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Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I finished Joel's socks last night and they look great! Plus now his feet are super warm and he is really enjoying them. And these won't shrink! I didn't even get a picture of the last ones before they got shrunken to toddler-size :(

But! I got a whole pair of mens-size-11 socks out of 200 yards of heavy-worsted-weight yarn. And after working on the Clapotis for a couple of weeks, the socks were super quick!

I also just had a shop update at I like to keep different items listed in my Artfire and Etsy, so check them both out :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

So Far in December

I made a clapotis. I like it very much and I am waiting impatiently for the blocking to dry so that I can wear it! Pictures and such are available at along with a day-to-day description of the project. Now I'm finishing pair 2 of Joel's socks, and after that I'll be working on a pattern called Diagonale with my 1122 yards of handspun cobweb silk. Other projects in the mix include re-backing Joel's quilt, making the rest of the curtains for the house, finishing my quilt top, and spinning the angora I currently have collected off of Bunny FooFoo.

Pictures of the silk:

And the Clapotis, dubbed "Symphony" [the colors appear very similar in the pictures, but this is made from a very different yarn than the silk lace]:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Things I've Been Up To:

-Created the FPGS bags!
-Nylon/sock blend
-He estado practicando espanol [my computer doesn't do the accents and tildes in any manner that is quick or easy. Hooray, laptop.]

So! The Fiber Porn Grab-and-Spin Bags are officially in my store! I put them up on the 26th of October and I've created a couple more colorways since, which haven't been listed yet. I have been bagging samples to send to PhatFiber, which I plan to mail out soon. I also need to mail some yarns to my aunt for an event at which there may be an opportunity for my yarns to sell.

Pictures of dyeing and FPGS bags:

Speaking of dyeing, I dyed this batt which I personally think is SUPER ugly:

Which spun into this very gorgeous yarn:
And this other batt which I haven't spun yet but which looks promising:

Okay, on to quilts! My bestie in the whole wide world made this quilt for me and mailed it to me and it's warm and super awesome!

And here is the quilt I mentioned last post:

It's not done yet, but it's getting super close and I'm excited and it's gorgeous and OOOOH!

I got a bunch of wool off my bunny

and I spun it and I thought it was 1.25 oz but after the air got out of it all it only weighs 0.5 oz. But it's pretty and soft and it's a loooooovely fawn color:

Also new - the Fiber Porn Nylon Sock Blend! at least 25% nylon blended with superwash, hand-carded by me!

I also made it in a light green. More colors to come later, but it's gorgeous and shimmery and I can't wait to see someone make it into socks!

Okay, this was picture-heavy and I don't feel like lots of words. See you all next time!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Order is here!! Plus, FPGS Bags

I got the SSS order this morning and I've already dyed 10 oz of wool. I'm putting together a new product: Fiber Porn Grab-and-Spin (FPGS) bags. They will be very similar to this:

Basically a grab bag of fun stuff for making art yarns. Many of these first bags will have rovings, locks, and glitz, with the potential for other goodies thrown in. As the product develops, who knows what will be mixed in?

Feedback for this idea/for the actual product will be much appreciated. I'll be sending samples in to Jessie at PhatFiber, so hopefully some readers will get a chance to test drive the FPGS bags.

In other news, I'm still hard at work on both my quilt and the curtains for our apartment. I got one set of curtains done and they look very nice. I've had to do some unstitching and some trimming for the quilt but it's progressing nicely. Once I get all these pinwheels done, I'll add borders to the blocks and then piece together the keyboards. I'm way excited for this quilt and I want to get it done.

Tomorrow I am helping a lady from Alaska set up at the Portland, OR Farmer's Market (or some other fair that's going on??? But, I'm 95% sure it's the FM). I'm excited to talk to her about how she got established enough as an artist to be successful at the farmer's market and all the steps she took for paperwork and documentation (like business licenses and income tax, etc.). I think it will be fun. I'm optimistic at least :)

What else, what else... Oh, things for the future. I'll be developing a sock blend with nylon and offering the blend both as fiber and as yarn. My best friend made me a quilt and it should arrive soon, so I'll post that. I'm super excited to see it. She's also coming to visit around New Year's, which is even more exciting!!

Bunny FooFoo still hates to be groomed, but she figured out that papaya pellets are tasty so we're finally combating the wool block successfully. The unpeeled banana slices were only doing so roommate is building her a new hutch so once that gets made, I'm going to cut her coat. I'm tired of fighting her and I'm tired of her having to get angry at me. I don't like angry rabbits. When she gets older and I've got a better setup, I'll breed her and I'll keep one of the babies for myself and handle it all the time so it is friendly and completely used to humans. If anyone's got pointers for me on grooming-breaking her, I'd love to hear them...I'd rather hand-groom her regularly than shear her coat.

Drum carder is still on the back burner. Waiting on loans...they're finally getting processed, though. Hooray...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What's New??

I made an order from the SSS and I'm waiting impatiently for it to arrive. Carol and her husband won't be back to process orders until Monday, but that's okay. I'm assuming that shipping will be a whole lot faster to me here than it was in Alaska thanks to the USPS Federal Way processing center (which frequently delays packages to Alaska by more than a week). It's got tons of roving and a bunch of cotswold locks. Delicious! The only downside to all of this is that I don't have a drum carder yet. I was going to get the one from the lady here in town but she wants way too much for it, when I can just purchase a Fancy Kitty for considerably cheaper. They have long teeth for thick batts, and I think that they will work out just fine. Plus, there's a money-back guarantee with the Kittys just in case I don't like it, whereas if I just purchase the one from the lady here in town I'm stuck with it either way. I've gotta wait for the college to process my financial aid paperwork though (will they EVER be done? I hope I still get the money for this quarter, because otherwise I'll be screwed. Very, very screwed).

What else...Oh, I've been working on the quilt that I started several years ago with music print Hoffman fabrics. It's broken bricks in the center. I'll finish this next round and then take pictures. I think all in all this quilt will turn out fantastically. I'm very excited, although I'm lazy about quilting. There are no shortcuts, and I just don't enjoy it as much as I enjoy fiber stuff.

I joined the PhatFiber contributor group, but I haven't had a chance to send in samples or to do the long-long-long-overdue update in my Etsy shop. I'm going to wait for the SSS order to arrive for that now in any case.

I'm also working on developing a new product for my store. I hope it goes well...

If any of you who read this know of a good source for firestar or glitz or angelina, pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease let me know! I neeeeed a good source.

No pictures again this lazy of me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What's New, Chicken Stew?

What's new, indeed? Well, it's somehow already been a month since my last post.

I remember working on the following things for sure:

-Laceweight yarn from SSS mill ends, browns and white
-Corespun hand-carded batt (from hand cards), merino, alpaca, superwash, and mohair
-Superwash SSS mill ends, variegated greens
-Dyed some of the super-dirt-ridden fleece I have slowly been processing. (more on this later - maybe today, maybe in another post)
-2ply of supersoft chocolate and raspberry merinos - it's delicious!
-Superthin silk 2-ply (half is spun; now to spin the other half and ply!)
-Failed felted slippers (see below for more)
-And probably lots more :P

So, on the slippers:

I had some grey wool from SSS that I wanted to use to make slippers for my SO. I got it all out and started to felt and I was so excited about finally taking the time to make them that I forgot the most important part of felting: TEST THE WOOL BEFORE YOU GET STARTED. This wool was one of those wools that felts halfway and makes a stringy mess. It wasn't a good felting wool and it wasn't a wool that doesn't felt at all, so all the wool went to waste. It felted hard enough that carding it just ripped it in to tiny bits instead of saving the wool, but wouldn't felt hard enough to make a cohesive slipper. Ah well, such is life.

I have proven to myself once again that it's always the dyeing you hate most that makes the best yarn on its own. I used Wilton's to dye up a white batt of wool. I used black, copper, and blue, which in acidic conditions turns into pink, orange, blue, and purple. I forgot that the black/pink takes over though, so when I was done I had a splotchy pink mess. I had intended to dye two batts the same colors but when I saw the first one I decided to dye one in complimentary colors so that I could ply them. Then I spun the pink mess and out came a very pleasant yarn. So, now I'm knitting it into a scarf for one of the sisters, and the other one will either get a matching partner or it will become a scarf for another sister. I haven't really decided yet. I have to finish the SO's socks before too long though because he has been waiting for them for a long time!

Speaking of's time to send the doghair socks back to Alaska where they belong. I can't believe that I packed them instead of giving them to the person who commissioned them! He probably wants them right about now. So, I'll take care of that on my long weekend.

That's all for now! Gotta study for my test. More fibery goodness to come once I pick up my drum carder!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

All Moved In

Hm, I guess it's past time for an update! We're all moved in and starting to settle here in Washington. I've been selling at the Farmer's Market every Saturday which has been really good for exposure if nothing else. I'm down a few dollars right now and I didn't make it last Saturday because it rained (I don't have a canopy or the money needed to invest in one). In any case, having a week off has been good, because I've been feeling crafty again. Usually I spin all day at the FM and then that's all I do for the week.

I spun up "Trout Fishing" pictured in my last post and knitted it into a skinny scarf. I made 4 sets of stitch markers. I plan to knit up another one with yarn I've had for AGES.

PFDs come soon, and I can't wait! I'm getting a drum carder with it. I'm so excited to make batts and spin them up! I think I'll get a Fancy Kitty. I'm not 100% sure yet, but that's what I'm leaning towards for now. They come in several different TPI, have 1/2" teeth for thick batts, and are made here in the USA.

Okay, too distracted! Pictures and more updates later.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Qiviut Lace and Adventures in Boucle!

I'M DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew, now that I got that out of my system! I'm super excited. I finally completed the qiviut lace scarf I have been working on. I blocked it and everything! As it turns out, qiviut single-ply doesn't have the memory that I might like, so rewetting the scarf undid some of the work, but the person to whom it belongs will not be repinning it every time he needs to wash it. Without further ado, pictures!!

Laid out on a chair.

Another chair angle! But, very crooked.

Working on blocking the scarf. For the record, this was my first lace project, my first blocking, and so there you have it. If you've never blocked before, it's much easier to do it once, instead of pinning and unpinning and repinning. So, here's a good(ish) way to do it:

1. Lay some straight lines out for yourself.
2. Use a marked board, or measure constantly as you go along to ensure the width is consistent.
3. Pin down one end and work your way toward the other (evenly on both sides).
4. ???
5. Profit!

Okay, kidding about the last two (I hope that joke wasn't lost competely). But I did none of the first three, and I should have. It would have made my life a lot easier.

So, more pictures:

All pinned down and waiting to dry.

Me wearing the scarf in one of many ways. Please excuse the mess -- we're packing everything up for the big move!

It ended up being approximately 7.5" X 70" after blocking. In the pictures, you can see that the weave is SUPER spread out, even for lace, but it's qiviut, and as such, it's PLENTY warm even that way. I've already decided that I am making myself a scarf similar to this one (different pattern for sure though) with my qiviut / black bear / dog hair batt.

Oh, and the boucle:

I'll dye it later, but I already packed my dyes. It's a mohair single plied with a commercial acrylic plied with a cotton thread as a binder. I can't decide if I like it or not, but it was a good first attempt.

I've also been working on making some stitch markers:

This isn't actually as good of a picture as I wanted to post here but I'm too lazy to fix it right now. These are punky stitch markers, good up to US size 4, with rainbow beats attached. I like them a lot. I am making other sets.

Also, did I post pictures of my two batts here? I finally gave in and rented the electric drum carder at my LYS a time or two and craked out a couple of fun batts.

"Trout Fishing"

"Autumn Rain"

You can see the batts in either my Etsy or my Artfire stores. The stitch markers have yet to be listed, and the scarf is obviously for someone (which is actually only obvious if you've read previous posts).

Anyway, hope this was a good update! I have bored hands and very little with which to fill them. Maybe I'll drag out some fiber...I just hate to since everything is packed up already!

Monday, July 6, 2009

More New Stuff

Okay, a list of things I want to post about today:
*Pictures of qiviut/scarf, socks, tencel, and skeinwinder/wheel
*Staining (and naming!) my wheel
*The skeinwinder I built

Here we go!

Here are two pictures of the qiviut scarf as it stands now. It's half done and quite obviously needs some blocking, but as you can see, the pattern is intact. I also finished the other half of the qiviut yarn this afternoon:

Also, I discovered that Joel's camera phone takes WAY better pictures than his digital camera:

(I have never gotten a good picture of this skein, with accurate colors and all. This is a fantastic discovery, and after we move, much re-shooting will be done!)

And, the tencel from NaturalObsessions on Etsy:

This is her "Lovebirds" colorway. The yarn has a slight amount of excess twist, but it will wear longer that way (and also makes it prepped for plying). I love the sheen of tencel. The colors are pretty fantastic, too. I just wish there were a little more blue and green (but then it'd be more like tropical birds than lovebirds, wouldn't it?). I haven't decided what to name this yarn yet but I'm leaning towards something with circus or clown in the name. We'll see. I'd better decide soon, because I want to list it on Artfire!

On another note, I can't believe I forgot to post about my wheel last time. After over two years of owning it, I decided to stain it! It's a gorgeous reddish-brown and it's dark and it makes me happy. I also painted the kiwi engraving with gold enamel paint. I may decide later to paint over it with white or bright green, but for now, I'm content with gold. Pictures:

I also got REALLY sick of not having a skeinwinder. A niddy noddy works alright for a certain amount of yarn, but I do so many bulky yarns that it was way too small, and my skeins looked like blobs of yarn. This skeinwinder is adjustable -- I can have skeins that are just under 4, 5, 6, and 7 feet in circumference. And, it attaches to my wheel! The first skeinwinder I ever used was one from Louet that was designed to attach to the wheel (thanks, Grandma!). I don't like floor skeinwinders for several reasons, including the need for more floor space, and the less optimal angle at which the yarn unwinds. This one isn't perfect, especially since we had no proper power tools (just a hand saw and a cordless drill), but it's functional, and I love it.

One more thing: Here's a picture of the socks I mentioned a couple of posts ago (mini mochi plus kid mohair from Crystal Palace Yarns).

That's all for now! I'm hoping to make one or two more posts before we skedadle to Washington.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Details on the Qiviut Scarf

I've set aside all my other projects for this scarf. Since I'm spending so much time already, I might as well record it, right? Plus, I'm going to make another one with my black bear / qiviut / husky blend batt after we move.

Speaking of moving, it's got everything messed up. I have lots of projects I want to do, but I know I won't even come close to getting them all done by the time we go, so I'm trying really hard to pick and choose the things to pack ahead of time.

So, the details of the scarf. As far as the yarn goes, I was spinning it right from the raw fiber at first. I decided before too long that carding it would work better (and it did). However, there were a few weak spots, so I've been knitting in the broken ends. Otherwise, so far so good. The pattern is complicated, especially since this is my first lace project, but as long as I pay attention and count stitches (which I tend to do obsessively anyway!) I have no problems. It takes me between 40 and 60 minutes to knit an inch on size 4 needles.

This particular pattern is knitted in two sections which are then grafted together in the center. I'm ten rows away from being half done. That means it will be time to head back to the wheel and hand cards long enough to get 125 more yards of laceweight qiviut. Oh, and this entire scarf is knitted from a single. Some call me brave -- I call me lazy :P Spinning this fiber more thinly than I am already spinning it would make this project immensely more difficult (for me, at least). I'll be sure to get pictures and wpi for this next batch of yarn. I'll also take a picture when I'm halfway done (which will be tomorrow, more than likely). The edges are a little curly, but nothing that blocking won't take care of. I'm super excited to see the finished product.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What's New, Pussycat?

Well! It's certainly been a while since I've updated here. I kind of put my spinning on hiatus after my marathon in the workshop. I was working on a Good vs. Evil yarn that I had intended to enter into a contest, but the deadline came and went, and it never got finished. It's a super fun yarn, though, and I'll post it once I complete it. The material cost was outrageously high for it, so I'm hoping it will sell one day, because I won't have any purpose for it.

I've been working on spinning a SUPER thin silk single. It's slightly larger than sewing thread, but not a lot. It might fluff out once I take it off the bobbin, but we'll see. I intend to navajo ply it once it's finished, but obviously it's taking a year and a day to spin 4 oz of silk that thinly.

Other things.......I finished the doghair socks! I don't know what happened, but I spun the yarn for the first sock heavy worsted, and I spun the yarn for the second sock between fingering and sport weight (and thought that I was doing them approximately equally! That's what I get for not checking before I was finished...). I still have to tuck in the ends and take pictures...I also plan to full them slightly before I give them to my customer, as they are a little on the fuzzy side.

One of my friends has been filling my hands with qiviut. He wants a scarf, and he's paying me ... yes, with more qiviut! I certainly won't argue, since qiviut is a pricey commodity. He also supplied me with some black bear fur that he gathered in some woods somewhere, and I am already plotting. I'll probably blend it with some of that qiviut I've received in payment, and some Siberian Husky fur. I don't know if I'll make a hat or a scarf, but either way, I need to plan amounts and get it together so I can rent the drum carder from my LYS since I don't have one of my own and I want fairly even blending. Thoughts, anyone?

And my latest project...I am making some lovely rainbow socks as a gift to a friend of mine. Crystal Palace Yarns has come out with yarns called "Mini Mochi" in several colorways. The LYS got some of these yarns in and I couldn't stop thinking about making these socks once I'd seen the yarn. I prefer to knit socks on size 3 needles (3.25mm), and these yarns aren't quite thick enough, so I am knitting this Mini Mochi yarn along with a "Kid Merino" yarn, which is also by Crystal Palace Yarns, although I wasn't aware of that at the time, what with me having lost the tag to the Kid Merino when I originally purchased it for strengthening socks. The Mini Mochi is 80% merino and 20% nylon, and the Kid Merino is a combination of merino, nylon, and mohair. I can't remember the ratios on that one, but it's great for making socks stronger, what with a high nylon content and all. Plus, it adds a tiny bit of fun 'halo' to the sock.

So, I need to take pictures of the doghair socks, of the qiviut (the raw fiber, the yarn, and the scarf, once it's complete!), the Good vs. Evil yarn, the silk single, and the rainbow socks. Looks like I've got my work cut out for me!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Updates & Comprehensive Handspinning

I just spent a fantastic three days in a Celia Quinn workshop. I don't know how many of you have heard of her, but she is fantastic. She lives in Homer, Alaska, so she didn't have to come too far to teach us, but she does classes all around the world. She's been spinning since 1975 I think, and so she's seen a ton. She has all sorts of samples and techniques and advice. It was very wonderful.

I've been spinning since 1999, and I learned a TON in this class.

There were a few important things I learned that I want to note:
1. How to spin long draw.
2. Long draw should always be used with short fibers, as worsted-style spinning makes it next to impossible.
3. Worsted spinning has greater sheen/luster, while long draw spinning is fluffier and lighter, usually with some sort of halo.
4. Cotton is not the enemy!
5. Short-staple fibers should be spun thinly (i.e. spin cotton in the thickness of a paper clip wire or thinner)

I'll take pictures of my first cotton yarn (which I spun worsted, the only way I was familiar with) and the cotton samples I spun (which were my second cottons). There's a huge difference in them.

Including a few practice fibers, we spun 97 different samples of fibers. We spun wools, mohairs, llama, alpaca, yak, cashmere, silks (both silk tops and right from the cocoon [with a pupa still inside!!]), cottons, downs, guard hairs, qiviut, horse hair [something I've wanted to do for a LOOONG time], flax, ramie, ingeo, rayon, polyester, and many many many more.

Celia offers several classes, including a dyeing workshop. If you get the chance to take one of her classes, DO IT. I had a fantastic time, and I learned a ton.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Not a lot has happened since last time. I went to a craft/garage sale bazaar with my yarns. I sold one (better than none!) and it was overall a very slow day. It made me excited for moving to Washington, though, where there are bazaars and such all over the place! Farmer's Market might be a good idea. I want to try it out up here, but I'm afraid that the costs will surpass the money I make. I'll probably pay annual dues and try it out for a couple of Saturdays...except that my work schedule this summer conflicts with both days the in-town market is open! So cancel that. I'm hoping that I can turn enough of a profit in Washington to make it my job. That would be SO nice.

I spun up the Deep Sea Masquerade batts. I looove the yarn it made. I hope I can get good pictures of it...I also started to spin up silk I have ogled for months at Susan's shop. I'm spinning it SUPER laceweight (because it's silk, and I can!) and then I will navajo-ply it into a gorgeous, sheen-y yarn. I am super excited for it, but it will take hours of work.

I started to make the yarn for the other sock. I will probably work on it more tonight...I'm to the point where I need to card more hair, though, and I try to do that when Joel is not home. Anyway, the hair I'm using this time is still gross and dirty, but is muuuuch nicer to spin. One sock will be scratchy with a halo (the one that's done), and the other will be softer. How silly :) He will be glad to have them, regardless.

I also still need to finish that hat. It's not that far from done...but handstitching takes a long time. I still don't have a sewing machine. Don't even get me started. I'm really pissed about it.

I also got another fleece in from Etsy (I forget if I mentioned that before...). I've been taking pictures, and I'm waiting for the washing machine, so that I can finish washing it. It's super dirty (but it has low VM).

Anyway, that's all from me for now.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


So, here's the finished sock:
(Here's a shot with my hand, just for size perspective. He has size 12 feet, and it took 120 yards of heavy worsted weight yarn to make this sock!)

And here's the corespun yarn (made from the dyed wools pictured a couple posts earlier):

I am almost done spinning the purple batt into a cobweb laceweight (about 28 wpi!). It's gorgeous, and pictures are to come, of course.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April Showers

April is almost half over already! This is both fantastic and shocking to me. I haven't done much so far this month. I made a corespun from various handfuls of the uncarded, dyed wool pictured below. I also started to spin the purple batts into a gorgeous lace-weight yarn. Hopefully it will photograph better as a yarn than it did as a batt. It's about 28 wpi, and I originally intended to navajo-ply it, but I don't know if I will anymore. It'd make a great 2-ply as well, but I don't remember how much I started with, weight-wise, so I have no idea when I will be halfway. I've put about 6 hours in already, and my bobbin isn't even half full. I've not even gotten halfway through the second batt of it yet, either. I'm hoping I'll get lots of yardage--maybe around 500 yards or so? That might be pushing it, though. Anyway, that's what I'm up to.

I forget if I mentioned it before, but I finished one of the doghair socks. I need to take a picture or three of it, and I need to make yarn for the other sock, since I seriously underestimated my required yardage.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Goodbye, March.

There are the batt pictures I promised. I ended up only getting through four of the seven batt bags. Another of the bags turned into this yarn:

"Princess and the Parrot", 169 yards, corespun and plied with feathers and sequins:

In addition, I got a raw fleece from my LYS and I dyed it up with Wilton's. I have all sorts of fun, bright colors, and I've been experimenting with acidic conditions and Red #3 (it's lots of fun!).

Here's me skirting the fleece and some pictures of the post-wash product:

I really like it. Some parts are curlyish, while others still have crimp. Here are a few pictures of the brightest of the dyeing:

I still don't have any good purples, because I haven't picked up a violet dye yet. Mixing red and blue doesn't work out as well as I thought it might. I've had lots of fun and learned a bit dyeing this fleece. The majority of the fuzz pictured here was taken by the owner of the LYS, because I agreed to bring her back part of it seeing as how she gave me the fleece for free. I still have somewhere between 4 and 6 ounces of fleece left to dye, though, so once I decide what colors I don't have enough of, I can fix my predicament. I will definitely be dyeing more of the orange, and without the green. I also ordered another white fleece online today, and am in the process of acquiring a black fleece as well. I'm excited!! The method I used for cleaning the fleece was fast and easy. Very good deal.

That's all out of me for the evening...I've got to get to bed. I finished one of the dog hair socks, so a picture of that to come, as well as the yarn I make for the next one (I ran out after the first sock somehow...silly me, not planning well enough!). The sock fits perfectly, though, and he's really pleased about it. I'm glad, because this project has taken me wayyyyy too long. I'm hoping the second sock goes faster now that I know what I'm doing. Anyway, goodnight!