Cobweb felting…

I gotta say… This process was not at all, what I expected.  Usually, I take great measures not to felt my fiber. I’ve always been afraid of the dreaded accidental felting. I would let the raw wool sink on its own in the scour process, to avoid agitation. I actually bought a laser temperature gun to make sure the fiber I was transferring to a new tub of rinse water, it would be the same. 

I was really careful. I know the mechanics of felting… agitation, temperature change, soap (change in pH). I have watched several videos on the internet showing both how not to felt and even more on how to felt. 


I had my bubble wrap, mesh, pool noodle all set…

Imagine my surprise, when it took me hours and hours to felt a very thin layer of cobweb felt. No exaggeration, it took hours of full on abuse to finally get a result. I wasn’t even sure I had felted the piece when I stopped that days attempt, from pure exhaustion. I physically could not continue. I got on Facebook live to express my frustration and I said jokingly,

“Now I understand why people started violently throwing it at a certain point… because they really were pissed trying to make felt”

All the videos I had watched would say, ‘now is a good time to get out any pent up aggression’ and proceed to wad it up and slam it into their work surface. The only aggression I had was toward this scarf I was failing at felting.

Putting myself on pause was the best thing, even though I couldn’t have gone on if I wanted.


The next day, I went to check…

it was dry and damn if I wasn’t relieved, it was felted!!!

Let me just say wet cobweb felt does not feel felted. Or, maybe it does, but I just don’t have any clue what I’m looking for. I have to say I was really pleased with my result. It was light and airy and soft cobweb felt with teeswater locks dangling and silk integrated into the fabric.

Felt is the first ever cloth humans made. And I managed to make my own… barely. I didn’t know I had managed to create anything at the time, so there is still lots of learning to be done.

I really love the result. I didn’t expect it to be so soft and light. I’m into it… which is great news for all the wool waiting to be played with

my first sheep to shawl

I think I was avoiding my oldest work in progress (the daisy square afghan), by way of, starting another project from deep stash. 

My husband gifted me a drum carder and raw merino fleece the first Xmas after I started spinning. I was only spinning a couple months by this time and had no experience with raw fleece. I was so lucky that I didn’t felt/over scour/ruin the fleece during the washing process. After washing, I tried spinning and koolaid dyeing a few skeins but several pounds went into stash. And there it waited.

In my avoidance of the WIPs I already have going (daisy afghan, viajante, socks etc) and should be doing I went to my stash.. just window shopping, really. I came across one of several bags of this merino fleece.


This fleece is just gorgeous. Incredibly soft, from a coated sheep, crimp to sing about, and bright white. (Many of the pictures have a yellow cast from the lightbulb, but it’s a true white)

I’ve had this fleece for years. I really wanted to try spinning a textured single that would show off that crimp. It’s such a good thing I had stashed this fleece long enough to learn Laura Spinner’s magic thumb technique.Magic thumb video

That technique is so cool for long locks but it also works for fine wool.

Specifically, magic thumb is able to save lock structure and crimp like no other. It made this airy woolen coreless corespun. Keeping the crimp throughout the yarn was important to me.


It’s those curls I wanted to save in spinning the yarn and hopefully try to keep in a finished project.


I would grab a handful of the clean locks, and lightly hand pick and spin magic thumb. I had spun 3 skeins when I thought how awesome a blanket would be. That was the plan when I warped the loom. 

Hahahaha. That’s too funny!  I settled for a shawl since a blanket might take another 20years. But initially, the grand idea was making several strips that would be whip stitched together for a blanket. I started spinning the yarn on May 22,2016 and pulled the finished piece from the loom on June 4, 2016. 


The loom was warped with 2 skeins of a white commercial yarn, made of, 50% alpaca, 25% merino, 25% silk. Since the weft was bulky, I warped every other slot. This being only the second attempt weaving, I wasn’t sure how this would work out, but gauge works the same in weaving, as it does with knitting and crochet. I wanted a fabric that was soft and drapey vs something stiff and able to stand upright by itself.

I wouldn’t have had enough yarn to warp had I gone every slot, so every other slot worked perfectly.

Pulling little puffs of the weft through the warp threads that had my favorite crimpy bits I wanted to show, as I went. Trying to keep things loose, airy, drapey, by not beating too aggressively.


The crimp I love was being maintained. The edges stayed relatively even. Puffs happened on both sides (front and back) equally.

With all the white, the curls and crimpy texture was the fun part of this yarn. I’m surprised I was able to power through and not get bored with all the white. When I look at all the progress photos they all look the same. I can struggle to get through a project that is all the same blah color.


I went through the handspun pretty quickly, and would stop weaving to spin a couple more skeins.

It is unreal to me how much yarn weaving takes up so quickly. I warped the loom on May 29. This shawl is 2feet by 6ft and used over 10skeins of yarn. 

This has me thinking about future projects and really needing to be sure that I have enough to get through a project.


By the end I had started weaving much tighter in comparison to the looseness in the beginning. This is ok by me, as it is able to slide around to even out. But I can’t really tell. My husband pointed it out to me.


I tried a “new to me” way to end this project. Instead of a Damascus edge, I used hemstitching.


I much prefer hemstitching. This method is much easier for me. It’s easier because it’s still held tightly in place on the loom. Whereas, the other method I tried, it had to be cut first and then tied. As soon as it’s cut its floppy and moving around. I am really interested in all the different ways the ends can be done.


I also prefer the way this looks compared to the Damascus edge or the grouped tie off. This gives that little design element for a cute edge. 


I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It would be pretty cool to have a blanket like this. I just don’t think it would get finished.


For my first sheep to shawl I think it turned out really nice.

It does feel like an accomplishment to take raw wool and process it, spin it, then weave it. Weaving is so easy and so fast compared to my knitting/crochet it almost feels like I’m cheating.

My husband said he really likes the way the loom looks when it’s all warped up with a project on it. I have to agree it looks almost like a musical instrument. 

I’m a Weaver!!!!

It was bound to happen. I mean, this is everything fiber arts, right?

My husband bought me a Schacht Flip loom for my birthday… Wait for it.. 

2 years ago!

I kept putting it off because I had only ever heard how hard warping would be. In the long run, believing this, may have helped.  This idea I had built up in my head, of how difficult this was going to be, that when I mustered up the courage to take on the massive job of warping, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it actually is. I did have some help from the people in Fibery Goodness group on fb. They talked me through any troubles. If you don’t know about them they are a great community.

And Fibery Goodness Facebook group can be found on Facebook Here

I had never taken a class on weaving. Everything I learned about weaving had come from YouTube. But the questions I still had, I was given answers in the Fibery Goodness group! Such great resource and people and classes in Fibery Goodness. I still don’t know the proper terminology for weaving. But, it is so much easier than I thought. Although, I have a lot to learn.

For whatever reason I had these preconceived ideas which I have since learned are not true, for me.

I thought I’d share those with you.

The following are myths I believed and what I have learned.

 Myth – Warping is really hard 

I followed directions from a video for direct warping with a peg. I’ve learned that warping is really easy. Considering it was a first time, I found it was pretty straight forward. Cutting the string at the end once removing it from the peg, was the tiniest bit nerve wracking, but they were already safe in their slots. The next time I have to make this cut, I won’t think twice about it.

Myth – warping will take longer than the actual weaving  
The warping process took me 45 minutes to an hour. I have been weaving a bit each day for a week and I’m still not halfway. The steps that take the longest are bringing the yarn through each slot to the  warping peg, and then when I was finished with the warping peg removing all those loops held by that warping peg, and cutting them.  Rolling the warp threads closer to the loom, then taking one of the two pieces of yarn in the slot and hooking it with a special tool through the hole. It’s not fast, it’s not difficult, once you thread the first few holes, you get into a groove. Stick your hook in the hole, grab one thread from the slot next to it, pull it through the hole, NEXT! It becomes a process of doing one after the other and before I knew it I was at my last slot/hole.

Myth – lots of adjustments tying it on make sure it’s tight

img_1428 

It doesn’t have to be tight, it has to be even. The second you need to roll it on, you have to release a latch that completely loosens everything, but it will be rolled to the other side and that can make it as tight as you want. That’s why being evenly tensioned is more important than tight. Initially, I kept tightening each group of threads but I realized that tightness can be dealt with by turning the warp beam. It’s making sure it’s even so that when it’s turned it all turns together.

As far as I remember, I didn’t have any misconceptions about the waste yarn. Although, I am glad I used separate pieces. At the end after taking it off the loom, when waste yarn is pulled out, if I had to unweave one long string that would have been a pain, vs pulling out short bits, one row at a time

img_1429

I enjoyed adding the waste yarn because I could see the warp yarn align itself to its proper place with every beat. I’ve seen regular yarn used for this but I wanted something bigger thinking it would be easier to retrieve at the end. People use cardboard strips, or rolled up paper towels, strips of fabric, I used a yarn that I made from cut up cotton tank tops.

Myth-Weaving goes by quicker then the set up aka warping


I thought warping was pretty quick and easy. I varied the thickness of my weft threads. Some were lace weight and some was chunky. Obviously, the lace weight goes a lot slower. The above black lace weight weft was only 2 inches of weaving and took longer then the whole warping process.


Even when I switched to a thicker weft it still took longer for me. Which I am pleased to have discovered. Weaving is definitely the fun part. I got a good week almost two weeks of weaving time everyday.


I also discovered how many different colors actually go with green. Weaving allowed me lots of color play that I never experienced with crochet or knitting maybe because it blends the color evenly throughout. Being over and under every thread. Whereas, with knitting or crochet it’s more color blocks.


I played with different textures, as well. Leaving favorite bits of handspun out of the woven fabric. Switching from silk hanky and silk noil, to mohair, to wool and tencel blends. From lockspun, to thick and thin, to a traditionally spun smooth single. It all worked.

I did end up signing up for a weaving class and wow!! I’m so glad I did!! I learned a bunch of fun techniques from an online weaving class given by Stacey Budge-Kamison of

Urban Gypz website she teaches a lot of cool tricks for art weaving, using handspun and art yarns, but actually showcasing them. The class was very affordable definitely worth every cent. She gives both written and video. Plus has a group on Facebook that is private in case people may have questions or want to share.  It’s not your average weaving class. It’s the fun stuff. It’s art weaving tricks. It tips on adding certain things to showcase anything that might be important to you. She gives so many ideas. One can use a small loom, add things to weaving I’ve never seen, weaving to wear, wall hangings, pictures, not just yarn in  a woven piece (get creative) and add it. That class got me really excited about the possibilities. I’m filled with new ideas. The same way art yarns have add ins…

Weaving can too.

We have basic spinning that can be learned and art yarns  that can be learned. 

Well this is fun and showcases ways to use art yarns for those special one of a kind woven pieces.

So far my knitting and crochet have been pretty vanilla but I want my weaving to be as free as my art yarns. For wearing, for fabric for accent pieces, and wall hangings. I already feel like weaving gives me a kind of freedom. 
Again this is something I didn’t do much with crochet and knitting. Weaving gave me a new outlet and I didn’t start thinking his way, weaving spoke to me. I felt different when I was weaving m, I felt more free. I did use the same black silk lace weight thread all the way through my project to somehow tie everything in from beginning to end. But I’m not convinced it did. And that’s ok too.

Myth-as long as you have even tension and you use that angle before you beat, you will have even edges.


Well I really tried to do exactly what was shown in several videos and got nothing close to even. Now to be fair, I haven’t washed it at this point, but the pictures show how my edges go in and out. I don’t know if this is truly a myth yet. I’m ok with my edges for now. Being a beginner, it’s a weaving right of passage to have wonky edges. I have a feeling, that using thicker yarns, then thinner, then thicker yarns may cause different widths in the fabric and thereby uneven edges. I need to weave more and find out how that works. I’ll learn with each piece if there is any truth to my thinking regarding this.

I love the way weaving can showcase yarns!

I really had no rhyme or reason to this project. I wanted to weave my first project and experience what it was, to weave. I didn’t worry about perfection.


I didn’t worry about anything except carrying that black lace thread in certain places, throughout the project, to tie in the  beginning with the end. I found that as soon as the fabric was wound onto the beam and I couldn’t see it, even with pictures, I wasn’t sure what it looked like. I couldn’t remember how thick each section was before I used my black thread again. At the end, I know I was using the black thread less often. 

Another thing I did, was have any lock tips only poke through one side. So the side facing me is fluffy, and has fluffy, lustrous locks and sweet little lamb tips coming out. On the opposite side it’s smooth. 
The same is true for any bits left out of the weave. These things only happen on one side. Leaving the other side to look smooth and pretty straight forward.


This piece is kind of like a mullet. All business in front and party in the back. 

As it turns out, one end has more crazy lockspun where the other end has more smooth handspun.

If worn as a scarf, depending on which end you have in front or in back, it can look more business or more party.

Myth- weaving uses up a lot of stash yarn quickly 


THAT IS NOT A MYTH! This is so awesome for busting through stash. If you have a crap ton of yarn, and crochet and knit as slow as I do, this can overnight make you realize….you just might not be at SABLE, like you may have thought you were!!! I know any one thinking about the possibility they are at SABLE, if you are without a loom, I can’t suggest enough to give it a try.

They have many looms that are pricey. But even trying a smaller inexpensive loom to see if this might be fun. An ashford sampler loom, a Schacht cricket loom,

Not to mention many people destash their looms at great prices when they upgrade. Look for those. Some Lys like mine even rent looms out when classes are taught. If you were in the slightest bit interested see what’s available to you.

SABLE = stash acquired beyond life expectancy

A loom is a gift for you but it’s also a major gift to your stash!! This scarf used 14 skeins of yarn!!!

Fourteen skeins of yarns!!!

Think about that a scarf! 

I get to continue spinning, crocheting, knitting, to my hearts content, and weaving took 14 skeins from my stash in under 2 weeks! Next. Project I will take pictures of all the skeins I went through I had no idea how much I would have used!! Stash people that don’t have a loom… You may love this. I don’t have the saori, I didn’t make the big investment until I knew I’d enjoy it. For now this works I want to make fun stuff. 
Ok so… I got to the end of my warp. I cut the edge free and did half of a Damascus edge (just one way across), and tied groupings of warp threads into a sort of fringe.

I have yet to wash it. Full it, get it wet, or whatever.

It feels rough and looks kind of  a mess. I’m hoping for the magic that happens with this step everyone talks about.

Here is the woven piece before fulling.

The fluffy side front

The smooth side back

Closer of the smooth side

Yea I don’t know how much fulling can/will help this much wonk but while I won’t expect much, I’m hopeful. šŸ˜Š
All in all, weaving is pretty cool and my stash is thankful! And so am I for an awesome birthday gift from my husband!

I hope this will encourage people to try weaving. I know my first try at weaving isn’t a masterpiece by any means but have you seen my first handspun ?

Here she is in all her glory.


No it wasn’t meant to be art yarn 

This was my trying to spin a normal yarn.

Those aren’t coils. That is so overspun it won’t straighten at all and it is a hard rock.. If I threw it at someone’s head, they would be concussed. It could cause damage to sheet rock if thrown at a wall.

Even weighted after a soak and thwack…. Nothing. It doesn’t straighten out, it’s not usable. Can you believe that’s just wool? It is wool.

Some people saw it and say look at those coils and other art yarn techniques I’d never heard of at the time. That was not what I was going for. I thought I was spinning something I’d use hahahaha 

 It’s hilarious. But I could only improve from there and it’s funny now. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a first handspun quite this bad. Especially when I was hoping for a regular usable yarn. It was a great starting point because I could only go up. 

I hope the same with weaving and I hope others will join me. Especially new weavers or yes experienced weavers. Fibery goodness has been wonderful and also if you are interested check out the art weaving class I took listed above.

I’ll post the woven piece once it’s finished. It needs those finishing touches. 

Handspun Adventures 9/7/2014 Shanghai Scrapbox

I love the insanely rich reds of Shanghai.... This yarn was a ton of fun to make, new things tried, and even more awesome... I conquered! This yarn is soft and the color makes my eyes turn into cartoon hearts when I look at it :)
I love the insanely rich reds of Shanghai…. This yarn was a ton of fun to make, new things tried, and even more awesome… I conquered! This yarn is soft and the color makes my eyes turn into cartoon hearts when I look at it šŸ™‚
I bought this treasure, the Shanghai scrapbox, from

http://www.namastefarms.com.
It came with such insanely bright colors, it was impossible to photograph, the eye candy reds would blow out no matter how I seemed to set my camera.

 

Very hard to photograph these colors. Pictures of this don't give justice to the experience in real life, it's beautifully intense...
Very hard to photograph these colors. Pictures of this don’t give justice to the experience in real life, it’s beautifully intense…
Even in low light settings it seemed to glow. Shanghai came in the most amazing reds, so bright, so deep, I couldn’t resist spinning it next, in spite of the other scrapboxes, in queue. Reds, bright pumpkin oranges, burnt oranges, blacks, and some few locks that were such a deep dark purple it looked black but in the sun a slight purple hue could be seen.
The locks were incredibly long and full of luster. The curl structure was beautifully intact for tail spinning. There was teeswater, some individual locks dyed in several colors on one lock, going from light to dark. The silkiest mohair that begged to be softly spun in poofs. There was a healthy serving of orange and yellow wool nepps. It also came with a couple ounces of a brilliant red silk/merino top. This top was so soft and gorgeous.

This scrapbox was dyed a work of art. I've never seen a red quite like this, and I'm in love with it. All the other colors in this package just magnify and perfectly compliment the depth of saturation in this fiber
This scrapbox was dyed a work of art. I’ve never seen a red quite like this, and I’m in love with it. All the other colors in this package just magnify and perfectly compliment the depth of saturation in this fiber
I tried several new techniques with this yarn with the help of livestreams Natalie taught. I added my wool nepps then, using the top, spun a very shear web over the nepps, securing them from flying off. This allowed me to hold several nepps onto the single and yet they weren’t covered so the colors could be seen. I loved the interest this added to the single in between the long locks that hung.
IMG_2639.JPG

I used just a few of the longer fibers to secure shorter staple curls, like an invisible ply, I loved this new to me technique and found it to be a brilliant way to avoid the need for a second ply, as I wanted to keep this yarn a single. I did my first ever thick n thin, using this top and was successful. IMG_2837.JPG

There was so much fiber it filled my jumbo bobbin and I had a ton of fiber still left over. I’ve decided to start saving bits leftover for a future “kitchensink” skein.

My shanghai single came off the bobbin pretty well balanced pre soak, and I only had a slight half twist at the bottom. After a shock in some hot and cold water to help stabilize and slightly, very slightly, felt those fibers, I have no doubt my skein will hang straight and balanced. Which would be another first for me, a balanced spun single.
These scrapboxes along with the tutorials on livestream really are incredible. Not only opening my toolbox of techniques, but I can proudly and confidently say, I’m becoming a better spinner with bad ass looking yarn! It’s always easier when the fiber is amazing.

I’m really proud of how Shanghai came out.

IMG_2844.JPG

Handspun Adventures 6/26/2014 Neon Sunset special

Neon sunset polworth silk with teeswater curl add ins 214 yards of happy
Neon sunset polworth silk with teeswater curl add ins
214 yards of happy
This handspun is made with Blue Barn Fibers polworth/silk rolags in the neon sunset colorway. With teeswater curl add ins, also from Blue Barn Fiber, in the neon sunset colorway.

I did end up with some barberpoling while plying, however, when woven or knit up I think the barberpoling will help the transition when moving from one color to the next. It is actually pretty finely spun pre soak, which came out to a 13-14WPI off the wheel.

Pre soak 13-14 WPI
Pre soak 13-14 WPI
Polworth has an amazing way of poofing up after a soak and set.

Drying in the sun - that luster in that lock in the middle is indicative of why I love an amazing teeswater... Teeswater top vs teeswater locks, is a completely different experience. I prefer the lock, for sure.
Drying in the sun – that luster in that lock in the middle is indicative of why I love an amazing teeswater… Teeswater top vs teeswater locks, is a completely different experience. I prefer the lock, for sure.
Which ended me up with a 10-12WPI yarn, stuffed consistently with the teeswater locks throughout.

post soak 10-12 WPI that polworth really fluffs
post soak 10-12 WPI that polworth really fluffs
I left a long beginning and end to the yarn without any locks. Ultimately, the idea of a thinly woven scarf is what I have in mind for this very special yarn.

I love how the colors are so incredibly bright. The purple melts into pinks, into neon peaches once mixed with the tangerine orange, and finally into a bright happy yellow. The way I chose to spin one rolag to the next, matching up the rolags colors, end to end, giving it longer color repeats. I see it being the perfect weft. I ended up with approx 214yards with 2oz of the rolags, and 1oz of teeswater, which didn’t play a part in the yardage the way it was used.

On the niddy noddy
On the niddy noddy
214 yards is quite a bit to work with…

It’s serendipitous the day I finished this handspun, is the day I get notified that my loom is shipping. What are the odds, that as I’m winding this yarn on my niddy noddy, after months of spinning it, is exactly when I find out my Schacht Flip loom is on it’s way? (The loom was ordered from schacht before my birthday may 10th, and an month and a half later it’s on it’s way)
I’ll need to practice a little on the loom prior to using such a special yarn, which is fine, as this will give me time to think about a warp.

For now, neon sunset special is going to decorate my handspun wall.

imageimage

Every time I see it’s bright happy colors, with the matching perfect curls, it just makes me happy, just being yarn, so I’m not in any rush…. Well, not until I have that perfect warp figured out.

Blue Barn Fiber – Neon Sunset handspun, Buttersilk and more…

Blue Barn Fibers Neon sunset colorway Polworth silk rolags and Teeswater locks!!!!
Blue Barn Fibers
Neon sunset colorway
Polworth silk rolags and
Teeswater locks!!!!
Blue Barn Fiber http://www.bluebarnfiber.com

I was window shopping etsy, as I sometimes do…
The new thing had been rolags and punis on the podcasts I’d been listening to as of late. I was scrolling along and literally was stopped dead in my tracks, by these colors.

Blue Barn Fiber neon sunset -polworth silk rolags
Blue Barn Fiber
neon sunset -polworth silk rolags
Gorgeous, amazing, happy, bright, colors. Several colors that each blended perfectly to the next all rolled up in a nice neat rolag form.
The colorway was called, Neon Sunset. I had the choice two different silk blended wool fibers. I chose the polworth, as it’s my favorite. I had also bfl/silk to choose had I wanted, they were both awesome, but again, polworth has a puff factor I love. So I had to have the polworth/silk rolags.  Immediately, if not sooner. Naturally, I ordered.

The box came neatly wrapped in tissue paper, as initially I had plans, to split half and half. Holly, one of the two the proprietors of Blue Barn Fiber (the other being her husband, Dan), had separated them for me and wrapped each ounce already separated, as I initially planned to share half, lol. However, once in my possession, I couldn’t let it go. That’s right, I kept it all totally selfishly for myself. And guess what… I’m not sorry, lol.

Shortly after that purchase, she decided to offer the same colorway, in choices of, mohair or teeswater locks. Once again, immediately, I ordered the teeswater locks.

Neon sunset teeswater locks... I couldn't pass it up, it was a pair, the rolags and locks... They were meant to be together, it was fate. One should never tempt fate. Far be it for me, to tempt fate, I won't do it. Fate... I love you, and blue barn fiber :)
Neon sunset teeswater locks…
I couldn’t pass it up, it was a pair, the rolags and locks… They were meant to be together, it was fate. One should never tempt fate. Far be it for me, to tempt fate, I won’t do it.
Fate… I love you, and blue barn fiber šŸ™‚
Let me tell you, I have a stash. A large stash. This went on the wheel next. Look at these colors, I had no other choice. I had 6 rolags total, so I spun 3 colors going end to end very thin, with the plan to spin the other half the same thinness with the teeswater locks, in the matching color or as close to it locked in the twist.

First bobbin of rolags, spun thin. 3 rolags
First bobbin of rolags, spun thin.
3 rolags
Basically, as I spin, I split the single in two and put the lock inside at the middle of the lock, and continue spinning. It’s in there pretty good, but my hopes are the plying will lock it in that much better. I’m also spinning the other rolags end to end same as the first single, ideally, the colors will meet up and if I have some barber poling happen, that’s okay as it’ll lead into the next color. This is a double first for me as, I’ve never spun rolags before this. Rolags, at least, blue barn fibers rolags are smooth sailing, just dreamy to draft thick or thin spinning can be done easily, but I love yardage. So, thin it is. Second, I’ve never spun handspun like this, one normal ply, and the other ply with teeswater locks. Both very thin singles. I’m interested to see how this turns out.

image

We will both be surprised. I’ve taken lots of photos along the way. This teeswater lock adding is very very time consuming. But I’m enjoying every second of it. I’m thrilled to see it turn out. I’m writing this as I spin, so the actual outcome is a total mystery to me at this point.

Rolags with teeswater locks spun in I love the silky locks
Rolags with teeswater locks spun in
I love the silky locks
On another note, while making my second order with Blue Barn Fiber, ordering the teeswater, I decided it was high time I see what sari silk is all about. Playing with it in batts, corespinning, you know, just really getting a feel for it. So I ordered that at this time, as well. I had written her some notes through etsy asking questions. Holly was so patient, thorough, and sweet. Excellent customer service. I mentioned how rolags were new to me, also the sari silk, stainless steel, qiviut, rose pearl fiber… You can imagine my Squeeee when I opened my box of teeswater locks in neon sunset and sari silk, to also find samples of the stainless steel, her BUTTERSILKā„¢, camel down, and you won’t believe this, but, qiviut!!!!

The samples that were sent so exciting
The samples that were sent so exciting
Yes, Holly, sent me qiviut. The most coveted, and one of the most expensive fibers around.
I still can’t believe it. But before I go further on the qiviut, because qiviut has a reputation all it’s own. Let me tell you, the Buttersilkā„¢ is freaking amazing. Honestly, I doubt I will ever buy sari silk again, because the Buttersilkā„¢ just melts in your hands.

Blue Barn Fiber  Buttersilk These are just four of the many colors she offers... And if you have a color in mind, that's not there, not already made, seriously just message her and she does her best to make it happen
Blue Barn Fiber
Buttersilk
These are just four of the many colors she offers… And if you have a color in mind, that’s not there, not already made, seriously just message her and she does her best to make it happen
It’s hand pulled sari silk, mixed with mulberry silk, and more, more, more. It sparkles and it’s soft literally like butter in your hands. Like, chocolate that has sat in a hot car melts in your hands. Soooooo silky soft with the sari silk factor. It’s amazing.

See the difference between sari silk on left and buttersilk on right It's a huuuuge difference
See the difference between sari silk on left and buttersilk on right
It’s a huuuuge difference
A little goes a long way, it comes in multiple colors and the price can’t be beaten. It had been on sale, so I bought a few more colors, and as if that wasn’t enough, if you had a special color in mind I have no doubt, she would make it just for you, each customer is special. Her etsy shop is chock full of a fiber artists dream.
She sells in bulk too for cheaper pricing, for those wanting to make larger projects or I imagine for other fiber artists to use and sell in smaller quantities to make money…. This shop is for everyone. It’s obviously a favorite of mine, and others as well , as she sells out of items at times. No worries on that either, she restocks quickly, and a quick message to her about what your needs are and she makes it happen.
The customer service, is perfect, I feel like a special VIP customer every single time I shop, from the first time, to several purchases later.

Blue Barn Fiber products, always impeccable. Nothing but the best quality fibers. Example, the dyed teeswater I bought was sourced from Namaste Farms. Namaste Farms has the best teeswater out there and let me tell you as her customer also, good fiber is not cheap. That is my point. She sources the best quality fibers available.

The stainless steel, I can’t wait to make a little yarn skein for glove fingertips to be able to enjoy touch screens without the need to remove a glove. I understand a little of this fiber goes a loooong way.

Stainless steel fiber - a great add in, that will work with touch screens
Stainless steel fiber – a great add in, that will work with touch screens

It’s definately a fiber that needs to be blended with something else. Another blog post when I use this fiber for sure!!! Touchscreen gloves for gifts are going to be total winners! I have an awesome idea for this, I will share before the holidays.

The qiviut will also get it’s own blog post when I experience that, however, I’ve never heard of bad qiviut, and this sample she surprised me with matches all the great things I’ve heard about this fiber. It’s so soft I almost can’t feel it. Although I saved this for last to touch it’s insane. This is one of those precious fibers people tend to wait on using… Are you one of those?
Clearly, I need more. See, that’s my thing, I can’t use what I have until I have more. Soooo, a qiviut purchase from Blue Barn Fiber might need to happen prior to testing this. I can’t be left with none after using up the sample, sheesh. Just enough to spin a very fine 2 ply that I can make a cowl or I believe it’s called a smoke ring? You know, the cowl, that can go over the head?
Also, do I blend? Or do I go full on quiviut? I’m thinkin full on quiviut… We only live once and it’s an heirloom piece. Right?! Mmmmmm qiviut. I feel like Homer Simpson talking about donuts or beer.

Now, they have glow in the dark fiber, it’s a nylon type fiber so while I haven’t tried it yet, that is just awesome!!

Glow in the dark fluff - no it's not too early to start that Halloween project
Glow in the dark fluff – no it’s not too early to start that Halloween project
Add it on the trim of a child’s hat and charge it up under some light before a walk at night, and safety increases. This fiber in a project, glowing away is going to be a conversation piece in any dark room. Anyone, who doesn’t think a handmade glow in the dark accessory isn’t awesome, really isn’t worth your time. Lol this is better bait than that schmatzch.com dating site, or whatever it’s called anyday. Also imagine for a baby blanket, little stitches, here and there, like stars, when the lights go out for bed. It glows in the dark of course it’s magic, everyone knows that. Especially kids, and grown ups, like myself.

Last, but, certainly not least, a little more about the brains behind such a cool website/store, … Holly got her degree in Environmental Science and is very sensitive to keeping the earth healthy and green. Additionally, she works as a graphic designer but has the etsy shop with her husband ultimately planning to farm and fiber full time. We need our farmers, we’ve lost too many already. Blue Barn Fiber’s love of the earth, renewable resources, fiber, and animals is shown again and again.
In saying that, they only purchase cruelty free fiber.
Dan and Holly are awesome. Their website can lead you to everything and has pictures and links needed. You have to check out there website! They literally sell a zillion different items, lots of fiber in all kinds of breeds and animal plant and recyclable materials, tools, etc etc, if you are looking for something particular you don’t see, just message, and they will do whatever they can to obtain your wish…. Just like a fiber fairy who lives in a blue barn.

GO NOW, you won’t be sorry and try the Buttersilkā„¢ It’s love and heaven in fiber form.

http://www.bluebarnfiber.com

Or go directly to their etsy shop

https://www.etsy.com/shop/bluebarnfiber

They are the epitome of everything fiber arts, you want to try. I love this shop period, love!!!! LOVE!!!

I’m currently plying my neon sunset and hope to have it pictured before the day is over. Go check that shop out, any questions, seriously amazing amazing place to find the newest fiber on the market, including inventing her own fiber blends that’s are to die for…. Literally, clouds of heaven are being sold in her shop. image

Fibers available now are amazing

I have heard of how in the past, there was not much of a selection…
Well fiber friends, that has changed by leaps and bounds. We have fibers to spin, made from everything from stainless steel, to glow in the dark fiber, to rose fiber (yes, fiber made of crushed rose stems, that has a pearl sheen, and a faint rose scent) oh, did I mention pearl? Because, yes, they also have fiber with ground pearl dust that is infused into the fiber. Are you kidding me?!

Glow in the dark
Stainless steel fiber to make your yarns work with touch screen!
We have beautiful natural colors growing on animals that are new, and colors that are neon bright, due to brilliant hand dyed fiber artists who have amazing color sense.

Now, fiber is grown by farmers with spinners in mind, no longer just a by product, as with several breeds, in the past.

Sheep are coated to keep their fleece free of vegetable matter and sun damage. A very labor intensive process of changing the coat as the sheep and fleece grow. Shown in this photo is a coated Namaste Farms teeswater.

 Although we still have many fiber growing animals where the fleece is a by product, the word is spreading. As spinners, we know all fiber has it’s place, it can all be used for something, somewhere. I am just in love with the new products that are coming out as time passes. We are so lucky, to be fiber lovers at this moment, and it’s only going to get better for our future people inclined to be of the fiber addicted persuasion. WE ARE SO LUCKY!! And I plan to show such fiber in future posts! Websites, blogs, shops, Independent dyers, fiber artists, fiber products, both new and old.  (I say old as, it could have been around for several years, but if I’m just discovering it, then just maybe, an oldie but goodie, will be new for you as well) This is an amazing time for us… We are gaining power in numbers, and how can new people coming across soft fluff, not want more.
Knitting, crocheting, fiber arts etc is already shown to be healthy for people. Clinical studies being done show this. I saw this video and had to share.

check out this video… How fortunate we are!!