For Black Friday weekend I decided to obtain a few things that I have been looking at for years. One of them was the Blue Butterfly Originals 2″X6″ Pin Loom. I am a librarian and had always wondered about making my own bookmarks. I was not certain what type of yarn I would like to use with it so I started with a couple of bits of yarn that I had spun. According to the directions, which I skimmed over, you can use any yarn up to a bulky yarn. Within two days I had worked out that each bookmarks takes about 4 yards of yarn. 27 bookmarks later, IN TWO DAYS, I am still going strong. If any of my relatives actually read this blog, you are probably going to get a bookmark. One of my relatives is turning her old doll house into a car house for her two sons, and race car driving husband I am sure, so I think that these would make great little blankets or rugs for the cars.
I have ten more balls of yarn measuring 4 yards each wound up and ready to be woven, alas I actually have to work today. Since each of the bookmarks seems to take around 10-15 minutes to create I anticipate needing more yarn wound tomorrow morning. At first this loom seemed a bit expensive, with shipping it wound up being around $29 (Which is why I took so long to buy it), but since in two days I have woven over 20 of the bookmarks, using smaller amounts of yarn that I wasn’t sure what project I made them for, I think that this is well worth it. I think that this would be something that I would certainly consider adding to a craft show, though in order to justify the yardage of the yarn they would probably be about $3 each. I might make it $5 each or 3/$12. As the year winds down I am trying to figure out where I want things to go from here.
Right now I am balancing my books with some of the insurance money, and since my work is seasonal and two of my jobs have almost a month long break, January will be supplemented as well. In February I am going to start seeing if I can live off of my three jobs and what changes I need to make to my current situation. Starting in March I will be calling the Handyman that Mom and I have been hiring and seeing what he wants to put siding on the house and fix up the external garage. Those will be my two major home improvements for the year, and hopefully for longer than that. I do have someone currently working on getting rid of the mice in the house, I have high hopes for that situation.
That is what my life looks like now, though I think I’m going to give up on the food boxes, I do not think that they worked out how I wanted them to. I do not like sour flavors and everything seemed to have lemon juice or vinegar in them. I will see about using my instant pot to explore some other cultures with flavors I know I have a chance of liking.
The bobbins are cleared and ready to spin, my wheel is tuned and ready to roll. I have more fiber than I should be able to use, from yak silk to an amazing roving from a local herd. I actually plan on starting with the fleece from Ellen’s flock since I have a spin in event tomorrow.
If I decide I am bored spinning normally then I have a sari silk tweed batt and a couple of Art Batts to spin.
Then all of the rolags I have been preparing throughout September, but I already posted those. Spinzilla begins 1am EST October 1, 2018. If I am honest, I hope that I am not awake for that, but I do think I will try and wake up one hour earlier than planned to get some spinning done. Sometimes life stinks but you need to get up and find joy in something.
For the August Fiber of the Month Club we were sent some beautiful fibers and Nepps to work with. If you do not know, nepps are ususally bits of fiber that were caught in the teeth of the drum carder and became little wool balls. Sometimes these are the weak tips, or if the fleece was too fine for the kind of carder you have it will result in nepps. In this case it looks as though it were little felted wool balls dyed to go with this box. They are a really pretty rainbow of colors and I was sort of excited to get them. I sorted them out by color and used some of the little bits and some Perendale Wool I had to create little rolags to spin woolen for a fine, light, colorful yarn.
Nepps went everywhere. I had not used a large amount to begin with, but what I did have went everywhere leaving few in the yarn.
I was undaunted, okay, I was a little daunted. However I decided to persevere. I used my drum carder and some Corriedale wool I had. I put down a layer of Corriedale, then some nepps sandwiched under some Wool, and I kept going. This resulted in a very pretty batt.
I then proceeded to spin this into a thicker yarn. The resulting yarn was neat and textured, but there were still a ton of nepps everywhere. When I plied even more nepps flew off, and when I washed the resulting skein even more nepps wound up flying everywhere. I sort of like how the skein turned out, but I really want to be able to spin a finer yarn with the nepps (I will probably never do anything with the bulky yarn).
I look forward to continuing this journey and seeing where I am taken. I will keep you posted as I learn more about how to use nepps in spinning. Until then, Happy Crafting!
I cannot believe that it is week 7 already! I did a really neat lockspun yarn from some Mohair locks I obtained off of facebook and the faux angora that I received from the Paradise Fibers April box. I spun this on my Ladybug with a short forward draw, I did not plan on this for my faux angora but I really like how it turned out. I cannot wait to see how it knits up.
This is my first lockspun yarn, I wound up splitting the fiber while I spun the singles to add in the locks. Then I wound the yarn onto weaving bobbins to even everything out. I wound up having two weaving bobbins of the lockspun singles, part of that is simply how bulky the lockspun singles are. I then wound off the rest of the faux angora onto four other bobbins. I decided to make this into a three ply yarn, I am not sure of the yardage since my Niddy Noddy was in the cellar and I wasn’t going down there last night.
Ply Magazine, to celebrate their first book, is going to be hosting a Year-Long Spin-Along. 51 Weeks of chances to win a year-long subscription to their magazine. Being honest with myself, I cannot express how very happy I am that I pre-ordered this book before I even knew about the contest. Now I get to participate, you can without purchase, follow along, and I saved $4 off of the cover price, lol. This brings my thrifty heart a great deal of joy. More importantly than all of that, this will bring 51 weeks of challenges to one extent or another. The first few are easy enough, but I hope I will be able to get to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this year so I can pick up some supplies for a few of the challenges. Spinning a dual coated sheep will be interesting, but I have to find a source for the outer coat, a source for the inner coat, and a source where I can buy both coats mixed together. Likewise with the lock spinning, I can find them, but my thrifty soul has issues with spending $10+ on an ounce of locks (very pretty locks don’t get me wrong) then another $5+ for shipping and handling. If I can get a good price on some pretty locks at the festival then go me. If I cannot get there this year, that is up in the air and I’ll blog when I know, then I’ll have to suck it up and find some good sales.
Had to share the excitement! Happy Crafting!
I purchased some Fluorescent fiber from Blue Barn Fiber and spun it up. I then plied the resulting yarn with a Black Bamboo that I loved spinning. This created a beautiful yarn that fluoresces under black light, I had to buy a little black light to prove this but it really is amazing. Well, I loved the yarn but didn’t know what i was going to do with it. Since I am practicing with my weaving I thought it would be the perfect fiber to practice weaving with. I love how well, and proudly, my yarn stands out from the warp and the simple pattern is just beautiful.
I am really pleased with how this has turned out, and I will probably purchase more of the fluorescent fiber in the future. I am very pleased with how my weaving and spinning are going. I know that I am no where near expert in either craft but I am enjoying myself and learning all the time.
I am having an absolute ton of fun with my facebook fiber find. Admittedly the quality is not quite what I expected, but the colors more than make up for it. I am finding quite a bit of the fiber to be rough and in some cases sticky. The locks pull apart and are a bit course to work with, but I am pressing on!
I turned the locks into a big pile of fluff that I then spun into 2 singles that I then plied! This resulted in a coarse 2 ply yarn, about 64 yards, that I hope to make into a hat at some point, or weave into something!
Once I had the fluff carded out it was a ton of fun to spin the fiber. Look how pretty it is after being washed!
I think that this would make a great hat, or something similar. I would want to be able to show the colors off, but it is not a good fit for a piece intended to be worn next to the skin.