Friday, December 24, 2010

The first warp & scarf!

Since I didn't have to go to work today I stayed up late last night. Here is what I was doing..... The new Harp warped for the very first time! I dug around in my stash & came up with this pretty purple Lara sport weight cotton yarn. I used the Lara to warp my loom with, please excuse me if I'm not using the correct weaving terminology, I'm new at this. he he. I used the direct to loom warping process with my warping peg. It was actually really easy. Kevin did help me when it came time to wind the warp up on the back, he held it tight while I wound. I think I had it ready to go in an hour, I think that's pretty good for the first time. I have an 8" warp, I'm dong a scarf.

 I searched through my stash, I had intentions of using some store bought yarn for my first project. I just couldn't find anything that I wanted to use. I kept going back to my handspun. And I wasn't certain how much yarn I was gonna need for the weft (I think that's what you call it), so I picked out a skein that I had plenty of, this one was over 300 yards. This is some pretty yarn that I spun from one of Beth's (Blue Mountain Handcrafts) batts. Kevin said that my weaving looked a little wonky or uneven, but it's really not, it's the handspun yarn. Some of it's thick & some of it is thin. I think it looks really cool. 
I can see a difference in my weaving already. Where I am at now looks much better than the beginning. I've got to learn to not be afraid of the loom, LOL, I tend to be really "easy" with it. :)  But I'm having lots of fun!
Stay tuned for the finished scarf!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!
Be safe & have fun!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas came early!

I know it's been a while.... sigh. I just can't seem to get everything done that I want to get done this year. I keep running out of dang time. And it's not like I don't stay up till midnight or 1am every night trying either. Here's hoping that I will find all this missed time in 2011, I have big plans for this coming year! :)

In the meantime let me catch you up a little. Christmas has come early to my house!!

First up, I entered a contest on Nichole's blog & won! Woohoo! I received this awesome book from Storey Publishing Co., Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Patterns That Go Way Beyond Socks.

If I hadn't won this book in the contest I would certainly have purchased this one. It's a great book with tons of patterns in it that I will actually knit. Or want to knit, another time issue there, LOL.  Thanks Nichole & Storey Publishing!! I love this book & hopefully I'll have a knitted item from it to show everyone soon. I certainly have plenty of sock yarn in my stash just waiting to me made into something useful.

I also have a few newly spun yarns to show you too, I'll slip those in here before we continue with early Christmas....

More Starr Kitty yarn, made from batts of Starr kitty fur & merino blended on my Fancy Kitty drum carder. This yarn came out MUCH better than the hand blended I did last year. I am hoping to get this knit into a cowl for Beth (Starr's mom) for Christmas, I'm halfway there!

Here is some yarn that I spun from these gorgeous batts from Modern Spin.

Here is the BIG surpise!! Today my boss gave me an awesome bonus. The majority of my other bonuses this year went to pay bills. So this one I decided to spend on myself. :)  Levi is home on leave right now, let me tell you how nice it is to have him around the house for a few days! Even though his room looks like a trash dump once again. Well, while he was making a run back to the base to get more "stuff" (he is bringing all of his things home now before he deploys in January), he stopped by The Tail Spinner & picked up my new Kromski Harp 24" rigid heddle loom!

Isn't she a beauty?!  I can't wait to get some yarn on her. I couldn't tonight, I had 3 chocolate pies to get started. Dang pies, LOL. Maybe tomorrow night I'll get her warped up & ready to go. Keep in mind that I know absolutely nothing about looms or weaving. I've just been reading online about it. We will see what happens.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas & New Year!!!!
Just in case I run out of time & don't get to post again. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Secret Holiday Exchange

I just had to show off my Secret Holiday Exchange package! It was waiting on my porch for me when I got home today. :)  Amy, Bohemia Fibers, put together this fun exchange for the holidays, thanks Amy!!
Darice (DariceMoore on Ravelry) sent me this wonderful package of goodies!! It even had cute little drawings on the package, he he.  There were some prettily wrapped packages inside but I fell earlier & broke something on my camera so those photos didn't turn out. pout.

Darice knit me that gorgeous purple beret, the pattern is Meret by Wooly Wormhead. Totally cute on but you'll have to wait until my hair looks decent before I get a photo of me wearing it. :)  Also included in the package: gummy bears & chocolate (YUM), really cute little bag, pretty & sparkly stitch markers, a large pink jingle bell on a cord, some absolutely silly Santa Flamingo tea candles (seriously! check those funny guys out), a gorgeous purple batt, and some sparkle batts from Modern Spin

Here is a closeup of the pretty beret.

And the pretty batts...

Thank you so much Darice!! I love everything!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blue Mountain Handcrafts is having a Pick Your Poison SAL/KAL/CAL, come on & join us, it'll be fun! You get to pick your fiber, you pick your pattern, & we are giving away prizes! Just click on the Ravelry link above for all the info. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sheep come in purple?

Just a quick fly-by post this evening.... I needle felted another sheepie tonight, and she's purple! :)
I wanted to see how durable one of these would be on a keychain, so she's on mine. We will see what happens.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Love my friends!

Without my friends I would be lost.... the gals that I talk with, share with, laugh with, care about & know that they care about me. Many of you are spread across the country & beyond. And I cherish you just as much as if you lived next door. Thank goodness for the internet, most of you feel as if you are right next door! If only! :) 

So I say thank you to each & every one of you! Sending some big hugs to all!!

And speaking of friends.... Jessi sent me a most awesome late birthday package! I like 'em all, early ones, on time ones & yes even the late ones, pressies are good to get any time! Right? Yep!
Take a look at the lovelies that Jessi sent...

Gorgeous handdyed purple yarn!!!! A cute zippered pouch filled with yummy goodies & a little bitty tin with the cutest purple & lime stitch markers. Thank you soooooooo much Jessi!! I just love it all, & the yarn is just so "me". I don't know what it will be yet, but I know it will be something just for me!

I got another package that included some scrumptious yarn recently too! My friend Kata sent me this lovely green mix handdyed yarn, she dyed it just for me. It's gorgeous Kata!! Thank you sweets! And it was well worth the wait. :)  You know I love ya! Yarn or no yarn.... 

And here is my latest handspun yarn.  Lovely soft Alpaca/Merino from Upstream Alpacas called Rosebud.

I ended up with 223 yards of sport/dk weight, soft & squishy yarn. I tried spinning this roving a little different. I split the roving in half lengthwise. Then took one half & spun it just like that, with very long repeats. The other half I split into smaller & smaller strips so it would have shorter repeats. Then I plied them together. It think it will knit up really interesting. Some of it will be striped & some will be more blended.

So much yarn, so little time....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What it takes to create...

I was curious to see just how much time it takes me to make a set of clay stitch markers, so this time I kept track. And took some photos of the process. I thought it was interesting. And I discovered that I was pretty dang close to my time estimates.

Here we have the creation of Alpaca stitch markers, 7 sets of 4...

Making the parts - 1 hr & 15 min

Next comes the sculpting...

After putting on the final details - 2 hrs & 48 min

My little heard ready to go in the oven!

Out of the oven & ready to finish up. (I didn't include oven time)

7 sets of 4 Alpaca Stitch markers - Glazed, finished & ready for packaging - 1 hr & 13 min

Total time for 7 sets - 5 hrs & 16 min
Total time for 1 set of Alpaca stitch markers - 45 min
(actually just over 45 min, but under 46. close enough)

I think this is a good time estimate for just about all of my markers. There are a few sets that I have that are more time intensive (it's all in the details!), and some that are less time intensive. I think they would all be fairly close though. I could probably make a set of the hot peppers in about 30 min, but the sheep probably take at least an hour for a set.

So.... if anyone was wondering how long it took to make a few clay alpacas, now you do. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Look! It's a Sheep!

Well, I never did get around to showing off my weekend at the fiber festival with Chan. Let's just pretend that I did, I'm just too overwhelmed with things I need to be doing, want to be doing to go back over all that. :)  Anyhoo, while I was at the fiber festival I purchased my very first sheep fleece. Here is a photo of me & Beth who helped me pick out my fleece since I had no idea what I was looking for.

I've started processing a little bit of the fleece now. After washing & combing a little of it, I realized that I will have quite a bit of neppy stuff that I wouldn't want to spin. And I really thought it was such a waste to throw all of that away. So what to do with it? I just can't seem to make myself like the artyarns where nepps are a usual occurrence. So what to do with it? Make needle felted sheep of course!!

I searched online & found Felt Alive Needle Felting Shop, ordered some needles (great needles with cushioned grips) & a foam pad. It arrived today! So without further ado....

My very first needle felted sheep! Made from the neppy wool from my fleece. Not too bad for my first one if I do say so myself. :)

Just look at that cute little fat butt. he he

I also have a couple new listings in my Artfire shop. As well as a SALE! In honor of getting my Artfire shop up & going again, everything in the shop is 10% OFF!!

Here are the two new WPI Gauge Tools.  Alpaca WPI tool...

And a cute Flower WPI tool...

Back to work tomorrow, poo. Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wish List...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Doghouse Yarns & More

Let me show you some photos of my trip to VA. I stayed with my pal Chan, thank you Chan for letting me stay at your home & entertaining me. :)

On Friday I met up with a good friend, Aimee, at Dog House Yarns & More in Culpeper. You can check out Aimee's etsy shop HERE. I got these gorgeous silk hankies from Aimee, she sells similar ones in her etsy shop.

Later that afternoon Chan joined us at Dog House Yarns & More. Aimee & I spent the good part of the afternoon at the shop. Rosanne was the perfect hostess, we had a great time visiting. And I have to say that if you are ever in the area you should stop by the shop. Rosanne has some beautiful stuff there! It was very hard to choose which ones wanted to come home with me. :)

Aimee, Me, Chan & Rosanne

 Here is what I came home with.... lots of gorgeous yarn & fiber goodies! First up is this lovely Plymouth Mushishi yarn. This stuff is sooooo soft & smooshie!
Two yarns from Seacoast Handpainted Yarns.... Raspberries & Spring Flowers. I couldn't decide between the two so got them both. he he

 And Chan got me this cute little project bag!

 And finally I got 8 oz. of this beautiful merino roving from Greenwood Fiberworks.
It was a fun day. I hope to visit Dog House Yarns & More & Rosanne again next year.

Stay tuned for more photos & goodies from the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival!