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131  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Just some yarn I turned into a bracelet on: September 14, 2011 04:16:13 PM
I spun this yarn from a little chunk o batt that was a sample in a package I received.   I wrapped it around my wrist and decided it was to gorgeous to knit, so now its a cuff Smiley

Sometimes yarn should just be yarn. Smiley
132  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Solar dyeing fun on: September 10, 2011 05:51:38 PM
I've taken advantage of the last few hot days of summer by dyeing scarves and wool!  Just acid dyes and sun and something to dye.  Easy peasy!

Beautiful silk scarves drying on the line by Belladune, on Flickr

Some of my favorite outcomes by Belladune, on Flickr

silk scarves in the wind by Belladune, on Flickr

pile of bright color by Belladune, on Flickr

And the wool:

complete pile of dyed wool by Belladune, on Flickr

It was great fun, and really easy, all things considered!

133  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 66 ENTRIES / Spun Summer Shrug (pic heeeeaaavy) on: September 01, 2011 07:56:34 PM

Bee and beehive detail by Belladune, on Flickr

I had the inspiration to make yarn a while ago, and the Inspired by nature theme of this months challenge gave me the incentive to make it!   I bought the batt I spun this from at Fibre week back in June, and knew it had to be the yarn.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a pic of the batt!!! Sad  The flowers are needle felted by me. They and the bee and beads and the locks are spun directly into the yarn itself.   I knit it up on size 17 needles using knit, purl and what I think are drop stitches (I can't remember the name, but I know how to do em!!) Once I felt it was long enough I bound off and blocked it.  Once it was dry I stitched the end seams to the top seam, and voila!  A beautiful shrug!  And after all that wordyness, pictures!
The yarn itself:

Spun summer by Belladune, on Flickr

Knit up and blocking:

spun summer- Knit up and blocking by Belladune, on Flickr


Rose detail by Belladune, on Flickr

Pansy detail by Belladune, on Flickr

Bee and beehive detail by Belladune, on Flickr

Worn by me:

Spun summer shrug by Belladune, on Flickr
(ignore the face I'm making... my photog was my 6 year old)

Spun summer shrug by Belladune, on Flickr

spun summer shrug by Belladune, on Flickr

Also you'll note that there are daisies and another bee in the yarn.  They unfortunately didn't make it onto the shawl.  But the yarn is sitting there awaiting the moment it becomes a brooch. a giant spun summer brooch.  Smiley 
Thanks for looking and don't forget to vote for your favorite entry!
134  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Learn To Spin - Lesson links on: August 31, 2011 08:14:19 AM
Lesson 1 : Source your tools
Lesson 2 : Drafting
Lesson 3 : Spinning
Lesson 4 : Plying
Lesson 5 : Skeining and setting the twist
Lesson 6 : Yarn design[url]
135  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Learn to Spin, Lesson 3- Spinning a single and winding off to ply on: August 09, 2011 10:22:26 AM
Step 3: Spinning a single and winding off.

Okay! So you have your drop spindle, your fiber and have you fiber pre-drafted and ready to go!  Now what? Insert twist of course!   Twist direction, at this stage of the game, isn't a big matter.  Spin your spindle however is comfortable for you.  Just make a note of what direction you spin, as it is important to plying.

You will need a leader thread, and this can be nearly any old piece of scrap yarn, thread, embroidery floss, etc.  It doesn't need to be too long, 4 inches will be more the enough for a top whorl, and 6 inches should be great for a bottom whorl. It just has to reach from under your whorl (or just above your whorl for a bottom whorl spindle) to the hook atop your spindle. The easiest way to attach your leader yarn is to create a slip knot into the end of your leader yarn and slip it onto the shaft of your drop spindle. It should rest underneath the whorl.  Tie a loop into the end of the leader, this is where you will insert the end of your roving when you start to spin.


Draft out the end of your roving just a tiny bit, and insert it into the loop and fold it over onto itself.   Bring your leader around you whorl and hook it into the hook atop your spindle. 

Get spinning!
Holding the fiber in one hand where it is folded and, using your finger and thumb on your other hand, flick that spindle so that it spins!  An alternative method (easiest with a top whorl) is to rest the bottom part of the shaft on your inner thigh, and using your palm, roll it out towards your knee.  Let it spin.

As it is spinning, let the twist travel up and into your roving.  Voila!  You've made yarn! 

This vid from theartofmeg is a perfect example of what you should be doing, if you need to see it in 'action'.

Tricks to see if you've inserted enough or to much twist:
Hold out the length of yarn you've just made and let it go slack
  • If it folds and twists upon it self once you've inserted just enough twist!  (if you want to ply this, give it one more little spin)
  • If your yarn kinks up all over itself, and makes a clump, you've got to much twist. Don't worry!  It's an easy fix.  Allow the twist to run into your unspun roving until you've evened out the twist
  • If your yarn doesn't move and kind of turns back into roving when you slacken it, it's not twisted enough! Another easy fix, just flick that spindle again.

Keep on spinning until you run out of roving or can't fit any more on your spindle.

Trouble shooting:
OOPS! my yarn broke! what now?

Did it break because it was over twisted and thin? -go back to a part that was less twisted and a bit thick and let the twist out. draft out the roving a little bit and lay it over top the yarn. Hold it in place and start spinning it again.
Did it break because it was to thick and not enough twist? - Draft out the fiber at the end of the yarn a bit, and the same with the roving. do as above.

Next up,  Winding off that beautiful single you just made.
This is quite simple, since you are winding off to ply grab an empty toilet paper roll.  Notch one end and slip your yarn end into the notch, and wrap your yarn onto the tp roll. 
Or if you know you are going to want to ply before you start, wrap a scrap of paper (any weight will do) around the shaft of your spindle and tape it in place.  When you've finished your single you can just slide it off and stick it on a knitting needle or bamboo skewer. 

Next lesson is plying, so for now, just hold onto those singles!

There are a few other methods of spindle spinning that you should know about as well.  There is the Park and Draft method, and another more advanced method: draft while spinning!  check this out if you feel adventurous!
Abby Franquemont showing both park and Draft and drafting while spinning
And one pic of me drafting while spinning (as though you were standing behind me)

The arrow indicates that you are moving you fiber hand back, drafting the fiber as you spin.  You other hand stays still.

Lesson 1 : Source your tools
Lesson 2 : Drafting
Lesson 3 : Spinning
Lesson 4 : Plying
Lesson 5 : Skeining and setting the twist
Lesson 6 : Yarn design[url]
136  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Felt United! 3rd International day of felt on: July 26, 2011 08:32:37 PM
How exciting! The 3rd international day of felt is mere months away!  On October 1st, felters the world over will be displaying items felted in blue, purple, and red  Why not be a part of it! 

I've already got ideas hatching myself.
Heck there's inspiration a plenty even within the first 3 pages of posts! And check out Felt United for the past 2 years of pics. And of course the first year there was participation on Craftster

I'd love to see felt 'bombing' Craftster thumbnails of newest project posts on October 1st.  Let's play!  You know you want to, it's good clean fun!
137  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Colorsuckr swap? on: July 20, 2011 08:52:18 AM

This is the most fabulous tool ever. EVER.  It takes images and pulls color schemes for you!!   Check it out : http://colorsuckr.com/?img=http%3A%2F%2Ffarm6.static.flickr.com%2F5101%2F5678860886_44e0cc68c3.jpg

Now that you've seen it in action, How about a Colorsuckr Swap?  The basic idea is to give your partner an image or a few images, then you take it to the colorsuckr tool and craft an item for your partner in the color schemes given to you!

I probably wont be able to organize this, or participate but we were talking about it in the FOC boards, and I thought I'd put the idea out here.


138  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Stitching quotes from How I Met Your Mother on: July 11, 2011 10:37:10 AM
This first one isn't directly from HIMYM, but was inspired by the episode where barney tries to do everything on the list.  the "I'm to old" list.
to change your image viewing settings please click here

I don't remember which episode it was, but I loved when Barney said this, so I stitched it up Smiley

Funny story on this one.  Notice the purple blotch on the bottom?  yeah.  That was caused by one of my children digging out my iron and coloring on the heating plate. I posted for ideas of how to get rid of it, but hubby said "This is the perfect opportunity to put that quote into action.  Stop being sad about it and be awesome instead"  Well said darling. So there remains the mess.

Hope  you enjoy my latest hoops!
139  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 64 ENTRIES / Secret keeper Faery on: July 02, 2011 08:14:03 PM
Check her out!  She's at the CHA show in the big ol' Chicago. (Which is way farther then I've ever been.....)
She's been Needlefelted, appliqued, has stumpwork wings, has beads throughout her hair and she has an M&M's minis tube in her to keep you secrets.  I found the cute little arms and legs at tinythingsarecute.com.   

Proof that she can keep your secrets!

Hope you like her!  I sure miss her and can't wait to have her back sitting on my shelf.  But I'm so happy that she'll be seen by many  Smiley
140  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Ideas for upcoming Felting Challenge! on: June 20, 2011 12:22:34 PM

Hey there Felty folks!
What say you to a felting challenge?  ( I hear a resounding yes yes yes!!!! Grin) But before we can go into detail over it, I need to hear some suggestions as to theme.  Here are my ideas:

-Inspired by a picture, but the same picture, not one you have, so we'd all be using the same inspiration.  Any item could be created using any felting technique.
-Nuno felting
-Needle felted monsters/ animals/people
-Color scheme themed (monochromatic, complementary etc...)

What do you think?
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