Monday, December 7, 2009
Short and sweet tonight, I've got some photography and cleaning/packing to do.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
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
Stitch it! Podcast - Meghan share a wealth of information on spinning, some of which she picked up at SOAR last year.
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
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.
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
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
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
Check it out.
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
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
Edited to add a link. And I've figured it out...remember Sun Tea?
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
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
Thursday, July 30, 2009
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
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
Sunday, July 12, 2009
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.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
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
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
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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’.
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
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
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
"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
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
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
Friday, April 17, 2009
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
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Part 3...I'll show the finished product.
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
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
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.