Tuesday, April 24, 2012

two weeks to go

the excitement is building, y'all! it's almost time for craftstravaganza!
this is going to be a big year for the show. it has expanded to two buildings (i will be in the progress center, right in the middle of everything) and i couldn't be more excited.

after my pal amelia sprout planted the idea in my head last year i started thinking hard about rainbow yarn. the folks at kauni do a great job with long color runs in their striping yarns but it's so blasted skinny. i wanted to try it with a thicker yarn that knits up faster. i have six or eight skeins ready to go now and will try to get a few more cranked out for the show. i've done traditional rainbow colors, variations of blue and purple and some earth tones. here's a few shots of what i've done so far.

this one is so bright it freaked out my cameraphone!
 this one has some lingering white specks which i will now refer to as a "design element"

here are the dyed balls all ready to be made into a hank. let me just tell you now that getting this untangled is, um, challenging. if i didn't have a little bit of ocd, i couldn't do this.

 here is my very low-tech canning jar dye-bath simmering station where i keep all the yarn balls separate during dyeing.

stay tuned for a candle update....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

april update

where on earth has the time gone? the winter whizzed by and now it's mere weeks til craftstravaganza. i have been cranking out the dyed yarn pretty regularly since i last posted, but the spinning has been slow. sales of the handspun have been down a bit across the board and i just wonder if folks think it's too much of a splurge. no problem, i can make scrap balls faster than i can spin yarn. and the dyeing satisfies my urge to play with color.  here's a look at what i have been up to lately.

this was so fun: a rainbow of yarn scraps dyed with easter egg colors! we had friends over saturday night for an impromptu egg dye and we were joking about how on monday all the yarnies would scarf up the clearance boxes of Paas for 15 cents each... that got me thinking i could try it out when the eggs were all done.  it was my first time with this medium and it worked very well. i soaked a couple yards in each cup of egg dye until it was saturated and heat-set it in the microwave for about a minute. the lighter ones didn't get as hot so the color did not take as well. i may pursue this in the future if these testers are color fast. well, if i get to walgreens in time to scrounge the post-holiday leftovers.

 one of a few new skeins of handspun. this one is made from mill end roving from the brown sheep company, dyed with my new dharma dyes.
the chaos of scrap ball production is about to begin. this weekend i had helpers with the cutting and knot tying and it went a lot faster. we got seven balls completed in very short order. i now have 11 done and might stop there. it's a good amount for my table display and that's about how many i typically sell at a show. i'd whip up more but it is SO labor intensive. it's so great how popular they are and how many folks on etsy like to include them in treasuries, i just know i'm not going to get rich making them. it's too much work! i need a robot...

cut yarns ready for knotting and winding. poor baby fontina would have loved this crazy pile of strings. we lost our sweet kitten to an undiagnosed heart defect last week. she was crazy about yarn and was forever getting into my stash and "killing" the yarns when i wasn't looking. and always paraded the mangled skein around the house for all to see. we'll miss you fontina!