Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

A day to reflect and give thanks... surely everyday should be a time for reflection and gratitude but when you bundle that day with 3 days off it does make it more appealing.

I'm up *surprise* finishing up my new yar. I spun half a bobbin full of "Children's Joy", a batt I made on my new drum carder, then plied it with an army green merino roving. The result is gorgeous! The colors pop and blend and fade and return... its my best work ever :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Taking fiber prep to the next level

What a day. I picked and fluffed my nearly dry Wensleydale fleece all day. I must say, for a first fleece, its pretty awesome! Clean, fluffy, no felting. I did good.
Here's a pic of my home made fleece and yarn dryer:

To top a near perfect day off the postman rang with a huge box. My drum carder. I didn't realize it was so big. I am even happier now! After ripping the packaging to shreds and dealing with peanut cleanup I immediately begain carding fibers and created this lovely batt. My better half named it, "Children's Joy". I think the name fits.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wensleydale goodness

This luscious, soft, curly lock fleece arrived at my door today from Carlson Farm. Wenslydale sheep are prized for their curl and extreme luster and are utilized for everything from socks & outerwear, to felting, weaving and doll hair. Fleeces from Sherry Carlson of Carlson Farm range from $15 to $24 per pound for adult vs. sheep up to 2 yrs old which produce a finer fleece. I couldn't wait to stick my hands in the bag and feel the incredible softness. The natural lanolin from the sheep does wonders for your hands too. I'm taking the long weekend to bathe this fleece and prepare it for dyeing and spinning. I can't wait to get started!

Will work for Weave-its

I just got this cute little vintage weaving loom, a Weave-it by Donar Products. They were produced from the 1930s in bakelite and wood. This one makes a 4" woven square that can be sewn with other squares to make a variety of things. I think I'm addicted...

Soft Drink Color Card

I found this at - its a color chart for Koolaid and other soft drink mixes. Drink mixes are often used as dyes for coloring yarn. I was at the supermarket this weekend trying to pick out colors based on the color of the drink in the Koolaid guy's hand. How annoying is that? I ended up with a pack of each: red, orange and blue colored flavors but I couldn't help wondering the color difference between say, strawberry and cherry. Or, tropical punch and mango-berry. Well, I wonder no more thanks to this neat little chart!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Free Hugs

I saw a performance on YouTube Live tonight - it was the band, Sick Puppies performing the song from this real life video that got a huge following on YouTube.
I love everything about this video, this song, this concept and this guy, Juan Mann and his "Free Hugs Campaign." Do you and someone else a favor, give and get a free hug today. XOXO

Friday, November 21, 2008

Glam L'amour

Everyone's got an alter ego these days. Beyonce has "Sasha Fierce"; David Bowie had "Ziggy Stardust." Me? I have Glam L'amour. The fiesty yarn design Diva. To bad she only makes a late night appearance when accompanied by her spinning wheel entourage.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Late night snack...

And now for a little snack: Chocolate Mint Chip in a merino 3 ply. Yummy!

Good looking single for ya

My first good looking single - Chestnut merino roving from eBay... I love this stuff!  Thanks Necia, for hooking me up with the seller.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Today's lesson in Spinning

Alright class - settle down. Just in case there's anybody here who doesn't quite grasp the concept of carding and spinning wool, please pay close attention to today's video lesson. There will be a quiz.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Moja Polska Księżna

After working from home today and waiting the entire day, UPS finally saw fit to delivery my package at 6:32PM. I seriously wish they could have felt the stress and anxiety I had over this delivery. This my friends, is what I've been waiting an eternity for (ok a week, but it felt like an eternity...) my beautiful Polish Princess, a Kromski Mazurka spinning wheel - all the way from California, courtesy of Kyle.

She's too beautiful for words - so I'll just let you bask in her glow for a while. Do promise you'll try to break away to eat and use the restroom at some point today. Ok?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Night Batt Girls

Fun, fun, fun was had today when my pal Necia stopped by with her son Cee, her Majacraft Suzie Pro, tons of wonderfully colored fibers, glitz and curls, and her cool Louet Jr. drum carder.

After a "light snack" (calamari pizza - yes, pizza slathered in crispy calamari!), we got to work on making some "novelty" batts for spinning. Here's what we came up with:

Above, our joint production batt of mainly purples and glitz drummed and carded together - I call it, "The Little Mermaid."

Below, my first batt ever! I initially called it, "WTF!?!" but it looks more like Sushi so insert your favorite roll here _______ . I absolutely adore it! I can't wait to see how it spins. I'm saving it for my new wheel, a Kromski Mazurka which is scheduled to arrive in 2 days!
Chopsticks anyone?

Making these batts is almost as much fun as spinning them. If you haven't tried carding fibers together into batts, you're missing out on a lot of creative fiber fun.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...

My second attempt at spinning - its just a "Fruit Blast" single. Doesn't it look like it wants to be plyed? :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

A gentle reminder from my daughter this morning...

Lovingly posted on her bedroom door.

Hankering for a skein?

I am! Well, not anymore since I've spun my first hank o' yarn today.. I actually spun the yarn a few days ago but the twist was too tight and the yarn looked crazy. I respun it today and it turned out quite well - nice and balanced. After soaking the skein in warm water and squeezing out the excess, I used my kitchen curtain rod as a yarn rack. The dripping yarn is actually watering my plants. Hows that for a dual purpose yarn?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Craigslist Has Given Me The Urge To Serge

I've always wanted a serger. There are so many sewing projects that can be enhanced by the beautifully finished seams & edges a serger can create. What I really love is that most sergers can cut away fabric as they sew. This is an absolute must for reconstructing garments. Unfortunately, sergers cost - A Lot! Even older or vintage ones are hard to come by, but if you do find them they usually have no manual and no threading diagram (sergers require pretty complex threading for operation).

Well, after scouring Craigslist waiting for ads to jump out at me something did, a listing for a Singer 14 series serger in the NJ listings (my State) - But get this, the cost? $50! "That HAS to be wrong," was my first thought. Or, its missing something, or broken or cross posted from some state somewhere clear across the country. What the heck, I decided to email the poster and leave my phone number as they requested. Within 20 mins I got a call back - the serger was working (although the poster hasn't attempted to use it) and is located about an hour away from me. The downside, no manual and no accessories. No worries. I ordered a $5 downloadable manual from so I had all the info I needed to thread and use the serger - assuming it really worked.

What I found when I arrived, the serger was in like-new condition! It couldn't have been used more than once or twice. Even the foot pedal was like new. Still, I was a bit leary about whether it worked or not and the seller was very hesitant to confirm that it did. However, when I got home I read the manual and found that the front plate of the serger is actually a door that opens to show the threading guide! I followed the instructions and thread all 4 threads, oiled the oiling points, adjusted the tension and stick in a fabric scrap... bada-bing-bada-boom - it sews! Beautifully, I might add. Here's what I think: Seller purchased serger; seller couldn't thread serger; seller posts serger on Craigslist for cheap; buyer (me) buys serger and finds out how to thread it and tells her readers all about her great buy; readers think, "dayum she's good!"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

This Hatbox Is No Trick

Funny looking hatbox? Old time radio? Wood bowling bag? Not on your life. Its my Vintage Louet s40 aka "Hatbox" Spinning Wheel. I recently purchased a beautiful Kromski Mazurka wheel in walnut stain from my online pal Kyle, just waiting for it to arrive. Its such a gorgeous wheel that I had reservations about traveling to my knitting/spinning group with it so I started looking at some more portable options. That's when I came across a listing for the Louet Hatbox wheel. A lot has been written about these cute little wheels online, so rather than reinvent the wheel *ouch* I'll just leave you with this link so you can read up on it yourselves ;-P
Big thanks to Jessie for agreeing to meet me and make the sale. This little gal was well worth the roadtrip - a two hour each way drive. My daughter, my dog and I took it in stride, sang songs and stuffed our faces there and back. Ok, gotta run, I've got more roving to over-twist into funny looking yarn on my new wheel.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

YES We Can


I'm so very proud of what we as a nation have accomplished tonight. Not only do we have a new
President who is of and for the people, but we have our first President of color on his way to White House. I've never seen a nation come together with such a sense of purpose before. Young and old, rich and poor, black and white - we did it. We all came together, came out (early) and changed the course of history. The Powerless became the Powerful tonight. Let's not stop here. There is still much work to do. Tomorrow is a new day...