Friday, October 29, 2010

New Etsy Shop


Hi folks, it's been a crazy busy week! With tons of fiber happenings and lots of other stuff going on too. I guess the big news is that I finally got around to opening an Etsy shop! I've been meaning to do this for some time now, and with our guilds Textile Art Market coming up, I wanted to have the shop set up so that I could include it in the contact information on my product. The shop is mainly geared toward fiber arts, but I will be adding some other little non fiber gift items in the future. For the moment I have just a few goodies listed but that will be changing soon, as I have dyed up some fibery goodness which I plan on listing early next week. Here's a sample of the goodies.
These charming little Dancing Flower Faeries fall into a category I'm calling Spinners Candy. Each one of these cuties was painstakingly hand stitched for quality and durability. I wanted to be sure that they were spin friendly and water friendly. These will make a great spin-in or tie on for your handspun. They would also be lovely hung as a decoration for those places around the house which are calling for a little faerie magic.

Also a spin-in/tie on, these HotHouse Flowers are made from silk cocoons. I hand painted each little piece and fashioned them into fun, bright, flowers.

Under the Knitters Candy category I have these pretty little stitch markers in a cute little decorative bottle with a cork stopper. I originally came up with little sets like this to give as gifts to my friends, and have been thinking that others may like them as well. The set includes 6 stitch markers made with gorgeously colored glass, crystal, metallic and semi-precious beads. The markers feature a trigger clasp so that you can easily move or remove your marker while you're working. Rather than having to knit around to it like the fixed ring markers.

So, that's a little peek at some of what I've been up to this week. If you are interested you can visit my Etsy shop here; TwirlyCurlyBird plus if you're local you may be interested in the Textile Art Market coming up in December.

Happy Halloween! Have a great weekend. Blessings Friends!
Melissa

Friday, October 22, 2010

Warm Woolies For The Local Pixies


I decided to do a little pixie-knittin' this week. It's getting colder around here, I thought the wee folk could use some fresh warm clothes. I looked through my stash for the skinniest yarns I could find and they were all too big for my purpose. Then I remembered that I was a spinner and I can make any size yarn I need, silly me! So I gathered a glorious collection of colors, fibers and sparkly za-za-zing and spun this gossamer strand of pure happiness. I'm calling it Pixie Dust. I think the faeries will love it.


While I was waiting for the yarn to dry, I whipped up a little acorn bag from some of my other hand dyed spinnings.


Finally the yarn was dry and I was able to work up a pattern for this petite pair of stockings. My eyes are very happy, boy do I love color!


Next came a wee little sweater. This is a new pattern too, I couldn't locate the one I made up last year. Now that I've written another, it will turn up. This sweater, knitted up in my Pixie Dust yarn is so tiny, it makes the other sweaters look like they're monster size! I have some more knitting to do for the faeries, more hats, scarves, socks and sweaters are in the works. I've spun up some more Pixie Dust in a slightly bigger yarn, I can't wait to start knitting with that. I may have to spin a sock weight Pixie Dust and make some stockings for myself. This kind of fun should really be illegal, I'm a total yarn geek people! Clap if you believe!

I hope you have the best weekend ever! Blessings friends!
Melissa

Friday, October 15, 2010

Berry Tea Cozy (UFO Becomes FO!)



Yea, another finished object to cross off my list of lingering projects. I started this tea cozy over two years ago...maybe longer. I can't really remember why I set it aside, but it ended up in my spinning room up on top of a tall cupboard, I kind of forgot about it, until those times I used my giant tea pot, then I'd think, hey I should finish that cozy. I was forced to squeeze my existing cozy over the tea pot, which made it look like I had a little pig hidden underneath there, cute but a little snug. It didn't take too long to complete, I was almost finished knitting it when it got put up.



I fulled it, decided I didn't love the original idea I'd had, then I cut it up and refashioned it into this design. My original plan was to embroider berries and vines around the body in the upper solid border to match the Juliska, Berry and Vine pattern of the tea pot. I've mulled it over for about three weeks now, and decided not to add any embroidery. It's done, and it works quite nicely, it keeps the tea nice and hot while it's steeping and it's my favorite color, pink!



I bought another fleece this last weekend. I've been blabbing about it all over, so it's not really news at this point, but there is another little story to go along with this. I was sorting the wool (Wensleydale) in the garage, the lawn service has full reign of the neighborhood on Mondays so I had to work inside. I was standing there near the side door, the fleece all spread out on a large screen, sorting it into mesh laundry bags for scouring. I had my ipod in one ear and I was quietly singing along. (I hope I was quiet) I kept seeing something out of the corner of my eye, but when I looked to the left, nothing, I though it was my hair...you know how you see your hair out of the corner of your eye...So I'm working away and I've been standing there for a couple of hours, doing my thing. Suddenly, I get the feeling I'm not alone, I turn toward the side door and I'm not kidding or exaggerating at all, there are eight teeny little red squirrels surrounding the door! They were scattered on the stairs to the left of the door, in front of the door and also to the right side of the door!!! It startled the heck out of me! I chortled out a little startled..ahh! They didn't budge! It was amazing, they were so interested in what I was doing. I had to yell and stamp my feet and fuss and even then not all of them scattered! A couple of them needed an extra, SCOOT! I wonder if one of the little squirrels happened by and saw me standing there, heard me singing my little songs and smelled all sheepy goodness, then went and told his little squirrel buds, "You have got to come and check this out, you wont believe it...I don't even know what it is!" Those little buggers kept coming back too, not all at once, it was more of a squirrel at a time, drive by situation. The little rascals! I was so worried they were going to get into the garage without my noticing. I still have some bags of fleece stored in there which might temp a furry critter to set up housekeeping for the winter. After I gave myself whiplash glancing over my shoulder every two seconds, I remembered I had other screens and put one in front of the door to block the entrance. Crazy little squirrels, I didn't even know there were that many of them in the neighborhood! I wish I'd had my camera...

Have a wonderful weekend! Blessings friends!
Melissa

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A New Ditty Bag!



I have been fooling around with felting for awhile now, mostly regular old ordinary, knit it big, felt it till it's small. I've seen so many beautiful felted projects using both the nuno and wet felting techniques, I was excited to dive in! I first tried nuno felting...while both attempts did not work out how I envisioned, (in other words, the way it was suppose to) I absolutely loved the resulting felted noodles and wild fabric. I'm definitely percolating away, thinking up a project for them. In the mean time I saw some really great tutorials and I was able to see all the steps I needed to be successful in this project. I can see now that earlier tutorials I peeked in on were not as thorough in showing all the steps and tips. If you would like to check out the tutorials, you'll find them here at Felting Lessons. You wont be disappointed! I really, really want to get busy on the nuno felting, but I need to get some silk chiffon, the silk scarves I have are not quite gauzy enough. In the mean time, I played with wet felting. I just did a small test swatch to begin with, it started out 12x20 and felted down to about 6x16. Of course I wanted to make something with it right away! I put together this new ditty bag to hang on my wheel. I recycled the little crocheted pouch that holds the oil for my wheel and the crocheted posies too. I stitched the pouch in, tucked over to one side to keep the oil securely in an upright position, and you can see that I attached the posies to the bottom of the ditty bag.



I was pleased I was able to find a way to incorporate the old oil pouch. I crocheted it using some of my very first hand dyed, hand spun yarn. Of course I had to add some vintage mother of pearl buttons from the old button box! All and all I'm pleased with my first attempt at wet felting, those tutorials made all the difference. I have a lot of ideas for this medium and I can hardly wait to get rolling on them! If only there were more hours in the day!

Have a delightful weekend! Blessings friends!
Melissa

Friday, October 1, 2010

Blackrose Wristlets



I took a little break this week from my UFO round up to spin and knit these cozy wristlets. The pattern is from knitty, check it out here if you're interested, the pattern is for socks and wristlets. It's a quick easy pattern, great for gift knitting. I was concerned that I might not have enough fiber to knit them as long as the pattern suggested, so I knit them both at the same time using the magic loop technique. I started with 1.25 ounces of raw fiber from my friend Tamara at Via Verde Farm, which spun into close to 300 yards of two ply lace weight. The fiber came from her beautiful little cria, Delphine. I did end up shortening the length slightly from 7.5 to 6.5, then I switched to a darker brown for the ribbing and crocheted a petite picot edge to finish. The dark alpaca I used is also from Via Verde.



Here's the little cutie that provided the lovely fiber, look at that sweet face! It spun up into a nice lace weight two ply, just spinning from the washed locks. Such soft cozy fiber and it has a beautiful halo too. By spinning it from the lock I was able to maintain the natural variation of color in this little guys fleece. I was pleased with how they knitted up and I happily presented them to Tamara so she could have a little keepsake from Delphine's first shearing.

Have a great weekend! Blessings Friends!
Melissa

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I'm a crafter, knitter, tinkerer, who always seems to have a project or two on the launch pad. I love to share what I'm working on and I love to see what other folks are working on too, so please comment and let me know where I can see your latest creation!