Tag Archives: yarn

If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!

It’s been a little while since I posted here. Life just got a little more hectic recently, with projects and and whatnot. I also…heh…got engaged. I’m very happy about it all. Of course, now I’m thinking about things I’d never really considered before. Are there registries that aren’t specifically full of beige-colored towels? (Apparently there are. I still have to go digging around for them, though.) What will I do about a dress?  How much cake? What kind of cake? And how many Gothly decorations can I bust out at the reception? (Quite a few, actually.) Do I change my name, and to what? Sadly, even though it would be perfectly legal, my sweetie put his foot down at being called Mr. and Mrs. Dracula.  *sigh* Another dream shot down…

Meanwhile, a dear friend of mine brought me a very interesting bag. Cornelia had been traveling through Scotland recently, and spent some time happily wandering around the sheep-filled heather, plucking bits of wool off the fences here and there. People used to do this sort of thing all the time to get a little wool to spin up; it’s the original meaning of the term, “woolgathering.”  When she came home, she presented me with a nice fully Ziplock full of soft plushy wool…

Scottish fluff!
A wonderful bag full of Scottish fluff!

The wool smelled wonderful, all heathery and peaty. I kept inhaling the scent while Cornelia told me with a grin, “That, my dear, is what Scotland smells like!” Scotland smells this good? Wowwwww… I gleefully showed off my bag to my boss at work, who is very pro-Scotland. After happily squishing the wool and huffing it, he asked if he could keep a pinch, for the innate Scottishness. Of course I let him.  How often do you get to snort another country at work and have it be legal?

So now I’ve been spinning it all up. I hand-carded the wool that very night, and chose my nice heavy Ashford spindle to do my spinning. For some reason spindle spinning just seemed right with something like this. The sort of thing someone would do while walking a hedgerow, woolgathering…

Scottish yarn
A spindle full of Scotland! Well, maybe not full, not yet…

What will I do with the yarn once I’m done spinning? Hard to say. I’m guessing once plied up there will be enough for maybe a couple of sachet bags or some cool cabled bracelets. If I need more, I’ll have to talk Cornelia into going back to Scotland to gather some more wool for me. I may have to go with her, for ummm…quality control. Yeah. That’s it…

 

 

Even in the darkest hour, you can always find me…

…Because I just bought some glow-in-the-dark spinning fiber!

It glows!! How cool is that?

I have always played around with glow-thread and it makes for some really fun Halloween yarns…but this looks pleasingly chunky and wonderful to play with. I can hardly wait to get my mitts on it!!
There’s so much opportunity for fun here.

Meanwhile, I’m almost done with a chemo cap for a friend of a friend…and a little more spinning here and there. I’ve been spinning more on breaks at the Mines, just to relax. It’s fun to watch my coworkers when the spindle goes around and around…sometimes I’ll laugh and whisper, “Sleepy…you are getting sleepy…ALL HAIL THE HYPNO-TOAD!!” and we’ll have a good chortle. This weekend I’d like to put up a nice spinning tutorial for beginners, so I’ll play with the camera a bit this afternoon. The last tutorial was so much fun, I want to do more…

My favorite month! At last!!!

It’s cooling off…the sky is darkening…the leaves are falling…and I love every second of it!!
Finally, the month I’ve been waiting for!! Delicious, wonderful October!

So to celebrate I’ve been spinning a cheerful Halloween yarn or two. Look at these happy, happy skulls!

Skully yarn!
A promising start to some happy, happy skully yarn!

While I love my spinning wheels to distraction, sometimes a spindle is ideal when you’re adding on loads of bulky things like beads or cocoons or scraps of silk and whatnot. I’ve also been using a cool trick for adding the beads: Stringing them into small bits of the roving with a needle-threader, then fluffing out the roving so it grabs on to the rest of the yarn. It doesn’t ladder like a thread can do with a heavy bead, and is remarkably stable!

Meanwhile, last night I just got back from visiting a friend who has an art studio at the Northrup King building in Northeast. I love those spaces, full of color and light. I kind of covet them, to be truthful. Studio spaces are so great. I never really used one myself, though. Why? Welllll, when you really get down to it; creatively I can be a bit lazy. When inspiration hits, the last thing I want to do is haul myself down through the cold, windry weather to where I put all my tools, paints, wool, etcetera. I’d just rather hop out of bed, have a wash, run downstairs or upstairs to the wool-bins and start mixing the fluff. These days I’m awfully lucky to have enough space at home where this is doable. If I was doing this sort of thing full-time, a space would make more sense,but I’m grateful at the moment I don’t need it. There are times though, when the paying job gets stressful and I think about starting a small yarn shop. There’s a bit of a yarn-shop gap in my neighborhood, and maybe , just maybe…

Beautiful or grotesque?

This time of year I start thinking about the Halloween yarns I enjoy making. Every year it’s something different and and interesting. Sometimes it’s a traditional yarn in pleasing fall colors, or deep reds and blacks with glo-thread, or some wonderful weirdo thing with skulls and little fake bones and silk shreds. This year, I think a big-fun zombie yarn with unsetlling silk cocoons may well be my thing…

Silk cocoons
Olive green silk cocoons…beautiful, and a little disturbing…

I love this olive color. They could be really striking, strung with beads and pearls in an elegant yarn, or perhaps something more seaweedy and pirate-y. There are some pretty fun possibilities here, for sure. Creature from the Black Lagoon? Yay! Unsettling eyeballs? Definitely! Zombies? Why, sure!!

I’m also thinking seriously about adding a few surprise gift-boxes in the Etsy shop. Perhaps a box with a few random, interesting mini-skeins, an ounce of random cool fluff or maybe a knitted critter. I love surprise boxes myself, so I reckon it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to offer for other people. Plus, it would be so much fun to pack them up! I could add little handmade stationary cards, or an odd polymer clay dollhouse figurine, or tiny spindles with eensy-weensy yarns wrapped around them. I’d love to know what people might enjoy in a surprise box coming from me…

Meanwhile, maybe I’ll play with the cocoons a little this afternoon, and see how they combine with a few other fluffy things..hehhehhehhhhhh…

Summery Summer is Summering…

Summer can be hard on spinners.

At least, it can be for me. Doesn’t stop me, really, but it’s more of a struggle than in cooler months. Wool can be a little uncomfortable on hot, sticky days, and after an hour or so of treadling I’m an overheated mess. But really it’s all the other projects, clamoring for attention. There’s plants that need watering, weeds that need pulling, a house that needs scrubbing, pets that need petting…and on top of that, I’d taken it into my head to try making an outdoor earth oven for pizza. I’d been researching, testing, making cute little bricks. I’m only about halfway finished, but I feel like I’m learning so much. But mostly it’s about a grown woman making mud pies in the backyard in the name of pizza…

Meanwhile, the bobbins waiting for me to ply them up are still sitting on the table, waiting and judging me…

Bobbins
A few bobbins waiting to be plied…and waiting…and waiting…

I do think I can catch up a little bit this morning. Just to make the yarny judging stop.