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Prize Drawing coming soon…

February 12, 2010
As mentioned here, this month’s prize drawing is fast approaching.  Things have been a bit ‘up in the air’ for me lately and I realize, I have not yet posted pictures of this month’s prize.  So here you go:

This month’s prize is a Dyeing to Spin spindle kit.  This kit includes a basic toy spindle, 2 oz. dyed BFL combed top, 2 oz. natural BFL combed top, an assortment of food grade dye (not pictured), instructions for both spindling and dyeing (not pictured), a leader and a handy storage container for it all.  The winner of this month’s Prize Drawing is the victim of my most recent experiments; as you can see, the spindle and storage container are decorated.

If this strikes your fancy, please leave a comment anywhere on this blog by 21 February at 23:59 CEThere is a link to your time to be entered in the Prize Drawing.  Good Luck!

OK, on to this week’s post; which really is last week’s post but we won’t get into technicalities.

As you know, I have many, many project going on at one time.  From knitting, to spinning, dyeing, weaving, pattern writing (so way behind on that one!), sewing, painting, baking, other crafts and my family life… It  really is a wonder that I ever accomplish anything at all!  But I do try, really I do.  Sometimes I have everything completely under control… sometimes.  Most of the time however, I am making it up as I go along… creating time when it is required and packing away time when I have no other choice.

It is no wonder these past weeks I have needed a break from ‘things’.  A break is not always possible though and so I focus on just one thing until I feel like I’ve had a mini vacation; instead of committing myself to 10 or more things at once, I only commit to one.  That one thing has been spinning.  I have been a spinning fool.

Merino/Mohair Blend gifted by my Sister. Spindle spun and plied on Ebony Golding.

Sapphire Finn. Hand dyed. Spun 44 wpi singles, 3 plied on Louet Julia.

Turquoise Merino, giftd fr Martha. Spun and plied to 7 wpi on Louet Julia.

Pima Cotton > energized singles, 8 wpi

Pima Cotton, energized singles, 8 wpi on Louet Julia

BFL >Purchased at 2009 German Raveler Meeting fr. Spinning Martha. > 2 plied, 7 wpi

BFL, purchased at 2009 German Raveler Meeting fr. Spinning Martha. 2 plied, 7 wpi on Louet Julia.

BFL  >3 plied, 285 yds. > Fiber purchased at 2009 German Raveler Meeting fr SpinningMartha. Kolibri colorway. Spun at 40-44 wpi and 3 plied. Final 18 wpi  >>Not pictured: 210 yds 2 plied, Final 22 wpi

BFL Fiber purchased at 2009 German Raveler Meeting fr SpinningMartha. Kolibri colorway. Spun at 40-44 wpi and 3 plied. Final 18 wpi Not pictured: 210 yds 2 plied, Final 22 wpi, All on Louet Julia.


Not pictured are some leftovers of each spinning project, which are stored as energized singles for later use.  Presently I am spinning some 80’s Merino in various purples.

After playing with so many colors, I am beginning to feel the need to do some dyeing.  So, I expect that will be my next focus in the coming weeks.  Though I do have a few items which must be finished by March 1…

I have added a routine to my morning ritual… bread.  Not only the consumption of bread but the process of creating bread.  Each morning I have been creating a new sponge and them renewing the starter; baking the bread in the evening or the following morning.  Before this month, bread baking was not so often, maybe once or twice a month.  I am hoping to experiment with my basic breads and try some new recipes as well.

If you listen to the podcast, you will notice I am late recording, just as I am late posting here.  A new episode will be up next week.

If you are interested in learning details of or joining the Spring for All Craft Along, please click here.
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Episode #44 Up, New Prize Drawing and SFA CAL Announced :whew:

January 22, 2010

Episode #44 is now loaded in iTunes, please subscribe for automatic notification of future episodes.

Announcements:

Books Reviewed:

The Knitter’s Book of Wool, by Clara Parkes, Published by Potter Craft 2009, ISBN: 978-0-307-35217-0 (0-307-35217-X)


Some Book of Wool Fun: Which Ewe are You?

Respect the Spindle, Spin Infinite Yarn with One Amazing Tool! by Abby Franquemont, Published by Interweave Press2009, ISBN: 978-1-59668-155-2

Links:
*SFA CAL = Spring for All Craft Along, previously Spring for Babies Knit Along/Crochet Along.
DIY looms>>> Need little more time>>>

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January Prize Drawing Winner Announced

January 18, 2010

I always wonder if Random.org is fair to early numbers.  It seems middle numbers are drawn most often and occasionally later numbers are drawn but the early numbers, 1-5 for example, are not often drawn.

As it turns out, we have an early number winner this time around.. Number One… Deborah Filmore, You Won!!  Please send me an email with your mailing address and I will have your book out to you this week.

The next prize drawing will be announced later this week.  Hint: not a book this time but something fiber related.  Have a great week!

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Of WIPs and UFOs

January 14, 2010

As usual, I have far too many WIPs* and to be honest, I don’t see the end very near.  A reasonable person might decide to tackle these WIPs and UFOs* in an effort to gain some sense of accomplishment, not to mention justification of continual stash enhancement.  Not I.  No, not I.

Instead, I have tacked on yet another Fiber Art to my repertoire, weaving.  My wonderfully enabling husband made my year by gifting me, among other wonderfulness, a Kromski Harp Rigid Heddle Loom this past Christmas.  Even though I knew the contents of the colorfully wrapped package, I was filled with the excitement and joy that all five year olds know so well.  Of course, I tried to contain my excitement and fought all urges to assemble and use the loom immediately.

Once the holiday festivities, and by that I mean cleaning of wrapping papers, eating of ham and all accompaniments and finally cleaning yet again, I found a semi-quiet spot and assembled the Harp.  Once assembled, I simply stared in awe at this very simple yet very useful and beautiful tool.  I then placed the Harp on a table, as an altarpiece, and again stared.

The following week I invested time learning to calculate warp* and weft* for a project, warping for a project, dressing the loom and finally weaving.  And the next week I began my first true weaving project.

The yarn I selected is a sport weight cotton pearl (3/2, I believe)  in a variegated colorway.  Initially, after weaving a few inches, I thought my yarn selection was a poor choice for weaving on a 10-dent heddle, as the weave was not ‘firm’, leaving small spaces between each thread.  It did occur to me that after a washing the yarn would bloom but considering the amount of space between threads, I was doubtful the voids would fill.

Happily, I was wrong.  Immediately upon finishing my last shot* and hemstitching a selvedge, I cut the fabric from the loom.  Of course it did not occur to me until this point that the ends were under tension and once released from that tension, would relax and thus, fill in those irritating spaces.  And certainly, after a washing, bloomed even more.

I have yet to finish the fringe of my first weave simply because I am not certain if I want the fringe, twisted fringe or perhaps a straight edge.  By Sunday I hope to have made up my mind.  Though the fabric is not perfect, a wonky warp thread causing a slight wave for a few inches, I am very pleased with my first weave.  One area I am especially proud of are the selvedges.  I had read for months about selvedges being the bane of weavers but I did not experience any selvedge frustration whatsoever.

As for those WIPs and UFOs, I suppose I will have to fit them into my schedule. Truly, with all these Fiber Arts, I am making a Fiber Arts Schedule!  Otherwise, I don’t think I will ever experience that feeling of accomplishment and gratification that each project should bring.

Do you weave?  Are you curious?  In next week’s podcast I will show you how I whet my curiosity by making some simple looms at home.

* Possible Unfamiliar Terms:

WIP: Work In Progress.

UFO: UnFinished Object.

Warp: The vertical threads (ends) of a woven cloth.

Weft: The horizontal ends of a woven cloth.

Shot: An action of a single pass of weft material during weaving.


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Episode #43: Weave Only Just Begun

January 7, 2010

Episode #43 is now loaded in iTunes, please subscribe for automatic notification of future episodes.

Announcements:

  • Spring for Babies Kal/Cal 2009 was quite a success!  I am currently making arrangements for a Spring for Babies Kal/Cal 2010 and will keep you posted.  A few changes this year: all handmade items donated to any local charity or organization are permitted.  To include items for the elderly, poor, homeless, displaced, abused, recovering,etc, as well as pets.

Books Reviewed:

Links:

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Lost and Found: Episode #42, Notes

December 22, 2009

Once again, thank you to each and every listener/reader who informed me of the apparent successful load in iTunes.  As I mentioned to Nancy, I suppose I should stop asking how this is possible and just be grateful that it happened!

Notes for this past episode are listed below:

Books Reviewed:

Items Discussed:

Autumn Rose Pullover a la Knit Picks Palette

Julia Spinning Wheel by Louet

Golding Spindles

My Golding Spindle, Ebony Ring Whorl, Walnut Shaft, .84 oz.

My Golding Spindle, Solid Ebony Ring Whorl, Walnut Shaft, .84 oz.

Natalie Spindles

Bosworth Spindles

Greensleves Spindles

Hatchtown Spindles

Junk Spindles, A quick and easy tutorial (by me ^_^)

Materials required: 1 chopstick, 1 peanut butter jar lid, 1 sharp knife

Step One:

With the tip of a sharp knife (I’m using a paring knife), held at a 45% angle, carve out a small hole.

Step Two:

Depending on your preference for a Top Whorl or Bottom Whorl Spindle, push the chopstick through the hole, allowing about 1″ of the chopstick through. (I have decided to make a Bottom Whorl Spindle).

Step Three:

Spin. Wonderful tutorials can be found at SpinOffMagazine.com for both Top Whorl Spindling and Bottom Whorl Spindling.

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Thank You!

December 22, 2009

I’ve read some recent comments on this blog, Facebook and Ravelry.  Thanks to all who mentioned Episode #42 is indeed up in iTunes.  It still is not showing at my server or in the feeds but somehow, inexplicably,  managed to make it’s way to iTunes.  Whew!  What a relief!  Again, many, many Thanks!