All posts by mausi

Batts and batts and batts…

Ah, weekend!For me, this means more time to play with the carder!

Pre-carding mess
Pre-carding mess

Fueled by marzipan rose tea and macaroni, I ended up making…well, quite a few batts. I got kind of carried away. But they were all so pretty!

A little carried away...
A little carried away…

Most of these I’m putting up on the Etsy site, but I do want very badly to spin some of these myself. I did reserve a couple just for me to play with…the best part was, most of these batts have at least some of the new wool I’d just finished dyeing, and a couple are almost all dyed by me. I’m feeling kinda proud, really. Even though I pricked my finger on a thorn in a bit of wool when I was nearly finished. Kind of a Sleeping Beauty moment, really, and I couldn’t even blame it on the spinning wheel. I bleed for my hobbies, people!! (Happily, not *on* my hobbies. I slapped a bandage on right after all the hopping up and down and cursing…)

In Between…

I’m in the awkward bit of the week. Most of my fibery exploits happen on Fridays and Saturdays, when I’m free. The rest of the week I have a day job to pay the bills and keep me in chocolate and creepy books.  I work at a museum as a guard, so for the most part I keep anything expensive from walking off with the teeming hordes of people who come in every day. I call it the Jade Mines–or the Mines for short. Sometimes it can be great fun, and sometimes we get celebrities–Mick Jagger was in just yesterday, being all Mick-Jaggery. Which was pretty cool, but I kinda wish it was Marianne Faithfull instead. She’s awesome. Just sayin’…

Often I make lists when I’m on the job. Lists like “How many priceless artifacts will someone try to pet like it’s a puppy?” or “Fashion Faux-pas of the day!” (which is rich coming from me, since I wear a polyester clip-on tie at work.) But on days like today, just far enough from the weekend, I think of whatever fibery project is waiting for me at home. My beautiful dyed wool is all dry now and stuffed into bags, waiting for me to card it up and spin it. The plum color is still my favorite, but the red makes me so happy. I think of new things to knit for whatever season I’m in. I think of weird little things I could make for friends.  Often I bring some knitting for my breaks. It helps me destress after wrangling a flood of schoolkids and their eagerness to climb pretty sculptures.  Oh gods, so much climbing…

So, I’m getting ready to trot off to the Mines and the bags of fluff are just sitting in the corner…taunting me with their pretty, pretty colors.  Seriously, I can hear the taunting from here. Maybe I’ll bust out Shreddica the carder tonight just to get some of the yearning out of my system…

Me at the Jade Mines, doing a spinning demo
Me at the Mines, doing a spinning demo for an evening event.

 

 

Shreddica…

One of the reasons I’ve been wanting to dye large quantities of wool is so I can make nice big spinning batts with my drum carder. I love that thing so; so much so that it has a name: Shreddica. And it’s a wonderful beast. It takes a chaotic handful of fluff and blends it into something really grand for spinning. Before I got Shreddica I mostly used hand cards, which took a while, or just shredded things with my fingers. (I still do that quite a bit with locks where I want to keep their shape.) Sometimes I have friends over and make them crank Shreddica while I feed wool through it’s hungry mouth, yelling, “Crank faster, carding-slave!” Oddly enough, people obey. I’m guessing feeding them cake and booze first helps…

A handful of fluff
A handful of fluff

I couldn’t keep my greedy mitts off the plum Shetland I just dyed, so I fed some to Shreddica, along with fistfuls of white mohair, border leister, a little merino and some leftover angora…

The finished spinning batts
Plum Candy spinning batt

I also found some of my dark red had dried enough for me to play with, so into Shreddica it went, along with fistfuls of black merino and red-dyed “black” angora. I want to spin this one up myself, I think, instead of sticking it in the shop

Deep Red spinning batt
Deep Red spinning batt

Some fun with the dye pot…

Recently I’ve been trying new things, like dyeing various wools to the shades I’ve always wanted. I love natural colors and I’m always happy to buy some pretty roving from a talented dyer, but sometimes there’s a color I just have to have in a wool and just can’t find. I’ve been having a great time with acid dyes I’d gotten from the local textile center, as well as a jaquard dye I bought at a spinner’s event. The results are here…

Black Cherry Wool

Plum Wool
Plum Wool
Plum Garden handspun yarn
This is the finished result from my first round of plum-dyed wool.

 

Welcome!

Welcome to the first posting for my new page! I’m so very glad to see you. For years and years I did my blogging on Livejournal, and as time went by I decided I needed something I could personalize a bit more. So with a great deal of help, fine tuning, last-minute tweaking and and my going, “Nono, more like this! No, wait, how about that? Oh dear, tech support guys again?” I am proud to present MsFledermaus’s Completely New and Extremely Fancy Blogging Experience…now with more pictures, videos, and yet still chock-full of Mausi-style spooky-stuff. Hurray!

I should mention, this blog will mostly be about making art-yarns, from start to finish. There will be wool-washing, dyeing, carding, spinning, knitting, and flouncing around covered in yarn…including the occasional tutorial. This may not be your thing. That’s okay.  And there will also be crazily-painted dollhouses, odd tea parties, odder art projects, and other amusing miscellany. Even if these things may not be your cup of tea, I hope to at least be entertaining…

Meanwhile, here’s a cheerful photo of Shamu the Bunny, because rabbits make blogging more fun. It’s a fact…

Shamu the Bunny