Monday, December 1, 2008

Spinning from the Lock, again

I got a new fleece! It's a border leicester X. This one is less curly and more lustrous than the last border leicester X fleece I got. I promptly washed it, dyed it and tried spinning from the lock. So fun! I love spinning so much, it's kind of a crazy experiment to see where all the colors end up and it is not easy to predict what the final outcome will be.

Washed and dyed fleece.

Teased. I simply pulled it apart by hand. Here is the teased wool on my windowsill. You can see how it looks like a puffy cloud, pretty translucent.

And here it is all spun up. It has a slightly fuzzy surface, since the fibers were spun from the lock, and not combed or carded. I sometimes like this more "rustic" looking yarn.

If you're a spinner, I hope you'll try this technique. It's fun, easy and gives you another option to add to your repertoire.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I love Halloween! So I've decided to have a Halloween sale at my Etsy store. From Oct 29 till Nov 1, I am offering free shipping and 10% off all orders. Whee!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Spinning from the Lock

I love love love sheep fleece and locks. They feel so sheepy to me, know what I mean? (as opposed to commercial yarn)

This was an experiment in spinning from the uncarded lock. This was dyed BFL border leicester X. I simply pulled the locks apart by hand a little - kind of like predrafting. I separated the locks out by color group too, since I prefer to see the distinct colors, rather than have it blended throughout. Then I spun up the puffy clouds.

The resulting yarn is more textured than what you would get from roving or a carded batt. In one or two places, there is even a tiny curl visible, escaping from the surface of the spun yarn.

Here are some pictures of a sweater I completed a while ago. Maybe a year? I spun the yarn from the lock as well, in this case, Cormo wool locks. It's very lumpity-bumpity, handmade looking, in a good way. The cormo wool is soft, next-to-skin soft, with nice bounce and crimp. Love!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Old and New Knitting

I don't consider myself a girly-girl, but I have been thinking of shawls and crochet items lately! I really love the graphic quality of lace. So I thought I'd show a completed project:

The Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark from Interweave Knits.
I used Noro Kochoran, so it is a huge shawl. I ran out of Kochoran at the end, so I just made a border in Lamb's Pride Worsted. I think the colors work well together.

And today, I received some beautiful handspun yarn from Joanna at She is a lovely person and she spins beautiful yarn. I love the colors of her yarns, and she loves to support other Etsy-ians.

This is destined to be crocheted into an Anne scarf by MK Carroll (on etsy or ravelry). I have made 1 of these in cotton, and have several more in my project queue. One for each of my roommates.

This stunning pattern is actually pretty simple. I keep dreaming of these Anne scarves in every yarn I lay my eyes upon. Hmmmm...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cutest Mustachioed Man Ever

I sold a set of Stylish Self-Adhesive Mustaches through my Qrious store recently.

It turned out to be such a fun and heartwarming experience for me! The buyer was a fellow Etsyian and she was purchasing this for her son. He had been asking for a fake mustache recently (what a kooky kid! aww!) so this was perfect.

I offered to gift wrap this and mail the package to his name, because I remember being a kid and getting super excited about receiving mail. I guess a stroke of inspiration hit me, and I wrapped the package in gold paper and made a constuction paper mustache on the front, with his name on it. Also, I wrote "Top Secret" and "Special Delivery" on the outside of the envelope. I wanted to make it feel super special and top secret and super spy-ish. I got all excited putting it together!

It was so nice to hear back that the gift was well received. His mom said his face lighted up and was running around the whole house with the package after he opened it. She was gracious enough to send me some fun pictures of the little guy. CUTE!

This was such a great experience for me, I just wanted to share.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cross pollination

I love looking at art and craft books. I recently borrowed 2 inspirational books from the library. They are not just in the knitting or spinning category. I don't even know if I will make anything from them (probably not), but they are firing up the synapses in my crafty brain!

The first one is "Three Dimensional Embroidery" by Janet Edmonds. She basically uses fabric, thread and other soft materials to create sculptures, often inspired by nature or other organic forms.

The second book is "Take Silk" by Judith Pinnell. The tag line reads "A guide to silk 'paper' for the creative fiber artist." Silk paper?!?? It looks related to wet-felting in a way ... She takes silk roving and puts layers of silk fibers on a mesh screen, laying them all in one direction and then in the opposite direction (90 degrees). She then uses Acrylic Gloss Medium as an adhesive and the result is a sheet of silk paper or cloth. She goes on to create items from these pieces of silk paper/cloth, such as boxes, hats, jackets, etc. You should see the colors! The dyed silk is absolutely stunning! I don't think I'd ever wear or display the items (just not my style) but they are quite a feast for the eyes and appeal to my visual and tactile senses. More pics on my flickr site.

This morning, I woke up dreaming or thinking of some of Norah Gaughan's designs. I want to buy her books, even though I don't think I will have time or the inclination to complete a project. I think I had a tiny epiphany that I love looking at unusual designs and working on the technical details in my brain. I like rolling those ideas in my brain, just like how you'd roll a hard candy or gobstopper around in your mouth, letting it melt slowly, and tasting the layers of flavor. It's OK to buy knitting pattern books just to look at and enjoy the artistry and mathematical genius of the pattern, right?

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Batt Children

I make and sell batts through my etsy store. I feel so lucky that talented spinners and felters buy my batts. Some of you have sent me pictures of your creations, which I greatly appreciate. I sometimes get the feeling - I want to buy back that yarn that the artist made from my batts! I think it is all a mad alchemy - you don't know how the batts will look spun up. And I bet it would different at the hands of different spinners too! Thick, thin, plied, curlycued ... the same batt would become a different creature in a different set of hands!

As a batt artist, I feel like the batts are my children, well, my creations anyhow. I am happy to see them populating the world, as productive citizens of the fiber comunity. Sniff.

Here's what Sarah Sutherland made:

and Sarah's write up of her process:

I will post more pictures of yarns made from my batts soon. If you are impatient, (like I am) you can go to the top of my etsy page and find links to other yarns (my grandchildren).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lucky devil

I was lucky enough to meet Melissa of Moustache Rides Yarn a few months ago. She's great! We did a fiber swap and see what I got in the mail!

I am completely smitten with all the fibers, but I am most smitten with the pink flurf, which I think is silk noil blended with sparkles. I have an idea of what these fibers will become, but it's a secret. You can be sure it will be hoarded all for me, I won't share!

When I look at the spillage of fibers in a pile, all I can think is "sexy vomit." Only fiber people will understand.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The best robot store!

Walking around in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I happened upon this robot store. Yes, really! It's a robot store, full of parts, supplies, toys and books.

But it's actually a storefront for 826Michigan, a tutoring center for kids. They help kids improve their expository and creative writing skills. I later found out that there are a chain of these tutoring centers, with locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other places. The LA center has a time travel store, and the SF location has a pirate supply store. How clever and wonderful! Check it out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hello from "the other Hawaii"

That's what my friend Liz calls her town, Ann Arbor. I think there is just a tiny twinge of facetiousness in that statement. But I am really having a nice vacation here.

I went to the Detroit Institute of Arts yesterday, and saw the Diego Rivera industry murals. They took my breath away. The museum has a new thingy - a multimedia box that looks like a GPS system. It's basically a small touchscreen and kind of like a documentary that explains the murals. Wow wow WOWWW! We spent maybe 1 or 2 hours listening to the explanations about the 27 panels that make up the mural. It gave me a greater depth of understanding and appreciation, and it made me "see" so much more there.

On the way home, we stopped in a local coffee shop to search for a fairy door. Did you know there are many fairy doors to be found in Ann Arbor?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Camp Pluckyfluff Recap

I went to Camp Pluckyfluff LA in July. Wowwee wow wow! What a fun time I had. It was so great to be among spinners and have Lexi of teach innovative spinning techniques as well as share her ideas about handspun yarn as art. I got her to sign my copy of Intertwined. Its such an inspirational book!

Lexi at her wheel, and demonstrating tailspinning.

The table of fiber goodies to share. There were some weird and unusual fibers in this pile of treasure!

Our yarns from the weekend! Here are mine:

These were made by Jennifer:

These were made by Juliblue:

I think Lexi's perspective is super refreshing. A couple of points I remember - when she was a beginner and made "mistakes," she asked herself, well, how do I recreate and exagerrate that so it becomes a design feature? (I paraphrased.) I love how she considers handspun yarn as an end in itself. It is sometimes pesky when people (who don't understand!) ask, "Well, what can you make with it?" Well, it just IS. It's beautiful, it's weird, and that's enough.

If you want to hear or read interviews with Lexi, there are several online. You can look up craftsanity (podcast) and studioloo (online magazine).

Want more photos? Go to my flickr account. I'm evonnewee or craftypeapod.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Green Things

I woke up this morning and had Dr. Oz's green drink. I saw it on Oprah yesterday and decided to drink this for the next few days and see how I feel. Here's the recipe:

1/2 lemon
1 lime
1 bunch parsley
1 head celery
2 cups spinach
1/2 inch peeled ginger
2 cups cucumber or 1 medium cucumber
2 apples

Blend all of the above. Makes 3-4 servings.

It tasted pretty good. The apples make it sweet, not as green as you might expect. The ginger gives it a little zing and spice. I certainly feel healthy. I am usually very bad with eating veggies, so I think this is a good plan for me.

I think I will change it up a bit, it needs more liquid to blend properly. I'll probably put more juice and less veggies.

In woolly news, I listed some Border Leicester BFL X locks in my etsy store today. I call this color "Violent Green." It's so saturated and deep, it makes you take a step back. Whoa.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dinner with Annie

I had dinner with my friend Annie last night. She lives right in the middle of Hollywood, where crazy people roam the streets. Everyone looks like a character from a movie. Last night, I saw lots of party girls. Looks like a weekend and it was only Tuesday night. The police there ride on horses! I think it's a new thing.

Annie's building is very charming and beautiful, I think movie stars lived there in the 1950's. Here's the main entryway.

She fed me a lovely dinner of olive bread and creamy buttery brie, healthy salad, sardines, tiny sauteed zucchini from Trader Joe's, tiny pickles and olives from a fancy store.

We ate in the courtyard, so pretty on a summer evening.

Annie makes really beautiful machine knitted and hand finished pieces. She's really talented. Here is her yarn shelf. There are lots of arty and crafty things to look at in her home.

She was telling me about part of her artistic philosophy. She calls it Mission Santosa. In a nutshell, it's her ECO philosophy. Eco this-and-that is such a trendy thing right now, it has become a commodity in itself. But she's been doing this for years, using mill end yarn for her creations. It doesn't make sense to throw out all the previous non-eco materials and suddenly switch to using "eco" materials. Here's the long version, in her own words.
I higly support all the crafters out there who are doing the reduce, reuse and recycle thing in their art and life. It's makes sense to me from an eco perspective and also from a money-saving perspective. I love thrift store finds and vintagey things, too, because they really seem to have a sense of history from their previous life. They have a deeper meaning beyond what you see on the surface.