Friday, February 25, 2011

Watermelon Tourmaline Art Yarn With Felted Beads


I was inspired by this months Phat Fiber theme of Gems and Minerals when I spun this yarn, watermelon tourmaline is a
gorgeous semiprecious stone and I absolutely love the vibrant color combination. I've pre-strung the yarn with 25 of my hand made felted beads for even more gem-appeal. This yarn is worsted-aran weight, making it easy to incorporate into any project where you want to add the flavor of a hand spun art yarn without completely overwhelming your other yarn. With 112 yard, there is enough yarn to create a wonderful stand alone project like a shawlet or a scarf. The felt beads, which can be repositioned as needed, would make this a lovely choice for fiber crafted jewelry too.


Have a wonderful weekend! Blessings Friends! Melissa

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spun My First Boucle!


I saw a great thread over in the Art Yarn Group on Ravelry with tips for spinning boucle yarn, I had to give it a go! I already had the perfect type of single for boucle all ready spun up, lace weight 100% mohair, hand painted in my Big Blue Sky color palette, plus some cobweb weight silk which I hand painted in my Dragonfly color palette. I love learning new techniques! It took a few yards to balance the right amount of twist and the size of the loops. So you can imagine, at first it was all stops and starts as I spun a little, then coaxed/scooted the mohair into little loops...and big loops, and every size loop! After the first quarter of the bobbin, I was able to pretty much manage the loops while slowly, yet continuously spinning. I like how it turned out, I learned that if you want big loops, you should spin a little heavier mohair single. The biggies looked good until I set the twist, and then some of them twisted on themselves, looking more like little fish than circles, I don't mind them actually. A whole skein of them would be cute! I should mention that this is a three stage project (actually five when you count spinning the singles needed) I used silk as my base single and my binder single, next time I will use something sticky like a cobweb mohair single or commercial yarn for the binder. I think that will lock things down even better. What else did I learn? Well, this is actually the most useful and important thing for me and I know I will benefit from this in future spinning. This is BIG news for me, if you ever tried/wanted to change a plied yarn by adding another single and been disappointed with the results read on!!!

It works like this you have two singles spun like normal to the right (Z twist) and you ply them in the opposite direction, like normal, to the left (S twist) THEN when you add the third single, you think of the two ply yarn you just made as an S(left) twist single. How do you ply an S (left) twist single? You use good ol (opposite direction) Z (right) twist. Which means the new singles you want to add to your plied yarn should also be S(left) twist. Voila, no more loosy goosy yarn where the ply you added hangs along the strand like it doesn't belong. I'm thunkin myself in the forehead for never making this connection myself! I love the boucle, and while I already have spun a couple of skeins, this was the best thing I learned from the whole process!



Have a great weekend! Blessings Friends!
Melissa

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Phat Fiber Samples and Full Phatties Are In The Shop!


I am so excited, I've been waiting for so long to list these! Finally here are my very first contributions to the Phat Fiber Sample Box! Pictured above and below are the Dancing Gypsies! Mini-Batt and Roving. I created this special batt for the Phat Fiber Sample Box. February's theme is Gems and Minerals and when I think of gems, I think of all the swirling colors and bejeweled opulence of Dancing Gypsies! These batts hold a special little secret, they have goodies incorporated in a way that make it super easy for even a beginning spinner to create a beaded, tail spun art yarn, with lots of texture. I've include directions/tips for spinning this batt which will liberate you from the belief that art yarn spinning is for others, if you're not already, I'll bet this batt will have you searching for goodies and textured fiber to add to your own spinning palettes.


Mini-Batts And Full Phatti Batts are available now!
Happy Spinning and thanks for stopping by!






Blessings Friends!
Melissa

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Winner Is!!!!

The Winner Is!!!

Here are the yarn specs, which I forgot to add to the last post until it had been up for quite awhile! 168 yards/3.75 oz/worsted weight 9 wpi

Well, here we are, it Monday and I put all the names in a hat this morning for the big drawing!!! 23 people posted comments, thank you all so much for your interest and for taking time to stop by and post! Lake Michigan All Spun Up goes to....drum roll...WonderWhyGal!!! I'm really please to have my skein of yarn go to Andrea, it worked out "wonderfully" since she is so generous with hosting Fiber Friday and I have always really appreciated the nice comments she has made not only on my blog, but on all the Fiber Friday posts!!! Thanks WonderWhyGal and thank you to everyone who posted! I'll be sending off an email to you Andrea, as soon as I get your address, this happy little skein will be on it's way to a new home!

Have a great week! Blessings Friends!
Melissa

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lake Michigan Give Away!!!



Hello there fiber peeps! You may remember this Lake Michigan In The Summer Batt that I posted about a few weeks ago, way back in mid January. Well, I immediately spun one up for myself, fully intending to post the skein in my shop, but could never bring myself to list it! Sometimes you spin something and you just need to hang out with it for a bit...get to know it. So I have been thinking about what will become of it these last few weeks, and I have decided to do a give away! I have to say, and maybe brag a bit, about how lucky we are here in Michigan, it's a really beautiful state and of course the Great Lakes are an enormous part of that. Yea Michigan!!!



When ya got yer self a nice juicy batt in front of you, like me, you probably ponder a bit about how you want to spin it. With this batt, I decided that rather than sectioning it off lengthwise, which would effectively cut up all the marvelous colors of the shoreline, I wanted to spin it so that all the colors would blend together. I made it into more spinable sections by peeling off layers of the batt and rolling them into a tube, which I then elongated into a fatish roving which represented a cross section of all the different colors and fibers. And the results of that are pictured here in this skein I've called Lake Michigan All Spun Up. And I would like to send a little of Lake Michigan Home with one of you! If you would like this skein of yarn, all you have to do is post a comment about your favorite way to spin a carded batt or if you don't spin, you might have an idea of how you would use the yarn. When Monday rolls around, I will randomly draw a name from all the posts and and we'll meet back here so I can announce the name and email the winner to work out the details of getting the skein to her/him!!!

Best Wishes, thanks for popping in, I love reading your comments every week and I learn so much and get tons of inspiration from checking out your blogs! Blessings Friends!
Melissa


Hello, forgot to add the yarn specs!
168 yards/3.75 oz/worsted weight 9 wpi


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Recycled Cork Board


I have been toting this cork board around for years, it's a relic from younger days, which I just couldn't seem to toss. So I shuffled it from place to place, always with the idea that I would use it...sometime. Well, today was the day! I had some notices for upcoming events that I wanted to put somewhere I would see them and be reminded. I peeked through my fabric stash and found a nice bit of denim to cover the faded glory of the the old cork. It was easy enough to tack in place with my staple gun. If I want to in the future, I can easily remove the denim and use it for something else. For now it has refreshed my old cork board. I used a length of purple polka-doted ribbon for a hanger.

The glass worked hat pins are remnants from messing around when I was making beads one day, they make excellent and festive push pins too!


I have hot glued tacks to the back of some of my favorite souvenir buttons, they will get much more use on my bulletin board! We all buy these, but how often to we actually wear them? I think this is a good way to recycle them and it's a nice reminder of a special event...now, where's that old Huey Lewis Pin??? I have a little stash of tack pins from work events and fund raisers, those will end up on the bulletin board as well. I have some left over upholstery tacks being used as push pins here too, they are also nice for hanging pictures. I use them all the time for hanging those little pictures/objects where the nail would otherwise show.

So there, you go, lots of renewed and refreshed items, and a bit of a walk down memory lane as I recall how these little bits of memorabilia came into my hands. I snuck an extra little post this week, but I've got lots of fiber goodies to share with you on Friday, see you then! I hope you will share your ideas for renewing, recycling and upcycling, I love that kind of stuff, don't you?

I hope your week is going wonderfully! Blessings friends!
Melissa

Friday, February 4, 2011

Yarn Feast!

I've really had some great fun spinning lately, I've spun myself up a little feast of yarn, take a peek!

I've actually name this one Yarn Feast, because it's so delicious and full of color and texture, a feast for the eyes!


Quartz


Graphic


Lake Michigan All Spun Up


Watermelon Tourmaline

I had a wonderful time with this bit of fiber play, I really needed it too! I'll be listing these in my shop this week, with all the particulars if you're on the look out for juicy yarn!

I hope you have the best 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!