Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sneak Peek July Phat Fiber

Well I did it! I got all of my July samples finished, packed up, and mailed out on Monday. Spinning the 24oz total of bamboo and tencel was a bit of a challenge and I was a bit burned out when I finished the tencel. I love the way they turned out and have to send a shout out to Andrea at Natural Obsessions for the awesome job she did dying these fibers.
Here is a photo of the full sized skeins I'll be listing after the box drops.

I also made some lavender and cedar sachets for July. These are made from the left over bits of fleece created when my mom makes her fleece throws. We also make fleece dog toys from the long narrow scraps. We do our best to use every piece and throw very little away. I'll be adding some of the sachets to the shop this afternoon.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Long Overdue Updates

My poor neglected blog. I've been so busy I haven't updated here since April, shame on me.

I've been working on my second Etsy shop and I have a few handspun yarns listed there. I have alot more I need to list so stay tuned. I'm finding that listing my yarn takes a bit more time than listing the finished items in my other shop.

I have of course been buying lots of fiber on Etsy and discovering more fabulous shops. I've added them to my favorite shops list, so be sure to check them out. Pictures are tops from beemiceelf and beesy bee. I've also done alot of spinning since my last post so below is a pic of just some of the yarns I've finished.

June's Phat Fiber box arrived yesterday. The theme this month was Oceanic and in my opinion this box was the best one yet. I snagged a Fluff box this time, which means my box was all fiber, with a few goodies like stitch markers etc. I love all of the samples, thanks to everyone who contributed.

And last but definitely not least I'm really pleased and excited to announce that I will be contributing to the Phat Fiber box in July. July's theme is Wool-Free, no sheep wool items. Here is a sneak peek at what I'm spinning for the box.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Playing Catch Up Again

Due to nice weather and some projects my poor blog has been a little neglected lately. Oh well, to catch up I spent much of last week working in the flower gardens around the house, all of the bulbs are planted and new mulch was added to all the beds.

My hubby also finished the aquarium stand he was building for my Dad, so I helped to stain and polyurethane that. Then of course since no project in this house hold can be that easy distaster struck. We had to move all of the fish out the of 29 gallon tank they were in, move the old tank and stand and move in the new stand and 55 gallon tank. Well we had the new stand and tank all set up and ready to put the fish back in when we noticed the tank was leaking!! So we had to drain the tank and put the 29 gallon back up, sigh. Now we are in the process of replacing the seals on the 55 gallon to try it again.

I was able to take my wheel outside and get quite a bit of spinning in though. All of the fiber pictured in my last post has been spun, plus more. I also got a few crochet projects finished, I have alot more to go. I'm trying to stock up since I have a craft fair coming up in May.

I did manage to catch an update at All Spun Up and purchase this gorgeous fiber.

Merino/Silk (80/20)


Also the first shipment of Squoosh's Fiber Club arrived this week 4oz of Punta in Wading Pool, very pretty. I'm really looking forward to seeing May and June's fiber!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Niddy Noddy and Finished Yarn

Before I learned to spin I would visit Etsy shops and look at all the gorgeous handspun, in pretty skeins with the yardage listed. Fast forward to me making my own hand spun, now how do I figure the yardage and get it into a pretty skein?

Well the answer is a simple device called a niddy noddy. There are wooden ones available to purchase from most spinning wheel companies but I decided to make one from PVC pipe. It cost me under $5.00, all that is required is a few feet of PVC and two T connectors. The center piece of the one I made is interchangable for a 1 yd. or 2 yd. skein. By counting the number of wraps around the niddy noddy I can now get a reasonably accurate measurement of the yardage.

Here is a pic of my handspun stash all made into pretty skeins. I've tagged each one with the name of the shop where the fiber was purchased, type of fiber, yardage and colorway.

Add of course I've been adding to the fiber stash.
Lovestruck 4oz. SW Merino/Seacell (Seacell is a fiber made from seaweed) from Sqoosh Fiberarts, this is a fiber combination I've been wanting to try. I have it on my wheel right now and it's really spinning beautifully, with alot of sheen to it.

Sammy 4 oz. SW Merino also from Sqoosh.

4oz. Merino from PoppyFlowerFibers. (This shop is on Etsy but is temporarily closed due to a leave of absense Lisa had to take.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Trying Something New

Okay so views and sales have been a little slow at my etsy shop lately. There could be a number of reasons for this 1) I've been spinning and crocheting alot and not spending enough time promoting 2) the economy is bad and money is tighter for everyone 3) alot of the items I make are for cold weather and it's slowing warming up here in the States.

So what to do about it? Well first off I've decided to try a new venue. I now have a shop at Artfire as well as at Etsy Right now I only have a basic shop at Artfire so I'm limited to 10 listings at one time but it's free to list and there are no selling fees. Should I decide to upgrade in the future I'll have to pay a set monthly fee.

I'm also going to be listing a few more hand painted items it the next month or so. And I've decided I will be offering some of my hand spun yarns for sale. Not sure how soon I'll be listing yarn.

Last but not least I'm also searching for new ways to advertise and promote my shops and my items both online and off. I'm doing a local craft fair May 16th and will be handing out lots of business cards.

Sorry for the lack of pretty pics in this post but I'm temporarily without a camera. My mom and I share the digital camera and she's taken it on vacation. My next post will have pics of my homemade niddy noddy and lots of newly finished yarn.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's Here, My Spinning Wheel is Here

It's been a very exciting week on Monday I received one of my fiber orders and Tuesday my spinning wheel was delivered!!!!!!!

Of course I immediately unpacked and put it together, it was pretty easy. I was able to figure out how to set it up and about 1 1/2 later I was spinning. However, it couldn't just be that easy, every so often as I was spinning my footman would just pop of the crank. I thought it was something I was doing wrong, Tuesday was after all the first time I had ever treadled a wheel. My Dad was watching me spin and saw it happen and asked about it. He came over for a closer look at what was happening and asked my why I hadn't put the screws in the pre-drilled holes. So after a phone call to the company I found out I was indeed supposed to have screws (they're mailing me some), so in the mean time I tied some string there.

Other than the missing screws my Sonata and I are getting along wonderfully I've been spinning alot. My first attempt does look like yarn and is just slightly overspun. I think that yarn is going to be crocheted into something and felted. I choose my Daffydills merino by NaturalObsessions to try first, it didn't draft as well as previous rovings I've purchased there.

Next I plyed the Neapolitan roving from Cloudlover69, I had spun the singles on my drop spindle about a week ago. I love plying on the wheel it goes so much faster than plying with my spindle.

Just today I finished plying up two more bobbins full of yarn. On the left is the other half of my Strawberry Shortcake sw merino by NaturalObsessions, and on the right is Irish Bilberry corriedale by Exetreme Spinning. Both of these are waiting to be washed and set.

And last but not least here is a peak at the fiber I bought recently.
Merino from Allspunup
Countess BFl from Cloudlover 69,
and Ireland Variation alpaca, merino, silk from Squoosh Fiberarts.
Notice a trend with my purchases lately, betcha can't guess what my favorite color is? Now I just have to decide what to do with all this lovely yarn I'm creating. I'm torn between crocheting into finished items to sell (of course I'm keeping some of my favorites) or offering it for sale as skeins of yarn.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March Phat Fiber Box

Playing catch up with my blogging again. I received my Phat Fiber Box on the 19th and I'm finally getting my pics up. It was filled with awesome goodies once again, this month's theme was celtic.

Mine included goodies from, Liberty Fibers, The Twice Sheared Sheep, Wooliebullie, Bohemian Knitter Chic, SparkleShan yarns, Dragonmaille, Fiberphiles, WeLoveThor, Gifforadables, WhorlingTides , Vines, and more. I just want to say thanks to all of these wonderful contributors who make getting these boxes so much fun.

Be sure to check out the Phat Fiber blog at , Jessie is having some awesome giveaways and there is a Spring Competition. You don't have to get a box to participate in the competition, you just have to purchase your materials from a Phat contributor.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I didn't get a chance to do a post at all last week, so now I have alot of catching up to do. Let's see first of all I finished my spinning for both spin alongs.

Then I went on a bit of a spending spree on a Etsy as some of my favorite shops did awesome updates. I purchased three rovings from , I just couldn't resist her Celtic themed rovings for March. Irish Bilberry is corriedale and Lucky Leprechaun and Cymbeline are organic wool. These rovings are also dyed using organic dyes.

I bought NightShade superwash merino from

and Rainforest, South African Fine from

and another super wash merino roving from

But the most exciting news of all I ordered my spinning wheel this morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I decided on a Kromski Sonata and ordered it this morning from the CopperMoose. Bill said it should arrive by Monday!

Oh and I almost forgot I crocheted a scarf from my handspun Strawberry Shortcake yarn. It's listed for sale in my Etsy shop.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Went to the Zoo

The weather was lovely here in PA over the weekend, so Saturday I took a break from crocheting and spinning and went to the zoo. My family and I visited Zoo America at Hershey Park. I was able to get some really nice photos of some of the animals enjoying the sunny day. The zoo features all North American animals, my personal favorites are the wolves. In particular the black wolf they've named Dakota. I always end up taking dozens of photos of him, one of these days I'd like to try painting him
The other photos show one of the mountain lions, a redtail hawk and two of their three bobcat kittens.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March Spin Alongs

Several of the Ravelry groups I belong to have spin alongs, so this month I've decided to participate.
The Spindlers group has a theme for their spin along each month, this month's theme is Romance. So I thought I would spin the batt I received in my Phat Fiber box from Silver Sun Alpacas. Its called Wine & Chocolate (two things that might be included in a romantic evening) and is a blend of alpaca, wool and mohair fibers. Here is a link to the shop

The All Spun Up group is for fans of Kristin's shop on etsy In order to participate in this spin along everyone purchases a Spin Along Mystery Fiber from the shop. This month's is BFL top, but the color isn't revealed until you get it in the mail. I just got mine yesterday, it's beautiful blue and brown. Of course I couldn't resist purchasing some merino/silk from her shop too.
But before I can start anything for the spin alongs, I have to finish the Falkland roving I'm spinning. It's the Neapolitan I purchase from cloudlover69 and it's turning out beautiful.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Spring Flowers

Well sort of , without intending it all of the fibers in this post are named after flowers :0) My latest purchase from Natural Obsessions was 8 oz of Wensleydale in Iris and 8 0z of merino in Daffydills. The wensleydale has a totally different feel than the superwash merino, it will be interesting to see how it spins. I'm really having fun working with the different fibers, the way
each one has its own texture makes it exciting.

I just finished spinning the sample of merino/tencel I received in my Phat Fiber box from Natural Obsessions. It's called Scarlet Roses, this fiber has a much more slippery feel to it. The yarn is very shiny and silky looking. It turned out about worsted weight.

I have begun shopping for a spinning wheel. The hubby and I agreed if he can get a new power tool with some of our income tax refund, I can use some of it to get a spinning wheel. The only thing I have decided on for sure is that it has to be fairly compact due to space issuses. Since I don't have the money in hand yet there is still plenty of time to window shop.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Because hubbies need projects too.

My hubby has decided to quit smoking, Yay! To fill his extra time and keep himself distracted he's started some woodworking projects. I agreed to add some of the finished items to my Etsy shop. So here is a sneak peek at the first of his woodworking projects. Its a sewing thread rack with two tilting shelves. This first one has been claimed by my mom who sews. Future thread racks will also feature hand painted detailing by me. The sample was made with poplar, but Ron also plans to make them in pine and red oak.

I also finished spinning 4 oz of my strawberry shortcakes fiber. The yarn turned out about worsted weight this time. I'm finding right now I don't seem to have much control over the weight my yarns turn out. It seems to be more controlled by the way the fiber drafts this is something I'm going to have to work on. I received my most recent order of two more rovings from Andrea at Natural Obsessions and I'll post some pics of those soon.

I signed up to participate in a spin along with All Spun Up fiber. Here is a link to the shop For the spin along I'll receive a mystery colored BFL roving I can't wait to see what color it is going to be. Of course I couldn't resist buying another roving while I was there to purchase my spin along fiber. Pics will be posted as soon as it arrives, it won't be shipped until March 2 when the spin along fiber is ready.