Saturday, December 24, 2011

New Loom


Yesterday I was at it again-drilling lots of little holes and hammering tacks into my home-made 6.5' x 2' rectangle loom. I wanted it wide enough to make a shawl, but I plan to use it mostly for art yarn scarves. Using the art yarn as the warp, it really shows off the coils and bumps and wild stuff that was spun into it. I'm using the Stardust yarn I got from Hearthside Fibers (Johnson Creek, WI) as the weft and will weave it loosely. I've only got about 3 passes of the weft so far. I have to stop to go fight the crowds at the grocery store for a bit, but then plan to come back and see how long it takes to finish. I'm sure I'll be back to post pictures later.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

BIG BOBBIN!!


Well, I decided to try to fill the bobbin on "Maxine" and didn't quite get there-but made a huge 1 pound ball of yarn. From there I plied it with some homespun, some silk, and various fun fur and eyelash yarns. I had to go to the hardware store to get PVC pipe to make a bigger niddy-noddy to wind the skein. I ended up with 124 yards of big fluffy crazy art yarn. Now I need to decide what to make with it. Although, I may just leave it hanging around for inspiration.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

OOPS!


Valuable lesson learned...be sure thread holding zillions of seed beads is strong enough to for plying with wool on new spinning wheel...otherwise...you end up with said beads all over the living room floor. Taught myself some new cuss words, too! I did manage to get some pretty yarn made before the break. Now to break out the vacuum cleaner.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Colorful Fluff


I'm loving my new spinning wheel. I sure wish I had more time to play with it. I have so many yarns I want to make. Here are just a few I've done so far.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Obsessed


Hello, my name is Kathi. I'm a fiber-aholic. I've become totally obsessed with working with fiber-and have gone off the deep end and got my self yet another new "toy" to add to my fiber addiction. Great tools make for great yarn-right? (enable me here-okay?) I just HAD to have a spinning wheel that I could make big fat Art Yarn on. My Ashford traditional (on the left in pic) spins beautifully. I was so very lucky that my friend Bonnie gave her to me. That was the start. Then last winter I just had to have the Fricke (on the right in the pic) to spin art yarn. She spins beautifully, too, but I was trying some big fat core-spun yarn and it kept tangling up in the end of the delta orifice. Being frustrated with that led me to buying my new Ashford Country Spinner (in the middle of pic.) I bought it through Susan's Fiber Shop in Columbus, WI. She was fun to work with and her hubby assembled it free of charge. (Thank heavens-cuz the instructions showed a million pieces). I got it home and immediately spun up 30 yards of BIG FAT core-spun yarn. It worked better than I had hoped. I don't have pictures yet of the yarn-hopefully at the end of this long holiday weekend I will have a bunch to show off. I'm off to spin now.....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Scarves and a new Picker



I've been working on weaving some scarves to put in a gallery night at The Glass Haus in Green Bay (Monica and Tom Pecor-owners) on November 17th. So far I have 5-they take longer than I first thought-but I'm pretty happy with them and hope someone else will like them , too.
I also got myself another piece of fiber equipment-a Lil' Dynamo box picker. It definitely will help me pick through, clean, and fluff up all the wool I've been washing and dying lately. Using hand carders and picking by hand not only takes forever, but its been killing my wrists and hands. I did a nice big pile with the picker in less than an hour. It would've taken many hours spread out over many days to have done that by hand. There is still more processing to do-but, it sure made short work of the the picking process. Whew-buying it was a wise choice.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Woven Wind Chime


Here is just a little woven wind chime I did so I could use some of my "fried marbles". I also made the copper bells and the hanger-but now I don't want to hang it outside and ruin it. I found a little space on a wall so I can look at it every day. I kinda like it-it makes me smile.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Keeping Busy



I've been busy trying to squeeze in bits of play time in between all the working hours lately. I've puttered around with all kinds of dying since my natural dye class at the WI woolfest. We tried all kinds of flowers and weeds-most gave us interesting yellows and golds. Then we mixed up a batch of indigo-OOOOHHH-I fell in love with that stuff. I of course had to try it at home-I learned that next time I'll be doing it outside-STINK-EEEE!!. But love those blues.
I've also been doing some weaving, and generally just playing with wool (when I'm not napping in front of the TV) I dream of retirement every day and hope I can actually manage to do it. I would love to immerse myself in wool and other fibers every day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fried Marbles?


Okay, apparently I've lived under a rock my whole life and never heard of fried marbles. This was a crafting rage some time waaaaay back in the day and I somehow missed it. Just recently they became the topic of a discussion in the Saori weaving group on Ravelry (We've been talking about add ins to our autumn WAL projects.) Well, of course, I had to try it. I didn't have any round marbles, but just happened to have gotten a handful of those flat backed glass pebbles used in flower arranging and stained glass. (Thanks Tom and Monica). You're supposed to use an iron skillet-all I have is my non-stick frying pan-so-in went the pebbles-on went the heat. I "fried" them for 3 minutes on high and then dumped them into a bowl of ice water. Snapp, krackle, popp-fried marbles! Woo hoo!! (I'm easily amused). I plan to break out my soldering iron to attach some jump rings so I can use them in jewelry and weavings, and all sorts of things I can find to embellish. Imagine all the fun I have to make up for because this crazy craft slipped passed me during my youth. I recommend this activity to anyone that needs to "heat" up those creative juices. Have a blast!!! (but still, be careful out there)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Another new toy


On my way to visit family in Green Bay, I stopped at a nice little shop in Fondulac called Woolgatherers just to look around. I walked out with a new Ashford 16" rigid heddle loom. When I got home from my visit I put it together (waxing it with furniture wax first). I let it dry over night. It was actually easy to assemble, and I was warping it right away. With only a few breaks here and there, I had a scarf done by evening. I really love my new loom. I Have her warped up and ready for another scarf. BUT....Today is the first day of the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival and I have a class with Stephania Isaccson usin natural dyes. I'm so excited I couldn't sleep last night-silly, I know-but I wait all year for this and plan my vacation around it. I have a spinning goat fibers class tomorrow with Amy Tyler. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and tell everyone all about it next week. Happy Fibery weekend!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Winners!!!!


First, thanks for all the responses. I recruited my son to chose 3 names from the bowl. If you see your name there, please send an address to me so I can get your prizes sent out to you. Send them to my e-mail at fiberdance@gmail.com. Thanks again

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Puttering with Paper


I don't know why, but I've been on a paper bead making kick for the last week. I had this idea to make a bead roller and it ended up working pretty good. So..... a whole lotta beads later and I'm still making beads. I also made a bunch of the bead rollers. I'm hoping to do a bead making class in the near future and thought these would work well for the students. But, first I'd like to know if they are something that would work for anyone.
So, here's the deal. Leave a comment and your name could be drawn to receive one of my bead rollers, some cut paper to roll up some beads, instructions for rolling and a few examples made by me. I will leave the drawing open until next Thursday and then post the results on the Fiber Arts Friday site. I will do the drawing the old fashioned way by writing names on slips of paper and putting them in a bowl and drawing a name. That's cuz I have no idea how to do it with the computer-I barely know how to keep up with this blog!
Thanks for joining in and good luck!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Loom



I found another little loom and just had to buy it. It's actually a Darice beading loom that I got at my local Ben Franklin craft store. I added a front and back tie up bar (wooden dowels tied on with cotton string) and it works just fine. I'm using a small heddle for the wind chimes that I'm weaving. I also made a 10 inch long heddle that should fit this loom just right. I made the heddle for a WAL challenge I joined with the backstrap weavers group on Ravelry. I've tried the backstrap loom and it is interesting. Not sure if I like being tied to my work, though!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fiber Busy-ness





I've been busy-I got a decent amount of spinning done for the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry.
Then I've been plugging along on weaving on my triangle loom. It's slow going, but looking pretty good. I also did a little backstrap weaving. I did up my own version of a loom, it may not have been exactly the right way, but I enjoyed giving it a try and made a cute little scarf. I'm going to be trying it again soon.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spinning for the Tour de Fleece


I've been spinning almost every day for the TdF, but have fallen behind my set goals. I can live with that. I got tired of the plain colors I was spinning so I blended up a couple batts of Jacob wool, glitz and some random color. Then I had to take up the challenge that Dutch Hollow threw out there-- http://www.alpacabytes.com/2011/07/08/faf-how-to-thread-beads-to-spin-into-yarn/ I really enjoy spinning beads. Its my latest addiction. Yay!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My new 6 foot triangle loom.

Well, I did it! I made myself a 6 foot triangle loom. (That's it hanging there on my free standing warping board for my floor loom.) I bought some oak wood trim, a zillion little nails and a few screws and such, and thus began my adventure into woodworking. Now mind you, what I lacked in technological and carpentry skills, I made up for in perseverance. There was no cussing involved. I only had to recharge my Dremel twice to drill 405 little bitty holes-and I only hit my thumb with the hammer once while hammering 405 little bitty nails. Still no cussing-remarkable-hey? I'm not sure how well it will hold up-the wood did split slightly in some spots-there are a lot of nails really close together-even with the pre-drilled holes. I haven't sanded and stained it yet-I should have done that before I drilled-but I couldn't wait to get at it.
Now I'm not sure I have the correct amount of nails. I don't know if there should be an even or odd number per side. I posted the question on Ravelry with the Tri-loom weavers group. Hopefully someone there will have my answer for me.
Now I'm off to watch as many you-tube videos as I can to be sure I know how to weave on this puppy!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Off to a slow start




Didn't get at the spinning for the TdF right away. I helped my son with his move to a new apartment. I was feeling so relieved to have him move all his and his daughter's stuff out of here-but I really will miss them. They aren't too far away, though. I'm sure I'll see them often.
I got some spinning in later in the day and enjoyed rearranging my house back to the way it was.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Itchin' to start...



Can't hardly wait to start spinning for the Tour de Fleece that is being held on Ravelry. I joined 5 different groups.
Peleton-this is one of the main groups-kind of middle of the road.
Team Ashford-for anyone spinning on an Ashford wheel.
Team of Wonder-A group of alpaca fiber lovers and owners. I'll be spinning alpaca on my Ashford Traditional.
Team Frickin' Wicked-for people spinning on a Fricke wheel.
Team Jacob Junkies-A group of Jacob sheep lovers and owners-I'll be spinning Jacob fleece on my Fricke wheel.
I plan to set the wheels side by side to make it easy to reach my goal of spinning at least 15 minutes on each wheel for every day of the race. I hope to take and post pictures along the way. The best part of all this is that I've met and talked to lots of people from all over the world, and hope to make some new and like minded fiber friends.

The basket of white and beige is only a part of my alpaca stash, and the basket of green and brown is a small dent into my Jacob stash. I still have some carding to do.

Get ready.....get set........

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just a little bear



Just made this little guy for a girl I work with. She is here from Germany on a work exchange program through college. We plan to have a little "going home" lunch for her and will present her with this bear. I still have to make the little copper tag I want to hang from his collar that will say "BRUNO", which is the name of the company we work for. I will miss my new friend when she leaves, but hope she will continue to stay in touch, and will remember us when she hugs her new little bear.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Had to try this...


I read in the Ashford Spinners Group on Ravelry that someone tried to make their Ashford traditional into a spindle spinning wheel by just jamming a dowel into the orifice and spinning away. Well, that sounded easy, and I was up for a challenge. I found a paintbrush handle that just fit and gave it a go. Lo and behold, it worked! But I found my spindle spinning techniques leave a lot to be desired. It does work really well for winding yarn onto bobbins for weaving, too. Ahh, the wonders of fiber......

Monday, June 20, 2011

Classes

There's still time to register for my classes at the art weekend in Manitowoc the end of July. Be sure to check them out. http://inspiremyliferetreat.blogspot.com/p/workshops_17.html

Thursday, June 9, 2011

On the Bobbin




Well, I did some spinning for a change. I spun up that basket of alpaca that I painted with Easter egg dye on Sarah, my Ashford Traddy. It was a really nice spin-very soft. Now I just need to decide how to ply it.
I also broke out the home-made Navajo style spindle I made several years back. My first attempt at spinning was with a drop spindle. I just couldn't get the hang of it. I read a book about Navajo spindles, and it gave directions for making one. I didn't have any skills at using a saw to cut the whorl so I improvised with a metal spool that holds wire that I dug out of the garbage at work. I also used a shrink wrap plastic from work garbage to place the whorl on the dowel. Painting the whorl before putting it on the dowel would have been easier-but I wrapped the dowel in Saran wrap then spray painted the metal blue. I carved both ends of the dowel to a rounded point and sanded them smooth. It spins like a dream. I forgot how much I loved it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Catching Up






I've been trying to catch up on a few projects. Got a few done, found many more to do. I'm not sure I can get to all of them in my lifetime. I know when I "go" my boys will back a dumpster up to the door and start pitching. Oh well, I'll enjoy my stuff while I'm still here.

The basket of alpaca fiber is what happened when I had left over Easter egg dye.
The Peace banner is something I just started last week on my Brio toy loom.
The tote is my attempt to make a more finished looking bag.
And the weavings are just something I got started on.

Thats only 5 of the hundreds of UFO's. It's a start.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Handmade cloth




Here's just a small piece I wove to make into a summer vest-hopefully. I'm trying to figure out just how to cut it into the pieces I need without it all falling apart. This should be a challenge-but fun.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rag bags



I just finished another rug. I really like making rugs. I found I can make smaller versions and turn them into bags. I really like the bags. Weaving is fun!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Really??


Yup, another new toy-this time, really, its a toy! I found this listed on e-bay and I just had to have it.

Weaving Fun



Who knew? Since I got my loom I've been having a lot of fun making stuff. I really never thought much about having a loom before now, but I can't imagine ever not having one in the future. I joined a Saori weaving group on Ravelry and got in on a Weave-a-long to make a banner. It's about 18 inches wide by 8 feet long. I had a theme in mind as I was weaving-Wisconsin's Springtime (I think that's a fantasy right now.) I tried to incorporate all the feelings of the weather, and the greening of the grass, and there's even a robin in there. I also tried to create an image of a tornado, cuz unfortunately we have those in the spring, too. At the end of May the group will be sending our banners to one person, and she will divide them up and swap them with other members. It will be fun to see what we all get.
One other thing I decided to try is a rag rug. I wasn't sure how to go about doing it at all. I was able to glean bits of information off the internet-but there really isn't much detail on how to weave rugs. Well, I gave it a try and am pretty happy with the result. For my first try its pretty straight, and colorful. It measures 26"x39". I have a LOT more warp on the loom to make a couple more, and loads and loads of fabric to cut into strips. I can see though, that if I want to make a career out of making rugs I have to get a heavier loom. Mine worked okay, but it kept "traveling" while beating the weft in place. Sooooo, if anyone out there hears of a good heavy duty rug loom that needs a good home, let me know (now remember, I'm what you'd call frugal-okay, okay-cheap) It needs to be a good deal-like maybe free! And of course there's that problem of where to put it-I'll work out those details later.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spin In Weekend




Well I finally got to go to my classes and do some serious damage to my checking account this weekend. I went to the Wisconsin Spin In in Pewaukee, WI. My class on Friday was all day spinning with Amy Tyler. It was blending color at the wheel. We had such a nice relaxing day. Then I went to visit all the vendors and bought some goodies. Saturday was a morning class with Chiaki O'Brien-Saori Weaving. I was really fun. I got a little more in depth learning about the Saori style of weaving, and it was nice to get to know Chiaki. She was so sweet. I bought the Saori book and when she showed me her picture on the cover I had her autograph it. (I bet she thought I was goofy). I really enjoyed using the special Saori loom. They are very simple and easy to use. I'll be starting a loom "kitty" to get myself one sometime in the future. They're small, I'll find room-really.