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51  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fibre Saturday? on: August 17, 2013 06:53:42 AM
Meant to do this yesterday.... Whoops!

A wool mohair blend. One strand was a Frazzle Batt, and the other was some weird roving I had that was some kind of wool and mohair. It was nightmarish to spin, where the Frazzle Batt was lovely. Together they make an okay yarn.

And while adventuring in BC in May I found a wool shop (how can one not source out some fibre from the place you visit?) and this Polwarth top screamed out to me.  BUY ME! so I did LOL I made it this little single. Probably a fingering weight.

That's about it for skiens of epic proportion.. I've got a few samples of cotton, but they aren't set (I plan on doing that in one batch) I've got 3 more cotton samples to spin before I set them though.

What have you been spinning?
52  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / In search of a highly unlikely fleece on: August 14, 2013 02:08:47 PM
I need a fleece that is 6.5+ inches long, but of fine wool.  I know this is a long shot, but I'm putting it out there in hopes that someone somewhere knows of a fleece such as this.  I only need 4- 8 ounces.  2 might do, but more gives room for error.
*crossing fingers*
53  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Magnetic Curtain for the Front Door Window on: August 11, 2013 06:38:37 PM
Our front door has a gorgeous window.  But because of how the sunlight hits the computer and the fish tank, we really needed to cover it up.  I was lamenting this problem to a friend of mine when she told me her mother created a magnetic curtain for her front door.  I double checked that a magnet would actually stick to our front door, and it did! Out came the measuring tape, scissors, bias binding and fabric.  Cut and pinned one day months ago, and sewn together this afternoon... Wink Roll Eyes  It is now happily hanging there.  I may need to replace the magnets I used on the bottom, since i pilfered the magnets from the fridge and didn't want to take all the strong ones.  I put the strong ones up top, and the weaker ones on the bottom.  Enough words, onto the pics!

Without flash

With Flash

Thanks for looking!
54  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Community - The yarn that Craftster Spun on: August 10, 2013 09:33:04 AM

What Craftster means to me - Community. Yarn. Finished shot by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

What does Craftster mean to me?  Community.  A place where friends are made and inspiration is shared.

I started with fibres from community members.  I can't off the top of my head remember who all gave me these, but I did go through my past swaps and found photos of most these fibres. Some aren't there, but I do know that they came from friends on here.

What Craftster means to me- Community. Fibre shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

What Craftster means to me- Community. Fibre shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

What Craftster means to me- Community. Fibre shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

What Craftster means to me- Community. Fibre shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

After carding, I remembered that Missing Willow had also sent me some of her fleece (and I dyed it with my kids one day) so I grabbed a handful and added it in, you'll see how in a minute!

What Craftster means to me- Community. Fibre shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

See?  those little curlycues are Missing willows locks!

What Craftster mean to me- Comunity. Detail shot#2 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

What Craftster means to me-Comunity. Detail shot #1 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And there you have it.  Pictures are worth a million words.  I think I'll make a scarf out it. Wrap myself in the warmth this community has Wink

55  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Adventure knitting! on: July 28, 2013 06:17:23 PM

Leethal adventure knit along. Modelled shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

This project was an absolute blast.  I had no idea what I was making, simply that I knew I was making a head item. (I could have chosen neck hands or misc as well) And, I got to choose from a lot of different options, I could have ended up with something totally different.
I love what I ended up with, and this being just one of the many options, it's only a little bit of a spoiler if you wanted to get this pattern.  It's Leethals Adventure Knit, and like the choose your own adventure books, you get to choose your own adventure knit. Totally worth it.
Enough words, more pictures!!
Up the Redwood (buttonhole start) on the Orange Trail

Up the Giant Redwood by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
Down the foot path

Leethal Adventure Knit along. by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
I was afraid of running out of yarn. this is the end. You can see why I was afraid Wink Stone hilltop.

Leethal adventure knit along, just enough by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
All done!

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
No photo bomber in this shot Wink

Leethal adventure knit along. Modelled shots by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

56  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Learn to Spin- Lesson 4: Plying on: July 12, 2013 08:36:40 AM
Lesson 4! Plying!

Alright!  so you have two singles and you are ready to ply!  but wait, what do we need to succesfully ply? at least 1 thing:
    A Lazy Kate.  Now there are several types. You can buy beautiful ones, made of wood and finish them up all pretty or you can go function over form and save yourself some $$ (sometimes lots of $$$$)
Fancy homemade wooden kate
Or you could make a really simple one out of a shoe box and a couple knitting needles or chopsticks.
Or yet another, and my first Kate, was a basket from the dollar store, and I have multiple toy wheel spindles, so I would just stick the spindles into the holes in the basket!

Now, you do have other options when plying, and I'll go into that at the end of this lesson.  Let's just stick with the idea that you wound off onto toilet paper rolls and are using a lazy kate.

Direction of spin
Direction of spin is really important.  Lets say you spun your singles clockwise.  You are going to want to ply OPPOSITE the way you spun, so counter clock wise.  Always opposite! if you ply the same way you spun, you would have quite a mess indeed.

tension is important too. Your yarn needs to be taught between your hand and the Kate, AND between your hand and the spindle.  Even tension between your hand and the spindle will insure an even ply.  This can be tricky, but with practice, you will get it!

Alright, we have all the tricks and the tools, but how?
-Set your Lazy Kate behind you.
-Bring your singles up over your shoulder and to your hand and attach them to your leader.*
-Spin your spindle. Opposite direction! Remember!
-Slowly let the spindles weight pull the yarn out of your hands and watch them twist together.
-When you've gotten your arms length, wind on.
-Lather, rinse, repeat, until you run out of singles.

Quick pic of how it starts:

* You can position yourself anyway you like, this is just easiest for me.  I was taking pics by myself, and I wanted you to see how the yarn runs.  I'd do it as I wrote normally.

The end results of plying on the spindle:

More ways to ply
While the technique would be the same, there are multiple ways to get ready for plying.  They include, but are not limited to:
Andean Plying - Wrapping your singles around your hand a certain way, so you can ply from either end of the single.
Center pull balls and upturned flower pots - requires two balls of singles, you bring the yarn through the holes in the bottoms of the pots.
Plying balls - Take a tennis ball, or felt a ball, and wrap two singles around it.  secure your ball in a flower pot, or bowl, and ply as you would.

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]
57  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / I gave my Lady a makeover. on: July 08, 2013 07:08:01 PM

It took a good solid 20 hours of sanding, and 4 coats of stain, and a tiny bit of black acrylic paint, but it was soooooo worth it.  I've gotten so many compliments on how regal and elegant she looks now!

My Lady by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

No the bestests before pic.... but here she is before

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Soooooo many pieces!

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

One coat of stain. Still not dark enough

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

The difference between 1 coat and 2:

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Last coat drying

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

best way to dry the drive wheel.

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

It's all in the details.

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

I'm really happy with how she turned out.  If you look REEEEEEALY closely, she's got her flaws.  But for a complete novice at this woodworking/refinishing stuff, it's pretty good!
58  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Nature Dyeing. 25 Colors, one Dyepot on: June 30, 2013 03:15:18 PM
Unfortunately I was to involved in the actual process to take pictures of it.  But here are the results!

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

The basic over view goes like this: you have 4 pots of mordant, and 1 without.  You mordant 5 skeins as directed for that specific mordant, rinse and then stick them in the dye bath you've chosen (this one is Brazil Wood)  and then rinse, and then put different skeins in a different post mordant, or no mordant and watch them change colour.  Loads of fun!
59  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Tour de fleece 2013 on: May 31, 2013 06:49:58 AM
Lets do it again! Lets take over Rav! 

Our Rav thread : http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/tour-de-fleece/2590483/1-25

All discussions, posting yarns can go here or there.  Doesn't matter.  Lets keep it awesome.  We are spinning for fun, and maybe want to challenge ourselves?  Your goal is your own.  My goal is 2lbs of woollen Shetland 3ply.  Probably a DK or sport weight. What's yours?

More info on the TdF can be found here:  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/tour-de-fleece
60  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / a labour of love on: May 24, 2013 06:36:34 PM

My Level 2 Master Spinners Course Final Project

Started life like this, Icky yicky veg full but oh so soft Shetland Sheep wool

Combing short Shetland by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And then I combed it, and it went from 2oz of fluff and junk to less then 1oz of happy little poufs.

Combing short Shetland by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And then I blended it on the drum carder with silk.

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And spun it real fine.

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And Plied it up.

Fine Shetland and tussah silk by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And knit. And frogged. And knit again.

Terrible time by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

 And blocked it.

Level 2 final project by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And in the end it looks like this!

Level 2 final project by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

I'm so happy with this project. I love the final outcome. I love that I have the ability to take this kind of junk and turn it into a treasure. I love that the yarn I spun could be knit and ripped and knit again, and still look great. There was frustration, but it was well worth it.
The pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ribbon-of-breeze
My rav project page with entertaining notes, if you are interested.

Thanks for looking!
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