Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring Flower Fever has struck!

I've been overjoyed at the spring flowers everywhere. Perhaps it's because the deer ate my hibiscus buds just before they bloomed, and 'trimmed' my rhododendroms severely this winter, but I NEED some color and scent this spring. My Easter azaleas (Husbeast and sons know that I love spring flowers and buy me some each Easter) are in the ground and have survived several frost warnings. A good friend brought me a bunch of blue hibiscus yesterday to cheer me after the deer damage to my own. And the one flower the deer don't seem to like for dinner are the wood violets that cover large portions of our lawn. So I went a little crazy in the studio last week and tried to reproduce some of my favorites, although I'm not quite sure how to mimic hibiscus flowers. Here's my results, available in my Etsy shop:

Wood Violets



And the thick 'n thin yarn spun from one of the batts, which will also appear in my Etsy shop as soon as I print a label with weight, suggested needle size, etc.

Azaleas yarn

And don't forget the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster, OH. Tomorrow, April 30, is the last day to sign up for workshops and there are some great classes this year.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Guild exhibit at Shaler Library during the month of May; Reminder to register for classes at Waynesburg Festival

The Butler Spinners and Weavers Guild is hosting a display of textiles at the Shaler Library on Mt. Royal Blvd. My friend and I are hanging the show and did a mock-up of the display this past week. Folks, there are some lovely pieces in the show. Our guild is full of talented people. I'm entering 3 pieces but have only photographed one, the handspun handknit linen market bag. It's a small bag but I'm sure I can fill it up at the yarn store (like I need more yarn?).

With apologies to my guildmates, here's a few shots of other pieces.....

This is going to be a great show!

And I wanted to remind folks that this is the first year classes are being offered at the Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber Festival in mid-May. There are some great knitting, spinning, crochet classes being offered for first-time crafters and this is a great opportunity to learn a new skill! Yep, I'm the spinning teacher and I'm looking forward to meeting some wonderful new spinners that weekend.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fractal spinning the easy way!

I was reading some Ravelry posts about spinning handpainted or dyed roving and noticed discussions about fractal spinning. This is a method of dividing the roving so that the colors and spun in differing lengths. Usually the roving is split in half and the first half is spun up. The second have is split into 2 or 4 or however many you want strips and spun up. These two differently spun singles are then plied--the lengths of color will not match each other, giving a richer color distribution throughout the plied yarn. And I realized that two of my sock batts would make fractal yarn! I came up with this concept because I was tired of the blended and/or striped sock batts I'd been making (yes, I spin up my new ideas and knit socks for myself before I put the batts up for sale). If you pull these batts into strips and spin them in order or Z-strip them for spinning, you will create the same fractal effect as handpainted roving. And my batts contain purple, which is ALWAYS a good idea!