Tag Archives: fiberarts

2017 Classes – The Fiber Event

Celtic cables

Its that time of year again!  Registration is open for The Fiber Event and I will be teaching three new classes.  I’m so excited for this opportunity.  In addition, I will be teaching these classes at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Franklin, Indiana, and hopefully that registration will be open in a few weeks.

The Fiber Event is April 14 and 15 in Greencastle, Indiana, which is about an hour west of Indianapolis.  A ton of vendors and a lot of great classes.  Registration fee is $40 for each three-hour class and now you can sign up on their website here.  You will see that there are a fixed number of spots available for each class so sign up now if you’re interested!

The Fiber Event Schedule

Friday, April 14, 9:00am-12:00pm – Beaded Wire Bracelet

Friday, April 14, 1:00pm-4:00pm – Stitch Markers

Saturday, April 15, 9:00am-12:00pm – Knitting Cables 101

If you can’t make it to the class or would like a specialized focus please see my page here for private lessons.

 

Classes:

Beaded Wire Bracelet

Beaded Wire Bracelet - Two Strand

Create a custom bracelet from wire and beads that you, and your friends, will love. See different styles and options, then jump right into your own bracelet. You will leave the class with a completed bracelet and the tools and skills to create more!

Bring to class: Your creativity!

Materials fee is $13, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers wire, metal needles, beads, jump rings, clasps and handout.

 

Make Your Own Stitch Markers

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Explore ways to make your own custom stitch markers for knitting or crochet. We will make three different types of stitch markers using flexible beading wire, headpins and a variety of beads. You will leave the class with at least a dozen stitch markers and the skills to create many more!

Bring to class: Your creativity!

Materials fee is $10, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers flexible wire, headpins, eyepins, jump rings, beads, crimps, round nose pliers and handouts.

Knitting Cables 101

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Learn to knit cables like a pro! We will cover yarn and needle selection, cabling to the front and back, and reading charts. Put your new knowledge to practice in class to master techniques, learn how to fix cabling mistakes and start a cabled headband.

Bring to class: Worsted weight yarn and appropriately sized needles (approximately US 6-8)

Materials fee of $5 covers pattern, cable needle, stitch markers and handouts.

 

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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

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2016 Classes – The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana

Gray Alpaca Raw Fleece

Its that time of year again!  Registration is open for The Fiber Event and I will be teaching two knitting classes and one fiber class.  I’m so excited for this opportunity.

The Fiber Event is April 15 and 16 in Greencastle, Indiana, which is about an hour west of Indianapolis.  A ton of vendors and a lot of great classes.  Registration fee is $40 for each three-hour class and now you can sign up on their website here.  You will see that there are a fixed number of spots available for each class so sign up now if you’re interested!

Schedule

Friday, April 15, 9:00am-12:00pm – Lace Knitting 101

Friday, April 15, 1:00pm-4:00pm – Raw Fleeces Identify and Demystify

Saturday, April 16, 9:00am-12:00pm – Bead Knitting Rockstar

If you can’t make it to the class or would like a specialized focus please see my page here for private lessons.

 

Classes at The Fiber Event:

Raw Fleeces – Identify and Demystify

SoakingSo you want to buy your first raw fleece, but which one should you choose? Then what do you do with it? In this class you will discover what to consider when buying a fleece and what options are available for cleaning your fleece. We will examine wool, alpaca (suri and huacaya), angora and mohair to learn what constitutes a great raw fleece and what to watch out for. Then, participate in a discussion about skirting, washing and flicking for different types of fiber while we clean small samples from start to finish. Students will leave with a fiber selection and cleaning guide, as well as two washed samples.

Materials fee is $13, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers all samples, handouts and the cleaning guide.

 

Lace Knitting 101

UntitledLearn to knit lace like a pro! This class will cover yarn and needle selection, basic increases and decreases, chart reading, shawl construction and lifelines. After practicing with small swatches we’ll start a lace shawl you can continue knitting on at home. Learn tips and tricks that will take lace from scary to addictive.

Sneak peak: The shawl will be my brand new, and not yet released, Grace Fryer shawl.

Bring to class: 32 inch circular needle in a size US 6., at least 400 yards of fingering or sock weight yarn for shawl, extra samples of fingering or sock weight yarn for swatching (I will have some but you are welcome to bring your own).

Materials fee is $12, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers shawl pattern, highlighter tape, stitch markers and handouts.

Bead Knitting Rockstar

UntitledLearn to add beads to your knitwear for texture and bling. You can choose small subtle beads for a shimmer or contrasting beads for a pop of color. This class will cover how to choose the right beads, two methods for adding beads to your knits (pre-stringing or as you go) and how to place beads for a desired effect.

Bring to class: Fingering or sock weight yarn(you are welcome to bring multiple samples), 16 or 24 inch circular needle in a size appropriate for your yarn.

Materials fee is $13, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers beads, crochet hook, big-eye beading needle and handouts.

 

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2016 Goals

Fiber arts wise last year was interesting.  Things were different than I expect and new opportunities presented themselves.  I can only hope 2016 is just as exciting!

Yarn Crawl Shop - Sheep Street

Review of last year’s goals:

I won’t go through each 2015 goal but I do want to talk about what I learned from my goals.  I set a knitting goal to improve knitting efficiency but once I researched different techniques, I wasn’t as interested.  I might some day in the future, but not now.  Next, rather than stating a number of projects to knit, a better measure would be based on number of yards knit.  I set a goal to design and publish four patterns and fell short

Rather than review each 2015 goal individually I want to talk about what I learned from my goals.  For one, sometimes interests change, and one shouldn’t feel required to fulfill a goal just for the sake of meeting a goal. Second, sometimes a new opportunity presents itself and that might require the sacrifice of time that might otherwise be dedicated toward a specific goal.  And you know what? That’s ok.  Third, and last, don’t set too many goals! Focus on what’s most important to you.

About setting goals:

I posted last year 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.

2016 goals:

FloofyMoose Fibers

  1. Organize fiber arts studio to allow for storage space
  2. Design & release six patterns
  3. Propose three articles
  4. Develop two new classes

Knitting

  1. Knit 5000 yards of yarn
  2. Complete one brioche project

Spinning & Fiber Prep

  1. Clean remaining fleeces (1 merino and 1 alpaca) by March 31, 2016.
  2. Process 144 ounces of raw fleece (including cleaning).
  3. Spin 48 ounces of fiber.
  4. Spin two ounces with beads

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Sunset Drumcarding

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I’ve been playing on the drum carder again!

One of the items I bought at the fiber festival in Greencastle this year was (another) Card It Up kit from Hello Purl.  It had four ounces of a variety of fibers (finn, romney, targhee, angelina, bamboo, faux cashmere, milk fiber, silk noil and silk thrums) in red, oranges and yellow.

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I added to that some red merino, yellow merino, yellow faux cashmere and yellow silk.  I also had some orange angora but totally forgot about it until it was too late.

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Short story is I split the fibers up into three equal piles and carded each pile.  Two passes through the drum carder (my friend’s Fancy Kitten) and painted the fiber directly onto the big drum.  However, this required a blood sacrifice.

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And now I’ll just leave you with a bunch of eye candy photos!

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Raw Fleeces Webinar from Interweave

I’ve alluded a couple times in prior posts that I have some exciting news.  I wanted to wait until I had more information to share and now I do!  Spinning Daily (part of Interweave Press) asked me if I was interested in presenting a webinar on raw fleeces.  Of course I said yes, so on August 24th at 1pm Eastern I will be providing a one hour overview on selecting and cleaning raw fleeces!

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As with my other classes I’ve put all the details over here on my classes page, but let me give you the skinny.  In contrast to my normal three hour live classes, this will be a one hour overview via a powerpoint presentation.  It’s $20 and slides will be able to all attendees after the live webinar.  If you can’t attend the live webinar, an audio power point version will be available afterwards.  So, if you’re ever the least bit curious about buying and cleaning your own fiber, this is a perfect introduction to get you going.

If you’re interested and would like to sign up, please click on the sign up link on my classes page here.  If you have questions please email me at floofymoose@gmail.com.  I’m so excited for this opportunity and can’t wait for August 24th!   062

Here’s the summary of the webinar I put together with Spinning Daily.

About the Web Seminar:

So you want to buy your first raw fleece, but which one should you choose? Then what do you do with it? Do you have a stack of fleeces in your garage you’re unsure what to do with? Processing a raw animal fleece gives you control over the progression from animal to finished object. Choosing a raw fleece and processing it can be an intimidating process. Understanding the process, and how the fibers and methods impact you choices, will help you maximize your results.

 Courtney will guide you through an overview of what to consider when buying a fleece and what options are available for cleaning your fleece. She will discuss wool, alpaca, angora and mohair to learn what constitutes a great raw fleece. Then, she will walk viewers through the process of cleaning a fleece – skirting, washing, drying and flicking the locks. Drawing on her fiber processing experiences, including lessons learned the hard way, she will cover what to watch out for when buying a raw fleece, what types of soap work best, different drying methods and tools used for flicking tips. Using close up photos, see exactly what Courtney does to select the perfect bag of fiber and produce a clean fleece with confidence.

Raw wool fleece

What You’ll Learn:

  • Select a raw animal fleece that meets your needs
  • Understand different types of animal fibers including wool, alpaca, mohair and angora rabbit
  • Skirt a fleece to remove veg matter, short cuts and other undesirable pieces
  • Wash and dry a fleece for superior results
  • Flick locks to prepare the fiber for spinning, combing or carding

Who Should Attend:

  • Handspinners who want to buy their own animal fleeces with confidence
  • Handspinners who would like to clean animal fleeces
  • Knitters or crocheters who want to buy their own fleeces for processing at a fiber mill
  • Fiber animal owners who want to understand what spinners look for in a raw fleece

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Project #FiberRoom Part 2

Despite all the goings-on lately, there has been progress.  Since our last update the floor was installed and some furniture moved back in.

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Handyman Clay (whose wife is a knitter and spinner) beautifully installed the floor, the transition trip and the quarter-round along the baseboard.  I actually like this floor more than the floor in the rest of the downstairs.  I moved a couple pieces of furniture back into the fiber room (a table and dry sink).

Unfortunately the design portion of project #fiberroom is still in limbo. This room is fairly small (less than 10×10 feet) and because of the french doors off the entry way I want it to look nice (so no plastic tubs sitting out).

Central Island/Cart/Table – I know I want a cart or small table in the center of the room, with enough of a lip to clamp tools onto, that is sturdy but can be slid/moved/rolled a bit.  I’d also like for it to be about contertop height. Right now my old kitchen table is in there.  I like it (has sentimental value) but because the sides drop only the two short ends are suitable for clamping.
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Dry Sink next to the doors – My parents found this dry sink for me and I love it.  And it is a substantial piece of furniture.  It just fits on the wall between the front of the house and the door and will be used to hold the random assortment of tools – carder, combs, hand cards, picker, etc.  I’m not sure what I’ll put down underneath behind the swing out doors – likely not fiber that close to the ground and in a cool, dark space.  Possibly class/teaching materials or something like that.  The drawer is for smaller tools.

Cube Storage – If you’ve ever seen pictures of the loft upstairs then you know how awesome cube storage can be.  And because at least some of that fiber needs to come downstairs, I need some storage downstairs.  Ideally I’ll have a wall unit six cubes high and 2-3 cubes wide on each side of a center workstation.  Then under that center workstation I can hide the tubs of washed but otherwise unprocessed fleeces.

Center workstation – This is the big unknown right now.  Until I figure out for sure what this will look like and be size-wise, I can’t buy the cube storage units.  I’m thinking about checking the DIY stores for a countertop mill end – something four feet or less – and putting that on top of a table somehow.  Then I can velcro a skirt around the table.  To fit over the plastic tubs it would end up about the perfect height. So, this center workstation is the big thing right now.

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Question: If I make a table for the wall between the cubes what would you suggest for the top of it?

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2015 Fiber Classes – Greencastle and Hoosier Hills

Gray Alpaca Raw FleeceI promised a post about the classes I’m slated to teach this year and here it is! I’m teaching the same class twice – once in mid-April and once in early June.  As of today, that’s as far out as I have anything scheduled.  If you’re interested in taking this class or something on a different topic in a private setting please see my “Classes” tab above.

As a little preview I will say I’ve been getting my hands on some different fibers for us to examine, including mohair and some alpaca with short cuts, and I have a fun activity planned at the beginning of class to test your fiber ID knowledge.  I think this will be a ton of fun and very educational if you’re interested in buying fleeces.

Class Description:

Raw Fleeces – Identify and Demystify

So you want to buy your first raw fleece, but which one should you choose? Then what do you do with it? In this class you will discover what to consider when buying a fleece and what options are available for cleaning your fleece. We will examine wool, alpaca (suri and huacaya), angora and mohair to learn what constitutes a great raw fleece and what to watch out for. Then, participate in a discussion about skirting, washing and flicking for different types of fiber while we clean small samples from start to finish. Students will leave with a fiber selection and cleaning guide, as well as one or two washed samples.

  • April 17 (Friday) 9am-12pm at The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana.  $35 plus $12 materials fee.  Click here to sign up. Greencastle is about a little over an hour west of Indianapolis.
  • June 6 1-4pm at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Franklin, Indiana.  $30 plus $12 materials fee.  Click here to sign up. Franklin is about 30 miles south of Indianapolis.

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2015 Events (and Teaching a Class)

I’ve started thinking about what events I’m going to attend in 2015.  It’s always subject to change but as of today I plan on going to each of these.  Please let me know if you will be at any so I can say hi! I will also be teaching in April at The Fiber Event.

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  • Roving Indiana Yarn Crawl in Central Indiana (2/27-3/15) – There are a lot more stores this year so I don’t know if I will hit all of them but I will likely spend a day going around to different shops with friends.
  • The Fiber Event at Greencastle in Central Indiana (4/17-4/18) – This is really the big fiber festival for us in Indiana.  It’s always well attended with a competition and classes.  I usually go both days, especially if taking/teaching a class.
    • EXCITING NEWS: I am teaching a class at this event! More details in my next blog post!
  • Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Central Indiana (6/5-6/6) – Sometimes I take a class here, sometimes I don’t.  Unless I take a class, I will only go one day.
  • And the biggie! Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, Illinois (8/7-8/9) – I will be there Friday through Sunday with friends.  Likely not taking any classes but will have plenty of time to shop, relax and knit/spin in the lobby.
  • The Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs, Ohio (TBD) – Dates haven’t been announced yet and this is my “iffy” one since stitches in the month before.  But, I really like all the vendors that come to this one.

If you’re new to the world of fiber events I wrote the following post last year on Preparing for a Fiber Festival.  Once I hear more about the possible class at Greencastle I will be sure to let you know!

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Project #FiberRoom

If you’ve seen my Instagram photos you know that there’s a little house project going on this month.  New fiber space should be online sometime in March!

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Long story short, there is (well, was) one carpeted room on the main floor of the house. I had a pull-out sofa sleeper in there and very rarely (like, twice a year) used it as a guest room.  It was very obviously designed to be used as a home office (french doors, no closet) but I quite like my corner office upstairs. So, the main floor room is getting a re-vamp so its actually functional.

I’ve wanted a space, without carpet, to do fiber prep – the carding, combing, flicking, etc.  If you’ve ever done that, you tend to get dirt, VM and other various “things” on the floor – things that don’t vacuum up. Historically, I’ve pulled the required equipment out to the dining area and used it there.  Which means I, of course, don’t eat at the table.  Anyways, between needing a space and really wanting to get the carpet off the main floor (no more lugging the vacuum and and down the stairs!), the “front room” was an ideal choice.

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Current Progress. One Sunday after spinning the lovely ladies helped me get the sofa sleeper out of the room.  Right now its hanging in the living room, which is a bit crowded with two sofas and two large chairs.  But, the sofa sleeper will just have to stay for a while.  Last weekend my friend came over with her son and out came the other big piece of furniture (a dry sink) and up came the carpet, foam pad and tackstrips.  Thank heavens for my friend’s son who strong and got the tack strips up in a matter of minutes.

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Upcoming. I knew I wanted to replace the carpet with a hardwood-looking laminate, similar to what is in the rest of the main floor.  With some, um, help from the cat (and my handy-dandy handyman), I chose a sample and placed the order from Lowes. It was supposed to be in Thursday and on Friday I called.  Lowe’s has no idea where the order is.  They placed it (and charged my credit card) but don’t know where it is.  So now they’re “trying” to get it from another store on Monday.  There are some quality concerns (several boxes the store previously ordered were damaged) so my handyman, who is doing the install, is going to pick them up and inspect.  Looking doubtful at this point it will get installed this week.  Hopefully the first week of March now.

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Design. This part is still kind of squishy.  I’ve made a little diagram, I’ve tried a couple different ideas but so far nothing is jumping out at me.  Plan A was organizing/storage furniture from Ikea to go along some of the walls and a center cart for the drumcarder, combs, etc. to clamp to.  But, a few hiccups.  One, it’s a kind of small room (10 by 10 feet) with a wide door opening.  Two, I haven’t found a cart I LOVE and still haven’t decided how to store my washed but otherwise unprocessed fleece.  Ideally, I would like to be able to see what’s in the storage medium but I also want them protected from pests.  For now I’ve tabled the design while I look around at second-hand stores for other ideas.

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If you have any ideas – please share!

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