Rebecca Mezoff’s Class

Stash Blaster Loom.jpg

I enrolled in Rebecca Mezoff’s Little Looms course, and then had to obtain a little loom to take advantage of the course, lol.  I tried to order a Hokett Loom from Woolery but ran into stock problems, one 10 day wait I can handle but when the items from the first wait came in they were sold out of something else in my order and wanted me to wait another 10  days!  That wasn’t going to work for me so I cancelled the entire order and picked up a Stash Blaster from another source.

I decided to warp this with some soft cotton twine I had lying around to see what it would do, unfortunately with the yarn I decided to use the results are closer to a balanced weave than a tapestry weave.  Oh well, it is really pretty and a good first try so I will finish my mug rug and try for a tapestry next time.

Happy Crafting!

Shuttle Bobbins? What?

I was watching “Get More Spun: Part 1” by Abby Franquemont on video subscription service when Abby mentioned storing singles on several bobbins to ply from later.  She stated that storing singles on several different bobbins and mixing them up before plying will help to even out some uneven spinning.  I saw the bobbins she was storing them on and it clicked, those are shuttle bobbins not spinning wheel bobbins!  I will admit to still having some apprehension about how many joins might be needed for these yarns, but my excitement is far outweighing any misgivings.

This did bring about another potential sticking point, I do not have a bobbin winder.  I picked up an attachment for my cordless drill but between my underpowered drill and my inability to get the bobbin far enough down the shaft so that I feel comfortable putting pressure to wind a nice tight yarn onto the bobbin, my winder is not going to cut it.  I looked at bobbin winders, over $100 each!  Fiber tools are so very expensive, and often for something that can only be used for a single purpose.  As Alton Brown would say, “Unitaskers!”

I sighed, pouted, and decided to see if any of the sites online (Ebay, facebook fiber tools groups, etc) had a bobbin winder that I could get at a price I was willing to pay.  In my travels I looked at the charkha a tool used for spinning cotton that Ghandi popularized in India to help free his people (it really is a fascinating subject that I intend to dedicate at least one post to in the near future).  The Ashford version looked sort of like an amped up bobbin winder, but at almost $400 it would be an even sillier investment than the Unitasker!.  However, there was another option a Babe Linten Spindel Charkha Wheel. At $150 it is not less expensive than buying a bobbin winder, and it could be argued I could get a book Charkha and a bobbin winder for about the same price, I am very happy with my purchases.

Babe’s Fiber Garden was amazing at helping me figure out if using their wheel as a bobbin winder would be a reality or not.  They even offered to send me some bands that are used for animal castration thinking that these will be a good size to keep my bobbins on their spindle.  I really look forward to playing with my new Mulit-Tasker as soon as it gets here!  I have some cotton left over from last year when the Cotton Clouds kit was on clearance from Woolery, but this playing might have to wait until Spinzilla is over!

I may even get time over the next year to tell Babe’s Fiber Garden that their new Garden loom looks like it would be good for Sprang!

Happy Crafting!

Dying to get started

These are the results of my Kool-Aid experiment.  They were created from the wool I had received with my Schacht Wheel (I’m not really sure what it is).  A very pretty wool that did not felt on me when I tried this!  I put 3 Kool-Aid lemonaid packets into a plastic shoe box with about 2-4 oz of wool (I do not have a kitchen scale so it is all estimated).  I then poured enough water to cover the wool and added about 10 drops of food coloring.  The resulting fiber was the fire orange color.  After letting it set for about 30 minutes I took it out and began to rinse the fiber.  A lot of the dye started to come out of the fiber as I was rinsing.  Since I feared losing the beautiful color I decided to use some vinegar to soak the fiber and retain the color, after a 15 minute soak and a thorough rinsing the color remained and the fiber didn’t even have a vinegar stink.

There was a lot of dye left in the water so I decided to throw more fiber into it, again somewhere between 2-4 oz of wool, and another packet of lemonaid kool-aid to help things set.  It soaked for about 30 minutes and when rinsed created the beautiful yellow that can be found in both skeins.

I think that kool-aid (helped along with some food coloring if needed) is a great introductory method to dying.  I look forward to more experiments in the future, but some fiber is calling my name to be spun!

Happy Crafting!

Pencil Roving on a Spinning Wheel


I had purchased some pencil roving in white and grey/black from Woolery.  This was a great medium to begin my spinning with.  Most articles that you read and YouTube videos that you watch, Craft Daily videos, etc, will recommend that you begin by getting a feel for your wheel and just treadling for a while to see how little effort it can take to get your wheel going and keep it going.  This is great advice, that I did not take.  After assembling my wheel  I dove right in.  I had this pencil roving sitting around from a previous attempt at a project.  It is, to be frank, outerwear roving.  Now that it is spun up and in a 3 ply I will have to figure out a project that I can use it for.  Since it is so rough I would rather not make it into a scarf, but I might try weaving with it to see if I can make some kind of warm outer shawl with it.    I really enjoyed working with this roving and my new wheel.  It is truly amazing how little effort it takes to keep the wheel spinning and how little twist needs to be put into this roving to keep it together.  This is unwashed, there was a third skein but it was my first time using my new Lazy Kate and I didn’t do a very good job keeping the strands separate.  There are pigtails everywhere, even a couple of big globs of pigtails.  If you never do anything wrong, then you are never doing anything!

Happy Spinning (the other skein might make it into a blooper reel I am not sure yet).

Big News

My new Spinning Wheel a Schacht Ladybug, and the fiber I’ve managed to turn into singles already.  With my tax refund I managed to order this Ladybug.  It was so simple to put together I was through almost before I had started.  I took it for a brief test run last night, going against everything that we are told to do and starting with some fiber to spin with.  It worked like a dream.  I need a different chair so I can sit comfortably while I spin, and I probably need something to act as a dropcloth but those are just details.

I have some exciting news on the weaving front as well.  A friend of mine, a non-traditional student that goes to the community college I work at, is going to be moving out of state and she has a couple of looms she wants to get rid of.  She gifted me with my first rigid heddle loom earlier this week, the heddle is missing a few bits but I think it is a Beka 24″ heddle so I can order a replacement.  I am thinking about trying to warp it up and play with it, but I do not think I can tear myself away from my wheel for any length of time in the near future, except for laundry…I have to do laundry tonight!

Happy Crafting, more on the spinning and weaving front to come!

Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags

For Christmas, and at just $10 each they are a steal, I was given a 3 month subscription to Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags.  I have since then received my December and January Bags, both of which were an absolute delight.  While there are instructions for a suggested project included, I have been using my Schacht Zoom Loom, purchased from Woolery, to create amazing squares.  Those squares will eventually become a piece of either clothing or a scarf, I’m still working on figuring them out.  Each bag, and it really is a woven cotton bag with a zipper, also comes with Soak samples to wash your projects and an accessory.  In the December bag we were given a pom-pom maker and in January a wooden shawl closure.

Inkle Loom Weaving

Inkle Loom and First efforts

Since we spoke last, I purchased an Ashford Inklette loom from Woolery.  I found the service to be excellent and I adore the product I received.  You can see my progression of weaving from right to left, the right being my first efforts.  It looks good in the photo, but I had way too much weft showing and the weave wound up very loose and large compared to what inkle weaving is ‘supposed’ to look like.  After that my second effort started the same way but I got the hang of it by the end of that piece.  I’ve been having a ton of fun with the different lengths and widths I can get with this loom.  If you want to get into weaving I really suggest starting with the Inkle loom!