A wonderful customer over the pond has been using her purchase from me, to make a piece of felt art. Denise Witt is at the beginning of her journey into felt art, but has sent me a few piccies of her previous work, and I have to say, she has an eye for creativity. What I love about her work, is how freeform it is. She has done more traditional felt art work, with embroidered pieces as well, but for me, it is about how she sees the world that I find fascinating. Below are some of piccies she sent me of her other work.
Aren’t they stunning?
And below is the yarn she bought from me.
So after buying this yarn (called Halloween Horror), she used some of it in the piece shown below and I have to say - it is wow!
Denise calls her piece 'Mardi Gras', which I think suits it beautifully!
Until next time, love and light - and a Very Merry Christmas to you all (as it is fast approaching and I don't think I will post again).
Now that I have started selling my yarns, I thought it would be a lovely idea to start posting details of what customers do with their purchases, especially as others can see what to do with art yarn. As it is early days, I’ve only had a few sales, but one (well 2 yarns) was to a woman in America, who has her own Etsy shop. She is Diane Turner and her shop on Etsy is called oatmealcookeez.
Here are a couple of photographs of her work
and this is the yarn she bought from me
Well, it took some time, some hair pulling, some walking away from the laptop in desperation and some help from a significant other, but the shop is open!
Please take a look and tell me what you think. Click on the Etsy shop page on the website and it will take you straight to it. It has certainly been a labour of love, but I’m happy it’s up now.
I’m working on some new beads currently which will go on in the next couple of weeks (allowing time for finishing and photographing etc), but here’s a sneak preview of them on the wheel.
For now, keep well (I’m full of cold!). Love and light.
it will take me a while, but I’ve finally decided to open a little online shop. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, and busily making yarn whilst I weighed up the pros and cons. But now, my mind is made up, so I’m beavering away in the background to get it off the ground.
It will be Etsy, because I think to start, building up a base is difficult on your lonesome! And then we’ll see how it goes.
I have a fairly large stash of two plies and art yarn, which I am working my way through organising, but also some lovely fleece from this summers dye sessions. So, it will all be going on.
For now, here’s a sneaky peak at a few piccies which will be winging their way to the new “premises” .
Love and light
It has been a few years since I was able to get to Woolfest. France has some wonderful woolly festivals, but often you are lucky if they are in your area, so I have missed Woolfest (and Wonderwool Wales) a lot. To go this year was a massive treat and reminded me what we had been missing. I also did a stint on the OLG stand, with old friends and new - speaking English is so great!!
So without further ado, here’s some piccies of the day. If you can get along to these festivals, do. Have a budget in mind and stick to it, but other than that, go a little crazy - I have never regretted any purchases 😁. This is woolly goodness at its best!
We (being my daughter and I) decided to have a session dyeing recently. We had not done so for quite a while and fancied some unique yarn making material. We used acid dyes that we already had, and set up in the lovely warm weather outside. As a trial, we used a fish pan on a stove, which predominantly worked, but with a gas stove, fleece that touched the sides of the pan were a little sticky, so we won’t use it again on gas!
Anyway, without further ado, here are the results. We were very happy with the results and they gave us something different to spin for about 2 weeks (note to self, dye more often lady!).
Now then, how cool is this. I’m blogging again so soon!
Now I have gratuitously congratulated myself, let’s get down to business.
Christmas was THE most relaxed and wonderful Christmas for many a year. It was delicious. So, I was able to invest lots of time in spinning (which added to the deliciousness). So I thought I would share those yarns and how they were made.
Firstly, I really wanted to make a good (if I do say so myself) bead yarn. Bead yarn is not for the faint hearted, as there are various processes to make it. So, I decided to cut one part out, by using a cotton yarn to ply with, so I didn’t have to make a 2 ply yarn (cheating, but....). Then I made an overtwisted thick and thin from the commercially prepared fleece. Overtwisted because once the two yarns are plied together to make beads, you reverse spin the same area a lot, so you don’t want it to come apart.
This is the result.
The next yarn was the same fleece, but spun as a single, with a little overtwist so that I could full it once finished, to make a stable and substantial single. Because of the wonderful colours in the blend I used, I didn’t want to ply and lose all that loveliness in it becoming muddy.
Next, I used a merino and silk blend, and this time, did make an overtwisted 2 ply yarn. Overtwisted because the next step was a thick and thin that I just wanted to ply with, but again, there is a chance of the yarn coming apart if you are not careful, so overtwisted is best. So, rather than make beads, this time I just plied the thick and thin with the 2 ply. It could be argued that a single, rather than 2 ply would have worked, but 2 ply, although extra work, does give a more stable yarn to ply with.
As it is almost impossible to not have a little bit of single left when making a 2 ply, I decided to make another new art yarn from the leftover. Often, I will Navajo ply the remainder, continuing on the same bobbin from the 2 ply. But, I end up with bits are that a bit useless. I plied the leftover blue with a gold thread and dark blue lurex thread. The lurex was allowed to do what it wanted as I sat spinning. Interestingly, it was fairly even! The gold and blue were alternately plied back on themselves to create small beady areas. Because of the gold thread, it is quite a harsh yarn, so will need to be used thoughtfully and not next to the skin, but it is very pretty (blimey, blowing trumpet again, this just won’t do!)
Finally, I spun 200g of white merino, which I won’t add a piccie of - tad boring. However, it won’t be when it is dyed later on. Natural dyes will be used and I can’t wait to get back to it when the weather improves. Not for the dyeing as such, but the drying thereafter.
So there, a productive time and lush. Life doesn’t get better than this!
Love and light.xx
Well, it appears it’s happened again. Life has got in the way of art! Now, don’t get me wrong, spinning never stops - never! But blogging, well, that gets shoved to the side whilst life gets in the way. So, to rectify this, I am going to try and post at least once a month next year (yes I know, a dreaded resolution, except now they are intentions for me - very different!) I do tweet about my spinning as well, so now I just need to expand that into a blog post, that will record my work, if nothing else!
Reflecting on this year, it has been difficult personally. I won’t go into the details, but I am finishing it a happier person than when this year started. As far as crafting is concerned though, I feel it has been very positive and I am looking forward to moving all areas forward next year.
So, definite positivity about the future, and yes, excitement.
Below are a couple of projects lately, and soon, I will tell you about an electric wheel I bought earlier this year. Plenty to talk about there. You see, started my New Years res - erm intentions early.
This is a piccie of some Christmas beads I did recently. Just playing, but love how they turned out.
and this, which looks a lot like tinsel, is actually a Navajo plied wool yarn, which, because I wasn’t concentrating on what I was doing, was not good at all. So I plied it with eyelash yarn, and created this lovely “tinsel”.
Well, I've gone and done it. A saori loom has entered the house!
As I mentioned, I fell out of love with weaving. Mainly because all the looms I have had bar one have been a pain, in one way or another. Now you may say a bad workman blames his tools, but I think one size does not fit all. I got fed of making warps; I got fed up of expensive looms not performing and as a result I no longer enjoyed what I was doing. I sold my octado and eventually kept just Ken (see previous post) and one rigid heddle. Now - I do love floor looms, if I am going to weave at all. The rigid heddle loom is great, but has limitations and Ken - well he has needs that was part of the boring bit of weaving. So, a search later and enter the world of Saori. Firstly, let me introduce you to Jennifer:
Basically she is a 2 shaft floor loom. Her maximum weaving width is 60cm and get this - you can buy ready made warps up to 30m long!!
Now I do intend to make my own some time as well, but to be able to getvones already made is perfect. They are available in black, white, cotton, wool and colour combinations. The one you see on the loom, is the original 6m warp, which not only came with the loom, but was already threaded through the shafts and reed! My idea of heaven. I have purchased 2 other ready made warps, one black wool (this one is cotton, but I am a wool girl) and raspberry something or other - basically 6m of raspberry coloured different warps. Lish!
I've had it a week, and nearly finished the first 6 m warp - mostly because it is 38 degree heat outside, and quite frankly there is very little you can do!
With this warp I have been playing. The philosophy with Saori is that there is no such thing as a mistake, only a design creative. Mmmm - I'm liking this, although it is hard to think like this when all your weaving life has been aimed at creating perfection. But Misao Jo, the Japanese lady who created this form of weaving over 40 years ago, wanted weaving to be an art form made using creativity that a machine would be unable to do. You are not taught saori weaving, only the basics of how to do it, then use your own creativity to make cloth.
It is so simple, with a wonderful big shed and lots of lovely little details that show how well thought out the loom is. I am in love! You can get a 4 shaft version, and I may invest in updating Jennifer at some time, but for now, she is perfect just the way she is, and I am happy making cloth again!! And , I have a couple of books on creating clothes with simple designs. This could be where the wheels come off, because I may look awful in them, but for now this is a great deal of fun.
So, weaving is back on the agenda and I'm loving it. I will keep you posted on cloth made, garments made and more adventures in weaving. This doesn't mean spinning has stopped. Far from it. I am beavering away during the evenings making white yarn for dyeing, because next on the creative path is an indigo dye vat. All ingredients are in the house I just need to get on with it. The loom has kind of taken all my spare time after working in the permaculture garden and renovating the house. But I can't wait to do indigo, and as the natural dye garden is starting to develop, I really do need to get back to some dyeing as well. Now where did I put those extra hours in the day I ordered............
Got all this fluff and stuff, and have decided to make an art batt from it. For Christmas I am getting an Ashford Country Spinner 2, so am making batts ready to make big yarn.
I have the Ashford drum carder with standard carding cloth. It is amazing what you can get on there. I like the idea of the wider teeth on the drums made specifically for arty batts, but have not had any issues with making a batt on here, so not necessary. I feed in little and often and put some of the airy stuff straight onto the drum, or at least sandwiched between fleece so that it doesn't float off. Sparkley yarn is trimmed to little bits and sandwiched, or it just comes straight off on to the feed drum.
This is the resulting batt. It weighs 85g, so pretty pleased with that. Roll on Friday! Not sure yet which art yarn technique I will use, but can't wait to give it a go.
I have lots of other posts planned, but if I don't get round to another one before Christmas, may I wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas, and peaceful 2016.