Monday, December 7, 2009

Let's be honest shall we...

Only 2 WIPs, and lots of empty project pic spots. So, what did this knitter need to do? I had to be honest with myself and frogged things that were never going to be worn or finished (such as the girly cobblestone). There are actually only two projects going right now that are being worked on, but I might be casting on another project within the week, just sayin'. That cobblestone I mentioned, the yarn has been balled and more yarn purchased. I picked up 3 blues, 3 reds, 2 purples, and a green...the cobblestone is going to be re-incarnated as a fair isle sweater. Sweet! Being inspired by the Caitlin Pullover.

Short and sweet tonight, I've got some photography and cleaning/packing to do.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Get Your Spin On!

Recently I reconnected with my love for the long draw spinning technique. I’ve been using long draw from rolags to spin for my Magical Sweater and love how quickly I can fill a bobbin. This is important when you are spinning for a whole sweater. In trying to learn this technique myself I found a couple videos about preparing rolags and long draw spinning that I wanted to share with you.

Side note: If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you might remember the rolags that I’ve been carding for the Magical Sweater. They are quite a bit larger than the ones on the video. This is because I overloaded the cards with fiber and then instead of just one carding worth of fiber, I used 2. So, here’s what I did. I loaded the cards with fiber and carded as usual, then instead of laying them on top of each other and rolling up, I stack them on top of each other and set them on a table (no roll-up). I then repeat the carding process. Then, I use both carding sessions and combine these to roll-up which makes a huge rolag that I split in half. I did this because it gave me the results I wanted, no other reason. Make sense? I’ll do a tutorial.

I’m going to start spinning for another sweater (Mondo Cable Cardi by Chic Knits) real soon and wanted to spin from roving/top instead of rolags. My plan is to use 1 ½ lbs of “Black” BFL top spun to a worsted weight, spinning from the fold. I then plan to over dye the yarn a deep red/burgundy color. I found this great video on how to spin from the fold which encompasses a long draw technique.

I hope to start this spinning project this week, since I’m almost done plying the last 2 skeins for the Magical Sweater. At least I hope it’s the last I have to spin for the Magical Sweater.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spin Much?

I have been lately. My friend is looking into buying her first spinning wheel and I've been trying to share some of my knowledge (limited as it is) with her. So I figured I would also put together a post with some of the references that I have used over the last year.

Stitch it! Podcast - Meghan share a wealth of information on spinning, some of which she picked up at SOAR last year.

Spin-off Magazine

This video about the different drive system set ups. I do not have a Schacht, but I do have a double drive wheel that I can set up in these different ways. Can't wait to try the Irish drive set up.

Sit and Spin DVD - great art yarn DVD

Spin Control book - great book with a large amount of info

...and lots of YouTube videos. That's all I can think of right now.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Look at that face

look at that face

If you are anything like me, don't ya just want to snuggle up with that little face? Jessica and I went over to Crystal Springs Alpacas today for the Florida Alpaca Farm Day.

Jess trying out her weaving skills

Jessica got to try out her weaving skills. This was such a nice well maintained farm. I was so impressed. Best of all, they had yarn, roving and fleece for sale. Yes, of course I bought some. I picked up 6oz of black sure alpaca roving and 4oz of brown baby suri alpaca raw fleece. I'll be posting pics of the spinning progress (I've already started the black alpaca). It spins beautifully.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Taking a Break

For the past 4 weeks I've been struggling with this decision. Fighting against this feeling. A feeling that something that was so important and loved has become insignificant. I'm talking about dyeing. I have to take a break from the dyeing business. I still love to dye, but the business portion has become too much for my already hectic life. The stress of finding time, space, and money has made the process as-a-hole so much less enjoyable.

Can I take time off and come back to it? I don't know.

Will I come back to it? I'm making no promises.

If and when I do come back, I want it to be enjoyable. I think I just need some time to re-organize everything. I actually said to someone "I do not have time to cook or clean or do family things because I have a business to run". Really? I got so involved in running this business that I forgot to enjoy my life. And somewhere in all the craziness, I've stopped enjoying dyeing. I love to dye, don't get me wrong, but I think I'm dyeing for all the wrong reasons.

The relief of making this decision is palpable. Because I've been dwelling on this for so long, I had no inspiration to do anything else. I've been avoiding getting online, avoiding knitting, avoiding spinning, and don't even think about stepping into the craft room. I feel unchained now. I feel like I can move my creative life in another direction.

This all came to light with a little + on a stick. The little + is the positive marker on a pregnancy test (in my case 4 pregnancy test). Paul and I have been trying for over a year to get pregnant and it finally happened. And with that + my entire view on my life has also changed. This little dyeing business has become less important. Honestly, I just want to be around friends and family and enjoy my life (which has been delayed because of the flu bug that has been circulating through the house). I don't want to be tied to the dye pots dyeing, or to the computer updating and trying to pimp my business. I want to dye when the inspiration hits and when it is suitable to my life. I want to turn my craft room back into a craft room, not the room of production that it has been. I can't even get to my sewing machine, it's surrounded by dye pans.

So how do I end a post about ending. Not sure. Just want to say that although the dyeing business has been stressful, the people I have meet have been fabulous. I truly appreciate all the wonderful support and wonderful encouragement that I have received. But don't fear, I'll still be around and still post, it might just be about more random things and more family things.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I began the year with a little sock revolt. Why? I don’t know. I just did not want to knit socks. Yes, I started a few pairs, but I only finished 1 pair. Well apparently the void in my sock knitting has caught up with me and now all I want to do is knit socks. I’m really trying hard not to cast on every single sock in the cookie a. book Sock Innovations, I’m fascinated with sock knitting machines, and I want to order a metric butt ton of sock knitting needles. What is with the socks? I’m pretty sure this has something to do with the envy I felt for all those sock knitters who were able to attend Sock Summit. It might also have something to do with the new knitting technique that I’ve been able to learn and gradually have become comfortable with using. I’m a Flicker. Using this technique makes the knitting so much faster and smoother, for me anyway. The one this that hasn’t been part of my “I Must Knit Socks” revelation is the need to buy sock yarn. How weird.

Back to Sock Summit. How jealous am I? Wow, to have been there with all those like minded knitters and surrounded by the love of knitting socks. And all that color. And all those patterns. And knitting geniuses. And the accessories. And the colors. Speaking for sock accessories, I need some sock blockers. I think I’m going to make some using this tutorial. I’ve always thought that blocking a sock was kinda unnecessary. I mean whether you block it or not it will still stretch to fit your foot when you put it on. But I do like the look of a nicely blocked sock. So I’m going to gather up some placematts and make some sock blockers. I need several pairs as I usually wash mine and hubby’s socks all at once.

Okay, so which socks did I decide to cast on? I’m limiting myself to 2 pair at a time. First I decided on “Sam” by cookie a. The second pair will be for the hubby, just a plain ribbed sock. I haven’t knit him any socks since Christmas, I think he is due a pair. Ooh Ooh, and I’m going to try an afterthought heel. I’m very excited to try out a new technique. Maybe I’ll even try the afterthought leg pattern Houdini Socks by Cat Bordhi. This seems to be a very interesting way to knit a pair of socks. Now if I didn’t have to be at work all day maybe I could get some of this knitting done. Stupid work getting in the way of my knitting time.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

website website website...YES!

I'm so excited about this. So excited to have a website just for 1,000 Petals. I never thought I would get to a point when I would have a website. happy dance happy dance

Check it out.
1000 Petals

To celebrate the launch of the new website I'm offering 10% off your entire purchase until Sunday. Oh and don't forget, I'm now offering to refund the shipping charge when you buy 3 or more items. Score!

running off to play with the new website


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Too long

It’s been over a week since I last dyed a batch of yarn. I’m not counting the odd-n-ends skeins I dyed for myself. I’m so ready to get back to the dye pots. Is this an addiction?


I should be receiving 10lbs of Surge yarn by next week (I hope to get it Saturday). I can’t wait to get the cones skeined up for some experimental solar dyeing.

Speaking of solar dyeing…here’s the plan. I’ll use essentially the same process for dyeing the yarn that I use now (well, wrapping it in plastic wrap may be eliminated…we’ll see), anyway, I’ll put all the skeins into a glass large mouth jar and set it in the sun. I’ve got some experimenting to do but that’s the plan as of yet. I don’t have much direct sun exposure in my yard, but I do have a spot on top of a shed. Let’s hope this works.

In other news, I had a meeting with a LYS Saturday morning and this LYS will be carrying my yarns. Yippee! I’ll let you know the store name and such once she receives some stock.

And in more news, I was contacted by an event coordinator who has requested 50-100 skeins for an event in 2010. Again, I’ll have to give more details once this has been finalized. My first reaction…silence. I just couldn’t believe that someone would like my yarns that much. It amazed and shocked me. I also had a little bit of a panic moment, which has since passed and because the event isn’t until 2010 I know this can be accomplished.

The last bit of news. 1,000 Petals has a dot com address. It’s not ready for publishing yet, but I have registered the domain name and my web designer (Color Mode Studio) is working on the site design. This is the same firm that created the 1,000 Petals logo that you can see below.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

We're going solar

There are some hugenormous things in the works and I have to have more space to dye. So, ever since hearing Miss. Violet talk about using a solar oven to heat set her yarns, I've been contemplating this also. Now, one problem...I live under about 12 large oak trees. There's not much sun that penetrates through to the ground at my house. I'm not going to get rid of the trees, I love my trees. So, we've got some planning and building to do to get around this problem. I guess it's a pretty big problem, solar oven with no sun. Hmmm...

Edited to add a link. And I've figured it out...remember Sun Tea?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Growth is good, and stuff

I live 2 lives. One is lived in a very straight back insurance world. The other is lived in a free-formed fiber world. And to my surprise and delight, my fiber world has been growing.

As some of you might have noticed, the beginning of this year brought from me a huge dedication to the growth of 1,000 Petals. All my focus was to be directed to this fiber world. I’ve devoted many hours to this and it has started to pay off. It’s August now. 7 months of focus. 7 months of tears, sweat, and enjoyment. Yes, I do enjoy this fiber world very much. Where’s the dilemma? Okay “dilemma” is not the word I want to use. Where’s the challenge? The challenge is to find balance. Balancing both worlds to work for me. There has to be a balance. Has to be.

I’m going to put myself on a schedule and allow for “time off”. I do not want to get burned out. I need to spend time with my family, fur babies, and friends. And I do mean “need”. This time is to recharge my creative and emotional energy. We all should have some recharge time.

This all became very clear to me in the last 3 weeks. It started with getting the yarns dyed for Sock Summit. I had a week to get the coned yarn skeined, dyed, and shipped. Then, the following week, I had to repeat this process and add photography and uploading yarns to etsy for the launch of a new ad on Ravelry. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you work full time, this process became hairy. This week, I’m on vacation from dyeing. But, even though I’m on vacation from dyeing doesn’t mean that I’m on vacation from creative energy. This never stops. Being away from the dye pots has given me such breathing time and the ideas are flowing. Love this!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Surge Update

Boy o' boy have I been busy. This is by far my favorite yarn base. It's the new Surge Yarn base, same great merino but with a tighter twist. Fabulous!

Surge Update


Thursday, July 30, 2009

FO - Plain Jane Socks

plain jane

WhooHoo! One project from the UFOs done. To be fair, I was really close to being finished.

Pattern: Plain Knit Sock
Yarn: My Own (ravelry link)- 3ply Merino Superwash. This is actually the old Surge base. The new Surge base is super duper amazing. Just sayin'.

Update on the other UFOs: The only other UFO that I'm knitting on currently is the Venezia Lady or better known as the February Lady Sweater I've almost finished the first sleeve. Sweet!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Yep, I sure do have a lot of UFOs.

So, I'm making this commitment for everyone to see. I will NOT cast on anything else until my UFOs are either finished or frogged. Which means I have to go through my projects and figure out which projects I really want to finish and which ones I will be frogging.

Here's what will be finished:
1. Plain Jane Socks
2. Spring Weaver Shawl - this will be finished, but I think I'm going to frog it and re-start. I'll explain in another post.
3. Magical Sweater
4. Venezia Lady Sweater
7. Noro Afghan
8. Only in Bright Light sweater

Here's what will be frogged:
5. pease for me
6. Simple pullover

Well, I have 6 projects to finish before casting on another. At least some of these are pretty close to being finished.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hi! I've been busy

I know. I know. I never call.


Well, I've been super busy. What am I so busy doing? Dyeing. I just did a small Fraternal Twins Roving update on etsy. But most of my time has been spent dyeing yarn for Sock Summit. I've got 10 skeins done and going to do 3 skeins tonight. I wanted to get more finished in time to ship to Pam. But, If something could go wrong it did. First my yarn meter stopped working. It was skipping yards (feet actually) of yarn which meant that my skein was 600ish yards, instead of 420. I had to drive to Orlando to pick up another (bought 2, just in case). So, I then tried to re-wind this one and because the tension was different pulling it off the swift I had a light skein. Oh, it first started with the new skein winder, which I LOVE, but the arms were too long which cause the skein to be too big for a yarn swift. This could be re-skeined, but, my swift is not big enough. Both these disasters have been corrected and things are back to normal, but I'm about 2 days behind.

Oh, and the fun doesn't stop after these skeins are dyed. I then will be scrambling to dye up the rest of the yarn for an etsy update before the feature yarn ad on Ravelry.

With all this going on, I will admit that all this crazy makes me happy. I've been super pleased with the Fraternal Twins Roving and these new skeins of yarn dyed in semi-solids. I can't stop looking at them. I love yarn.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Big Reveal - Fraternal Twins Roving

Rebecca & Regina

Fraternal Twins Roving – The Same but Different

Brad & Braden

As requested 1,000 Petals is now offering 8ounces of roving, kinda.

Fraternal Twins Rovings are divided into 4oz each. Each is dyed using the same exact dye solution, but the prep of the fiber causes the dye to absorb at different rates. See what I mean, the same but different.

Imagine the possibilities. Spin each as a single and then ply together. Or you could spin alternating sections of each twin. Or you could spin and ply each twin in your preferred way and then when knitting, knit each on alternate rows. This would create a stripy effect, but using the same colors.

Liza & Lily

By-the-way, I would love to see your finished yarns.
Update will begin at 8pm Eastern.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

hint hint

Sunday night I will be revealing my latest roving creations. I will give you one hint. They are the same, but different. That's all you get for now. This latest creation is a way for me to fulfill the request for 8oz of fiber, but not. ahem. I know it makes no sense, but it will on Sunday. Hehehe. I have a secret.

Reminders and Updates:

If you haven't seen it yet I did start a Ravelry Group. There's not much activity right now (which is my fault), but give it some time and it will be buzzing.

Also I wanted to remind everyone that is participating in the Tour de Fleece to stop by my store. If you purchase roving from now until the tour ends and enter the code "spin it up" you will receive a 10% discount.

Next update will be Monday night. This update will include the secret rovings.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

in the sea there is a fish

First skein spun for Tour de Fleece.
My own Water Nymph Roving
Colorway: in the sea there is a fish
Yardage: about 800
1 ply lace weight

Tour de Fleece has been so much fun.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Etsy Shop Luv - 3GWOODWORKS

Spindles? Did someone say spindles? Do you want (I mean need) a new spindle? Check out 3GWOODWORKS. Did you look? They are amazing! They are creating spindles using exotic woods like Macadamia Nut and Manzanita Burl. Did you look yet?

How fabulous would it be to spin with one of these during the Tour de Fleece. Imagine the compliments. Imagine the wonderfully spun yarns. Stop imagining and go shop for one yourself.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Organization Continues

Tweak. I like to tweak things on occasion. I like to figure out the more efficient way to do things. Work smart, not hard. Right? So in accordance with this, I’ve simplified my decision making. This is purely a decision I had to make because I'm so tempted buy all the fabulous fiber blends available. What is it? Well, I’ve decided to narrow my fiber blend selection to 4 fiber blends with the occasional special listings I just have to try out. Ahem. I know this seems like a no brainer but I tend to over analyze everything. I want to offer fiber blends that fiber people will enjoy and appreciate. So here’s what 1,000 Petals is going to carry on a regular basis (at least as long as my supplier keeps them in-stock).

1. Allure Roving and Lace (merino/silk blend) this was an easy choice.

2. Surge Roving and Yarn (superwash Merino) my fav yarn. New base yarn, still the wonderful superwash merino but with a tighter twist.

3. Soothe Roving and Yarn (superwash BFL) who doesn’t love BFL.

4. Rainy Day Roving and Yarn (superwash Merino/Nylon) my fav roving.

Of course I had to keep my favs.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy 4th


Independence Day SALE!!!
10% OFF Entire Stock
Sale ends July 5th. Have fun shopping.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I’ve got some.

So the other night I was drifting off to sleep and contemplating how I would manage dyeing larger quantities, such as dyeing 8 ounces of roving instead of 4 ounces. Currently I’m only able to fit 4oz of roving in my dye pans at one time without loosing dye saturation. Hmmm. Bigger pans? I have yet to find bigger pans that I can afford. Then it came to me. But I can’t tell you yet. Sorry. I’m still working out the details but I think it will be super fun and open up a new world of creativity for the spinners.

Second bit of news, a newsletter. I’m currently looking into starting up a newsletter. I’ve found a provider to use for this and I’m just working out details, such as design and content. Some things that might be included in a newsletter are: news (of course), shop updates (you’ll be the first to know), patterns, and discount codes. This design aspect of business is a fav of mine, sometimes hard, but always enjoyable.

In dyeing news, semisolid. With the release of Cookie A’s book Sock Innovation and with all the wonderfully detailed sock patterns available I decided it was time to give a little love to semisolid dyeing. This is not to say that I will change my dye process. You’ll still get the speckly, splotchy, and mosaic effect but instead of using 5 or more colors, I’ll use 2. Only 2.

Oh, more news. I’m working with a graphic designer/photographer who is helping me create a logo. This kinda goes back to the newsletter; I wanted a logo that would be recognizably mine. I’ve got lots of ideas but needed someone to help me tame them all into submission. This is an exciting prospect. 1,000 Petals will have an official logo, not just something I whipped up in Photoshop.

And the last bit of news. Not really news but brainstorming. I’m considering starting a fiber or yarn club. This is still in the “thinking about” stage. Deciding what type, how much, how many, theme… lots to think about and ponder.

So there you have it. All the mingled thoughts that penetrate my gray matter exposed to the world.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Etsy Luv - Into The Whirled

This is Into the Whirled. This is some amazing fiber. This is a must see and must have. I had to have some too, so don't think you are the only one. Into the Whirled is an amazing etsy shop with so many batts and rovings to choose from and all your colorways are just fabulous. And the Chris is so incredibly easy to do business with. You will NOT be disappointed.

Here's a pic of the batt I was able to acquire. It is so wonderfully soft and squishy and hugenormous (so not a word, but I didn't care). I plan to spin this up for the Tour de Fleece.

Go check out her shop and grab up your own batt or roving so you too can experience her wonderful creations.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Etsy Update

Tantalize Yarn Update. I totally love the base yarn for Tantalize. It's a BFL and nylon blend that accepts the dye wonderfully. Check them out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


That's right I'm actually having a sale on selected items. This is the first sale I've ever had over at the shop so stop by and check it out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Etsy Shop Luv

Spun Right Round, yes I did. I spun right around and made sure I took a closer look at this shop. So much to luv. So much to buy. Lets see, she carries handspun, fiber batts, a fiber club, and mystery batts. Just amazing stuff. She even offers the option to spin your batt for you. And I'll admit it, I already bought one. I couldn't help myself. So you'll be seeing her stuff again on this blog after I start spinning it up for the Tour de Fleece. Can't wait to get my hands on the lovely squishy batt. Go shop and get your hands on one also.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Phat Fiber Rocks!

I've been waiting for this day. I received the June Phat Fiber box. I'm now going to take all these fibers and card them up into rolags and corespin them. This should be some crazy fabulous yarn.

April Box

May Box

June Box

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tour de Fleece - should I?

Ahem. Should I join? Should I commit? Oh man, this really shouldn’t be as stressful as I’m making it for myself. It just looks like so much fun, and I really do love to spin. What could it hurt?


Here we go…I’m in. I’m spinning for the Tour de Fleece. Commitment made. You wanna spin too? Here are the links. Ravelry group and Flickr group.

For my fellow tour spinners, up until the last day of the tour (July 26th), if you purchase spinning materials from my shop and enter the code: “spin it up” you will receive 10% off your purchase price.

Here come the lists, I have a thing for lists. Lists allow me to clear my brain of all the clutter. So I make lists. Just sayin’.

The guidelines:
see them on the Ravelry group

Preparation (for myself):
1. Free the bobbins. This will give me 7 bobbins to rotate through. Also need to fix one of my bobbins, I accidentally dropped it and part of the wood split a wee bit. Just need some wood glue to fix it, no biggy.
2. Post a note on the etsy shop to let everyone know that I will not be dyeing for these 2 weeks. I’ll continue to ship any orders received, but no new listing will be posted.
3. Gather up all the materials, give Stella (the wheel) a cleaning and good oiling, card up the sari silk with the silk noil, and set up a comfy spinning area.

Commitment to spin:
1. Hand carded silk/silk noil rolages – I’ll mix up some sari silk threads and black merino roving and spin from this. I’m considering this my challenging project.
2. Core spin Batt from Spun Right Round – pics to come soon. I’m going to core spin this batt. With the skills I learned from the Sit and Spin DVD I should be able to tackle core spinning again with more success than the first time I tried. I just don’t want to screw up a lovely batt.
3. Handdyed nymph roving – I’ll dye this colorway for myself. Not sure of the colors, but this merino/seacell roving is amazing I just can’t resist the opportunity to spin some up for myself.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Etsy Luv

I'm showing Luv today to the LHogan etsy shop. As you can see by this fabulous batt this shop carries wonderful fibers. Not only batts but handspun and some handdyed yarns. And there's also items that are currently on sale. wonderful color + sale + fabulous fibers = Luv! Go see for yourself and shop while your there.

Etsy Shop Luv

Here's the thing, every time I make a sale from my etsy shop I feel so grateful. I also feel unworthy, humbled, and honored. So, I wanted to make sure I shared the luv to other etsy shops. I've been thinking of doing a post on a weekly basis to highlight etsy shops for a long time. So every Monday check this blog for some wonderful etsy shops.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another Etsy Update...seriously!

This is a BFL 4-ply fingering weight yarn that I will only be able to offer occasionally. So snap it up while you can.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Etsy Update

Etsy updated with Allure roving a merino/silk blend. It's super nice. The merino gives the this roving nice and fluffy

Monday, June 8, 2009

What's to come?

Well this week will be full of busy. This past week brought some unexpected time off. So this coming week will bring at least one shop update, lots of dyeing and lots of spinning. I have some new base yarn to try out. Some merino/silk roving that I dyed up a few weeks ago to list in the shop. Some more merino/seacell roving to dye. And I want to spin up some roving from expired listings that I'll then re-list in the shop. I started this expired listing spinning tonight. I'm spinning some merino/tencel that is super soft and very easy to draft. I forgot how much I really like merino/tencel. I might also pull a couple of current listing to spin up for future re-listing. I'm not going to lie, I'm really considering pulling a merino/seacell listing, it's so soft and fluffy and really really hard to resist. If I don't pull a current listing, I might just just dye up some for myself.

On a personal note: I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for there support and well wishes over the past week. Paul is doing much better and getting better every day. He'll go back to the doctor tomorrow and really hopes to get release to drive and released to do more activities. I must admit, I've had several surgeries in my life, but didn't realize how serious an appendectomy could be. I guess it just never dawned on me the amount of infection your body has to fight. I know better now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

get back to the normal

"It's probably just a stomach virus or food poisoning. You just have to wait it out."

Ummm. WRONG!!!

"Mr. Husband, you are going to have your appendix out...tomorrow" He had the appendectomy and now is recovering slowly but steadily.

Is this explanation enough for why I've been absent lately? So I will not ask forgiveness for my absence, and I might take a while in getting back normalcy. But I'll get there.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

am i a photographer yet?

Decided to try out the "shoot first. ask questions later." approach to photography. I feel like I got a few good shots. I had to turn every shot to B&W simply because of the horrid lighting in the studio. To the naked eye it looks great, but as recorded by the camera, not so good. I'm really trying to find a new freedom in my photography. Let's face it, we no longer have to concern ourselves with how many frames we have on a roll of film. 24. 36. It's now a matter of 1g, 2g and more of memory. I can take as many pics as I want and if I get a few good pics, bonus. Otherwise if I don't get any good shots, I still have a great time.
So here's the question. When can you I call myself a photographer? I can pick up 2 pointy sticks some string, cast-on a few stitches, knit few stitches and call myself a knitter. So...when? I've developed my own film (many times), printed my own photos (many times), and had a darkroom at one point. Photographer yet?
About these pics
top: Gaylin
bottom: Paul (foreground) and Jim (background)
This was band practice last night. You can check out the rest of the pics on my flickr page.

Monday, May 25, 2009

You spin me right round baby

Handspun yarns. What can I say except that handspun yarns totally excite me. I mean like really excite me. Especially since casting on for what I'm calling the Spring Weaver Shawl. It doesn't hurt that this fiber from BMFA is simply fantastic. The depth that handspun creates is so stunning. And I'm not a perfect spinner. My finished yarns are by no means balance and even, but that's okay too. It's another reason I adore handspun so much. And really you can start handspinning with minimum funds. My first spindle was made by my husband for under $5. Roving prices can very but I would say average is about $15. Twenty bucks and you are ready to spin. Hours of enjoyment for $20. Not only do you have the spinning that will be so satisfying, you then turn around and knit or crochet with your handspun. More hours of enjoyment for $20. Now granted I did spin this on my wheel, but that doesn't negate the fact that it could have been spun with a spindle.
Here is a list of my fav flickr groups that might inspire you to start spinning, and they may inspire you even if you currently spin. This list is a mix of spindle and wheel spun.

Hope these groups help to get you excited about handspinning.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

weee! a full bobbin

Wonderful Chapman Springs. Yum! Yes, I have a little obsession with this colorway, it is my fav from BMFA. Since the first bobbin is plied and has now has the twist set I will be knitting this Weaver's Wool Mini Shawl Ravelry Link)with the stitch pattern from this Textured Shawl Recipe. I think it will be freaking awesome.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Etsy Update

Tantalize Yarn update. This is a wonderful BFL/Nylon blend with deeply saturated colors. You'll be sure to love it as much as I do.


The 2nd bobbin of the Chapman Springs BMFA Sheep to Shoe Kit is done. I'm currently plying them together and trying to ply them pretty tightly. This is hard for me because I'm afraid they are going to be too tight and not have a good balance. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chapman Springs

Started spinning this Chapman Springs colorway from BMFA. This is by far my favorite colorway. I was going to try for a 2ply worsted, but I think the fiber has other ideas. I think it's going to end up being closer to a fingering weight.
Now, here's were I talk about how I will start a project, just to try out something new. I've read a few different places about Fractal spinning. I don't know if this is the correct term. I'm pretty sure that's what it's being called. Basically you split your roving in half. You then spin one half as is. The second half is split into thirds. Apparently it I will have 1 ply that has long color areas and a 1 ply that has short color areas. I thought this sounded pretty darn cool. So, we'll see what happens.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Needing Light

I’ve said it before. I don’t feel very proficient with my photography skills. I used to. I even had a Dark Room. Back in the days before digital, if that tells you anything. As a matter of fact, digital photography was in its infancy (for the average consumer/photographer) and I was of the opinion that digital photography would never prevail over traditional photography. How wrong I was. Anyway, I felt entirely in tune with my medium.

Fast forward 10 years. Oddly enough, knitting and dyeing yarn brought a desire for photography back into my life. I wanted to document my knitting progress. I needed to photography products for sale. And the urge for creative expression through photography has reemerged. I’ve been talking about this a lot with some friends, who concur that my current feeling of inadequacy is due to fear.

Why is fear a re-occurring theme in my creative life? They are totally right of course. Close friends usually are right when it comes to things you don’t want to admit about yourself.

So, how to overcome this fear? How do I move past this feeling of inadequacy? I just have to get out and shoot. And I’m starting today. I will start to carry my camera with me at all times. This might be a little difficult, as it is a larger camera. I’ll shoot anything I get impaired to shoot. Maybe I should say “photograph” not “shoot”. That just sounds horrible. Although it is a proper term.

I’m feeling incredibly energized about this. Very excited, and of course scared, but ready. Tonight I’m meeting a friend who is going to model for me so I can get some shots of sock knitting. And this weekend I’m going to build a prop area. This will be a place to setup and photography my yarns and rovings. I have an idea for the type of standard images I want to have for displaying these items. I’ll also be going out this weekend on a photo mission. I don’t know where or what I’ll take photos of, but I will find something.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Changes...they are coming

You can blame this ebook.

In the meantime I've been making progress on the Magical Sweater. I'm done with the ribbing and I'm now figuring out where to place the cables.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Magical Sweater - Part 2

Decisions. Decisions. As you can see I've plied the first bobbin. Actually, since then I've completed 2 bobbins, and set the ply and knit a swatch. So everything is ready to start knitting.

I have made a couple of decisions. I've decided to knit completely in the round and then steek the center front and arm holes. I've also decided to knit the portion in between the cables in garter stitch. So, now the math. I so hate math.

And, I just made my first mistake in the calculation. At least I found it before casting on.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This is the yarn that I dyed in the tutorial. I've decided to knit it up into some Herringbone socks. One change, I'm going to knit toe-up. No biggie to change. I cast on last night and so far I like it alot. A little shameless self promotions.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What are my goals, as they relate to 1,000 Petals?

I've been thinking about this question. I've run through all the scenarios. I've contemplated the pros and cons. I think I have formulated a clear idea of my goals.
It's nice to have an end goal in mind. I didn't when I started, but things in my personal life and business life have changed over the past 6 months to a year and now things are clearer. It's very nice actually. Kinda calming. There is goal so when things go a little out of focus on the way, the end is clear. I'm not sure I want to share it here. At this point I'm keeping it private. Probably due to the fear of failure. I have to start thinking more with the business/analitical portion of my brain instead of the artsy fartsy, but that is okay, I'll still have the dyeing part that will allow space for my creative spirit to thrive.
The hardest part is finding a starting point. I love to make list. What do I put on the list? For our big projects at my "real job" we make task list. We name the task, assign the responsibility, assign due dates, and add coments along the way. I need to do one of these, but what will I put on it? What are my task? What is my due date? Responsbility will be assigned to me, thats not hard to figure out. I think I'll make one on Excel, and see if I find inspiration to fill it in. Hey, thats kinda like a first step. Could I put creating a spreedsheet on the spreadsheet? At least then I could fill in a completion date, right?
UPDATE: Task List created. Started adding task. It's not as hard as I thought. Just started brainstorming.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sprinkle Dyeing - a tutorial - Part 3

Step 5 - the wrap and dunk: The yarn is folded up into the saran wrap and placed into another pan. Once this pan has several little yarn packs I fill with water and slide in oven. I then cook this on the "warm" setting for 1 1/2 hours. I don't know what temp this is, it just says "warm". I think it's about 150 degrees.

Step 6 - the rinse and spin: Once the dye is set with heat the packs are allowed to cool. I then unwrap and rinse each skein, rinsing any remaining dye out. The skeins are then put back into the washing machine to spin out excess water. Then hang to dry.
So there you have it... "Sprinkle Dye" Hope this is helpful and inspirational. If you try this and would like to share or have questions, leave me a comment, send me an email (, or direct me to your photo sharing page (I use flickr).

I use this technique for dyeing yarn. I've tried it with roving but didn't like the results, so my rovings are handpainted in the usual way. Also, the "sprinkle" effect will differ with the amount of water you add before adding the dye. The more you wet the yarn the more it will blend.

Sprinkle Dyeing - a tutorial - Part 2

Step 3 - the sprinkle: Using a Popsicle stick to tap the side of the cup, I randomly sprinkle the dye over the yarn. Some spots get more, some less. Some colors overlap, so do not. This is when you let your creativity run wild. This is when the unexpected happens. This is just the beginning of fun. You can even do a little dance at this point. I do.
Step 4 - the blend: Again with hot water, I spray the yarn and cover with water. I also add more vinegar. This will allow the dye to run and blend even more. But, some spots stay the original color too. Watch and enjoy. After the desired blending effect is achieved I remove the yarn from the pan of water, ring it out a little, and lay it out on some saran wrap.

Part 3...I'll show the finished product.

Sprinkle Dyeing - a tutorial - Part 1

I'll call this Sprinkle Dyeing. I consider it a hybrid technique because of the aspects of hand painting and kettle dyeing. This is a technique I developed through trial and error. There may be a different or many different ways to create this same effect, but this is my way. I'm breaking this down into 3 parts to make posting easier on my side. I might (not promising) try to put this into a pdf. format for download.

Dye pan (I use a large aluminum roasting pan) EDIT: it's a roasting pan...I don't know if it's aluminum
saran wrap
glove and mask (you will see that I don't use these)
undyed yarn (I'm using a superwash yarn)

Step 1 - the presoak and prep of yarn: I first soak yarn in a water/vinegar solution for 1-2 hours. I then place these skeins into my washing machine and set to spin cycle removing alot of excess water. One skein is placed into a roasting pan and any other skeins are set aside. I then randomly spray the skein with hot water. This is so that part of the skein is really wet and part is just a little damp.

Step 2 - the dye prep: Depending on how many dyes I'm using (which ranges from 5 to 20 colors for one skein) I set up wee little plastic cups and scoop out the dry dye crystals. Just a little in each cup.

up next...Part 2

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Turn back now

What is up with this proprietary shit? I'm talking about a the general closed lip nature of dyers. I've seen on a few occasion when someone will be real chatty but as soon as a question of dye technique comes up. Closed lips. Where did you go? Why aren't you answering the question? I was reading a board on Ravelry which went a little something like this (paraphrased of course).

Q: How do you speckle dye yarn?

A: (from a dyer) What is that?

Q: Yes I do. Your (the answering dyer) dye is the look I want. Here is a link to some of your yarn that has the look I'm looking to create.


No answer. Dyers then started discussing this. But nobody fessed up. Not even the dyers who know how to do this. Why is this? Why are we as a fiber community willing to share all kinds of info about our personal lives, but not this. Trade secrets? Seriously? At the time I was also trying to create a speckle type of dye job, more like the Araucania brand look but it was similar to this dyers look. I eventual figured out on my own but only after a long year of money spent and time wasted. Well, not wasted, I enjoy any time I get to spend dyeing. And frankly I'm happy with the results I have been able to achieve. But, some people don't have the money or time to be able to go through a year of trying things out.

Here's my thoughts on this matter in a nutshell. It's a large nut. A simple google search will results in a load of tutorials on how to handpaint yarn in the segmented colorways. You know the one when you lay out your yarn on some plastic wrap and color different sections. And what did that hurt? Now we as knitters have so many choices for really lovely handpainted yarns from indie dyers all over the world. And I'm sure that some of the really big indie dyers started out by buying an extra PAAS Easter Egg dye kit. Vinegar. Painting all those pastel colors over a skein of KnitPicks Bare fingering weight yarn. I actually used Wilton food coloring and the Bare yarn. You get the picture. And how about those who started with the large pot on the stove and just threw cation to the wind. Dumping in those food colors all willy nilly. Has it really hurt? Really? I think it helps to have so many with dye knowledge. It opens more resources. It opens more opportunities. Look at the Phat Fiber Sampler box. Where would this be if it were not for so many indie dyers (and other fiber related things)?

My pledge is two fold. First, my next post will be the tutorial on my dye process. Second, I'm going to start to review and post about things I've bought from indies. These will not only include yarn/fiber but also soap, jewelry, and more. Whatever I buy from etsy will get a review and link to the etsy store.

We have to support each other. I'm just not digging on this "it's mine" attitude.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

much spinning inspiration

I'm pretty sure my head is going to explode with all the art yarn ideas I just rec'd from the DVD Sit and Spin. It's 3:31am. Yes, 3 in the morning and I just finished watching. Um...I Luv this DVD...seriously. First because of the great technical info. Second because of the metric butt tone of inspiration. Check out this trailer. If you want to learn to spin art it, buy it now.

You can't imagine how much I want a drum carder just for spinning art yarns now. I did buy hand cards and a load of different fibers for carding. I'll post when I get them in. And you will be seeing plenty of pics in upcoming post.

Oh...wanted to update you on the progress of the Magical Sweater. Spinning has been put on hold until I receive the carders. I've decided to card the 3 colors together and then spin. I want a more heathered look than I'm getting from the current technique. Course now I have an entire bobbin of the brown/turquoise single and a partial of the natural. Luckily I have plenty of this fiber. And, I can maybe use the single in art yarn. Just say'n.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I was thinking...

It might be time to order some proper yarn/fiber labels. I have some questions before I do. How do I label each for the different yarn/fibers? For example, If I have different yarn/fiber types, I would need different labels. But labels can get expensive. That's why I've been doing them myself, I could just print out the amount needed at the time with the correct information. What type of graphics should I use? These will probably have to last a while so I want to be absolutely happy with them. Crap...I hate not being able to make up my mind. Oh and don't forget. What size would I order?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Year of the Garment

magical sweater notes

I'm so into making sweaters. I've started 2 sweaters so far. The February Lady Sweater and my own Magical Sweater. The Magical Sweater is still in the planning and spinning stages. I figured out the stitch patterns I'm going to use and I've created a schematic (not shown). Above you can see the general notes on how I want to construct the sweater. It will be knit in pieces (fronts and back first) then I plan to seem the sides and top. From there I will pick up stitches and knit the sleeves down from the body. I'll then add the front/neck ribbing and pockets. Good plan right? I've finished the first bobbin of brown and turquoise. I'll next spin the bobbin of natural. Then brown and turquoise. Then natural. You get the idea. I just want to break up spinning the natural since this might bore me. One concern...after dyeing the brown and turquoise, it's feeling a little rougher than the natural. I'm hoping that after plying and bathing in conditioner it will soften up.