What a great day today, even though it POURED for a bit, the sun did come out and I spent the whole day spinning <3. In my spindle class we started off with supported spindles, I haven't had too much experience with these as I only bought my first supported spindle last year here at Olds. Our instructor gave us this cute little bead spindle and a bag of fibre to practice with. After a few false starts I got the feel for it and away I went. By lunch time I spun 4 punis and about 1 foot of pima cotton on this little bead spindle (I'm pretty proud of myself :). After lunch we focused on top whorl spindles and plying.
I also learned a few tricks, if you wind your yarn onto your spindle up and down kinda making a criss-cross pattern its faster. I also learned that making your cop football shaped you can pack more yarn onto the spindle while still keeping it balanced. If your yarn isn't all plugged up at the top under the whorl you can spin until your spindle gets too heavy. Hey Jeremy, see spinning and football DO co-ordinate :P
I was lucky enough to have one of my favourite spindle makers in my class; Ed Tabachek. He was very humble and most of the people in the class who thought themselves "experts" on spindles had no idea who they were sitting beside. I did get to have a nice chat with
him during lunch. He was plying some corriedale he had spun on one of this spindles. We talked about different woods, which spindle makers he likes and how he has always been a wood turner but just took up spinning because it was of interest to his wife (who has also graduated from the
Masters Spinners courses at Olds) He and her would go on winter trips and he found spindles were a great, portable tool and he could get a lot done even just sitting around.
The market mall here never disappoints. This year it is even bigger than it was last year! I was really excited, not only because there is so much fibre packed into one area but I got to meet my favourite dyer/fibre supplier; Kim from The Wacky Windmill. She has a very good selection of hand dyed fibres, handspun yarns, tools and everything I love. I snagged a couple braids that were calling my name. Kim also surprised me with a little gift from her angora bunny "Suzie"! Did I ever tell you how much I love The Wacky Windmill?! Its such a thoughtful
gift. I am going to try and spindle spin it and make something special. Thanks Kim :D
I also purchased some green Easy Spin cotton because first of all I had a coupon and secondly my spindle teacher runs the Easy Spin cotton business.
After leaving the college for the day, Jeremy and I had a GREAT supper at the Stonewood Grill and we picked up some wine and now we are just unwinding listening to the thunderstorm outside. Sigh, what a wonderful day. Tomorrow we are going to check out the Summer Solstice fair and watch some fireworks.
The Cathedral Village Arts Festival is coming up next weekend (May 25th) and I have one week to get ready. I plan on spinning as many skeins as I can and working on some odds and ends. I need to finish making some felted soap, market bags, food baskets and mandalas.
I have been knitting the Stripe Study Shawl with some handspun Masham wool and alpaca yarn. I'm loving the contrast.
I have been crocheting some wash cloth gift sets. They are a nice take along project. Great to work on during breaks and when I'm stuck waiting for a train
I have been spinning up club fibres as they arrive. I of course have more fibre than I can spin in a lifetime but it's what makes me happy. I am having a bit of a destash as well, my loss is your gain.
Here is a picture of my sister Nancy of Landlocked Design and I taken by the QC photographer at Sask Fashion Week last weekend. More to come on that later ;)
Knit Natural has had a great year so far and there is so much more coming! I have been working very hard in the past month and a half making one of a kind items for designer Riley Lawson for Sask Fashion Week. I attended her photoshoot on Sunday and saw my items in action. It was very emotional for me because all my hard work paid off and everyone had such nice things to say about me and my knitwear. I can't wait to show you the amazing photos of her collection but you will have to wait until after May 11th when she showcases her work on the runway! Its a surprise :D You can still get tickets at the Cornwall Centre or through the Sask Fashion Week website.
The Cathedral Village Arts Festival is fast approaching (Sat May 25th) you will find me there on Retallack Street with most of my stuff along with some new items that I will be adding to the shop shortly. I have been making crocheted mandalas (pictured above) as a way to use up bits of handspun. They are also fun to make and look really nice. They are just another project that can be made with my mini skeins I have for sale.
I am going to be taking a spindle class at Olds fibre week this June and will be helping out with the wool show along with my friend Val from Newland Ranch. I can't wait!
I have also been invited back to judge the wool show at the Grassland Sheep and Wool Exhibition in Drake Sask this summer. I will be promoting the wool industry as a vendor as well. I will have lots of items available as well as SOAK products which work wonders on wool. I'm really looking forward to attending this year and I can fully immerse myself in all there is to see and do. I'm interested in watching the sheep shearing, and would like to take a course one of these days.
Classes at Cindy-Rella's have been a big hit! I am usually there every weekend and it makes me very happy to see such an interest in fibre arts. If there is anything you may be interested in learning or would like a one on one lesson just drop me a line and I will add the class to my line up. If you haven't already been to Cindy's it is well worth a look. She has some very unique items and a great selection of yarns. She stocks everything from sewing and quilting to scrapbooking supplies and embroidery and everything in between. She has a beautiful store and you won't be able to leave without feeling crafty or inspired in one way or another.
I hope to see many of you at the upcoming events. Stop and say hi and tell me what projects you're working on, and don't forget you can find me on Facebook and Twitter
I received this gorgeous wheel this past weekend... (Thank you to Brenda!) stunningly gorgeous and I have always wanted a dark wood wheel. It is a Haldane, made in Scotland. To be honest I have never heard of this wheel maker before. They are not very common and stopped making wheels in the 80's to focus more on staircases. They had a few different styles; Orkney, Shetland, Hebridean and the updated Lewis. The wood is a kiln-dried European Beech with a dark oak stain. The bobbin capacity is about 2.5 oz, maybe 3 if you pack it on tight. The wheel is actually smaller than it looks in the pictures, the diameter of the wheel itself is probably just over a foot. It is a double drive and after putting on a new drive band I spun on it instantly without any trouble. It is soon to become one of my favourites. I have 4 wheels now and they have all been previously owned. They originate from New Zealand, Poland, Scotland and Vermont. Not a squeak can be heard from this beauty, and it even comes apart for easy portability win, win, win. :D I have spun some BFL/baby camel fibre on it and loving every minute.
I recently bought a pair of these Chiaogoo fixed circular needles to try out. I loved them so much I bought another pair. The points are nice and sharp, the joins are smooth and the cable is... an actual cable. Very strong and as I am using them on my current project I find I am knitting faster with them because I'm not worried about them coming unscrewed, or the tips breaking free of their casing. I have been knitting effortlessly with them. I would like you to try these needles out as well! All you need to do is comment on this post saying why you could use a good set of needles and what project you would try them out on. You will win a pair of Chiaogoo fixed circular needles in any size and cable length and I will also be throwing in 3 mini skeins of my handspun yarn. This giveaway will close on Sunday March 17th at 10:00 pm Sask time and I will randomly pick a winner. Good Luck!
I decided a while ago that I love handspun more than commercial yarn. I love the process, the uniqueness, the surprise and the finished product. I love how the yarn when spun can/will look a lof different from the fibre sometimes and other times it looks pretty much the same. I love the handmade look of handspun items and I especially love how much better the item feels on. I even told Jeremy that if he was choosing between fibre and yarn for me, always choose the fibre.
I have made a new years resolution to spin at least 4 oz of fibre a month.... on a spindle and try to make a pair of socks a month. I have been doing well so far in this first week of the year. I am going through one of my Phat Fiber boxes and I am going to spin every sample with my little sweetheart golding
I also received this gorgeous "Sheep to Shoe" kit from my friend Hilary and I spun it up into 2 ply yarn and I am making plain socks. I love them. It is so rewarding to finally make handspun socks. I specifically learned toe up socks for this, and only this. Thanks Hilary <3 such a thoughtful gift
So this is all I worked on today