Sunday, February 24, 2013

Art Yarn and Roving Showcase

I can't believe I haven't posted on this blog for almost 2 years, time has gone by so fast since we moved to Hippyland, and we've been so busy here with taking care of all our animals, all our businesses and with building a new workshop. For the last year, I have been posting on a new blog I call the
  Museum of Craftology, so check it out! 

Ever since my last blog post here, I have been spinning on my Ashford Joy Wheel, carding with my Ashford Wild Carder and dyeing up new colors with Dharma's line of Acid Dyes. Here are some of the latest yarns:

This yarn is in the Pluckyfluff 'Aura' style, a thick center single of different purple colors, simultaneously spun while wrapping with a thin puffy layer of teased white angora goat mohair (mixed with barbie colored sparkle) and wrapped with a black thread. Phew. A lot of work considering the yarn only goes through the wheel once, and the 'autowrap' on the Joy wheel is not exactly automatic because of the outie orifice...

The next yarn was also inspired by Pluckyfluff, but from her new book Hand Spun. It is a thick black merino single spun with fire-colored roving added in and crocheted into a braid on the spot, resulting in a continuously spun yarn.  It was really fun to make. This is going to be very interesting when knitted up, as the black is thin but the colored sections are super bulky.

This yarn was a result of my first venture into crock-pot dyeing, and I will never go back to dyeing in the oven. See my tutorial on kitchen counter wool dyeing on Museum of Craftology here. Handpainting roving is a little different, with the stripes and all, but a tutorial is forthcoming. This one is 300+ yds of a very fine single spun in order to get long large sections of color in the trend of Noro yarns.

 This yarn is a 2-ply, one ply is my homegrown brown and the other is a carded blend of angora goat, bamboo, silk cocoons, wool and a touch of gold sparkle. I made it to mimic the weight of some pink&purple yarn I had made previously which my mom knitted up into an original cabled cowl scarf that I love to wear this winter. I will feature some of these finished garment pictures in another post.

I had some super bright wool locks that I wanted to use but I didn't want to break them up, or for the final yarn to be too bright and crazy. So, I made a brown single with the locks tailspun in, and I love how the locks pop out, but the brown always goes with every color. 

 This yarn took a long time to conceptualize: the original colors I had envisioned were those of a peacock feather. The bronze is a bit more golden yellow than I was going for but the final colors look great together. At the same time I dyed the BFL roving, I also dyed some Honey Tussah silk roving. I spun the wool thick&thin, though I tried to keep larger blocks of color by not stripping down the roving very much as I spun. I spun the silk thinly and so that the whole length of it was divided into the 4 color blocks, then I plied the two together extra wiggly. In this way, the beginning of the yarn is purple silk and the end of the yarn is yellow/brown silk. Should be a neat effect when it becomes a knitted item. 

 The rest of the photos are some rovings I dyed but have not spun yet. I have been trying to make the colors BOLD, as that is usually what draws me into buying those wonderful painted rovings at a fiber show. I love color, and dyeing, and especially mixing dyes to get the exact color that is in my mind's eye. I want colors that look good together, but that are exciting too, colors you might not think of at first as going together at all. The peacock yarn above is one of those and here are some more:

The Monarch roving: Black, yellow, deep orange, with bits of white like a Monarch Butterfly:

A classically rainbow roving in bright fluorescents that will be a gift for a new baby:


And a yarn inspired by the Hot Spring Algal Colors of Yellowstone National Park. I call this one 'Grand Prismatic' after the Hot Spring of the same name, though a second spring that comes to mind is the famous Morning Glory Pool. I imagine the final yarn crocheted in circles somehow...

Here is the aerial view of the spring, so you can see the amazingly bright colors. This photo is from in a post about 8 surreal natural landscapes. The other 7 are pretty cool too!

Here is a picture of us at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park in 2006.

 Hope you enjoyed my new creations, and I promise the next post will be much sooner than the last!
Peace, Love and Craftiness Forever!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Babies and Art Yarn

New Babies in Hippyland! Three baby goats and Five baby kittens in the last month, and they are so so cute!


Now on to the Art Yarn! This one, Sari Sparkle was a long time in the process. I used this neat carded sari silk (much nicer than just the scraps!) from WC Mercantile on ETSY spun with over 100 pompoms made from sparkle embroidery thread and plied along with some of our homegrown brown. I am spinning another to be partnered with this one with tiny copper bells instead of the pompoms.

And a pompom closeup!

This is a pink singles yarn with lilac pygora cocoons added in after spinning a second time. The pygora was grown and dyed by Judy from Spindles and Fiber on ETSY and it's so soft you almost can't believe it! I was inspired to try cocoons from an article in the latest SpinOff magazine and it's my first cocoon yarn!

Dharma has a line of new Acid Dyes, this is Pink Orchid and Electric Violet on my homegrown white, spun up into a super-bulky fluffy Candy Stripes yarn

The last yarn is the first in a new series wherein I envision the final knitted piece and how I want it to be (crazy), then design and spin a yarn to make it happen. This is my CACTUS yarn, and when knit into a beret type cap will look like a barbed wire barrel cactus ~ the yellow twisties are the cactus spines. I have lots of ideas on this subject ~ more to come!

Thanks for checking out my blog! PEACE and Happy Spring!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More Art Yarn

Well, i've been spinning more... I love it and I can't stop! Thanks to pluckyfluff and her awesome book and techniques for getting me started!

Here is my latest, a single spun with sparkly gold thread:

Next is my original "Pitaya" yarn, made to look like a pitaya smoothie, aka 'dragonfruit', this is the fruit of a a hanging cactus that grows, among other places, in the Yucatan (Mexico). The Maya people like it's sweet taste and call it Pitaya.

Here is a photo series from 2004 when i first discovered the pitaya in the Yucatan while studying the Yukatek Maaya language:
HaHa! And now the yarn: white romney with slubs of hot pink wool and green curly mohair locks, plied with a pink thread with lots of tiny black seed beads:

That's all the spinning for now...more cool stuff soon!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spinning Up New Yarns!

After going to the Flock & Fiber Show last month and loading up on cool spinning supplies, I've been making some yarns (in between everything else of course!) and here they are:

A Rainbow Corriedale spun with green sparkle firestar and thread plied with multicolor thread and beehives added during plying


A multi-hued green border leicester spun thick n' thin then thread plied with coordinating green thread and side twists. I made it to look like Usnea longissima, a lichen that grows in the trees here at Hippyland!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Projects Published Everywhere!!!

This has been a great month for me...THREE of my projects featured in 3 different publications!

First, my Chainmaille Dahlia Ring in the June 2010 issue of Bead & Button Magazine is super fun to make and a great summer project. You can make them in all different colors! Plus there's a mini-photo of the ring on the magazine's front cover! Get the supplies to make the Dahlia ring from my website !!!

Next, my wire version of Peruvian Thread Earrings was featured by the awesome editors at Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry Magazine (and also mentioned on the front cover!). In thread, these are back in style, but the all-wire version is even better!

And finally, my Bronze Mermaid Scale Hoop Earrings is project #1 in the new book "30-minute Earrings" from Lark Books. This book is geared more towards jewelers than beaders but the layout looks great!

Whew, what a month! Go out and get crafting!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

New FREE Chainmaille Tutorial at Crafty Cat Jump Rings!

I've just finished uploading a FREE chainmaille tutorial to! It's a combination of Basic Spiral Weave with a Jens Pind variation and a project making these

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bobble Earrings Article in Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry Magazine

My instructions for my Bobble (formerly Biohazard) Earrings and Chain Set have just come out in Interweave's Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry Magazine. As part of their chainmaille issue, they also interviewed me about how to use colored jump rings, particularly the anodized aluminum jump rings that we sell on our website Crafty Cat Jump Rings. Check it out!!!