Thursday, November 17, 2011

Knit One...Kill Two... giveaway...

This is Maggie Sefton's first knitting mystery books and,
one of her most popular,

"Despite the fact that her aunt was an expert knitter,
Kelly Flynn never picked up a pair of knitting needles she liked
—until she strolled into House of Lambspun.
Now, in the first in a brand-new series, she learns
 how to knit one, purl two, and untangle the mystery behind
 her aunt's murder."   --excerpt form back of book

I'm listening to this on audio-book and am REALLY
enjoying it!

You can read more about the author and her other books...

enter to win* by doing...the following

 -ONE ENTRY to win-
 - Please, leave a you like (not like) to
knit? or have you never tried, but want to? Beginner"
or very accomplished knitter?

-THREE ENTRIES (more) to win-
 - if you blog about it and leave a separate comment
 that you did.

Giveaway Thursday November 24th midnight MT

*to win, must be a follower

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wasatch Woolpack Spinning Saturday

Last Saturday, about 10 of us got together for
some fun fiber chatter-ee and eats.
I wish I had taken more pictures!! I will have to
be more diligent behind the lens, next time.

There were 6 different spinning wheels, someone using
a drop spindle, a couple of people were knitting too.

We did show and tell...each object shared would
garner a ticket to win...there were 4 little goodie bags to win.

Here one of the ladies was sharing a knitted
purse/satchel that she was going to felt.

And, here are some very fun and whimsical
"thigh" high striped socks. 
(sorry the picture is so blurry)

We ate some yummy vegetable chili and
had chocolate dipped banana and apple slices.

I learned soooo much from all of the talented
knitters/spinners that shared that day!

====   ===   ===   ===   ====

This is some great fiber purchased at
Oregon Flock and Fiber this last September

4 oz of roving
50% Merino ~ 25% Bamboo ~ 25% Tussah Silk

spun single ply...eventually to be 2 ply.
I'll show the plied yarn... in a future post (hopefully!)
The thought is to make a small neck scarf.  It's
so soft and even tho, it will be light weight,
it will be very warm.

====   ===   ===   ===   ====

Did EWE know?

Sheep were domesticated 10,000 years ago in
Central Asia, but it wasn't until 3,500 B.C. that man
learned to spin wool.

Friday, November 11, 2011

spin...dye...stitch... Oh! My!

Oh...MY...this is one of my favorite fiber-eee books!

This is a grrrrr....reat book by Jennifer Claydon.
If you want to make your own one-of-a-kind yarn, then,
this is the book for YOU!
But, even if you don't want to dye your own fibers...
this is still a great book for the fundamentals of the
spinning wheel and spinning. 
The pictures are all wonderful. Instructions/explanations
of different aspects of spinning and creating yarn
can be clearly understood even for the beginner.

If you don't see this book at your local fiber shop...
check out Amazon...where you can look inside the book.

So...let me know with your comments...are you
a well "seasoned" spinner, a beginner, or have you never
spun on a spinning wheel?  If you've never you think
you would like to try someday?  What would need to happen
to get you on the road to starting to spin?
I LUV spinning!  It is one of the most relaxing hobbies
that I have ever encountered...and, I have met up with
MANY a crafty hobby...fur shore =P

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday's Fiber Play...Oct 28th

It started out looking like this...
It's a roving of Yak, Merino and Bamboo.
This combination is really soft and when spun it
has a kind of springy-ness.

To help you see where the fibers were "born"
read below.  =)

Yaks have a course outer coat that is used
for making things like rope.  It's the soft undercoat
that is mainly used for spinning. The softness
is often compared to cashmere.  But, the fiber
is short.  So, it is blended with other fibers
like wool and/or silk.

 is very fine and very the realm of sheepdom.
It is a wool used to make garments that will be next to
the skin.  It is quite greasy tho and can become matted
easily.  So, processing it into fiber to spin...takes extra
effort and care.  But, imho, it's truly worth it.  I will post
more about the wide range of wool/sheep, in the future.
  And, about the wonderful and unique properties of wool.

The bamboo content in the roving
I have pictured above - the one in the brown bucket,
...actually came from the bamboo plant.  Isn't that
amazing?  It's really hard for me to think that
the VERY soft shiney fiber comes from the stalk
of wooden-like bamboo.  This fiber has been
compared closely to silk.  But, it is less expensive,
a bit shinnier, and slippery-er.

Hanging around waiting for it's warm bath...

* two things learned*
I found out after the fiber was washed and
dried to set, that I tied the turquoise figure 8s,
that I tied too tight.  There were lines when
I took off the ties.  =( .  I think that if I rewash,
the lines might come out. I'll let you know.

Another thing learned from the last few
fiber-to-yarn experiences is that:
If I want to spin equal amounts onto the
bobbins, I need to divide the roving into
equal parts firsts BEFORE I start to spin.

Why would I need the bobbins to have equal
amounts of single ply yarn?  Well, when plying the
two single ply yarns...some would be left
on one bobbin, while the other would be empty.
Is that clear as mud? Or does it make any sense?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday's Fiber Play...

A good friend gave me a really wonderful
prepared roving of merino and tencil...
Here pictured are two bobbins of single plied...
sitting in a lazy kate.

Spinning two ply...

With the drivebands taken off the whirl and the bobbin,
 so the bobbin can spin free...

the plied yarn is wound onto a kniddy-knoddy.

After washing gently in warm slightly sudsy water and
then, rinsed in cool water...the yarn is left to dry on a towel.
It rests in a relaxed position of it's choice...plumping/fluffing
as the twist becomes set.

Once completely's ready to become something
special like a scarf or hat.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Visiting the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival...

Calling OFFF a "fiber feast" is an
exaggerated UNDER-statement!
It was a fiber enthusiasts..."heaven"!
We drove about 20 minutes south of our
hotel...arriving right at 9am...just as the festival opened.
The weather was very cooperative...even tho
I did miss those Pacific Northwest clouds.

We were so excited! Our first stop was the
Woolie Winder booth so that I could purchase
2 more bobbins for my Majacraft Susie spinning wheel.

Our VERY next stop was at the
I've been communicating thru emails with
Mr Hansen and his wife since 2009...when they
 first started selling their
"miraculous" mini-spinning machine.
I approached them with the idea of making it
out of exotic wood...and, not very long after,
...I was the proud owner of a
Bloodwood Minispinner with Maple Woolie Winder
and Maple's  #21
I was so excited to actually meet them in person.

They are two of the nicest...most fun
people I've ever met...also MOST talented and
clever for creating such a simple and unique
product.  Can you tell I'm in LUV with my
Hansen electric?  I have to admit, while mozeee-ing
around the booth...there was some bad news.
Well, bad news for my wallet.  I came across
a display shelf with...probably, more than a half
dozen new, pristine minispinners.  Several of them
were made of beautifully colored, wonderfully grained
exotic woods. special one seemed to keep
calling..."annie....AAAAnnnnie...." Then, in a quiet sultry
whisper..."taaaayK....meee...hooOHme with you"
Now, Mr Hansen speaks telling me that this
particular one is part of small group (maybe12-15)
 "Anniversary Issue" designed spinners.
This particular one...that I was holding...
 numbered 1001.
So...I'm now the proud owner of TWO
wonderful Hansen Electric Minispinners.

My new limited edition minispiner.  =)
This booth had some lucious feeling fibers...and
some wonderful colors too.  One thing I really liked
about her display was that about 90% of her colorways
and/or different fiber content rovings...had spun samples.
It can be difficult to look at a roving and guess what it
will look like spun into yarn.  Granted, my spinning would
be different from hers...but, at least I have an idea
of what the end product might look like.

Below are two of my purchases...just petting them...
brings on the endorphins!

I'm kicking myself because I didn't take pictures
of one of our Utah representative vendors.
Judy is one of the most sharing/caring fiber
teacher and vendor I know!  She always has
fun things in her booth to "loop/roving" to make
rugs.  Her prices are really good and she is so
patient to answer just about any fiber-eee
question you might have.  She is a REAL
regular at OFFF and has one of the nicest booth
areas to prove her patience to work up the "list"
to get her special location...inside and with a breezy
access to two doors.

This is me with Hazel Rose of
What a REALLY NICE lady she is!  The frame looms
that they make are really practical and easy to use.
 But, the added wonderfulness of the Hazel Rose Looms
is that they are made out of beautiful, strong woods...
with simple care, they will last a lifetime...or even longer.

This booth was stuffed to the gills with fiberee toys,
 books and gifts, along with some very yummy fibers
for spinning. They had the most variety of new/for sale
spinning wheels.  You could sit and try any of them.
Morgaine...was very helpful in helping the prospective
spinning wheel buyer...pic the wheel that was just right
for them. 
This is also the booth where I was able to purchase
the "famous" Zuca rolling bag.  It's perfect for
carrying the Hansen Minispinner with accessories.
The Pro-Zuca is airline approved for carry-on and only
weighs also doubles as a chair securely
supporting up to 300lbs.

Below, can you see something furry?...
checking out the new "throne" for
the Hansen minispinner?

After our day of living in "Fiber Heaven"...
we had great low calorie (NOT!!!), YUMMY
finger-licking, lip-smacking ...dinner at
Then, my VERY sweet chauffeur took
me to my hotel near the Portland airport
and I flew back home early the next morning.

So....whuddda you think? Are you "ON" for
shopping at a FIber Festival in Oregon next year?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

just bopping in to announce...

The WINNER of the picture book


WINNER is....

Connie from Iowa

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Master Spinner in Action...

This is a great interview with a Pat Maley,
a Master Spinner. 

I would LUV to "hear" what you think about this
video.  Does it look fun?...easy?
When you watch...does it energize you to
want to SPIN?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sheep in a Jeep ...giveaway!

Yeah... that's probably not going to happen...
in real life, anyway.
But, this is just one of several
great picture books about a group
of crazy sheep "girls" driving thru the country.
It has funny phrases...that rhyme and are fun to
read aloud.

Several other titles with these "silly" sheep
and their antics are...

Sheep in a Shop
Sheep Out to Eat
Sheep Trick or Treat
Sheep on a Ship

I do...of course...have them all! Yep, and
sometimes, I even sit and read them to myself.

So... do you have a favorite children's
Sheep Book?

If not, that's quite okay.  I'm sure there aren't any
sheep that would be offended. I certainly won't. 

But, if you would like a
Sheep in a Jeep book of your VERY own...
then, please leave a comment...
and mention that you are a follower...

**Drawing will be Thurs Sept 15th (midnight MT time)**

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Have you any wool?

Sheep...they have wool.

waiting to be turned into yarn...and then, well...
maybe a scarf or a hat or...?
What's a "raw" fleece you might be asking?
It is the coat...
right off the sheeps back...literally.
The sheep doesn't have to give it's life to share it's coat.
It can share it's coat many times over, and....
When their coat is cut/shorn off, it doesn't hurt.
There are professional sheep shearers...
A good "sheep barber" is becoming harder to find.
Depending on location, the shearing cost can be
around $2.75 per sheep, and a minimum of $35 per farm.
But, at four minutes a sheep that amounts to
$41.25 an hour.
World shearing records :  One sheep @ 38 seconds;
720 sheep @ 9 hours,
But, some sheep have another coat that goes over
their wool coats.  Really? and, WHY is that?
their wonderful wool coats...
Many spinners prefer to buy fleeces that have
been covered by jackets because this keeps the
sheep's wool much cleaner. 
After fleece is off of the sheep, the fleece
needs to be skirted.  Skirting a fleece is to trim
off sections where the wool isn't of good quality or
where it is really dirty.
The picture below was found on Spinderella's Fiber Mill
Click on the link to read more great info on
skirting fleeces.
wool fleece