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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!!