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In the Works Wednesday

Last night, I finally put down my knitting needles long enough to get some spinning done.

I spun these two Merino/Silk/Firestar batts into these two skeins of yarn:

They are slightly thick n thin singles that I hope, maintains the idea of how they looked in the batt–and then slightly fulled. I love how much silk there is in this mix and the texture it gives the yarn is luscious .

Next step: warping the loom!

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Bazaar Recap

The bazaar this weekend was a lot of fun. I love a good excuse to hang out in a room full of people working on fibery pursuits. There was a lot of knitting (I was mostly working on a sock, because I am sooo exciting that way), spinning, weaving, and needle felting. I needle felted for the first time! I was very proud of my flat square of wool. I will have to get some more direction on how to make something other than a rectangle from Anna the next time she offers classes.

I have been making subtle changes to my set up every week.

This time I hung my hand dyed tops on my drying rack, which gave me room to spread the worsted weight yarn out a bit.

The best seller of the weekend was definitely the sock yarn.

My sock yarn shelf is starting to look just a little bit sad. It doesn’t help that I am out of vinegar and have consistently forgotten to purchase any when out for the past week–and therefore I can’t dye. As soon as a gallon of vinegar makes it home with me there will be more sock yarn.

I made a really great score from the BlushingEwe booth.

Tarnish on the left, Fireflower on the right. I had in mind to find something at the bazaar that I could weave a fun scarf for myself out of, and these two lovely ladies just fit the bill. I love how elegant and understated tarnish is, and how loud and saturated fireflower is. They are about the same percentages of wool, silk, and firestar, and I can’t help but feel I am going to have a very luxurious woven scarf when I finish.

Here they are pulled into roving and ready to spin. I like to pull it out so I still get all of the layers ate one time for the color and texture variation, but so that it is still in an orderly strip. I find spinning directly from batt form a little difficult.

I seem to be on a bit of a neck warmer kick. First the Ebbtide, then all the luxurious woven scarf planning, and of course, the Daybreak I started a few days ago.

I am a little less than half way through the striped section for the largest size. It’s very easy and fun to knit–and I love how retro looking my colors are turning out.

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Spring Bazaar

A few of you locals might be interested to know that instead of being at the farmers market this weekend, I will attending the spring fiber arts!

I, the Potwin Fiber Artisans and I will be at Potwin Presbyterian Church in Topeka. We are on the First Friday Art Walk Friday from 5-9 pm. On Saturday, we will be open from 9am to 5pm. The coolest part is that we will be offering mini-classes, from knitting to spinning to weaving.

Come join us. It will be a blast!

Other notables:
Alpacas at Orchard Hill will be there (ie, the finest alpaca in Kansas)
Blushing Ewe will be there as well with her gorgeous batts. (I usually can’t resist buying one myself.)
The Industrious Knit’n Spin who has been working her tail off, so make sure you give her some love when you see her.

My mission, to find yarn and / or fiber for my first unsupervised weaving project.

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In The Works Wednesday

On Sunday, I cast on Starling out of oviraptor yarn. I was looking for a project that would stick to my needles. One that would take awhile to finish, be mostly mindless, but still be engaging to work on. Then Cecily Glowik MacDonald posted Starling to her blog last week and I knew what that project would be. I cast on in white for two reason. First, I couldn’t decide what color to use. Second, once I purchased the pattern, I didn’t want to wait the couple of days it takes to dye and dry two skeins of lace weight yarn. I figure, if I don’t like a white cardigan, I can always dye it fire engine red or something later. I am really enjoying knitting with this yarn. It’s making a lovely fabric. I got gauge with my first swatch, which, when washed, bloomed beautifully. I can’t wait to get a little more heft onto this fabric. Of course, after three days of admittedly light knitting, I only have about four inches of fabric.

The knitting has been light because I have been warping and weaving on my second rigid heddle loom project.

I started weaving this last night in class. We’re learning how to use pick up sticks and pattern sticks. My brain is still wrapping around the whys and wherefors, but it’s coming along. I didn’t want to stop when class was over last night, and this is the first thing I will be coming back to when all my work for the day is done, which admittedly might be kind of late…

What are you working on?

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FO: Weaving Color Sampler

Get a load of my first rigid heddle weaving project!

I am taking the rigid heddle weaving class from the Potwin Fiber Artisans this month. I don’t think I could have taken a better class anywhere. Linda is a wealth of weaving knowledge. While I think most people would consider this a bit ambitious for a first project (four shuttles at once for a few inches!), I can’t tell you how useful it is. I can plan future projects by picking out any square of this sampler. Though I a currently weaving on a borrowed PFA loom, I can tell you when I get my own, the first thing I am going to make is a hounds-tooth scarf.

I am in love with the hounds-tooth.

And I am smitten with my first project. It’s riddled with little mistakes like most first projects, but because Linda set the assignment, I have more direction and confidence in my own weaving. Plus, pretty.

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Slow Start on Saturday

Saturday morning is usually when I deep clean the apartment. Truth be told, there isn’t that much to do today. Instead of a morning of cleaning, I have an hour or so of small projects. In one sense, this is good because it means the apartment is all ready pretty clean. On the other hand, it is easier to say, “Oh, I don’t really need to scrub the shower this week. Let’s work on fibery projects instead.” And that my friends, is a slippery slope that leads to an apartment full of grime and yarn. And I don’t like grimy yarn, so soon I will give in a start the mopping floors.

Just to procrastinate a little bit longer, I’ll show what I did yesterday. It’s interesting because I worked on it so much, I didn’t do any knitting! I know. That hasn’t happened for awhile.

I warped and wove most of my second inkle loom project. This time I am using my own wool, the left over charcoal cascade 220 from the linen stitch scarf and some orange elann peruvian highland wool I had laying around. I think it’s coming out nicely, but it’s obvious (to me at least) that this is still a beginner’s project. I find that even when it comes to weaving, I prefer working with wool over acrylics. This wool forms a much softer fabric. It’s not as bulky as the acrylic was and it seems like it will be just as durable (and possibly easier to sew). I am making the longest project I can make again, for optimum practice weaving. I am not finding the wool to be too sticky on the heddles, and it’s going really quickly. I am already thinking about what my next project will be.

Next to my loom, I have a pile of cotton yarn in pretty colors.

Because I decided it would be fun to make some useful things for the shop, and because it looks like (though I do not yet have official confrimation) I am going to have my own booth at the Farmer’s Market this year! (Which means I am going to have to start doing my cleaning on a different day.) The cotton is just the tip of the iceberg really, but I have a lot of preparations to do, so I better go mop the floor so I can get started planning for this new adventure.

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Stripes and More Stripes

I have been experimenting with stripes of late. First, I have been working on a series of self-striping sock yarn for the shop. It’s kind of a nerdy series of sock yarn inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender. I think it is one of the best animated series I have ever seen. The animation and writing are superb, and it’s something Athrun and I can watch together. (And then pretend we are firebenders after.)

The first in the series is called Fire and is based on the colors worn by the fire nation.

The stripes are about half an inch each, which is exactly what I wanted. I wish I could say I did some math to figure out how long I needed to make my skein, but I honestly just made the skein as big as my apartment would allow. (Using dinning room chairs and a lot of walking up and down the entire length of my apartment. We’re very technical around here.)

The fire is up in the Tiny Dino Studios etsy shop right now. I have water drying, and hope to have air and earth up sometime next week.

I also started something new on Tuesday. I am taking an Inkle Weaving class through Potwin Fiber Artisans. Outside potholders, I have never really woven before. I had no idea what I was in for on Tuesday, except I was going to learn about weaving. Despite not quite being able to keep all the new vocabulary words straight, I am heartily enjoying the process.

It’s difficult to get a good picture of exactly what I’ve got going on. (The wikipedia link above has some pretty good pictures of what the loom looks like.) The loom is on loan from the PFA, where my teacher made them herself. I might not give mine back, I like what I am making so much. I am not sure what it will be, though I am thinking of designing a purse or a skirt around it. (If it comes out even enough in the end. My first few inches are a bit shaky, but I think I am evening up my tension. So much to learn!)

Of course, I chose stripes. Isn’t it pretty?

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A Weaving Class!

Another new class from the PFA!

**Classes will be held in the Potwin Presbyterian Church. To enroll, contact the instructor.

Dates: February 7,14 & 21 from 7–9pm

Instructor: Linda Stanfill,

Fee: $45 to PFA (Inkle Looms will be available for sale/order depending on availability for $35)

Ability level: beginner

Description: The class will take you through the mechanics of weaving on an Inkle loom, threading the loom with your project, weaving it and removing the finished project and finishing off the project. Plans for making your own loom will also be available.

Materials: Looms will be available for the class. Bring scissors and a tapestry needle.

Please contact Linda Stanfill at llstanfill@ to register.

This is one I want to take very badly. I need to learn how to weave!