Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm In Another Treasury

Wow--I'm in another Treasury due to EtsyFAST. It was chosen from EtsyFAST members by tisjewelart, who has a shop full of absolutely gorgeous handpainted roving, handpainted yarn and handspun yarn.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Stuff I've Been Making

For a friend's daughter's birthday, I (with some help from my boyfriend, Chris) made her this fancy board to hang on her wall for magnetic poetry--which we also gave her, of course.

(Not the best picture in the world, but it's already been given to her, so I'm stuck with it.) She's (almost) 8 and is very interested in making sentences--she plays with our magnetic poetry kit every time she comes over here. So we thought she would enjoy this. It's made with magnetic paint, which--while it doesn't hold heavy magnets--is pretty much the coolest invention in the world. And when I get a house, I want to paint an entire wall in it.

I've also finished the halter I'm making for another friend's daughter. It doesn't photograph all that well when not on a child, so bear with me--it will look much cuter when it's not flat on a table. (The second picture is of the ends of the ties.)

Hopefully soon I will get the chance to get some pictures of it being modeled and then I will make some more for my Etsy shop.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My New Skein Winder (and Treasury)

My gray felted clutch is currently in a Treasury and may have been on the front page of Etsy. I can't be completely sure because I didn't see it there, but the Treasury was on the front page and my clutch has a bunch of new views, so my guess is that it was. It's pretty exciting, but I do wish I could have seen it if it was there. And gotten a picture. I do have one of the Treasury anyway.

My new skein winder is here and all finished and put together. I adore it.

I wish I had more yarn to wind, but our air conditioner has been broken all week and I did not want to do anything as hot as dyeing yarn. I will be getting on that soon, though.

I did manage to save one skein of yarn to wind on my new skeiner.

(It will be for sale in my Etsy shop in a few days.)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My Handspun

I haven't gotten around to spinning any of that merino I handpainted. I'm probably a bit nervous about it--and I haven't decided whether to spin it on my spindle or my wheel. I don't use my wheel enough, but I think that's probably because I don't have anything decent to sit on when I'm using it. I need to buy this.

Since I haven't spun anything recently, I thought I would post some older pictures of handspun like I said I might. All of the following were spun on a spindle.

This is merino--some of the first yarn I ever made. Most of it was already used in a scarf for my sister.

This is Blue-Faced Leicester that I dyed after it was spun with food coloring. It got a bit wonky because of that, I think, but it's still okay. I'm not too fond of the color, though.

I can't remember what this is (possibly Blue-Faced Leicester). I dyed it with coffee after it was spun. There's quite a bit more of this--it's supposed to be a hat and scarf for my dad if I ever get it done.

Well, I guess that's a sampling of my handspun anyway--I do have quite a bit more, but I think this is enough for now. I'm still learning, so I'm not super thrilled with it, but...

I'm joining in the Saturday Night Specials on Etsy again tonight. I haven't done it in a while, since the four or five other times I've done it I didn't make any sales. But since I haven't wanted to list on Etsy for a few days because of the search problems, I thought I would do this tonight. So 15% off everything in my shop until 3:00 am EST. Shop away.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Finished Blanket and Handpainted Roving

The round ripple baby blanket I've been working on is finished (except for a few ends I still have to weave in). I think it came out really nice--it's so bright. I need to finish it up and get the rest of the gift together, so I can be early with a gift for once.

As usual, I don't have a picture of the entire blanket because I have no good place to take one. I'm still trying to figure out a good way to do it, so I'll post if I do.

I also handpainted roving for the very first time yesterday. (And I learned to braid it for the pretty picture.)

It was very stressful painting merino roving like that--I kept waiting to felt it. But I don't appear to have done so. Yay me. I will be spinning it up soon, I hope. And then I may post a picture of my handspun for the first time. (Or I may actually take some pictures of older stuff first--I keep meaning to.) I'm not an expert spinner by any means, but I do enjoy doing it. And dyeing the roving was fun.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Your Questions Answered

I was asked a question about my last post and instead of explaining it just to the questioner (Hi, Dad!), I thought I'd answer it here for anyone else who may not have understood. I commented in my last post that I didn't want to make many skeins with my niddy noddy and swift because it was too hard on my arm. I guess that's completely incomprehensible to non-fiber obsessed people. So here is an explanation--with pictures, even. (And please excuse the pictures--they are the only ones I have of my niddy noddy and swift with yarn on them and I have no yarn to wind so I can't take new ones.)

I handpaint yarn in hanks which are basically big loops of yarn, tied in several places to prevent tangling. (The yarn I dye comes that way, but if it didn't, I would need to wind it into hanks first.) After the yarn is dyed and dried, I re-skein it to mix up the colors. First, I put the yarn on my swift.

It clamps to a table and opens up a bit like an umbrella--that way you can adjust it to the size of your hank of yarn. It spins, so that when you pull on the end of the yarn, it just keeps going. To wind the yarn up into a new hank, I use a niddy noddy.

(Mine is made out of PVC pipe.) You wind the yarn around the bars--in a way that would be easy to show you, but currently seems impossible to to explain--and then slide it off, twist it and you have a pretty little skein.

And that's it. I hope that made more sense to those of you who didn't understand my last post--if there are any of you other than my dad (who I could just have explained this to when I see him tomorrow).

That process is all well and good for one or two skeins, but after a couple, my arm is burning and I have to quit. Which is why I have ordered a skein winder which you just turn--leaving the niddy noddy completely out of the story. (I ended up ordering it from Paradise Fibers instead of the Woolery since the sale I thought they were having was actually last month and Paradise Fibers had a pattern that I wanted.)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Winders and Halters

I've been doing more dyeing lately and realized rather quickly that if I am going to do a lot of dyeing, I need to get a skein winder instead of making skeins with my niddy noddy and swift. Much too hard on my arm. So I figured that I would wait until I sold some yarn and then buy one--which could be some time. Right after I made that decision, I sold a bunch of yarn, so now I can buy my skein winder. And on top of that piece of luck, the Woolery is currently having a sale. Wow. Now I just have to figure out if there is anything else I need that's on sale.

I am currently working on a crocheted halter for a friend's daughter and once I have that worked out, I plan to sell them in my Etsy shop. I made some halters for another friend's three daughters last summer--before I had a shop--and my friend recently asked if I could make one for her daughter. She's also going to let me use photos of said daughter in my halter listings, which is wonderful because it will look so much better being worn. (And her daughter is adorable.)

Saturday, June 2, 2007

I Bought a Doll (and Another Treasury)

I have been meaning to post about a doll I purchased from LilyDolls on Etsy for quite a while now, but I'm just now getting around to it.

Now, I'm not normally a doll buyer, but this is a special doll (and if you're really cool, you already know why). She's Kaylee from Firefly/Serenity--specifically from the pilot episode of Firefly. And I just can't get over how gorgeous she is. If you want to see more of LilyDolls' work than is in her Etsy shop, you can check out her personal site.

I'm in another Treasury--that's two in one week. I can hardly believe it, but it's very gratifying.

And again it's due to EtsyFAST, as the Treasury was chosen by another member, Beth Brown of Handcrafted By Beth. (See her shop for beautiful hand dyed yarn.)