Thursday, April 28, 2011

a rainbow in a plastic bag

i think i had a flash of divine inspiration this afternoon as i was making my to-do list for tomorrow when i'll be scrambling to get ready for the show on saturday.

 i was remembering a moment from no-coast. it was toward the end of the day on saturday, the second day of the show. a sweet girl in a vintage coat and a hand-knit cap was hanging out at the booth. she quickly admitted that she's not a knitter, not yet anyway because her friend had made the hat. but she was drawn to the fiber. you see, i had several brightly colored balls of dyed roving displayed to tempt would-be spinners and needle felters. she loved the color, she loved the squishy feel of it in her hands. and she bought it. she told me she had no idea what she would do with it. don't you want to learn to spin, i asked. nope, she just liked it. ok, then. a pretty wad of wool it was, and that's cool. i never really contemplated not actually processing it into something other than what it was.

so i am offering bags of pretty wool. to spin, to felt, to make crafts, to stuff a sock monkey, to put in a ballerina's satin shoes, or to simply admire. the bags are $5 each and weigh in between 1.5 and 2 ounces. the fiber is a mixture of wool, mohair, llama and the majority from sheep right here in minnesota.

i hope you like them!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

still life with yarn

here's a peek at my growing collection of handspun yarns for craftstravaganza. it's right around the corner on april 30 at the fairgrounds in st. paul, mn. i would love it if you visited my booth. i'm in the same spot as last year, just across the aisle from adam turman.  i plan on having a lot more dyed yarns, at least 12 different candle scents (and the make-your-own gift boxes) and roving balls. a big change from last year is, ta-da!, lots of locally-sourced wools in the handspun yarns.

last year's show was so much fun. it's just crazy that in just one year i have had the good fortune to be in so many awesome shows and meet such a delightful bunch of enthusiastic fiber artists. can't wait to see you all at craftstravaganza!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

a little bit crazy

there are little balls of yarn all over my house .
a basket next to my spinning chair is overflowing with a tangled mess of small skeins, knotted bits and bunches of works in progress and forgotten projects on the way to the scrap bin.
and then there all the balls of gifted, traded and swapped cast-off yarn overflowing from paper grocery bags.

in the middle of this mess, you'll find me sitting cross-legged on the floor cutting random lengths of yarn. i throw the cut pieces into a pile and once i have a good mess made, i tie them together until i have a four-ounce ball of scraps. the ball gets tossed behind me on the chair and i begin again. and again. they're all different, one-of-a-kind creations. and people like them.

with just a few weeks until craftstravaganza, i am spinning, winding, dyeing, wrapping, skeining, pretty much all the hours of the day that i'm not at my real job. 

and my project this week is scrap balls. they are taking over my life. and my house. 

holy scrap balls! tell me more!
well, since you asked, this is how i describe them in my etsy shop...

This is a big ball of scraps of various lengths, all knotted together to make a one-of-a-kind funky item. The colors are a rainbow of scrappyness! The tails are meant to stick out on both sides of the finished fabric or be poked through to the front or back. Anything goes! You could use this for free-form knitting too, if stripes aren't your thing.

These are scraps from my personal knitting projects. I use good yarn. No 100% acrylics at all – ever. That said, there could be an acrylic-blend. But if I wouldn't knit with it in the first place, it wouldn't be in the magic scrap ball. There is definitely wool, alpaca, mohair, silk, etc. And no icky fun fur. The weight is primarily worsted.

Will it felt? Some blends will felt better than others and it could contain a wee bit of super wash. Projects knitted with these scrap balls do "bloom" beautifully after hand washing and a little fluff time in the dryer. The tails get shaggier and the yarns make a lovely halo.

so that's what i'm up to.