored away from light since around September 2014 and wow what a disappointment-remember that lovely deep burgundy I had achieved from the pokeberry dye pot?? (sorry I couldn't find a photo)  well this is why I have the pokeberry blues--

  It is still a pretty plum color but I was so surprised that it did this just being stored. I am so glad now that I didn't end up selling these. 
    This was stored away from light and in old wooden cheese boxes that had not been used for cheese so the wool could also breath in there.
   Most of the old dye books say this is not a colorfast natural dye, but I had run into a recipe that looked really good and the method of the dye process was so much better. Re reading it again she did say that it is mostly colorfast for several years.
   Before I use this in a project I think I will rinse it well and see what happens.
   On the plus side this color is growing on me this morning, it is more "earthy" and actually blends in better with the other browns and yellows I have natural hand dyed. Hubby commented he loves this color better than the burgandy--so all is good in the end.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Found: A Basket of Romney Locks

Over the weekend when I was organizing and making some sense of  my craft room-I found my spindles and a basket of romney locks I had started working on last year. 
     I had set this aside to learn how to spin on my Ashford Traveler wheel-Miss Jenny Ashley. So it got buried amongst the other wool.

This was part of a bag of romney white fleece I had picked up on Ebay  and was discouraged over how much skirting was included and how very soiled this was. After several soaks, washings, rinses it did clean up enough to process.
    Last year I wanted to keep some of the locks to stay as straight as possible, so placed them in a mesh laundry bag and hand washed a batch that way. The locks did stay seperated through the process. 
    I am using my flick carder-which I really love-to card the locks-and then for a break with that I spin the locks with my bottom whorl drop spindle.  
   The wool is so soft to work with.

    I set myself up on the living room floor-spread out an old flannel backed table cloth-a good spot to work and leave it set up to come back to. I love this drop spindle too, nice to work with it again-although I need a couple days to get back in the "groove" lol  (photos will enlarge just click on them)

What craft-art projects are you working on now??

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Do You Love Books Too??

   I have always loved books especially books that help to teach me something--- and I Love cookbooks especially-I have  collected so many over the years that now it has to be something really special for me to buy another cookbook-especially with pinterest and other sites online for finding recipes.

   Back in the late '70s when I first learned to weave on my 30" 4 harness J Made jack loom I purchased several books on weaving and many Interweave Press' pattern booklets. and back then til probably around the '90s I enjoyed their magazine Handwoven which personally I don't feel is worth the money now-I am glad I saved all of my old issues as they had some really good patterns in those.  I have not picked up a new weaving book as I haven't found any that are any better than what I have. 
    Do any of you weavers know if there is another weaving magazine around? 

   Learning to spin though a couple years ago-and still working on that-I have picked up several new spinning books and have learned allot from them.
     This morning I just bought a new one-The Practical Spinner's Guide Rare Luxury Fibers by Mackenzie on Amazon. Of course I was not looking for this lol - it popped in my mail box from Amazon   
    I have a couple wools that are double coated and I need some insight on those. I have a big bag of navajo churro that years ago I must have seperated the two layers, and now even after washing and rinsing in unicorn products they are still really matted together-it did card up nice though once I got the fibers pulled apart.

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  I thought I would share some of the spinning books I have picked up in the last couple years that for me were worth the money:

The Spinner's Book of Yarn Designs by Sarah Anderson

The Spinner"s Book of Fleece by Beth Smith-this is really an excellent book

I just found out about Ply magazine through a video class I bought on Craftsy It is a beautiful magazine but a little pricey for me as a yearly subscription especially that when they do share a few patterns seemed to be mostly for knitters and I don't knit. I did buy a couple back issues by topics though and was very pleased with the articles. 

The Field Guide to Fleece by Robison and Ekarius I bought when I was learning the breeds and buying fleece and I feel is a must have if you enjoy learning about the different sheeps and their fleece-full of information

and I had picked up Cotton, Flax, Hemp by Stephanie Gaustad and Silk by Sara Lamb which I have not gotten to yet.
     I had purchased some organic cotton to learn how to spin and also a little silk-I may end up blending those into wool and see what happens.

Please feel free to share your favorite books, online classes, or magazines about spinning with us

Enjoy your day

Friday, August 19, 2016

I Believe I Have Plenty of Fibers To Spin With

   I guess I  have finally realized that I am a hoarder of sorts. In my defense I really enjoy the "hunt" of whatever I am looking for and then want lots of it for some reason lol so in my studio I have lots of buttons, beads, fabrics, laces, and now wools
   Soooo I do now have lots of wool and other fibers to spin with. No more buying til I work through most of the roving and raw wool I have.   hmmmm we'll see if I can resist buying that is
   My mission this summer was to get all the raw wool washed and ready to card and spin up for this upcoming winter. I had gone on a buying mission last year hunting down different breeds of wools so I could learn about them. Many were raw wools-and they really take allot of time to wash  rinse and dry especially if you get some that are very soiled.
    I have it all washed now except for 4 big cotton bags of navajo churro wool that was a gift given to me years and years ago that I am finally getting to. Do you ever feel like you could use another life time to just complete and learn everything you want to??
  This first photo is part of a stack of washed wools or roving ready to spin. The next photo is the navajo churro. This breed has two layers of wool, one very very soft and luscious and this one shows the coarser layer. This batch seems really matted together even after washing and rinsing in unicorn products so when dry I am going to see how it cards and then decide how to use it, I have a huge bag of it.

Note: photos will enlarge just click on them

   After lunch today I will be organizing this corner better for easier access.

I have learned over the years to always store wool in cotton bags never plastics-so I look for large pillow cases at resale shops. They work really well I just secure the top with a rubberband and put on a note as to what is inside.

Afternoon Update: I was able to card this and also made into rolags to spin with on my navajo spindle-this wool feels almost like it's felted but it's not, just the two layers together I believe-so it will work with extra efforts

My New Blog Introduction

  With inspiration coming from a blog friend, thank you, I decided to start a new blog journey too.
   I haven't enjoyed blogging as much recently as I did in the very beginning. (way back with Yahoo 360 and Multiply) Things change, people change their interests in social media platforms, good friends pass on.
   Blogging I think is a personal journey (at least for me) a way to write a journal but also to hopefully share with others with similar interests. My interests have changed too since I first started when I was newly retired, living in the woods, sharing lots of "my doings". 
    I am still loving living in our woods, but my interests are now mostly weaving, spinning, and natural dyeing opposed to mostly quilting and sewing. My weaving has always been what I love doing the most but it was always pushed to the side Now is my time to learn more about spinning and weave.  I have prolonged this way too long.
     Blogging takes more work too, and unlike facebook the response to what I write here is not almost instant or allot of times no response at all. I am not going to be concerned with that anymore. 
   This blog is to give me a new direction and to be positive, and to share my weaving, spinning, natural dyeing and other creative endeavors taking you along with me if you choose to.
    I also have needed a more positive mental change, inspiration to blog and to share  That is why I chose the hummingbird as my spirit guide. 
      I love our hummingbirds so much when they come to visit us. They are such a joy to us  
    I searched and learned of their spirit animal meaning. One which is Lightness of being and enjoyment of life, being more present, this is a  really nice link full of information.

So come along with me as I share my journal of spinning, weaving, hand dyeing