Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review....

Wow! This year has flown by!  I have had so many great experiences.  And it truly has been a year of learning.
I learned how to knit, weave on my tri-loom, and spin.  I opened up an Etsy shop, and have met so many wonderful people who are as crazy as I am about fiber.  My family has been so supportive of all of my new endeavors, and rarely complain when the kitchen table is piled high with dyed fibers, or if the house once again smells of vinegar from a marathon dye session.  On the personal front, I have had ups and downs, but my family has been with me through it all, and for that I love them even more!
Learning to spin......

And........the best fiber babies!
Piper my Giant French Angora and Challenger my Rose Grey Alpaca.
Here is wishing all of you a wonderful 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fluffy flowers.....

Mohair and wool wet felted flowers.  I am working on these fluffy little flowers.  The bloom portion are mohair that I dyed from a dear friends animals, and the wool is some domestic wool that I dyed up ages ago to use for the stems of my wet felted flowers.  The fuzzy look of these flowers make me super happy.  I am FINALLY enjoying some time off from work.  I LOVE my class this year, but have felt bogged down by the politics of the education system, and was thankful for this break to recharge and spend some quality time with my own kiddos---who aren't such kiddos anymore!  My oldest DD finished her 1st semester of college, and we could not be prouder of her!  My 15 yo, is enjoying the break from high school and has been sleeping in daily! Off to get that dinner finished!  Happy Felting!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The garland is done....

I had to nix the hemp looked a bit "too" rustic!  I love this yarn and had a hard time capturing the softness with a picture.  Now hopefully we can get some cooler's been in the 80's.....then I will be ready to put the tree up and dress it with this soft and fluffy goodness!.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tis the season.....

Making a garland for my tree this year.  Once I finish the core spinning, I will ply with chenille, hemp, and silver!  Loving the soft fluffy batts!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SAFF shopping!

Need I say anything?! And to think I missed 1 whole building of shopping!!!! I told my DH it requires a return trip next year.... :)  I was thrilled to get a chance to touch and buy blends and varieties of wool and Llama that I have only read about.  I was in sensory overload and loved every.single.minute.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fleeces from SAFF

I have been back from Asheville for a few weeks and have slowly been making my way through the fleeces I purchased.  I bought 2 Romney and 2 Lincoln.  Let me say, I have worked hard on the was not skirted...can you say "STINKY"?!  But once I got rid of the poopy parts, I was left with BEAUTIFUL curls!  I am now soaking another 1/2 lb or so of the curls right now.  Once those are done, off to the dye pots they will go....

Grey Romney

White Romney

Raw Lincoln

Soaking Lincoln
I have sorted another lb. of white Romney and that is next to be washed.  The grey Romney is so clean, and was a Blue Ribbon winner!  It is not as soft as the white, but has such gorgeous crimp! That will be washed, but will be easy because it is sooooo clean.  So today will be washing! And maybe a bit of dyeing.

Tomorrow I'm off to a guild meeting, I have missed those ladies....I missed the last meeting because I was in Asheville.  Next post will include all of the goodies I purchased.... :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Super Cuteness

I had to share this super cute picture!  I had a Monarch chrysalis developing on my front porch.  It decided to hatch today and my DD decided to do a photo shoot with it and my bunny Piper.  Piper was intent on her Basil leaves and did not seem to mind her hitchhiker!

On the fiber front, My DH and I head to Asheville tomorrow.  I am going to SAFF!!!  I am so excited!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Part 2.....

Here it is!  I love it and now see some areas I need to REALLY focus on for the next one.  I used Falkland Island wool, I am too rough on pillows to make it out of Merino.  The Falkland will wear much nicer I think.  I am now coming up with a million different colors I could do this project with! Thanks Deborah for the inspiration!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thanks! Part 1 of 2.... ;)

I owe a special thank you to very talented felters.  They are Heather from Wool-Love Functional Fiber Art and Deborah from Felters Journey.  They have been sharing their felted creations while I seem to have fallen off the face of the felting earth....... :)  I know a tad dramatic but hey, I'm a gal!
Anyway I am making a nod to both of theses gals because I was inspired by both of them for this post.  The two part post, well, that is a little thing that Heather does with her projects.  And the actual project, well, was the latest one that Deborah showcased on her blog.  When she referenced the magazine she saw the project in, I ran to my own copies and there it was.  I had actually bought it and NEVER got around to reading it....
So thanks to both of these ladies for inspiring me to have some soapy, wet, wooly fun- I won't take such a long break again!
Here is the first part:
Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed for part 2.......

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's done....

My first tri-loom shawl!!  I love the open weave of this shawl.  It's perfect for Florida's Fall and Winter.  As a "first time learned from the internet project", I am quite pleased. Even if I never wear it, looking at it makes me smile.

It has been a therapy shawl of sorts.  I have many hours of thinking woven into this shawl, even a few tears. Hopefully the negative energy I have absorbed over the past few weeks has been worked out into this shawl (from people who love nothing better than to lump good teachers together with bad and wonder why the good ones are so hard to find....)

Letting it go.........and loving my shawl.....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tri -loom fun!

Hi all!  I have been working on a special project this week.......

Being back to work has made it much harder to find the time to work on this project, but it has proven to be a very relaxing way to spend some down time.  So, while my DD is busy with homework I have been weaving...since we are working on the same table, we can chit chat when she needs help and I get to spend a little more time with her! 

The yarn I am weaving with is a single I spun during TDF on Ravelry.  I LOVE weaving on this loom because I don't have to warp it first....I am using one continuous strand for both the warp and the weft!  That's my kind of weaving!!  This will make a nice size shawl and I should be done with the weaving this weekend......all I will need to add is a fringe. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It seems like forever!

Thank you to my friend Norma for reminding me to come out and play! :)
School is underway and I am EXHAUSTED!  Every year we start from scratch and run non stop until June.  It's a crazy cycle that makes me wish we had year round school!

I have been busy dyeing today to try and restock my shop.  In the down time between rinsing fleece, I decided to spin up a bump of Merino/Alpaca that I purchased from Andrea of Wonder Why Alpacas.  I love how this blend is spinning up! 
I added 2 more fiber toys to my arsenal over the past few weeks. :) I guess I'm not too tired to continue to stimulate the economy! ;)
The first is another wheel.  I bought an Ashford Country Spinner- this wheel is PERFECT for creating those chunky art yarns, and is so much fun to core spin on!!  The next toy is a beautiful new 5' tri-loom.  I have everything I need to start a shawl....but I am scared to death!  I think I need to take the plunge and get on with it. More later...on to pull in all the fiber I dyed today!  Here's a peek of some.....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The fun had to end.....

Ah well, I knew it couldn't last.......
I knew it would be sad......
My summer is officially over, back to work for me tomorrow! ;)
I actually am very excited and look forward to seeing co-workers and those wonderful kiddos!
I can honestly say this has been one of the most relaxing summers I have had in all the years I have taught.
I have spent my summer learning and doing the things that I love. I have recharged myself and am ready to put this energy into my students.
Well I am off to enjoy my last day- guaranteed to be full of fiber fun!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shetland Fiber Study

For the month of July, I (and fellow Ralvelers) took a look at Shetland fiber.  The focus for the group was to explore spinning Shetland fleece.

A little while ago I mentioned a new book called The Fleece and Fiber Source Book.  The book is amazing and has almost everything you would want to know about fiber.  The part that was missing for me was the felting part.  So I figured since I was spinning it, I could also felt it and then I would have knowledge of another fiber that I could possibly use for projects.  Yes, I know that information is already out there on the internet somewhere, but I like to see and feel it for myself. :)

The fiber I used was most definitely double coated.  The wool was coarse to the touch and this would not be my first choice for spinning, but I would use this for felting if I needed a sturdy finished product.  It wet felted easily and with 3 fine layers gave me a nice sturdy piece of felt.  I would love to make a bag using this wool as I think it would be sturdy and resist pilling.  I'm still working on finishing the spinning and then I will ply the yarn, was, and then determine how I feel about using it for a crochet or knit project.  Right now for felting, I give it a thumbs up.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Mail Day!!

Oh wow did I get a treat in the mail today!!
I ordered some raw merino and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!  As soon as I opened the bag I was amazed at how well skirted it was! 

Hello!  Do you see that crimp?!?  I am love, yes I said LOVE with this fleece! :)  It washed up like a dream and is now sunbathing in the fabulous Florida sun!!
( I'm glad no one was home to see me sniffing it!) ;)
 Soon it will be added to some super soft and lovely batts to go in the shop, and of course I will hoard save some for me to spin up. :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Still plugging away...

I am almost finished with my June Phat Fiber Superbox spinning.  I won this box in June for purchases I made from contributors to the June Phat Fiber box.  This box had fiber and yarn samples, some full size batts, a project bag, full size yarn, a spindle, and patterns in it.  It was like a huge fiber explosion!  I was thrilled to win it, because I NEVER win anything.  I took all of the yarn samples, ran it through my winder and now have a huge ball of cool looking yarns.  I started crocheting already...we will see what I end up with. :)  I decided to spin the fiber and filled up one, two, and am now working on my 3rd jumbo bobbin!  I am loving the chance to spin every kind of fiber that you could think of!!  So far my favorite to spin was the cotswold!  It's such a sturdy fiber!!
Here is a picture of skein 1 and skein 2, still working on 3!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bolly Batt ingredient sneak peek

Merino is here!

Yeah!  It seems I have been waiting FOREVER for my merino to come in for the shop...but Friday it arrived- lots and lots of it. So, on to the dyeing! Any special colors you would like to see?

I am almost done bagging up my PHAT samples for the Bollywood theme.  I am in love with them!  My favorite so far- maybe because of all the bright colors!  I decided to do them up as Bolly "wool" Bags.  For the full size bags, they weigh in over 3 ounces.  I pulled off approx. 1 yard sections of roving in orange, green, deep blue, pink/purple (merino and Falkland Island wool) added a nice bit of bright yellow firestar, curly yearling mohair locks in a bright turquoise, sari silk, black angelina, a nice fluffy pink sparkly batt and finally a few yards of ladder ribbon done in warm jewel tones.  I will have the full size bags in the shop after the 12th.  I also will be providing the Phat Fiber Blog with a full size bag as a giveaway.  You can spin/felt from the bag, or you can card it up into a super colorful "Bolly Batt"!

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's done!

All I can say is WOW!!!  Height 14 inches......
She is so proud of it!  

First woven scarf

A couple weeks ago I spun up some alpaca that was dyed by my friend Kim.  I decided to use this handspun on my first handspun weaving project.  I used a store bought warp, and used my handspun for the weft.  I learned tons doing this first scarf.  Next time, I will warp with larger spaces so that the bumpy lumpy parts of the handspun are not hidden.  Also, I will make sure if I am doing color changes that I actually keep track of how many rows were woven with each color.  But all in all, I am pretty happy with my first scarf!  And warping was not as scary as I thought it would be!

Needle felting on a grand scale

My DD has been busy again!  She recently sketched out a Suess like character in her sketch book and informed me that she wanted to make a HUGE needle felted likeness of her sketch.  I of course was excited to share all of my dyed wool to help her create this project.  She is still working on this, but of course I HAD to start taking pictures.....
The orange body is the size of a basket's huge.  The little green fluff is part of the tail.  She is going to work on contouring the body after she finishes covering it in the orange wool.  It has been so awesome seeing the progress on this project.  Okay enough gushing from the mom...:)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bollywood as an inspiration

Loving the colors and different fibers that I have been dyeing today.  You cannot help but be in a good mood after looking at all of the fabulous colors coming out of the dye pots.  Still have another 1lb of merino to work on and then hopefully will get some of the firestar finished.  It's easy because felting is not a concern.

Back from vacation

It's always nice to be home.  On the fiber front, I am in the process of dyeing fibers for the August Phat Fiber box.  The theme is Bollywood.  I am finishing my dyeing today with yearling mohair locks.  They are soooooo soft!!!

Our vacation took us to the woods for ziplining and then to the beach for lazing around.  The ziplining was amazing and my DD (15 yo) had a blast.  And the beach was wonderful too.  I think we are spoiled here in Florida and probably take the beach for granted.....
Here is a video clip of me zipping the last part over 700 ft. of water.  We started high up above the trees.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

TDF day 12......and other wool stuff

I have not spun on all of the days, I have to spread the love between all of my obsessions hobbies.  Yesterday I did spin more corespun. for my DD's hat.  I also dyed some more fiber- some for the shop, more for just some projects I have in mind.  I also felted a small pouch.  I have a workshop in August that I am teaching and needed to do some sampling with the wool I want to use.  I'm glad I did because it did not shrink as much as I anticipated-so I adjusted the template size.  Today will include dyeing more wool- and getting ready for our upcoming camping trip. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tour de Fleece 2011

Well I accomplished all of my goals for the day.  Tomorrow I will work with the Suri Alpaca fiber.  I will spin some that I have processed into roving and I will spin some that has been finger fluffed.  It will be interesting to see the different textures that I can get.

I also have a goal of learning the techniques in the DVD Sit and Spin by Jacey Boggs. 
Tonight I worked on thick and think yarn.  After spending all of my time trying to make my spinning thin, I now get to make big fat puffs! :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

It was only a matter of time.... ;)

I have a new fur baby.  Yesterday my youngest and I headed out on a road trip about 3 hours North.  I have been looking for an angora breed for a few weeks, but every time I think I have found one, they are all sold out.  Yesterday morning I stumbled across an add for a French Angora.  When I contacted the breeder, she informed me they were gone :(  But she told me she had 3 Giant Angora's that she was selling for a friend who had to move.  She sent me pictures, and I did some research- found out they are perfect for spinners, next I decided I need to see how BIG these GIANTS would get- so we went on a trip.  Now mind you, my husband could not believe I was willing to drive 3 hours one way to go see a bunny (sometimes men just don't get it....)

Anywho....of course one of the females came home with us.  Oh lordy she is going to be a BIG spoiled baby!  Even Morgan our shepard mix is in love with her.  She actually wanted to stay out next to the hutch all night.  Crazy dog!

Now we just need to name her....always the hardest part for me!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

oooh look how shiny!

Yesterday I decided to process some of the mohair that I purchased from Southern Mystic, a fellow Phatty for the Phat Fiber Box, on Etsy.  After washing in some Dawn detergent, I started up 2 different dye pots. After mixing and adding colors, layering the colors as the fiber started absorbing the previous colors, this is what I ended up with.  It took longer to dry because it got caught out in a summer rain storm yesterday. But today has been super clear and sunny, and the fiber is warm, soft, and super fluffy.  Might me time for a fiber nap...  I'm not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but this stuff is so shiny!  I thought I would only use it for felting, but I think I have changed my mind. I had to go back and order more today.  I also ordered her Sci-fi spin along, I got a sample in my Phat Sampler box and I was hooked! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Core spun on wire

This is getting out of control.......but it's so much fun!  Spinning on wire is an experience.  I had to hand feed most of it onto the bobbin.  Next time I might look for a thinner wire.

Speaking of wire, look what my dear blog friend Norma sent me for my birthday!  Thank you once again Norma!  I love her!

Getting Ready....

My Suri fiber is dyed, and now in the process of becoming roving from my drum carder.  I have fiber everywhere!  It's going to take me FOREVER to clean all of the extra fluff off of my carder :)  I am going to card each color individually, and then spin.  I am saving my oranges to spin un carded and just fluffed.  I am gearing up for the Tour de Fleece.  And all of this alpaca fiber I have been hoarding is going to be spun.  I have Huacaya in  rose gray ( about 10 ounces or so), chocolate brown, white, a really pretty lighter brown color, and a beautiful gray.  I think I will be busy enough! In the pile of fiber in the picture, the green is the Suri I have already made into roving,  The rest is fiber that I have processed over the past couple of months.
I think I am crazy, but holy moley it's reaching intervention levels around here with all of the fiber, and I don't even own an Alpaca!!!

My team is Wonder Why Alpaca- Team of Wonder.  :)  Thanks Andrea for letting me join!  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My First Corespun

I decided to take some time yesterday to play with some new techniques I have been practicing on my wheel. So far my favorite is core spinning. I REALLY want to try weaving with some of this yarn. I used some domestic wool that I dyed in pink, turquoise, and a soft almost mint green. I made a fluffy batt and threw in some angelina and crystal metallic fibers. At first I was freaked out at how over spun my core was becoming but I kept plugging away. After I filled my bobbin, I decided to ply it with a hot pink. I LOVE it!! And what makes it so fabulous is it is almost perfectly balanced.......only a slight 1/2 twist at the bottom when I hung the skein!!!!
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

I think I will take a break from dyeing!!!

I have been having a blast dyeing wool.  Now I need to get busy doing something with it.  I started making some flowers today.  I have also been practicing my spinning.

I found a really simple crochet pattern for a cowl that I really liked on  I found a wool blend in my stash of store bought yarn to try it out with.  I am going to try it with a finer yarn and see what I end up with.  I love small projects, that still look nice!

The Ultimate Reference Book!!!

I am a book lover.  I especially love reference type books.  I have found the ULTIMATE reference book for fiber lovers.  Well at least I think so...... :)

It is called, The Fleece & Fiber SourceBook, I am not even through the first chapter and I am in deep like of this book!!!  In short, this book gives detailed information for more than 200 animal fibers.  The book is written for the person who uses these fibers to spin, dye, weave, and create with. 

Check it out, I think you will be happy that you did!