I am making winter hats for refugees through the non profit org, Allied Aid.
My mom volunteers in the group. She went to a group activity, where they made hats by cutting fabric and sewing the pattern. They collect hats for all ages. I too, wanted to contribute, so I got started crocheting and weaving squares. The squares are being made on a little Weave It Loom a dear friend sent to me, which I just love!!
Weaving these squares is addicting. Anytime my hand and wrist started to get tired or sore from crochet, I’d stop and weave a square.
I finished the crochet hat
I finished this in a day. In between, mind you, I was making progress with the woven hat simultaneously. Very quick project and really like how it turned out.
I fashioned the squares to make a woven version. I’m getting a great response on the style of the hats. They really would be adorable on a kidlets head.
They are infant – toddler size. The crochet version is bigger and has more stretch.
I once made a newborn hat pattern and it was too small for my newborn nephew. It ended up being used as a beanie for his older sisters doll. (Which I love!)
The lesson from that project was, if I’m not checking gauge, then make sure that it falls within range this chart gives for head circumference. I used WHO chart graphs, to ensure that this time my hats would fit a child.
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.
My oldest project that got me into fiber… Deep deep into fiber…
Was a crocheted afghan.
The Daisy Square Charity afghan. I have crocheted all the squares I’m going to do. I need to wrap this bad boy up. Because I was just starting and knew nothing about gauge, the squares are made of different weight yarns, and at different tensions, possibly different hook sizes, some are cotton some are acrylic?? The squares are different sizes. I don’t know how much blocking will accomplish, but who cares it’s a mess anyways. It will always be special because this is where it started.
I’ve laid out my squares, now if I could just buckle down.. I’ve laid the squares out this way before, at least two other times. I’ve made the first join… Dear sweet fiber fairy give me the strength to finish this project!!
Let’s do it!! It’s been I don’t know 5 or 6 years?
I’ve been a student of Fibery Goodness courses starting this year… And I’m in love.
When I saw the newest S3 course come out I was immediately intrigued. I had not taken any of the previous courses (like, Journey to the Golden Fleece) so I was late to the game.. But I’m here now. In my 3rd course 🙂
I’m actually taking two courses simultaneously. I can not get enough! It’s brilliant!
I was so excited about this new FiberyGoodness course, I actually started out s3 before I even got the materials. If that’s possible…
I was making plans for what I was going to do just based on the teaser picture of the book cover and the course name “spin sketch scribe..”
Since my excitement of the possibilities of this had me planning prematurely, (not having any idea how the course worked, and I shared my thoughts/story ideas and plots with Suzy-having no idea how the course works, not having taken it yet- and bless her heart she was always totally encouraging!! Never said it didn’t work quite like that, never tried to conform my ideas. Looking back, at my conversations she always complimented and said I really like where this is going – but the whole time I was totally unaware of how the courses are done, and I had all these other ideas but truly needed to wait and take the course. Suzy was so beautifully kind and never said, wooooah slow down, wait and see.. And instead just encouraged the creativity )
Then I got the text…
which I printed up and wow it made a
BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BOOK!!! The book explains each of the modules…
And each module is a yarn to spin. Very specific yarns. Challenges.
Then the module videos started coming out..
These are icing on the cake. Arlene sings, and information about the module is discussed, books are recommended, goodies are shown, and history is given…. Fun stuff
Well, this changed everything.
One would think, if it wasn’t what I had thought or planned, was there disappointment?
Noooo, first – my preplanned possibilities were met with open arms but I soon discovered, my ideas were able to be expanded on, opened up to endless possibilities and inspiration for creativity added and
Reading the text and Watching these s3 videos with Arlene Thayer and Suzy Brown are so captivating!!!
I am seriously eating up the history and wow this module with the cotton….
My mom is a huge history buff (majored in it, vacationed to certain places heavy with history, belonged to history groups etc just as involved and intense as our fiber groups) and she is huge on facts regarding war, be it tactics and reasons why it started or how it ended, what was gained or lost and it is soooo lovely to be able to have a dialogue with my mom, that we got to blab on and on about spinning and fiber but involve history topics that very much intrigued her (being able to add to her knowledge base, she knew some already but not all.. And that was awesome)
When we have a passion/love aka obsession for something, who doesn’t love to talk about it.. But let’s face fact, my constant fiber talk isn’t always met with the interest from the other party haha bless my family’s heart for listening to me ramble.. it can be difficult to talk/listen about fiber with a person who doesn’t share that passion, let alone to the degree I can spout off about it.
So to be able to connect two separate topics (an in depth history that included war tactics with fiber, so my mom and I could both engage in topics we loved was neat and precious.) What a bonus!!
With the knowledge attained from the modules, I was given this extra treasure.
These modules are amazing…
So many new things and choices choices…
Initially for this module, I saw this perfect item I could purchase for the fabric yarn, in a craft store.
After the video however I changed my mind. I thought surely I have something to recycle… Something with history, maybe even special.
And bam, that old sarong I have from a vacation to Mexico, so many moons ago. I haven’t touched in years but won’t part with it as a vacation memory, a momento. Now, what an absolutely lovely way to keep my sarong as a vacation memory and get to make a yarn that has a story of its own… This course has had me thinking in so many directions…
My original…plan well needless to say, I’ve changed the book ideas, the theme, or which story to go with or to tell all the stories and every video that they put out for these modules along the way has been so important for me in this process. Having my initial ideas, then reading the text, then the video comes adding inspiration and a lovely challenge, ultimately to end up with exactly what it’s meant to be. This is a million times better then what I imagined.
In my early conversation with Suzy, when I really had no idea, she had asked me a question (which now I understand, she asked “do you think you can make it work with the modules?” )While I said yes… I was still clueless but….
I totally get it now
and it is so soooo much awesomeness and like I’ve said, the initial idea I had has morphed and expanded, making it so much better.
These modules actually make me dig deeper and it’s slowed me down to being behind but that’s ok because I’m absolutely adoring the journey. It’s made each yarn more thoughtful and important.
It’s sketch spin scribe. I had it backwards and was limiting myself. For my book, each yarn is what I am able to scribe after, is a story about a spinner, one main yarn for each spinner and her fictional (some of the fiction is based on parts of a real thing that may have taken place) but mostly I can say, the story is made up. At first I was going to do the whole shebang about one spinner one story all the yarns …
but that question suzy posed “can i make it fit with the modules??”
Cha Ching light bulb over my head aha moment I now understand, I didn’t then.. But now I get it.
So now instead of writing the story first and making the yarn fit(although a few stories I’ve written, will fit in with a modules yarn at some point ) but now the creative process has changed and the yarn is what will determine the story of that spinner.
I’m so thankful I was not left to my idea only as ultimately I believe could have actually hindered the yarn making process. now I’m taking in all the information in that modules lesson and that inspires the yarn, which now inspires me to write the yarns story for that spinner. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how this course has developed
Even the pre written stories will change based on the yarn I spin. It all goes hand in hand.
I don’t think it hurt me to get excited and quite ahead of myself before truly understanding how the course goes as its my first course like this and I didn’t know what to expect. I must say the course really opens up new ideas and creativity so while I could have probably made it work the initial way I had gone into it, I’m so glad I have the tools and information packed into these modules so i get to explore and learn more about the yarn and delve deeper into the spinners story.
Even to the point of whether that spinners story is spinning just to spin because she loves it and wants to, versus, spinning out of pure necessity.
How many spinners stories are spinning was work, that they possibly didn’t enjoy.
Someone I’m very close to (who is not old in years by the way-that may be subjective, but to give an example they are not of age to retire from work so under retirement age in USA)
Her story comes from not that long ago…
She grew up having to spin and knit, wool socks and underwear for clothing…
Out of necessity. You can imagine….
When she saw I’m doing it for fun and have a passion for it, she totally did not understand.
She could not fathom how it could be fun.. And that was because she had to do it out of necessity. She had nostalgic memories seeing my wheel and was interested in having one…. Not to use, she didn’t want it for anything other then decoration. She was a spinner and that’s her story. Not all spinners stories are like mine (a happy pastime) obviously… But my brain didn’t think that way until she started telling me her feelings (especially now that she doesn’t have to spin for her own clothes) although there are those that spun yarn out of necessity and loved it. These modules bring a fantastic history and I get new ideas with each one.
I can’t thank Suzy and Arlene of FiberyGoodness.com
For the opportunity they gave me to take this course.
As mentioned earlier, I am also taking Natalie Reddings dying courses offered by Fibery Goodness.
I can’t speak highly enough of their programs. This is absolutely the most fantastic venue giving people around the world the ability to take live courses with stellar teachers, combined with a community of brilliant and creative wonderful students. It’s really been a wonderful experience throughout and I’ll be sticking with whatever Fibery Goodness continues to offer as its one of those things as a fiber addict you really don’t want to miss out on.
Once you have a taste…
You know what you are missing!! I don’t want to miss a thing..
Now I have that song stuck in my head 🙂
If you were thinking about taking a course, do it!
As I move along these courses I will undoubtedly share more, but want to be careful not to give away too much. So hard too as I want to talk about it, but my little book is kind of a surprise…
Considering I’m still surprising myself as each module is presented!!
On the bobbin is the urchin scrapbox from Namaste Farms.
I’m trying to spin this like Natalie spun her “silk scrumple” scrapbox yarn
This photo is credited and belongs to Namaste Farms
Isn’t it amazing!!!? Her handspun is amazing for many reasons, but the styling she can do is like none other. She can do original things with yarn, you won’t find anywhere, like I spoke of in my blog about Mink, this is yet another example of the way she inspires. I really want to learn how to spin something, at least resembling this… It’s amazing, and in person… It’s just the coolest handspun ever. So I’m giving it my best shot…
Thank you Natalie for such amazing art and inspiration.
Imitation is the biggest form of flattery they say… But nothing is more important to me than giving full credit to where this yarn I’m going for comes from. It’s all Natalie Redding.
Here is my attempt thus far…
Let me tell you, this is labor intensive for me, and very slow going.
To do a thick and thin single, all while adding in, curls, sparkles, ribbons etc.. Just spinning this as a single, one time through and keeping it balanced and stable …. We shall see, it’s my first go
Here are some bobbin shots
Look at these locks.. And don’t worry, the scissors were to cut the silk ribbon into smaller bits
I can’t wait to see how it comes out, it’s no silk scrumple yarn style, just yet, but the colors of this Urchin Scrapbox, are seriously luscious.
It’s gonna be another special skein, I just know it! I couldn’t wait to finish the yarn to share.
Wish me luck!
Yet Another, scrapbox from Namaste Farms, so what keeps bringing me back to spinning the same thing over and over again? That’s just it, it’s never the same! Each scrapbox brings me something new to taste test, whether it’s a new fiber, add in, or technique (taught via livestream tutorial that is sometimes offered with the scrapbox purchase)…I am addicted. Too much of a good thing doesn’t exist where fiber is concerned, and these Scrapboxes, are a healthy dose of just that!!!
Prior to lock spinning and NF scrapboxes, my all time favorite was polworth commercial top. (I still love polworth)
That was out of merino, BFL, and polworth that I had tried, to that point. There’s just so much more to experience in spinning!!
Over the years, opening my palette, I’m finding I love other wool preps and fiber blends so much more! Years of spinning and I’m still only scratching the surface. A scrapbox keeps it fresh, inspiring, and fascinating because I experience another first, everytime.
My blog is transparent, I’m a scrapbox fiend, that’s pretty clear. But I learn more of what I like to spin everytime I treadle one of these onto my bobbin. (I want to spin a little bit of everything, I want to try it all) Each fiber has a quality that makes it beautiful and these scrapboxes let me experience more fibers, treats, techniques etc, all at once. So yes, I’m on a scrapbox kick because I get a lesson and experience in each one, not to mention… The way it’s dyed, the colors!!
*swoooooon* there is nothing like beautiful color on fiber.
The color is what sucks me in, and then every discovery after, is bonus. I love when there is more then one color in the lock staple. I love when the tip is darker, or lighter or a completely different color then the rest of the lock.
Ive moved twice in the last 3 months, I might add, these are great during a move. When you need to spin, but your stash is packed. Order up one of these puppies and you are ready to go. Everything included for a fun and fulfilling spin.
I ordered some extra Angelina, in different colors, during a purchase from namaste farms. That is the only extra, I added to this kit. I didn’t need it, as this box came with a bunch of novelty add ins, but why not? I love sparkle.
The Mink box, is dyed in neutral or natural colors. The taupe is worthy of special mention, it’s amazing. At first glance, you think it looks gray, until you have it next to gray, and then you see it’s not gray at all, but truly taupe. It’s gorgeous.
The taupe locks are dyed on an exmoor/merino cross bred fleece, so they have a soft sproingy crimp, with a curly tip. A new breed and fleece type for me. Really really cool wool!! A must try!
In addition to the color taupe, this box came with, fibers in all natural shades from light to dark. The taupe, actually, was originally a white fleece. It’s amazing for how natural all these colors look, they were dyed to be this way. This box came with colors from light gray, deep steel gray, cream, tan, beige, lighter medium browns to rich dark chocolate browns, some that seem to look black but in the sun, will show more depth and reveal other colors like deep mahogany. The tints of color, all mesh and put together make a gorgeous yarn. They look so natural to have been dyed. I think the steel gray mohair, was the original fleece color, but again, having been dyed so expertly, it’s hard to decipher in this scrapbox what is dyed vs originally grown that way on the animal.
The add ins were several different novelty yarns and threads.
Three different colors of especially soft eyelash yarn, the good stuff, high end. Another was a golden train track or ladder novelty yarn. Now I say yarn, but it’s not what one would think of as a traditional yarn, more like novelty ribbon. It’s special, whatever it is. Several different threads in all neutral colors, matching the dyed fibers found in the scrapbox. All different (neutral/natural) tones and textures. A gray fuzzy halo thread, and a smooth brown with a little golden metallic sparkle.
One of my favorites, was the Habu textile thread in chocolate brown that appeared to have what looks like fat, soft furry caterpillars crawling across every few inches.
There were, well over, ten different add in threads, that came with the fiber. Each thread came in one long length, but I chose to cut them in shorter lengths for my purpose of use. Adding a touch here and there
Spinning goodies ranged from mohair, to long wools, to medium and fine wools. All variety of different fibers that inspire, with the many different staple lengths and textures. From crimpy, soft, fluffy and sproingy to light reflecting luster with ringlet curls, silky smooth to the touch, all in beautiful neutral shades.
As mentioned earlier, some of namaste farms scrapbox purchases come with a livestream tutorial. Prior to spinning Mink, I had the chance to watch one of these Livestream tutorials, held by Natalie Redding.(a lucky replacement for a namaste farms blogtalk one evening)
In this livestream episode, she shows several different techniques, while spinning the kits contents. Since she does this live, viewers can ask any questions, or request to “please show that again”, or “what ifs”, or “how would I”?
Anything really. These live tutorial spinning sessions are invaluable.
To quote Natalie, she knows how to spin “a balanced, light, lofty single.” And let me tell you, she does it well. Many many hours, many many skeins of practice makes perfect.
She referred to herself as a “one trick pony” spinner, as this, light lofty single, is the yarn she spins. With respect, I fervently disagree with this sentiment. With regards to Natalie’s spinning, this couldn’t be further from the truth, she is no “one trick pony”!!!
You won’t see MORE ways to spin a single ANYWHERE ELSE…
She shows more ways to
-spin a single,
-style a single,
-add something to a single
-all the while, keeping it stable, balanced, and freaking awesome.
Natalie demonstrates techniques that are unique and priceless. Sharing her proprietary knowledge, thereby, adding inspiration and tools to my own spinning repertoire. She is an intuitive spinner and is able to translate how she gets from point A, to point B, clearly. She is an excellent teacher. It is very difficult to spin a thick yarn, that’s light and airy. Even more difficult, is to keep it a low twist single, without it falling apart. If you have the chance to see and touch her yarn in person, it’s incredible. I got this chance in her booth at Lambtown 2014 held in Dixon, Ca. Photos of her yarn are incredible, but in person, you can feel the stability and just how weightless it is, it just boggles the mind. Seeing a bunch of her handspun skeins together, I realize how many options there are to spin a single. She is constantly formulating something new and different, forever changing and adding options available to a spinner. It never gets old.
I’m enthralled by the skills and amount of new content I learn. The above link is one of many recorded past spinning sessions. She always has new techniques and a new style yarn. Recent spin sessions, show several different techniques while spinning a single. On her livestream channel, one can find older posts where she has plied skein sessions, and even sheep to finished project. She shares many proprietary techniques exclusive to her. I feel very very lucky to have her share so openly, to help other spinners like myself.
A few examples of tips and tricks, would be, how to add a small puff of very short stapled fiber, and secure it to the single, by taking just a few long stapled fibers of longwool and essentially plying over those short bits locking everything in place. Brilliant!
Adding plied strength to a single where it otherwise may have been weakened! That was huuuuge for me. Major a-ha moment!
She’s shown several things to do with add in threads, like tucking one side in making it in invisible and allowing the other half to fly freely, much like a long lock. Or another technique, allowing the addin to auto wrap and hide both sides of the string within the fiber.
Another technique that blew my mind was how to lock “something” in (a curl, a long lock, or how to spin a lock of fiber, the cut end in the single without a trace but leave out the perfect curled tip she wants to show) with a tug of fiber up toward the “something”she wanted secure, sometimes wrapping the tugged bit with fiber, sometimes leaving it as is, depending on the outcome she was aiming for. These techniques were just a few she shared and I have never seen them before anywhere. Because Natalie is an intuitive spinner, she spins fast, but when teaching, is able to slow it down significantly while giving a detailed, step by step, explanation of exactly what she is doing.
After watching this I was excited. I got to spinning straight away. This yarn is the coolest Ive made.
It’s natural colors are subtle, but all the add ins, autowraps, different fibers, textures, techniques, sparkles, etc etc etc I mean,
This handspun has so many elements of interest… It’s a special skein and one that I am really proud of. With so many things going on in this yarn, the natural colors of the dyed fiber tone it down, and it works. It’s wildly complex but sophisticated. I’m still learning color, I love me some bright rainbows, neon aqua and hot peach, but my wardrobe shows I’m a fan of plain black and white,of blue jeans. So to make a neutral yarn with this much fun going on, it kinda blew my mind. This is the styling of a yarn, I’m talking about, that I didn’t know played a part.
I can’t recommend enough, to watch, Namaste Farms tutorials.
Coming up, she is also doing spin in labs/ classes with http://www.fiberygoodness.com hosted by Spin Artiste creator – Arlene Thayer and Woolwench – Suzy Brown.
Check the fiberygoodness website for further information on all the spinning inspiration and classes they offer. The gallery of handspun made by students is motivational eye candy.
I’ve signed up for one of the fibery goodness labs by on November 19 with Namaste Farms. I barely got in, as these classes sold out In minutes for months in advance. Keep an eye out for more!
Awww I love spinning… I imagine how impressed our ancestors over thousands of years would be, to see what we are making today… Spinning is such an intricate art, as is the wool that is grown today. Animal husbandry is an artform. The constant quest for perfection over centuries, to bring the best fiber, to hand spinners and the textile industry. Especially, with the latest in AI science, and the ability to bring the best genetics from across the globe. We are so fortunate to be spinners today. The progress is monumental and something to be revered. The hard work of our shepherds and shepherdess’s to bring about such a superior product is truly an art in itself. This isn’t nearly as recognized as it should be. This is where spinning begins, and our handspun art as spinners, is made possible. I appreciate them and all their efforts to bring nothing but the best fiber. I love to grab a handful of dyed locks and just play. I could do this for hours… And I do,
as often as I can.
Handspun adventures 7/16/2014 Scrapbox Edition Water Lily
Namaste Farms ‘scrapbox’ edition posts will be seen, more than once,in different themes as my collection is growing….
These are such a treat…
So far, I have Scrapboxes in themes, California Goldrush, Woodstock, Coral Reef, Perfect, Tiffany Renessaince, Shanghai, and more coming….
So, bringin it back to the Namaste Farms Scrapbox in Lily.
Now, the “Scrapbox” name was actually inspired by, her adorable rescued dog Scrappy, and his cute face is pictured as part of the logo.
What comes in these scrapboxes is just that, very generous portions of scraps. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Each scrapbox has it’s own personality and we get a teaser photo of colors, showing some of what one might find in these boxes.
Having more than a few of these, I’ve never been disappointed. This was the 1st one I spun up. I chose to start with the
Water lily inspired scrapbox.
It came with several different fibers, locks, rovings, beads, thread, novelty yarns, nepps, sparkle (both Angelina sparkle and firestar) and more. I used everything but the beads and didn’t use all of a pink pencil roving. Each box has different fibers, different add ins, and tons of inspiration.
These scrapboxes are like being given your cool friends stash for one hell of a deal. Because, in fact… They are being made from Namaste Farm, (Natalies) stash, which includes, the late, brilliant, Janice Rosemas, stash.
Both ladies, made high end yarns for personal use and sale.
I love other people’s stash, hee hee, and the stash that’s being shared here, is exceptional, and special. Truly, I have lots and lots of stash, no shame here, I love my stash, and I won’t apologize for any wool piggery, should I be accused. Having recently moved, my cleverly stashed away stash and it’s abundant size was more clearly revealed to me. It was contained and had a place, but I will say I hauled a lot of wool to the new pad.
When it comes to the scrapbox, it’s not like buying a braid or a batt. Though a scrapbox may contain scraps of each of those.
In terms of value, these boxes can’t be weighed in ounces (although the due to the variety of fibers, the add ins, that range from fancy feathers, to lamp work beads, long locks, etc etc)
I cant really list what is in each scrapbox as, it’s never the same, and feels more like a surprise, almost as if one was in a club. Opening the box, is sooooo fun. Everytime I get a new one, it’s like my birthday… Sure, I know the color theme I ordered, but what else comes, are extra surprises and plenty new to me, things to try.
If I collected each of these items in just one box separately…. I’d easily be a few hundred $$ in, and the boxes allow one, such as myself, to sample a hefty skein amount of different items. Scrapboxes currently seem to run in the $30-$40 range generally, this includes shipping in United States. Shipping to Canada is an extra fee.
I did purchase one in the $40 range(California Goldrush), that box had high end fibers, like cashmere, angora bunny, etc and addins like vintage beads and gold. Yes, real gold. Which, I never would have even thought to try, but gold leaf actually sticks to the fiber and just meshes in, wrapping around fibers perfectly….. Ok I’m getting off track, that’s another box for another handspun adventure… It just amazes me how creative people are when it comes to handspun! Ok, Back to talking the water lily scrapbox.
Seeing what others are doing with their scrapboxes and fibers have inspired me. I’m getting more fun out of spinning artisan yarns. At the very least I wanted a fun, fluffy spin. Because the fibers are dyed and ready to go, I decided to card them together, in a way so that it might create color stripes.
The lily scrapbox color theme had lots of color.
Different shades of pink, peaches, oranges, whites, deep golden rods to bright yellows,water lily pad leaf greens, a lighter pink novelty yarn, dark pink thread, pieces of a pink handspun made of something silky, different types and colors of sparkle that matched the wool.
I honestly could not say all the varieties of fiber included in the box, as there were many different types, some softer than others, some pencil roving, some lock form, some fine wools, medium and luster wools. There were beads that I decided not to use this time, and I added in with the Tiffany scrapbox to use later.
With lily, I decided to make a batt, and then turn that into a roving with most of the fiber. Each color in its special place, sparkles, nepps, Angelina, silks…. Etc I made specialty fiber addin in woolsandwiches, lastly, I painted on the carder with the locks to keep the curl, straight to the large drum, instead of at the licker in drum. Once that was finished, I took the batt off, the outside was beautiful, I peeled back a layer and inside it hid more treats of color for me.
I decided to strip the batt, just started at the top and split straight down, then gently drafted the batt strip into a roving exposing what the batt was hiding inside.
Once finished drafting my strip,I rolled it into tidy nests, ready to spin.
I used my Matchless spinning wheel, with the jumbo head and bobbin, to allow for more fluff to pass through the orifice. I tried a new to me method, pulling fiber left and right, keeping my best to stay at a 90° angle (aka, coreless core spinning). In the very beginning, I was slow with my hands and quick with my feet, overspinning, getting some unwanted kinks. I slowed my treadling, made some adjustments, and settled into the motions my hands were making.
This was my first ever try spinning nepps. These little felted wool balls, like cupcake sprinkles, except for a fibery treat, to my surprise… didn’t always stick. Some of them actually shot out like bee bees. As I spun, nepps, softly shot at my pups napping beside me…I didn’t expect that, and neither did they. After a few misfired nepps, the dogs got up to lay, safely, elsewhere hee hee.
As far as the nepps go, when they do stay in, they look really neat, especially, the nepps being in a different color then I was currently spinning. Nepps are going to take me some practice getting use to, but fun nonetheless. I wonder if my homemade nepps will be different since they aren’t yet the hard wool balls, but rather, the tiny soft curls.
Once plying, I started with the novelty yarn, wound in the ball. It literally had texture, that looked like a brain to me. That one ball of brain yarn was in the teaser photo for this scrapbox, as seen above, and I had to have it. Come on, brain yarn, everyone?! You have to understand my intrigue.
Once the brain yarn did it’s job, I switched to, the bright dark pink thread. Which landed in lighter parts of the single I was plying, making it really pop. I love thread plying. I love the way it looks, the way it makes the other single look more puffy, and how it can stack next to each other making a faux bead, plying with thread gives handspun a completely different look, that I love. I switched next, to another thread, that was pastels in pink blue and green, all the colors in my scrapbox. Until I reached the end of my plying.
I looked at my bobbin, and I wasn’t quite sure. Had I done the fiber justice? Was it a good yarn? Was it pretty? If one were to look under my ravelry.com account (trishys)
They would see, mostly two or three ply yarns, that I’ve tried my hardest to be consistent WPI. The whole artisan yarn, tailspun, lock spun, add ins, has always intrigued me, and in fact what started my spinning to begin with. Seeing yarns that were, more than yarn, it was art! Just gorgeous and fun and showed off the fiber. I wanted to do that. Learning to spin these years, handspun is an art form itself, and I have so much still to learn and experiment and try. I do consider myself a spinner, a real spinner, and a good spinner at that. Spinning a yarn like this… is very new to me and I am loving it.
I still love my regular (more commercial looking)handspun. It’s easy for me to make now or more natural. It’s relaxing, I can do it without thinking. But I needed to try the luster packed locks, those beautiful curls that flow exactly the way they do on the animal. Exactly, like they do on the dancing rock star, sporting some fringe!
So, I am not shy about the fact my yarns that tend to be more on the artsy side, may not be as up to par as I would like them to be….BUT
considering I’m on a new wheel, my matchless with the jumbo bobbin, and new mediums from nepps to gold to true long, and I mean long, teeswater locks, I’m giving myself a little break from the perfection I’d strived for making yarn those first years.
Truth be told, my first ever handspun, looked like art yarn only because it was so overspun, it coiled onto itself and even soaking, thwacking and weighting it while drying did NOTHING TO HELP STRAIGHTEN IT. I’m not sure I’ll ever use it, mainly due to how good it feels to see how far I’ve come.
In any case, my lily scrapbox handspun…
I always compare my handspun to others, I love other peoples handspun, no two the same. Some, simple, and new, some with purpose for a project, while others just spin with nothing in mind but letting the fiber decide what it’s going to do, some better then others, as it’s just intuitive, while others have to really work at it. I consider handspun to be a true art. Much easier to make with excellent fiber, but it’s all awesome.
I decided to let my finished yarn rest on the bobbin for a day, and when I took it off…..
I must say I was pretty dang pleased with myself. It was well balanced, it was light, airy, fluffy, and I can’t wait to spin the next scrapbox.
It’s so hard to choose what comes next, since I have a feeling that with each spin I’ll get better and I want to save the special favs for the last.
The other problem with that is…. Each scrapbox is a favorite.
I’m also right in the middle of a major move, guess what was the last thing packed, and the first unpacked… Of course, my fibery goodness, how else is one to keep there sanity.
A little about why you see so much of namaste farms…?
Plain and simple.
She knows good fiber, she doesn’t mess around with anything that is going to cause frustration, like excessive vegetable matter, felting (that wasn’t meant to be felting)cotting, she is honest to a fault, about her wares and she stands behind her product. If it doesn’t meet her standards, she refuses to sell it, taking the loss. She sets the bar high when it comes to fiber. There is a reason she sells out so quickly and has such a following who love her fiber!!
If someone is unhappy, then she takes it back, no problem. She is definitely a fiber favorite of mine, that’s no secret,
I have several other favorites, you will hear of them too.
I have the stash to prove it
lots of fiber vendors, dyers, and artists, I want to share. These scrapboxes are just so inspiring…
Everytime I spin something new, I will make a handspun adventure post. Some posts will be “an edition” as they are part of a certain collection, or from the same vendor, or same prep, or maybe a club. When I find something I adore, I’ve ended up collecting quite a few. To give examples of said collections, there will be Namaste Farms Scrapbox Editions, Loop! bullseye bump editions, Corgihill Farms editions, Beesybee’s Bfl/seacell edition (I have a thing for the seacell and properties of fiber made of seaweed-which of course I will expand on in that post) etc etc.
Handspun adventures are just that, my experience, the fibers used (if I know, sometimes, it’s a complete mystery), the fibers prep. The method it was spun, to achieve desired effect.
If it’s a longterm project, such as spinning a fleece for a sweater, these will all fall under handspun adventures, but to help clear things up, I will add “the edition”, as well as, the date.
My newest “handspun adventure” was, I recently moved, and my nicely put away stash, was revealed to me. I’ve amassed quite the amount. I insisted it be the last thing to be packed and leave, and the first thing to be unpacked at the new destination. I drove my spinning wheels one at a time, they always called “shotgun” and were given special treatment, as any life-force needing protection would in my car.
Lol. Remember, these wheels get named. I love my stash dearly, so naturally, I would not let anyone else “haul” it to the new location, except myself.
I was heckled a little bit. I was asked, “was I afraid they’d break my wool?”
What can I say, the stash told me it wanted to ride with me. Don’t take it personal. So, that is exactly what happened, I packed, hauled and unloaded my stash and fiber tools with the utmost care, and made damn sure, none of my wool “was broken” in the move. It did however, make me acutely aware of how much stash I have. And umm, it’s definitely not all up in ravelry. It’s more than I expected, I will say this though…. The hidden stash, or rather, the stash that wasn’t where the normal stash was…. Well, It fit in, where the rest of the stash was, no need for hidden stash locations and guess what.. There is still more room… Hee hee, that’s right, so I can tell you, I know I will get more, there is no denying it. Being I have space yet to be filled. Awesome, awesome news, for any fiberholic.
I would love to thank Judith Mackenzie McCuin for her tip on storing fleece in 5gallon buckets. Such an awesome tip!
Most of all, I’d love to thank my husband. He has a hobby as well… Music. Which he has quite the stash of his own, several guitars (a hundred million guitar picks), a few bass guitars, drums, electric keyboard, pedals, beat machine, recording unit thing. Whatever… I totally get it!! The understanding why he needs 4 plus guitars, even though he can only play one at a time.? I soooo get it. They each have a different purpose, so he doesn’t question why I need several different wheels and spindles, fiber tools, fibers, they do different things. I’m fortunate he has a passion, much like myself. He built me handspun and bobbin wall display/holders. That happened to clear up a lot of fiber stash storage. Allowing me to store resting/waiting bobbins, and to display finished handspun, probably clearing up the most space in my stash storage.
Its a a perfect match. Him and I and our passion for our hobbies. Music and fiber are a match made in heaven. Everything was moved safely, and we are making the most of our new home and the space we have. Although, this handspun adventure was of a different kind, it was an experience that needed to be documented.
Very soon I will be posting another handspun adventure… Of the edition kind. My first Scrapbox.