Sunday, December 19, 2010

Okay, I finally made something new!




Finally, I am feeling more creative again. Just completed this freeform handspun scarf. I'm really happy with the way this has turned out! Who knew that dog hair could be used so effectively!

Initially, I carded some of the dog hair together with some wool and spun up a bulky single which I knitted into a basic scarf. Then, the fun began, a lot of the dog hair was felted and kind of looked like little flower petals to me. Therefore, I made flowers and emnbellished them with vintage buttons and embroidery. Once I placed them where I wanted them on the scarf, I added some gorgeous Wensleydale locks to add that something extra to finish it off perfectly. Enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

COME JOIN US - CAMP PLUCKYFLUFF SAN DIEGO


It gives me great pleasure to announce that Cooky and I will be hosting a Camp Pluckyfluff with the incredible Lexi Boeger (Pluckyfluff) at The Shepherdess in San Diego, California the weekend of January 22-23, 2011.

You can sign-up through www.pluckyfluff.com or by calling The Shepherdess (619) 297-4110. There are some spaces still available so reserve your spot! It is a weekend of wonderful fibery fun so bring your wheel and various fibers (Lexi brings interesting things too and there are great things available at the shop.) If you need to stay overnight there are lots of hotels nearby as well as wonderful restaurants.

Don't miss this opportunity to spend two days with the author of Handspun Revolution and Intertwined. Her techniques are awesome and she is a delight to be around!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Socks and more socks





Lately, I have gone to sock knitting heaven! I made a vow to myself that before I started using my own handspun for making socks I would use up all the sock yarn in my stash. Well, a dent is being made in that stash. In the last three weeks or so three pairs of socks have been finished. Two are the Monkey pattern by Cooke A, which were such an easy knit.

The shades of blues, reds and greens sock is made using Poems sock yarn by Universal. I did enjoy knitting with this yarn. There were thick and thin spots in the yarn as well as a little splitting occuring occasionally. But, I just slowed down and I am really liking how these are turning out.

The socks of greens, orange, etc are made with Noro Kureyon sock yarn. Definitely a favorite. I enjoyed knitting with this yarn a lot and like the way they feel on my feet.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Embossed Leaf socks done!



Finally finished the Embossed Leaf socks and absolutely love the fall colors in the yarn (Zitron Zauberball)which lent itself very well to this pattern.

Now, on to try Monkey socks. Just casting on using Noro Kureyon sock yarn.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sock knitting in progress




The sock project is coming along. This is the Embossed Leaves pattern from Interweave. I am using Zitron Zauberball yarn and two circular needles to create these socks. One thing I have discovered is that this yarn kind of "sticks" together when worked and if is necessary to rip anything out, it becomes a bit tricky. Other than that, I have enjoyed working with this yarn. This pattern is one of my favorites and is one lace pattern that is easy to remember in terms of the repeats. Can't wait to finish this pair. My new felted slippers are in the background. They are so comfortable and cosy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Knitting and crocheting again!





Here in Southern California, our weather has been fluctuating between super hot and rainy, chilly and windy! What an adventure! Since my Humpty Dumpty incident, I have been a bit sore especially my right hand. Gradually, things have been improving and I am no covered with Technicolor bruises. This new found sense of well being has rekindled my need to knit and crochet. A freeform sweater that has been languishing in a bag unfinished is now being worked on again and actually looking pretty good, if I do say so myself. Right now, I am finishing off the yoke of the sweater and assembling the body and inserting the sleeves. So far so good. Then, the finishing touches will be added and FINALLY it will be done! Hurrah!

Additionally, I have started another pair of embossed leaf socks. It seems that everytime I make a pair they end up with someone else. This time, I am determined to have a pair of my very own. Hoping that I am strong minded enough to keep them! I am a push over when it comes to giving things away.

Still spinning too and have created some lovely new yarns which I have posted on my Flickr page (janrocrochet.) There is just something alluring about wool fleeces and the whole process of preparing for spinning that I really love. Last week, my friend Jamie and I introduced two new spinners to wheel spinning and they are now hooked on it too. Love it when someone is drawn in by the joy of spinning!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Humpty Dumpty




Once again, my adventures have been a bit curtailed. This time, I took a tumble and ended up with technicolor bruises all over! Not being known for my grace, I slipped and went down following a pedicure (my feet were slippery afterwards.) Getting up was a challenge and required my husband's help. Everytime, I tried to stand up, down I went again but I did have cute pink toes! Finally, I made it and promptly went to bed for the rest of the day! Over the next few days, I began aching in places I didn't know I had!

The one thing I could do a bit of was spinning and thus I would sit up for a while and create some yarn. One of the bright spots was the afternoon when Michael Pauly came over with the new version of the SpinOlution Hopper in tow! I immediately took to this new wheel and promptly ordered one of my very own! Hopefully, I will get it this week - just can't wait!

Now I am up and doing well, I actually cooked dinner the other night for Louie and made him some brownies with walnuts and chocolate chips! He is still in shock but loved it!

Last night we had quite a thunder and lightening display out here with heavy rain. It was pretty spectacular. Today, the sun is out and the air is clear. Wonderful!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The spinning continues



Just received a lovely box of wool from Sandy Ryan filled with suri alpaca, East Fresian wool, Romney and llama. Delicious colors and softness. Yesterday I spun up bunches and it is hanging outside drying now.

Actually, am excited about finishing a sweater that I started and have let languish over the past months. I just need to complete one and half sleeves and the trim. Can't wait for it to be done.

As Fall approaches, I am finally feeling much better and stronger so am able to be up and around more and am getting things done. It makes me so happy to be improving at last!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Getting my strength back!






Hurrah! Starting to feel a lot better and more energetic! Still on my spinning kick and have been digging through my ginormous fiber stash to find interesting things to use. I did dig out a few treasures and have been making a lot of new yarn.

The weather here in Hemet has been extremely hot lately and just great for drying yarns and fleeces. I have been a drying maniac to say the least. I've attached a few photos of some new yarns. As you will notice, I have been doing a lot of coils and beehives types. Love them, even though they are time-consuming, when I get a rhythm going, I don't want to stop.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A few new yarns





It is so hard to resist spinning new yarns. I find myself sitting up on the edge of the bed with fiber in hand and spinning until I get tired and then falling back to sleep. There is something therapeutic about the colors and textures running through my fingers as the fiber twists in yarn.

Lately, I have had fun doing small amounts of yarns that are great for small craft projects including weaving, crocheting and knitting. They also look great for Waldorf-inspired doll hair. This has been really gratifying especially when I see the finished projects created.

Attached are a few new colorways that I especially like.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Missing in Action for a while

Lately, my postings on this blog have been sporadic at best. So, I have decided to share the reason for pulling back from things somewhat. In the past months, I have been having significant respiratory problems. After testing and numerous medical visits, I have been told that I have problems related to having lived in a house which had mold in the walls. Additionally, they let me know I had the beginnings of congestive heart failure.

Needless to say, all of this has slowed me down a bit. I am still spinning yarns, selling spinning wheels and doing some designing. However, I get tired easily sometimes and need a nap. Hopefully, with the new treatment the doctor has started me on, things will start improving and I will be back to my old self soon.

My husband Louie has been taking good care of me, bless his heart. I am in good hands and am hanging in there.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back from Summer Hibernation






Lately, I have been silent and hibernating in my spinning cave for a while. Basically, been washing fleeces and doing some dyeing and carding batts for spinning and felting. Of course, there has been spinning going on and I have attached a few photos.

Additionally, SpinOlution has come out with a new wheel, the Mach III, and it has some great new innovations. I have enjoyed testing it out and will be adding this wheel to the others that I sell. While driving to Mike's, I came across four bison in a fenced field that starts at the end of my block and goes around to a couple of blocks from Mike's. Who knew? They are pretty darn big and my spinner's heart longed for the fiber. However, I am not brave enough or foolish enough to try and gather it. They can move pretty fast and don't have very good dispositions. Kind of cool to look at though! I thought we only had dairies and grazing sheep around here but obviously there are more exotic critters nearby.

The month of July is proving to be hot, with windy days and a few thunderstorms. I have decided to try to stay cool and enjoy creating some new garments.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fallow Field

Since last visiting my blog, it seems that the fields of creativity have been laying fallow and unplowed. Aside from a bit of spinning and a little needle felting, my hands have been idle and my time spent in non-fiber mundane activities. It does leave me feeling a bit guilty that I am not accomplishing anything so to speak.

This has turned into a bit of late Spring hibernating for some reason. The spinning/yarn/studio room calls has reached avalanche stage and calls for re-organizing. However, the door has been pulled firmly shut for now creating the illusion that all is well. Hah! If there was an earthquake or anything began to slide, I am afraid that I would find myself buried in fleeces, yarns, etc. Soon, my courage will return and I shall gird up my loins and go forth to create the perfectly organized room! At least that is my story and I am sticking to it.

One thing that has resulted from all of this laziness on my part is that my husband is happy to have me cooking for him on a more regular basis. I have even made him the occasional chocolate cake (his favorite,) So, at least someone is happy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Crocheting baby Hats again!




Finally, I have gotten back to one of my favorite things to do, crochet hats for babies! Those precious little faces look so adorable peeking out from under a hat! The one shown here includes the use of cashmere and handspun art yarn to make this tasseled and cosy hat. The wonderful photography was done by Joyce Eveler.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Up to my elbows in fibers and still spinning!





The morning started with old-fashioned roses and a cuppa coffee brought in by my hubby! That was a sweet surprise and then he started a load of laundry too. Who is this man and what did he do with Louie!??? Guess I will have to make that chocolate cake I have been promising him for the last month!

Our weather has been changing from day to day, one day warm and then rainy and cold. I wish it would just decide. Oh well, the wool is getting cold rain water rinses occasionally, can't hurt! For some reason, I just remain entranced with spinning and playing with fiber just for the sake of creating yarn. Since it is the basis for everything else I love doing, it just seems right.

Additionally, I just received a darling hat from a designer on Etsy called dadaya whose web site is www.tinytoadstool.com and I absolutely adore it. It is so wonderfully whimsical and it just makes me happy to have it on my head or looking at it on the hat stand! I have included a photo so you can enjoy it too.

Looking forward to a lovely weekend full of fiber, friends and fun!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spinning at The Shepherdess




This weekend I taught a class at The Shepherdess in San Diego California. This is a great shop with a wonderfully edited collection of yarns, beads and now SpinOlution spinning wheels. The emphasis was on creating art yarns and everyone did a fantastic job using a whole new range of techniques for wonderfully textured and exotic yarns.

It always seems that when a group of spinners get together, inspiration is close at hand as having a collection of new and unsual fibers to work with gets people excited to try new things in terms of carding unusual spinning batts. All in all it was a lovely day and one which we are going to repeat again soon.

Happy spinning!

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Art Flyer and Bobbin from SpinOlution






Today, there was a knock on my door and there stood Michael Pauly of SpinOlution with the new ginormous flyer assembly and bobbin in hand. I invited him in with great excitement and watched with itchy fingers as he attached this new device to my Mach II spinning wheel. Holy Mackrel! That is one big bobbin! Measurements: Flyer assembly is 12 inches long and 8 1/2 inches wide; bobbin is 6 inches in diameter and 9 inches long. The gorgeous wooden pegs are 1 3/4 inches tall.

After attaching a leader, I pulled out some roving and started to spin on the lowest ratio (about 3:1) in a thick and thin fashion. What I noticed right away was that this is exceptionally well balanced and spins easily. In the photos attached, you will notice the yarn on the bobbin which weighs about one pound. I still have lots of room. Will fill the bobbin just to see how much it will hold and then do some serious art yarn spinning. Mike said I can have this for testing for the next couple of days and then I have to return it. I intend to make the most of the available time.

This is a really cool new addition for maximizing the potential of the Mach II and the Hopper wheels in terms of art yarn spinning in particular. Just fabulous!