There is always something new going on. I have been sending out applications to try and get a full-time job, last week I dyed a cotton as well as a bamboo warp and weft with the Enchanted Mountains Weaver’s Guild (which was a ton of fun), and yesterday I had to put down my cat one month shy of 21 years old.
Despite being a long haired cat my Dad, who was extremely allergic to cats, just adored her. He would sit on his chair in the living room and tap the arm with her brush, Precious would leap on his lap and start purring like a motorboat. When he passed she was beside herself, didn’t know what to do. After a while she realized he wasn’t coming back, but she had mom at home to dote on her all the time. For the past few years Mom and I suspected that she was going a bit senile, in addition to her progressive kidney failure and the heart problems we found out about spring of 2018. The vet tech said that if we started giving her medicine for the heart troubles she might live to see 20. We decided against the medication and Precious lived almost a year past expectations. I am lucky that I had her when Mom passed in October of 2018, however for the past three months she has been getting progressively worse. Between missing the litterbox, yowling half the night, and just lately not eating as much as usual, it was time to let her go. Now I get to spend the weekend trying to clean up all of the stuff she left behind and figuring out if I can salvage the bathroom or if I am going to have to invest in getting it completely retiled in the future. I’m not mad about any of it, I appreciate the time I had with her and I am sorry that I had to let her go.
I have done some spinning for Tour de Fleece, however not nearly as much as I would have liked. There have been opportunities for me to work on different crafts, just today I am receiving supplies to see if resin casting is something that I can reasonably do at the public library I work for. One of the trees, a choke berry tree I believe, had to be cut down outside our library. The director was very opposed to this action, however we needed a new storage shed. The maintenance person managed to salvage several of the berries and now I have the opportunity to play with resin as well as creating a keepsake for my Director. Win-Win!
I have made considerable progress on my Furls Crochet Coffee Cup Sweater, right now I am working on the body and hope to start the sleeves mid august. The only problem I have with it is, I will need to either wear something underneath or the yarn had best full quite a bit and close up some of the gaps. I knew that this was a possibility when I saw that I would be using double crochets for part of it. This might give me opportunity to bust out my t-shirt collection to wear as a layer underneath. I Have started knitting my third quarter poncho pattern from Jimmy Beans Wool and look forward to seeing the finished product.
I guess I have been busier than I thought. I will either be starting back up at the University Library I work at or be starting a new job. If the former I will have more time to blog, if the latter it might be a little while until I get into a rhythm again. If I obtain a new job I will post notification of a hiatus.
Until next time, remember to live life A Little More Abstract.
When it comes right down to brass tacks I tend to be a bargain hound, I find it very hard to resist a good deal. This, of course, gets me into a bit of trouble, but who needs groceries some weeks when I’ve got yarn? It isn’t quite as bad as that, but I do stock on freezer meals when they are on sale so I don’t have to worry about getting something for dinner some days. Part of that is the fact that between my 3 jobs I work 6 days a week therefore cooking is a luxury not an every day thing. Enough of my digressions, the point of this is that I subscribe to a lot of different crafting sites mailing lists so that I can take advantage of bargains when I come across them. Some are well worth my time, some I can do without. My weaknesses come in the form of under $10 bargains, especially those touted as half-off.
If something is under $10 and I can use it, I will probably pick it up. With under $20 I tend to take some time to think about it, will I actually use it, do I have enough of this already, etc. then I buy it or not. Anything over $20 has to be something that I have been thinking about/craving for at least 2 weeks before I even consider it. This causes me some problems with the independent knitting patterns for sale on Ravelry. I know that it took you quite some time to come up with your pattern and you are trying to make a living off of it, but at $7.50 it is a bit expensive for me, especially if it is novelty and not like a sock or a sweater. This brings me to the new quagmire I have gotten myself into, Happily Hooked, a digital magazine I subscribe to, is having a 26 week course called the Stitch Mastery Program starting tomorrow, and guess what? It was under $10.
This course, for non members, is $20. It comes with 26 weeks of learning a new stitch every week complete with videos and 2 projects for each stitch. So my bargain hound soul is singing with the idea of 52 projects in 26 stitches, and six months of learning for $1O. Those of you thinking about the hooks, yarn, etc. I have a ton of that from Mom.
While I did not need another project/set of projects, I am very happy to be learning yet another new skill. I think that 2019 is going to be a year of learning. When I get working on the projects I will let you know more.
As you can see I am still working on samples for my cup cozy classes as well as working on my latch hook tutorial. I admit I am having a blast with these crafts. I think that I might finally have something of a handle on wet felting, and crochet has always been a passion of mine. I am really looking forward to teaching the Latch Hook class, it is over a couple of class periods so I think that the patrons will have a chance to make some real progress on this.
I am still prepping for Spinzilla, I hope to have a progress picture on that in the near future. Time just flies when you are having fun. I also know that some of you might be directed from either pinterest or my instagram account, if so, Welcome! I am currently experimenting with Hootsuite to coordinate my blog and social media accounts, please forgive any glitches along the way.
I thought about not adding in the ‘service announcement’ portion of this post, but politicizing crafting irritates me to no end. *I am boycotting Jo-Ann Fabrics. They sent me an e-mail asking me to oppose the tariff because it would increase the cost of their supplies thereby increasing the cost of my ‘American Made’ crafts. Shinybees podcast just recently mentioned something about that, how a yarn slaps the label on in Britain and calls itself a British Yarn. Jo-Ann Fabrics buys most of its supplies inexpensively overseas, marks it up horribly so that they can put out their ‘40% off’ coupons all the time, and then sells it to crafters that then create something from those supplies. If I oppose the tariff it would be for reasons other than to keep Jo-Anns making a fortune off of marking up foreign goods. If I were to support the tariff I might say that marking up foreign goods may give some domestic products a chance to flourish, but I do not know enough about economics to make an educated guess.* End Service announcement.
I am currently getting ready for a class that I will be teaching in October on Latch Hooking. Over the past couple of years of teaching crafting classes my students have mentioned that I am willing to work on just about any craft. That is true, I love crafting and I adore that I can figure out just about any craft there is. I’m not always good at them, and sometimes I get bored, but I can usually figure them out. Latch Hooking is a very simple craft, take a small length of yarn use a tool to form a larks head knot over a piece of canvas and repeat ad Infinium until you are done with the yarn, and pattern. I will create a tutorial with step by step instructions and be done with it until the class in October.
More interesting I just received permission to do a Book Binding series of craft classes for NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month in November which is also National Family Stories Month. The act of binding a book is really three acts that are rolled into one. First the Cover must be created, then the pages to go inside the cover and finally the entire thing must be assembled. Since there is considerable amounts of glue involved in the process these three steps need time to dry in between. A week should do it. So there will be three separate classes on book binding.
Among all of this I did manage to get some spinning done, Moon Rock Farm of Western New York has a sheep named Elvira. I obtained about 8 ounces of Elvira, the wool spins like a dream, and managed to spin over 148 yards of a 3 ply yarn. The yarn is 10 wraps per inch, so the yarn is considered a worsted weight yarn.
So I will leave you with a picture of a full bobbin and wishes for Happy Crafting!
This has been a very exciting week. Let me start with the parts not mentioned in the title of this post:
- My copy of “51 Yarns to Spin Before you Cast Off” By Jacey Boggs Faulkner has arrived, and I have submitted my ‘Default Yarn’ for her competition. So far I adore this book, although I’m only about 20 pages in. I plan on reading more today, and writing a review as soon as I can. For my submission on Ravelry I used my current favorite skein from the Paradise Fibers Olympic Spin, and mentioned that I am more likely to crochet than spin. Jacey Boggs Faulkner asked if I’d share what I crochet, *squee* so now I’m working like mad to crochet up a shawl using that yarn. I’m loving how the shawl is turning out and really hope it will be done for Maryland.
- I added a listing of my spindles owned/desired to my leather notebook I’m taking with me for MS&WF, trying to think of what else to put in there.
- Ordered & received little presents for my Aunts who are hosting and hauling me for MS&WF.
- Will finish ordering tickets for all three of us to get into the festival Friday.
- My first guild meeting of the year we are going to start a lace project, it should be a ton of fun.
Okay, on to the titular subjects.
For my first dyeing class of the year I created samples. Part of what I hope to get across to the students is that the dyeing is only the beginning of their fiber journey, it changes so very drastically from step to step that you cannot even begin to predict where your fiber will end up. Not to mention that since it really is just wool, spinning is not the only place that your fiber can end up. wet felting, needle felting, or just using it as an applique. They are all viable choices, but if you want to spin it, the results can be very different that your starting dyed fiber. I know, that was almost like a mini class, lol. I dyed up some samples and carded half of each color into rolags. This shows how very different the carded rolag is from the original dyed fiber. Then for one of the colorways, the pink at the top of the post, I spun one of the rolags into a mini skein of yarn. I don’t have a photo of the mini skein yet, but it again shows how different the fiber is. I am really looking forward to this first class!
Now the other half of my title, Akerworks Bobbin. I received my collapsible Akerworks Woolee Winder compatible bulky bobbin for my Schacht Ladybug. I absolutely adore it. My minor, well for most people it would be minor but it was driving me insane, problem with the WooleeWinder bobbins was the rattle. To be entirely fair and honest it wasn’t really a bad rattle, it didn’t shake the teeth out of your head or anything, it was just this noise while I was spinning. Since I love the convenience of not having to stop to change hooks all the time and still wind up with a nice even bobbin, I thought I would just have to deal with the noise. Not so! I still use Lithium Grease on my shaft and orifice, but the rattle is just about gone. I have a squeak that I think is due to either uneven foot height on my wheel or a loose screw at the back that I need to work on, but that tiny sound is not a problem at all. The bobbin fills up evenly, it spins beautifully, I can see the fiber between the spokes when the bobbin is filled up more which is just pretty, they hold a ton of yarn, and there is no annoying rattling sound. I honestly think I’m going to pick up at least 2-3 more of these bobbins once they are officially on sale. (Probably 3 if a 3-ply is going to be my new default spin I’ll need something to ply onto).
That’s it for this past week, so much more to come next week! Happy Crafting!
As you can probably tell, two pouches of the strawberry-kiwi kool-aid did not do much for an 8″ round pan of soaked wool. It only saturated a few places on the wool, I expected it to go much further. I plan on seeing if this much color will adhere to the fiber without heat before either using more Kool-Aid or rinsing out the other pan of wool. It does not show as clearly in this picture as it does in person, but this is actually a very pale green color. While it shows up as a striking contrast in this picture it barely shows in person.
The blue raspberry kool-aid on the other hand shows up as an amazingly vibrant blue, in the few places that the two pouches covered. This is an example of trying to keep what color I did manage. I am more willing to lose the little bit of green than I am this pretty blue shade.
It has been a couple of days and I am still chickening out on rinsing these out, tomorrow I will have to bite the bullet and see if the green has remained. Wish me luck, I’ll post an update then.
I cannot believe that my Spring and Summer Classes are only about a month away! I am still running a few experiments on how to dye my fiber to the best advantage and teach at the same time. It occurred to me this morning I can look at St. Vincent De Paul’s to see if they have any cheap crock-pots, I’m hoping for under $5 and 6 crocks. If not, well I have enough pans for the pan dyeing and can use my stockpots for the pot dyeing. If I manage to get what I want then I can do the pot dyeing right in the room, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope.
As for what I am doing for my own crafting, I have my loom over half warped so I hope to be threading the heddles sometime in the next week or so. I have a guild meeting this Friday, so I have to pay my dues and sign up for the lace weaving project. Then purchase supplies for the lace weaving project, lol. My spinning is going well, right now I have spun a sample of the Perendale that I bought from Camaj Fiber Arts. It was a bit rough spinning, the unfinished sample was a very sturdy and shiny yarn. I have a 45 yard skein washed and drying. It will be very interesting to see how it looks when knitted and crocheted. I almost plied it as a 3 ply, but decided to be more consistent with my sampling. I have also spun up my sample of “The Oncoming Storm” given to me by Hipstrings when I bought my spindle and their Dr. Who Merino Pack. I really like how the yarn turned out it is about 15 yards of a 3 ply yarn that is currently washed and drying. I cannot wait to see how that will turn out! On a slightly different note, while most of my samples are spun up on my Schacht Ladybug with my Bulky Woolee Winder I have decided to give spinning some of the ‘Vegan’ Fibers, bought from Camaj Fiber Arts a year ago, a try on the drop spindles I have for my students. Right now I have some TriLobal Nylon on my spindle and I cannot wait to finish this sample and ply it, it is so thin and sparkly.
On a related, but slightly different note, the Akerworks Company has decided to create a bobbin for the Bulky Flyer WooleeWinder for the Schacht Brand wheels and they are looking for test spinners. I have put my hat in the ring, and I have my fingers crossed. At heart I am a bargain hound, so I have been coveting some of the items from Akerworks, in addition to a couple more bobbins for my WooleeWinder. Whichever one has a good deal first is where I am probably going to put my money. Admittedly, if I get a couple grand and already have my 16 shaft loom, then I will probably get the electric wheel from WooleeWinder. Oh well, so many more crafts to play with before I worry about that. Besides, I have an electric eel wheel on the way from the kickstarter! Admittedly, I think I was 500 or 700 in line so it will be a little while but he did send out an update that the first 100 were being assembled and ready to go out in a week or so! Very exciting!