I tried to to a lot of spinning for the Tour this year. While I didn't really have a strict goal I had fun. I spun 5 bobbins that still need to be plied and 5 skeins. I was also working on my 2 support spindles which are handmade by local makers. I will focus more on those as soon as I finish my fibre with them.
I also received my NEW wheel!!!! This one replaces the wheel that was stolen in my car earlier this year. I wanted to keep with the same wheel as I loved it and I still have parts for it. This time though I got the walnut stain <3!! I bought it from Jo's Yarn Garden in Stony Plain, Alberta. Joanne was such a pleasure to deal with!! I am smitten with my new Kromski Sonata.
I miss my old spinning wheel bag which was made by Blue Mountain Handcrafts... but when I laid eyes on this Tom Bihn Quarter Packing Cube, I knew it would make the perfect replacement. I will devote a blog post soon to this bag. It really is perfect.
I feel so good to be able to finally replace some of the items lost in Feb. I have been so grateful for friends and my fibre community for lending and supplying me with all the tools I have needed to keep going.
But...... wait there's more!
Look. At. What. I. Won!! This beauty is my newest treasure handmade by an amazing woman named Jenny Noland. She is an AMAZING fibre worker in our community, a friend and a whiz at everything she does. Jenny is truly a Master Crafter, from spinning, knitting, weaving, lampwork, wood turning and more. I am so lucky to know such a talented woman. So, Jenny has been working with her lathe and making spindles. You should check her instagram feed to see all she creates. I was the luckiest of all to win one of her new spindles!! I was looking for a beautiful fibre to start spinning and found some baby camel in my stash. More to come on this!
Our fibre community on Regina here kicked off Tour de Fleece at The Naked Sheep. It was a good day full of food, laughs and breathing in the fibre fumes. My goals this year are to spin down my stash (not much left) and work on 2 support spindle projects.
With the french spindle I am spinning a new to me fibre: Pearl. It is a biodegradable cellulose fibre with freshwater pearl dust in it. Not sure how I feel just yet but it is interesting. It is a good moisture absorber and it even has a UV protection factor greater than 30! That's kinda neat. Watch for new spindle reviews coming up a bit later.
I spun a bobbin and plied 3 skeins. The one on the left is Merino/Bamboo from last months Spunky Club and the other 2 are Sweet Georgia BFL. Are you participating this year? What are your goals?
Blue Hills Fibre Fest was on June 9th - which was also World Wide Knit In Public Day. Jeremy and I spent the day in Carberry with the always amazing Manitoba Fibre Community. If you haven't visited a fibre fest before, you MUST add this one to your list. It may be smaller on scale but it is overflowing with amazing vendors, classes, fleeces and pie! This was my booth all set up and ready to go. Aside from our regular items we also had Straw into Gold kits and Cog Yarns hand dyed skeins for purchase. I am always overwhelmed at the generous support from the people in Manitoba. You all made my day so bright and one I can say I honestly enjoyed. Looking forward to next year already
I was very happy to judge the wool show this year. There were 16 fleeces in all and wow (!) most scored pretty high. Manitoba wool is exceptional.
Here are the first place winners as well as some of my favourites. My phone was a bit greasy so sorry about the shiny pictures hah!
I had a few new skeins to bring with me. Watch for an update in my Etsy shop very soon, were I will be listing the skeins I have. You can also find some at The Naked Sheep Yarn & Fibre Emporium.
If you are ever in Winnipeg then you MUST go to Baked Expectations. The cakes are so unbelievable, you will need to decide on a few to go as well. Jeremy had the Tia Maria torte. Next time I might get the Red Velvet cake and likely another cheesecake or chocolate cream pie. Also, take it from me - the hot chocolate is one of the best!
I did well. I could have bought soooo much more. The quality of vendors was outstanding and such a great variety. A new knitting wedge bag from Dragon Fibre Bags, project bag, sock yarn and t-shirt from Long Way Homestead, Sock yarn from The Sheep-ish Spinner, darning mushroom from Natural Knot Woods, french spindle from Homespun Tools and a cork wedge pouch, cedar/grapefruit handmade soap and merino hand dyed fibre from Last Dance Ranch.
Oh I love it all!!
After a long wait, I have listed 3 new skeins in my Etsy shop. I have 2 more drying and a couple more that just need plying. I have really been enjoying spinning on Saturday's at The Naked Sheep. I'm getting lots done so keep an eye out for more updates. Stay warm in this extreme cold!
I wanted to send out a big Thank you to those who stopped by the Etsy SK Winter Market on Dec 2nd at the U of R. This was the 3rd sale I organized at this venue and it still is my favourite. I had a good day talking to a lot of great people and meeting new vendors as well. I bought some yarn from Midknit Cravings; some to make another Aura shawl and a sock appetizer (pics below). I also got some fat quarters from So Sweet Quilts which I am planning on making some quilted mug rugs. A hand blown glass tumbler from Glassy Eyed and some beautiful notecards from Sparkling Medusa. Thanks to my chronic pain, after the sale I slept from 9 pm on Sat to 2:15 pm on Monday.
I also finished 2 pairs of socks using the Straight Up Socks pattern again. One pair was for my dad's birthday and I used good ol Kroy sock yarn. I really like knitting for him because he truly appreciates it. When I gave them to him (as he was going out the door) he cam back in, took off his boots, ripped off his socks he was wearing and put my handmade socks on. I love that.
My other pair I made in only a couple days using some new yarn from Midknit Cravings. It is one of their appetizers as I mentioned above. The colourway's I used were Bad Mood Monday and Wine Not! You get 50 g of the main colour and 20 g of a contrast colour. I was waffling between doing an afterthought heel, or maybe just tube socks but thought I would try to see how far I could get with the Straight Up Socks recipe and was left with 5g of the main colour and 6g of the contrast so I could have been ok. I just love them! Can't wait to make more.
I also sewed a brand new dress!! It is the Fen Dress from Fancy Tiger Crafts and I highly recommend it! For starters it comes in a bunch of sizes and it has POCKETS! You can also make a shirt. I love the hem line and it is SO comfortable. I will be making more of these as well. I also just bought the Metamorphic Dress by Sew Liberated so it will be my next sewing project for my handmade wardrobe. It also has pockets and it is reversible.
After several months of not spinning due to my chronic pain, I have finished a couple skeins for a fellow Guild member to use in weaving projects. Both are BFL, dyed by Sharon of Golden Willow. The one on the left is dyed with indigo in a gradient from white to dark (218 yards)and the skein on the right transfers from purple to blue to green (178 yards).
I am hoping to spin 40 new skeins for my upcoming sales in September (Manitoba Fibre Festival and Etsy Made in Canada) and I will likely have to take a bit of a break from spinning for a bit. This hurts my heart a lot as spinning is my life but I don't want to make things worse before they get better. You can always follow me on Instagram as well for handspun updates.
I have been very busy the last while spinning up a storm. I am sending off 20 skeins to Wolseley Wool in Winnipeg today. This yarn shop is my LYS away from home and guess what? They just moved into a bigger location which is absolutely gorgeous, you must check it out if you are in or around Winnipeg. They offer lots of really awesome classes and have a great selection of yarn, fibre, notions and more. I gain a lot of inspiration just seeing all of their pattern samples throughout their store.
These are just a few of the skeins I'm sending. Lots of wool types from SW Merino to Wensleydale and BFL and some really amazing blends like Polwarth/Silk. I hope you find a skein that calls to you (they all call to me) haha!
Well I didn't get what I had planned spun (at least on my support spindles) but that's ok. I did get these skeins spun and plied. 22.75 ounces and 1090 yards. Colourways are (from L to R): Skating on Thin Ice, Emotional Intelligence, Sagebrush, Google Doodle and Bon Voyage.
And look what I won! 390g of Merino/Silk in this pretty mix of reds and purples. I'm thinking it would make a nice shawl.... but don't I always say that? How did you do this Tour?
I have sent off 15 skeins of yarn to Elaine at Field and Fable in Swift Current. Yay Saskatchewan! I have quite a mix of fibres from alpaca, to BFL and Merino, Falkland, Bamboo and even Cashmere. Below are some of the skeins included in the box.
Field and Fable is such a beautiful shop filled with handmade items from local artists. Just take a look at her website (which you can also buy from) and see all the beautiful creations she has in store.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I have been spinning a lot of skeins lately. I am sending all these beauties to Ram Wools next week. If you are in or around Winnipeg you can stop in and browse their wonderful yarn store and see and feel my skeins without having to worry about shipping - Yay! I am very excited to have my skeins for sale in such an awesome yarn shop.
I haven't forgotten about my shop! I listed 2 new skeins there this week. These are my favourites out of the bunch. Polwarth /Silk and Corriedale.
I have decided to start keeping track of my spinning this year. I found a little notebook and I have been recording all the info about my skeins. I know I can do this on Ravelry, but sometimes I can forget to post yarn info and I was tired of having pieces of paper around my office with yardages. This way everything is in one place. I can also tabulate how many pounds and yards I spin each month. So far (up until the end of March), I have spun:
122 oz which is 7.63 lbs of fibre & 5973 yards which is 3.39 miles!
And I've got more coming so keep watching
I updated my Etsy shop with some new handspun this week. The top skein (Between Generations) is a gorgeous mix of jewel tones on top of a natural oatmeal BFL base. The very neutral and so incredibly soft skein on the bottom right (Milk Mustache) is spun from some very luxurious Superwash Targhee into a delectable gradient going from white to grey to brown and black. The third skein (Ambient) surprised me - I LOVE it and I am not a red person. Luckily I have 8 more ounces of that fibre to keep for myself :D
I also listed this super cozy infinity scarf I crocheted from 100% baby alpaca. It is such a gorgeous colour and can be worn many ways. These cowls/scarves are a must have accessory in my wardrobe. One main benefit of this one is that it isn't bulky, so you can wear it at work without feeling like you left some outerwear on. Classy and warm <3
I didn't have much left after the Etsy Holiday Pop-up Market but I did a bit of a shop update with some yarns and hats - including the original Frosty Morning hat! I've been holding onto it hoping to keep it for myself but I've never worn it and I hate to see it go unused. Its crocheted from Noro Kochoran which is a wool/silk/angora blend - super luxurious! The cloche hat is a new style for me. I've added some handspun buttons as a bit of a detail on the side. The slouchy brown wool hat is similar to my other slouchy crocheted hats but with a cute nest button. The yarns are spun from fibres I have been hoarding in my stash as they are just so gorgeous. More to come :D
I updated my shop with 4 skeins this week
Bijoux - Merino/Yak/Silk
The Tell Tale Heart - Shetland
The Lone Gunmen - Dorset
Sweater Weather - Wensleydale
Bijoux is a super luxury blend of fibres and it was N-plyed. I wanted to mix the colours slightly but not too much. The Tell Tale Heart was spun from some fibre I have had in my stash for quite some time. I love the colours and this Shetland was probably the best I've spun. The big, fluffy, bulky skein in the middle was my favourite of the week. Dorset is a down breed and a first for my shop. A very prairie fibre, often overlooked but I LOVED how it turned out despite the fibre prep, which gave me a few problems. Another X-Files related colourway name. And finally, the last skein listed was a nice lustrous long wool; Wensleydale. I kept it as a single, but spun it softly. Although a great tapestry yarn or textile yarn, I was thinking shawls, and the like because of its wonderful drape.
I have also reinstated my sheep study and you can read all about Cormo in that section.
I have been working on spindling the kit I got from Spin Off Magazine. The project I have in mind is the FFSSA Sheep and Spindle Fair Isle Hat by Theresa Gygi I've finished with the Falkland on my Bosworth spindle and for the first time was successful with Andean plying. Yes, my middle finger turned purple but i was proud of myself for winding all the yarn off and into a bracelet with no tangles or any issues at all. After plying I got 129 yards of fingering weight yarn. Onto the Yak which I am going to use my Malcolm FIelding Dervish for. More pics to come!
I enjoyed this slow process. It was very gratifying when I finished spinning and was able to start plying. To make my plying ball I wound the yarn from each spindle into my ball winder. I used my spindle bowl and help my spindles carefully to get all the spun singles off.
I plied this skein on my brand new I Love Spindlez spindle that my friend Kat's husband made.
I've already been thinking about my next spindle project. I'm leaning towards a gradient :D
I am working on a new spindle challenge for myself. I have these wonderful rolags I got from Natually Knitty on Etsy and I am spinning one a night. As I mentioned on Facebook, I am using this time to unwind and relax after a long day of work. I have 5.5 oz of fibre and it will take me about a month to complete spinning all the rolags. The fibre content is Shetland, Merino, Falkland and Polwarth - what a great blend!
I started out using one of my Glindles which I reviewed in this post, and I have 9 rolags spun on this spindle so far. 22 more to go.
I have been taking pictures every night and posting my progress on my Facebook page. Its hard sometimes because night pictures are never that great, so I thought I would post an weekly update on my blog here.
At the end of spinning, I will 2 ply the singles and I'm not sure what I will do with the yarn ~ project wise. Probably a shawl :P I have been inspired by a couple people and their spinning to shawl projects.
Rolags are great to spin with, they are easy to transport and spin on the go as you can throw a couple in your spindle bag - no need to bring them all. They are easy to spin from and will create a nice woolen yarn.
I found this spindle bag at the Fibre & Finery sale I participated in last November. It was made by Kathy Woodcock, who is well know in the city here for her unique hand stamped bags with flowers from her garden. She is a fellow guild member and an amazing weaver. Her bag fits my spindle and rolags perfectly.
So far I am quite enjoying the process which is different for me as I am usually a product spinner. It feels nice to take it slow.
What spindling projects are you working on?
New handspun added to my Etsy Shop today. It is Shetland fibre, plied with Corriedale. Both these wools combined create a very versatile, durable yarn that would be awesome for outerwear like mitts, hats and sweaters. I quite like working with Shetland, and have added more if it to my fibre stash so be on the look out.
I also have these beautiful, vibrant braids which I purchased from my favourite dyer Kim, from The Wacky Windmill. I can't wait to spin these into yarns as see what they become :D
You can see how soft this yarn is! Merino/Angora - a super luxurious blend perfect for heartfelt gifts or something amazingly special for you <3
I have updated the shop with some more handspun as well as different Spinner Starter Kit Fibres. I will be taking everything with me to Saskatoon next weekend for the first Etsy Made in Canada Day. Its a really cool idea for people who have Etsy shops. On Saturday Sept 27th, there will be pop-up shops happenening all over Canada and I will be participating. If you are in the Saskatoon area, come see my yarns and handmade items up close. I will be at Le Relais (103 - 308 4th Ave N) from 10 - 5. Hope to see you there!
This HUGE skein is made from the softest Falkland wool combined with happy colours and a cozy feel. All 8 oz will make you a selfish knitter, but that's ok :D
I met Carla in my Learn to Crochet class at Cindy-Rella's. Her fun attitude and genuine interest to learn new skills was very encouraging. She also took a spinning wheel class from me and was very determined to give it her best shot. She did awesome. She bought a wheel from our friend Susan and took off running. She joined the Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild and we have been hanging out at many of the monthly Fibre Nights as well.
Carla is about to have her baby any time now. I wanted to make her something nice for her son and knew the perfect handspun to use. This yarn is a superwash Corriedale so it will be easy to take care of yet will stay durable and last until long after her baby grows out of it. The colours are baby blue, light green, orange, gold and a sage-y green. Great boy colours.
I chose to knit a vest because it is a great layering item, and it will keep her baby warm without being too hot. The pattern is called Pebble by Nikol Lohr. It's wonderful project to showcase handspun because it is a simple looking pattern with a garter stitch border and yoke. The vest buttons up down the side and on one shoulder so it will be easy for him to get in and out of. My friend Hilary made one of these for her son when he was born and it just looked so cute on him! It's an easy pattern and you can adjust the size pretty easily.
It is super nice to give a handspun, handknit item to someone who really appreciates it. Can't wait to see the little cutie wearing his new vest.
Today's shop update is for a wonderful blend of Merino/Bamboo & Nylon. This is a nice, 3 ply worsted weight yarn that will work for both men and women. Click the picture above to be taken to the listing.
Today's Fibre Update is for a super soft skein of Polwarth. It's called Scheherazade because the colours are rich and exotic much like the stories she told. Click the above picture to be taken to the listing for more details.