Category Archives: Spinning

Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2018

Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and a little shopping.  It was hot and sticky (the sticky was worse than the heat) so I was motivated to get done what I needed or wanted to and go home to the air conditioning.

Untitled

I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic students.   Unfortunately, I was so focused on the classes I didn’t take any pictures aside from one before the shawl shapes class.

Untitled

On Friday I taught Knitting From Charts and on Saturday I taught Continental Knitting and Shawl Shapes.  If you didn’t make it to either Hoosier Hills or the Fiber Event and you’re interested in one of my classes, please contact me to see about a private or semi-private lesson.  I had someone take my bead class as a private lesson and she loved being able to focus on what she needed to learn!

Untitled

Of course, I did a little shopping too.

Yaaarn & Goodies

Untitled

I bought some beautiful DK weight yarn at The Fiber Event from Bumblebee Acres Farm and found some fingering weight yarn this time I loved.  Colorway is King in the North (nod to Game of Thrones) and the base is their Bubble Sock, which is an 80/20 merino/silk blend.  It’s probably going to be a shawl, rather than socks though!

Untitled

There was a new-to-me indie dyer at Hoosier Hills this year – Youghiogheny Yarns and they have some truly gorgeous yarns. I loved the subtle speckle dye on the gray base and paired it with a solid red.  I was also intrigued with the inclusion of yak fiber in the yarn.  The colorways are Naiad (which is the speckle) and Cherry Red and the base is Woolly Yak (a 70/20/10 merino/yak/nylon blend).

Untitled

I was so excited when I saw that CraftyFlutterby would be at the festival this year since usually I only see her at Stitches Midwest.  She had so many beautiful pins of different styles.  I settled on one of the round ones called a Twirl Shawl Pin and the idea is you twirl (or twist) it around to secure the ends of your shawl. She also had to awesome kits (shawl pattern, yarn, pin) and some included beads!

Untitled

A DK weight self-striping yarn from Brenda and Heather Yarns.  I’m going to use this for an entrelac cowl (because I’ve decided I want to learn entrelac).  Colorway is Cowabunga (in reference to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

Untitled

So I’d seen these rulers in some of the knitting magazines before and decided to give it a try.  The bracelets are made out of leather and have inch and centimeter markings up to 16 inches (you wrap it around your wrist twice).  The rulers are made by Ilovehandles and I bought mine from SpryWhimsy at the festival.  He also sells a lot of the fun sheep wine glasses, Ply magazine and other fun items.

Untitled

Two skeins of Malabrigo Sock in the colorway Martes I picked up from my local yarn shop, Nomad Yarns.  I fell in love with this colorway and am going to use it for a design I’m going to self-publish.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Knitting, Spinning

The Fiber Event at Greencastle 2018

First fiber festival of the year is in the books, as well as a brand new new class!

Untitled

The new class is called “Master Continental Knitting” and teaches students how to make the switch from knitting American (or throwing) to knitting continental style.  Because it requires holding the yarn differently and moving the yarn differently it is a challenging class.  Thus, I provide pieces of chocolate for the frustrating moments.

This class, plus two new classes, will be offered at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in early June.  Class fee is $40 if you sign up by May 158th and you can see class descriptions here.

Untitled

With Friday being my only day at the festival this year I shopped in the morning and immediately after teaching.

Since I taught all day Friday and then Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon was my first chance to *really* get shopping.  Made some purchases from some long-time favorites, and one new.

Untitled

The Yarn and Fiber:

  • (Top left) The green fiber batt from Stillwater Farm is a blend of merino, english angora and firestar
  • (Top right) The brown yarn is from A Good Yarn and is a superwash merino fingering weight yarn.  I bought this to go along with the mini-skein set I bought at YarnCon the weekend before.
  • (Bottom left) These two skeins are from a new-t0-me dyer, Bumblebee Acres.  This yarn is DK weight merino/nylon blend in the colorway Dracarys (from her Game of Thrones collection).
  • (Bottom right) The green/white/gray yarn is the colorway Blarney Stone on the Twist and Shout Base (DK weight) from BaH Yarns

 

Other Items:

Untitled

  • (Upper left) I would have missed finding this book except for a friend pointing it out to me.  I had heard about this book multiple times on social media but this was the first time I had seen it in person.  As a bonus, the copy I bought has been signed by the author!
  • (Upper right) I found a few of the nine-inch circular needles I use for socks in very small needle sizes (000, 00 and 0).  I bought it from Mother of Purl, although the website listed is www.barnhart-studios.com.
  • (Lower left and center) The soap is from Simple Soapworks and I buy some every year.  I love the oatmeal in the soap because it really does exfoliate.  This year I got three scents – lavender rosemary oatmeal, apple clove and oatmeal mint.
  • (Lower right) The tubes are handmade lip balms from Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium.  I had a singular goal in mind when I started stopping – to find her chocolate cherry lip balm.  And I bought the several tubes she had.  This vendor also has a podcast which I’m going to give a try very soon.

That’s all folks!

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Fiber Prep & Dyeing, Knitting, Spinning

YarnCon 2018

Untitled

My first year at YarnCon! This show has indie-dyers from the Chicagoland area and is held in the west loop of Chicago.  The show runs Saturday and Sunday and is held in early April.  The event is held indoors and food trucks were available for lunch (although they started to run out of food through the lunch hour).  The issue that would probably keep me from going back was the lack of available parking.  We got their 20 minutes after it opened and the designated lot was full.  It took 30 minutes of driving around and paying to park to resolve the parking issue.  WARNING: Picture heavy post.

Untitled

I went with a couple friends and met up with a few more when I got there.   By 11am it was pretty crowded, although it thinned out a bit around luchtime.  We shopped and shopped and shopped, before heading to a (very) early dinner at Lou Malnati’s for Chicago style deep dish pizza.  For the most part I made a pass through all the booths before making any purchases (with two exceptions).  There were many wonderful new to me dyers, and a few I hadn’t seen in a long time

Untitled

Bags’n’such:

  • (right) A canvas YarnCon bag.  It’s lined and the canvas is pretty thick.  Not huge but large enough for a sock project or a blanket square in process.
  • (center green) The center boxy-bag is really cool.  It’s from Beautiful Syster (Etsy) and is one of her Heather bags.  I got this bag primarily because I could carry it on my arm while knitting.  You can also make it into a box (and it has a pocket inside).  The material is a heavy duck cotton and it stands up on its own.
  • (left and bottom) A small bag and notion pouch from MidMitten Designs (Etsy).  I like the clear vinyl panels so you can actually see inside (and its something I don’t know how to sew).

Yarn (descriptions under each photo):

Untitled

A beautiful gradient ball from River’s Edge Fiber Arts, with SPARKLE.  I know, I’m not normally a sparkle kinda of girl.  but I was really drawn to this ball.  And it’s a large enough gradient to make a decent sized shawl (600 yards).  Colorway is Peacock.

 

Untitled

A pair of skeins from Grinning Gargoyle, who I haven’t seen in several years (since a prior Stitches event).  I plan to use these in a new design – a colorwork cowl.  The yarn is MCS Fingering and is a merino, silk and cashmere blend.  The colors are Sun Kissed and Turquoise.

 

Untitled

Also from Grinning Gargoyle, I found these two skeins on sale. The yarn is called Seda DK and is a 50/50 silk/merino blend DK yarn.  Two skeins totals 450 yards.  The colorway is black over lilac and it a very dark purple.

 

Untitled

A beautiful (and spring themed) mini skein set from Lorna’s Laces called a String Quartet.  535 yards total of fingering weight yarn in a merino/nylon blend.  I need to find a contrasting color – I’m thinking a gray with brown undertones?

 

Untitled

A new to me dyer – Honey Girl Farms.  This yarn is on her Deluxe Sock bases in the colorway House Targaryen, part of the Game of Thrones collection.  This fingering weight yarn is a merino/nylon blend of 437 yards.

 

Untitled

Another dyer I haven’t seen in a few years – Icemelon’s Stash.  She has beautiful yarns with saturated colors.  Most notably right now she has a Supernatural (the tv show) collection, which is one of my favorite tv shows.  I fell in love with the I Don’t Like Poetry colorway and decided to get one skein in the sparkle (Alrisha) base and one in the merino/nylon (Desmos) base.  I

 

Untitled

2 Comments

Filed under Events, Knitting, Spinning

Finished Handspun – Once Upon a Time

Untitled

I started this a very extremely embarrassingly long time ago.  And then it sat when I hurt my back and got my e-spinner. But I picked it back up this fall/winter and finally finished.

IMG_0383

The Basics (Ravelry page)

  • Hand carded batt from Tomorrow Farm, which is now called Camelot Dyeworks
  • The colorway is Emma and was part of a Once Upon a Time Spin-a-long.  Fiber content was alpaca, tencel, merino and faux cashmere
  • 4.2 ounces unspun; 3.9 ounces spun
  • 562 yards / 2313 yards per pound
  • 21 wraps per inch (a very light fingering)
  • Spun the singles on my Kromski Sonata, plied on the Hansen Minispinner Woolee Winder flier

I tore the batt into a long strip and then predrafted as I went.  I had to stop frequently anyways to pull out neps and veg matter so it wasn’t a lot of additional stopping to predraft.  This fiber combination did not draft out smoothly – certain sections had to be pulled apart with a lot of force.  I spun the singles together as a two ply.

Untitled

What Will it Grow Up to Be

I considered plying this with something else to get more yardage but didn’t want the barber-pole effect.  So instead I plan to spin up some medium heather gray alpaca and make them into a two-color shawl.

Untitled

 

Leave a comment

Filed under I Finished!, Spinning

2018 Goals

Yarn Crawl Shop - Sheep Street

I usually tend to spend time between Christmas and New Years thinking about goals.  I was really glad when my friend contacted me to setup a video chat to discuss our fibery goals for 2018.  I’m glad I dialed back last year to focus on learning and quality, rather than sheer quantity.  That said, I feel like I could have been more productive in 2017.  So this year I want to be more productive without going overboard.  My friend had the best idea – her word for 2018 is FOCUS and I couldn’t agree more.  I want to be focused with my time and focused with what I work on.

 

Review of last year:

  1. Write and submit one article – Nope, will try again this year
  2. Develop and teach two new classes – Beat this with three new classes
  3. Design and publish two new patterns – Met this with my cowl for Malabrigo and my Cathay Williams Shawl
  4. Learn how to knit entrelac – Nope
  5. Learn how to knit brioche – I not only learned but completed a brioche cowl
  6. Learn to spin with beads – Nope, will try again this year
  7. Spin a consistent worsted weight yarn – Nope.  I really haven’t been interested or motivated in spinning a thicker yarn.

 

About setting goals:

I posted year before last about setting SMART goals, particularly as they rely to fiber artists.  That post is here.  SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time relevant. While I think its a valid method, its not what I used this year.

2018 goals:

FloofyMoose Fibers

  1. Write and submit one article
  2. Develop and teach two new classes
  3. Design and publish three new patterns

Knitting

  1. Learn and complete one project using Portuguese Knitting
  2. Complete 57 blanket squares for a total of 100 (approximately one per week)
  3. Finish a pair of socks

Spinning

  1. Spin 4 ounces of yarn every other month
  2. Finish two in-process spinning projects
  3. Complete a 1-2 ounce spinning project with beads.

2014-02-14 022

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiber Prep & Dyeing, Knitting, Knitwear Design, Spinning

Winter Move to the Loft

Untitled

The weather turned cold (as in sleet in October cold) a few weeks ago so I moved my knitting and spinning stuff back upstairs to my loft.  Truth be told, my winter spot is my favorite because its just so cozy.  Since I’ve posted about the loft before, I’m just going to show you the new items and what’s changed.

Untitled

When my family decided to sell my grandparent’s house over the summer, I picked up some furniture.  Some sentimental, some function and some both.  One of the pieces was a cedar chest.  It was rather un-cedar-y so I rubbed down the interior with cedar oil (pro tip – use less than you think you need).  Right now I’m storing various yarn in there in the beige cloth bags (to protect from the cedar oil transferring) and projects and bags in the cloth bins.  I may change that around in the future.

Untitled

My new Larry the Sheeple from ErinLaneBags.  She now sells many sheeple prints – I still want to get the Doctor Who set.

Untitled

Last but not least I did some re-organizing of my bookshelf.  I move a lot of the books over to the cube organizers so I’d have a couple free shelves. I have my eSpinner and tools/current fiber (in the green basket) on the top shelf and my wedge bags on the second shelf.  I have hooks for many bags but the wedge bags don’t have a great way to hang (hanging by the lanyards puts too much stress on the zipper pull).

Untitled

Thank you for joining me on a quick tour of my loft!  I’m so looking forward to spending the winter upstairs!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Knitting, Off Topic, Spinning

The Wool Gathering Festival 2017

Untitled

It’s been a couple years since I’ve been to this show and its grown even more!  The Wool Gathering is near Yellow Springs, Ohio and is held in middle September of each year. The show runs Saturday and Sunday and there are no classes due to space limitations. It is on the grounds of a dairy farm and vendors are set up under tents. WARNING: Picture heavy post.

Untitled

I went with several friends and we got there right about the time it opened on Sunday at 10am.  By noon it was crowded and hot (hot being almost 90 degrees in mid-September).  We shopped, ate, then shopped some more.  I had a couple items I was on the hunt for but otherwise wanted to spend time looking at yarns from vendors I hadn’t seen in a while.

Untitled

The non-fibery stuff:

  • Chocolate Cherry Lip Balm from Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium.  This stuff is like dessert for your lips, minus any calories.  Goes on smooth.  Go check out her website for some amazing photography and cool products.
  • For Feet Sake by BarMaids in the Peppermint Plus scent – This stuff is amazing for your feet, especially if your dry feet tear up your knee high hose (yes, I wear knee high hose with my dress shoes).  I like that you apply it like a stick of deodorant, leaving your hands mess free.
  • Lotion from Amazing Grace Farms – I love this stuff.  It is by far my favorite lotion.  No dyes and its very hypoallergenic.  The proceeds go to support her animal rescue, which makes it all the better.  Please check out her website and consider ordering.  The peppermint and lavender are my two favorites.  I bought one bottle of apple cider and have two more bottles of the peppermint cream coming to me via mail.
  • Pattern for Rookwood by Mindy Wilkes.  Ravelry pattern page is here.

Untitled

One of my favorite vendors (of many favorites) at the show was Destination Yarns.  I met the owner, Jeanne, at Stitches Midwest the first year I went and love her saturated dyeing.  She also uses the most scrumptious yarn bases.

  • (left side) Suitcase base (a worsted weight merino yarn that I swear feels like it cashmere in it) in the colorway Underneath the Christmas Tree
  • (top) One skein each of her Note base in the Miracle and Stormy Skies colorways.  This is aiming to be a two-color shawl such as Quicksilver or Blackbird.
  • (right) A mini-skein set on the Postcard base in fall colors.  It’s a merino yarn and each mini (there are eight) has 92 yards.  This, and a solid, will become the Take It All shawl.
  • You might also notice I got a couple bags, including a Game of Thrones themed drawstring and a Destination Yarn tote.  I’ll just keep telling myself one can never have too many bags.

Untitled

Long-time favorite dyer – Kimber Baldwin of Fiber Optic Yarns.  She was really one of the first doing gradient yarns (as mini-skein sets) and I used to see her every year at The Fiber Event in Greencastle.  She has a background in chemistry and has a very good eye for color.

  • (upper left) Two skeins of her Kashmir yarn (merino/cashmere/nylon base) in Citron and Wicked Good.  This bright of colors is wayyy outside of my norm, which was my goal.  This is likely to become either the Cypri shawl or the Fallston shawl.
  • (lower right) A mini-skein set on the Footnotes base in the colorway Fire and Ice and a full skein of Footnotes in the colorway Ft. Knox.  I tried matching the mini-skein set with a gray but could not find a combo that made my heart sing.  The gold one did though.   This is for the On the Spice Market shawl.

Untitled

A new to me dyer – Ewetopia, out of Wisconsin.  The yarn base is called Pashm and is merino/cashmere/nylon and the colorway is Country Fair.  Given the cashmere content this will become fingerless mitts.

Untitled

A second new to me dyer – Betwitched Pigments.  I’m a sucker for tonals and her’s have a lot of depth.  I actually got an aran weight yarn (I know, not my norm) in the colorway Surprise!  These are pretty springy and soft so I’m hoping they will make good legwarmers.

Untitled

Last one, I promise.  A third new to me dyer – The Fibre Art Studio at Yarns to Dye For. This was the last yarn I bought, even though I had been looking for a bright rainbow gradient with over 500 yards of yardage.  The base is Fifty Shades of Gradient (funny pun) in the United colorway.  This and some black will become my Lambton Panes shawl which I’ve been lusting over since Sarah of Yarn Geek Fibers finished hers.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Knitting, Spinning

Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2017

Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and a little shopping.  I was slowed down, just a bit, by my broken foot and made an effort to keep it elevated as much as possible.

Untitled

I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic (and returning!) students.   Unfortunately, I was so focused on the classes I didn’t take any pictures. So here’s a sheep from the day.

Untitled

On Friday I taught Beaded Wire Bracelet and DIY Stitchmarkers and on Saturday I taught Cables 101.  One of my Cables class students from April took the Beaded Wire Bracelet class and I got to see two cabled handbands (a pattern exclusive to the Cables 101 class) she made. Saturday morning I got to Franklin early so I picked up my mini-rug hooking kit and sat at the edge of a friend’s booth working on that.

Of course, I did a little shopping. Yarny goodness:

Yaaarn
Untitled

  • (Upper left) This actually just came – I loved the colorway but requested it on a different base (superwash merino rather than a merino bamboo mix) and they dyed it up this week.  It is a “shawl ball” from Brenda and Heather Yarns (aka BAH Yarns), a local dyer. This is 645 yards of fingering weight in a single gradient colorway called Sunset. 
  • (Upper right) Yet another large gradient, this time Arial Evolution (100% merino) from Twisted Fiber Art.  This is a new to me dyer so I’m excited to start on this soon.  Colorway is Downten.
  • (Lower left) This was a dyer I specifically wanted to buy something from this year as I’ve never tried her yarns.  This is sportweight 100% merino (superwash) in the Plum Drum Weekend colorway from Oink Pigments.  It’s actually not the softest merino but it feels like a very sturdy merino that won’t fuzz or felt so I’m planning to use it for socks.
  • (Lower right) Another yarn from Brenda and Heather Yarns but this is a self striping DK yarn.  I love self-striping for socks but given I’m a crazy slow sock knitter, DK weight yarn is perfect for me.  Colorway is Sunshine on a Cloudy Day (or as I call it, Grellow).

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Fiber Prep & Dyeing, Knitting, Spinning

The Fiber Event at Greencastle 2017

First fiber festival of the year is in the books, as well as a three new classes!

IMG_0341

I taught three classes, all new.  Of the three, I think the knitted wire bracelet with beads was my favorite.  Both students finished their bracelets in class.

IMG_0320

I also taught a class on making stitch markers and another on beginner cables. It is so fun to teach something that results in an items the students can take home.  The same classes will be offered June 2 and 3 at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival.  Class fee is $40 if you sign up by May 15th and you can see class descriptions here.

IMG_0313

After the classes on Friday I went to dinner with some friends where hijinx ensued.  One friend had dropped a skein while winding it (sans skeinwinder) and a mess bloomed.  While we waited for our meal we tried to help her untangle across the table.  No beverages were harmed in the process.

IMG_0323

Since I taught all day Friday and then Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon was my first chance to *really* get shopping.  Made some purchases from some long-time favorites, and some new.

The Yarn and Fiber:

IMG_0349

Working left to right (then the bottom)

  • The green yarn is 8oz of DK weight alpaca/merino/silk from Briar Rose Fibers
  • The blue/purple fiber batt from Stillwater Farm is a blend of merino, english angora and firestar
  • The rainbow yarn is the colorway Mr. Roy G. Biv on the Twist and Shout Base (DK weight) from BaH Yarns
  • The red yarn is the colorway Heart’s Blood on the Slightly Silky (merino/silk fingering weight) from Copper Centaur Studios
  • The fiber at the bottom is 100% nylon from Hello Purl

Notions and Accessories:

IMG_0345

  • The canvas and fiber is a mini rug hooking kit from Breezy Manor (aka Donna Jo Copeland aka where I got Winston).  I’ve always been intrigued but a large project is a little overwhelming.  So I got the little kit.  It will have a bunny on it and Donna Jo gave me some white fiber so I can make a white bunny like Winston.
  • The two “pouches” in the upper left of the photo are yarn keepers.  You put your yarn ball in (the bottom opens up square) and close the snap.  I’m hoping it’ll protect my yarn when it invariably hits the floor.  These two are from The Felted Garden (on Etsy as thefeltedgarden).
  • The soap is from Simple Soapworks and I buy some every year.  I love the oatmeal in the soap because it really does exfoliate.  This year I got two scents – lavender rosemary and oatmeal.
  • The pouch in the lower left is a yarn keep from a different booth.  I like this one a lot because the fabric is heavier and it has a d ring on the side.  It has strings to cinch close but I might replace those with the little plastic stoppers you squeeze.  These are made by DC Bags and she will be be opening a shop May 1 on Etsy.  She also has a lot of nice wedge project bags.
  • The white stick on the left side it a goat milk lotion bar in the lavender scent.  The maker is Gentle Meadow Goat Farm but it was sold by Midwest Fiber.  They had a lot of nice alpaca yarns and fibers as well.
  • The tubes on the top are handmade lip balms from Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium.  I got chocolate cherry and strawberry vanilla although there were many more options.  This vendor also has a podcast which I’m going to give a try very soon.
  • The odd looking contraption on the right is a ball holder.  You put the base of the V up the center off your yarn cake and the ring on your wrist/forearm so you can carry your yarn.  Usually I can clip a project bag to a belt loop but that doesn’t work for my skirt.  Hopefully this will! I bought it from Mother of Purl, although the website listed is www.barnhart-studios.com.
  • Last but not listed I found a stemless wine glass from knitbaahpurl, sold via a different vendor’s booth.  I got the one that says “Three Sheeps to the Wind” (which I have on a t-shirt already) and may order another that says “Sheep Faced.”

That’s all folks!

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Fiber Prep & Dyeing, Knitting, Spinning

2017 Goals

Yarn Crawl Shop - Sheep Street

I spent some time in December thinking about my goals from last year and my goals for this year.  I felt last year like my time for fiber arts was being ruled by my goals.  Finish x many designs, knit x many yards, and so on.  In some ways, it sucked the fun out of it.  I think it was a combination of too many goals and being too optimistic.  So this year I’ve dialed back and instead of focusing on quantity, I’m focusing on learning new things.  That sounds way more fun, right?

A couple notes about the blog – I’ll be staying with the blog posts every other week, with a focus on them being shorter.  They’ll also be published on Sunday going forward.

Review of last year:

I knit 3,500 yards across nine projects.  Six of those were my own designs, with one not yet released.  Four were shawls, two were cowls.  I finished one spinning project but have several more on the wheels and bobbins.  I released five new patterns, the most recent being the Sybil Ludington shawl, which may be my favorite. I taught two new classes (Lace Knitting 101 & Bead Knitting) plus one old one (raw fleeces) at two different fiber events.

About setting goals:

I posted year before last about setting SMART goals, particularly as they rely to fiber artists.  That post is here.  SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time relevant. While I think its a valid method, its not what I used this year.

2017 goals:

FloofyMoose Fibers

  1. Write and submit one article
  2. Develop and teach two new classes
  3. Design and publish two new patterns

Knitting

  1. Learn how to knit entrelac
  2. Learn how to knit brioche

Spinning

  1. Learn to spin with beads
  2. Spin a consistent worsted weight yarn

2014-02-14 022

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiber Prep & Dyeing, Knitting, Knitwear Design, Spinning