Wednesday, December 23, 2009

She continues to spin

My spinning addiction continues and shows no sign of stopping. The feeling of the fibers in my hands as well as the colors and textures of the dyed locks, curls and rovings just spark my imagination. Then the search begins for interesting things to include such as feathers, fabric, sequins, sparkle, threads, etc. It is a never-ending experiment in creativity. I feel like a magpie in search of flotsam and jetsam for my own little fiber nest!

I am awaiting the arrival of a Pat Green drum carder any day now so that should invite more experiments in creating art batts for spinning and felting too. I am excited about this and am squirming in anticipation! It is fascinating to see how everything blends together and then becomes that perfect art yarn.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More pictures from Camp Pluckyfluff

Here are a few more photos from Camp. I have included yarns spun by various members of the group. There is also a photo of Lexi demonstrating a technique for us. You can also see the little SpinOlution Hopper in the background working away like the big guys and turning out some fabulous yarns.

The Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica is a really unique crafting space with supplies for papermaking, quilting, sewing, spinning, felting, knitting and crocheting as well as polymer clay and other things. They also have equipment that can be used and an extensive library available to members. Great concept for a crafting center. Anghered (the owner of the store) joined us for the spinning event and created some fabulous yarns herself.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Camp Pluckyfluff

OMG, what a fantastic weekend! Two intensive days of spinning art yarns a la Pluckyfluff! It was held at the Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica. This is a unique teaching space and crafts store. I highly recommend this store.

Lexi Boeger (Pluckyfluff herself) brings a wonderful spirit and immense talent to her uniquely individual yarn and has a relaxed easy teaching style that is inclusive and encouraging. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class from her, it is worth every penny and you will come away with a new appreciation for what goes into creating art yarns and mad new skills. Everyone was tired but totally delighted by the end of the second day and left with armfuls of fabulous yarns. This was my Christmas gift to myself (I was a really good girl, honest!)

A few photos are attached so that you get a taste of the atmosphere and the yarns created.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New SpinOlution wheel - the Hopper

Here is a little info on the brand new spinning wheel from SpinOlution. This one is called the Hopper. These photos represent the first prototype wheel and in photos it is shown in relationship to SpinOlution Mach II, Bee and Echo. On Sunday, I took it to the spinning group at LisCat in Long Beach to share with other spinners and see how they liked it or had any suggestions. The photos were taken by Jamie Badore on his new camera phone because I forgot to charge my digital camera.

I will be adding more information to this post about the wheel in the morning but at least here are some pictures to tempt you in the meantime. One of the ladies trying it out stated that the wheel just made her feel happy, kind of like you did when you rode your tricycle as a kid. That is an apt description.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Projects - finally working again!

Now that I am feeling much better, I have been trying to finish up some projects that were interrupted when I got sick. Yesterday, the blue fantasy flower felted bag was completed. Some of the photos turned out pretty good but still have to get a good full size pic. I did knit and the full this bag in the washer. Afterwards, I ended up embellishing further with needle felting using handspun yarn, felted balls, beads and embroidery as well as adding a set of exotic La Beana handles.

After that, I started embellishing another felted bag which looks like it is going to turn out well as I love the colors. These are going up on my Etsy shop as patterns soon.

The current issue of Haute Handbags features an article on two of my freeform handbags as well as another needle felted bag in the Salon section. It has been a busy year. Also, the 2010 Pattern-A-Day calendars for knitting and for crochet are featuring five of my patterns. So cool! Be sure and get one when they are available in your local yarn shop.

Off to make brownies for my husband and cook him a lovely dinner. He has been such an angel taking care of me while I have been sick. He has definitely earned it. The only down side is that he was "in charge" for a while and now I need to shovel out the house as housekeeping is not his forte. LOL.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Homage to Painted Spinning Wheels

Finally, I am emerging from my bout with flu and pneumonia, hurrah! Still a little weak but definitely improving! Therefore, I elected to celebrate by paying homage to some gloriously creative painters of spinning wheels. These are just a few that I have come across recently on Flickr. In the future, I will re-visit this topic. The two Celtic style wheels are by Northwoods Dyeworks. The Flower wheel is by Magee* and the multicolor wheel is by Princess Froglips. These are their user names on Flickr where I found these lovelies.

In a way it reminds of Olympia Dukakis in Steel Magnolias when she made the statement that what separates us from the animal kingdom is our ability to accessorize (I know I am seriously paraphrasing here but you get the idea.) Each wheel was such a wonderful work of art in its own way that it made me smile as I looked at each. I thought you might enjoy them too. I know they brightened my day.

Now that I am feeling better will be working on some new designs and getting ready for a big photo shoot for new patterns. This year has gone by so fast, I feel like I need to catch up!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Congratulations to Harpa!

My friend Harpa has won the 1000 Fabulous Knitted Hats Competition! Her blog is called No Patterns, you can click on it in my list of favorite blogs and see more of her incredible work and photos of her beautiful homeland (Iceland.) She is a lovely person and such a talented artist and so deserves this recognition!


Spinning wheels, yarns and knitting

Finally, the weather is beginning to cool although there are still a few wild fires burning in Southern California. The chilly mornings make me want to huddle with a great cup of coffee, wool, spinning wheels and also knitting. It is a lovely thing and as I have been spinning up a storm, I have put several baskets of my plied and art yarns at LisCat for sale.

One of my little neighbors has shown an interest in spinning and I have started her out with a drop spindle and some fibers. She is doing really well and her next thing is to learn knitting. So, I think I have a new member of the fiber world on my hands.

A lovely antique wheel belonging to my friend Jamie has come to visit at our house for a while. Louie has been working on the wheel and has gotten it working again. The wheel is not warped and treadles very nicely now. The only part left to replace are the little hooks which appeared to be made of tiny little finishing nails bent into a curve. Along with it was an incredible skein winder that has hand-cut wooden gears and expands and contracts. It is an amazing and lovely object just to admire, a true work of art.

Additionally, another SpinOlution wheel has come into the house which will be for sale when the painting is finished. It was painted with lovely lilacs and still has more to be done in terms of the finishing touches but will be a lovely addition to anyone's stable of wheels. If you are interested in this one, just contact me.

Furthermore, I have begun designing new patterns and am showing a small portion of a new design incorporating Cha-Cha ruffles. I am also working on some new flower designs which can be knitted and crocheted. It is wonderful to feel the creative juices flowing again.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Here are the photos that go with the post below.

It's a girl!

On Saturday, the SpinOlution wheels and I joined a group of ladies who raise llamas and also spin and do other fiber arts. We met at the Historic Galleano Winery in Mira Loma. What a lovely place! The picnic area had lots of trees and shade and the old buildings were charming and vine-covered. The winery tasting room was near by and they do give tours. The llama fiber was absolutely lovely and wonderfully soft and spun up into gorgeous yarns. One of the ladies brought a Louet Hatbox wheel which I got a chance to try and just loved it. These are no longer made but are a real treasure. A great time was had by all and this is a group I want to meet with again!

Yesterday was the meeting of the Sunday Spinning Group at LisCat in Long Beach. I picked up my new baby girl, a Louet S45. She is lovely to look at and delightful to spin. Since she is little and cute, I have dubbed her Gidget! Isn't she adorable? Thank you, Velvet for selling this little beauty. She will be much loved!

This was a weekend filled with friends and spinning that made my heart glad. Just wonderful!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Still Sidetracked Spinning

For some reason, I have been pretty much obsessed with spinning for the past month. Knitting and crochet projects languish in the work basket, tugging at my ankles begging me to return to them. Except for two pairs of socks which have been knitted while a passenger in the car, I have been taking a sabbatical. There are five new patterns which have to be written up and photos taken so I can post them but that will get done soon.

I have been up to my eyeballs in washing fleeces, dyeing rovings and fibers (winter will eventually come and cleaning everything before it gets too cold will give me plenty to spin.) That is my plan! All the spinning has been lots of fun and here are a few more examples. I have posted some on my Etsy shop ( and well as some dyed rovings and carded art batts for spinning and felting.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More talented friends

Being surrounded by talented friends is always inspiring! Today I want to give kudos to my friend Kyle Kunnecke ( winning Best in Show at the Los Angeles County Fair for his freeform shawl. He started this project a while back after we got together and experimented with freeform techniques. The end result is pretty amazing. In addition to his Best in Show for the shawl, he won a second place ribbon for one of his sweaters and a second place for ceramics. This is a multi-talented man! I am always impressed with all the things he tries and does so well!

The actual fair photos are a little dark so I included more clear photos of the shawl. Note that the main color of shawl is a green not brown. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Talented friends

Another wonderful Sunday at LisCat, knitting, spinning and crocheting. A chance to see friends I haven't seen in a while and admiring their wonderful projects. My friend Michelle finished her gorgeous crocheted Babette afghan using lots of lovely Noro yarns as well as handspuns. Eileen also joined us and I have posted a photo of her first original pattern for a darling little knitted capelet modeled by Meghan (Michelle's darling daughter.)

My friend Jamie and I were carding and spinning some wonderful alpaca fiber. Jamie also brought his SpinOlution Bee wheel and bag. He had dyed his bag using Rit dye in the washer and it turned out really great. More user-friendly color than the original natural white canvas. Clever guy! It was a wonderful mix of people. We laughed, worked and visited with each other in the lovely environment at LisCat.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More spinning fun

For some reason, this new little wheel from SpinOlution (the Echo) has captured my imagination lately and I have been spinning almost every day for hours at a time. Dyeing rovings, fleeces and carding up art batts has been filling my days as well. There is nothing like playing with fiber. In between, I have been knitting up socks for myself in preparation for winter, kind of like a squirrel stocking up!

I have posted a few more photos of some more traditional handspuns that I have been doing, ranging from sock weight to bulky. It is an interesting change from art yarns for a while. I had decided that I would spend the rest of the summer spinning, dyeing and playing with fibers and have been really enjoying this little interlude.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dyeing and spinning

This week has been a busy one, filled with dyeing rovings and fibers, washing fleeces and hand spinning yarns. It is a great feeling when the stars align and everything goes smoothly and even allows time for a nap!

Here are a few photos of this week's accomplishments. I love the colors. Creating interesting colorways is always a lot of fun for me. Hope you enjoy these!