8 May 2014

dyed, blended and rolled. Rolags I sold at a few shows last year

I had a great time selling last year at a few fibre festivals, wolfe island and woodstock.  This year i'm too busy with the Master spinner's program moving to august and then being unsure about how life is going to be with a small newborn around festival time.  I decided to put off selling this year, and return next season.  It's just so much work to prepare enough stock for a show with the homework i'll be having and baby things.

A few samples of rolags that people bought last year...  I love spinning rolags, and i LOVE making them even more, haha!

Still have to make six more matching ones. #rolags

#rolags #handdyed

#rolags feeling yellowy

#rolags #handdyed

#rolags bamboo nylon tencel neps Sari waste

#rolags #handdyed

#rolags nylon bamboo sari waste

here's some handspun i did with one of my sets that turned into a fun baby sweater:

Dyed blended rolled spun #rolags

Rolling and spinning.  #rolags


I've also been experimenting with similar colourways, but in two 2oz batts.  So essentially, it's the same amount of fibre, but the colourway would be spun only once on each bobbin, so you'd get one big self striping effect instead of variegated multiples.  I like the random look of the colourway repeating a bunch of times coming into and out of sync in my own knitting, but i do also love the look of a more structured striping gradation.

8 January 2014

june baby!!

A new baby will be joining us in June, and since Paul and I are total nerds, he being an actual smart nerd as he programs for a living, I had him write a super cute announcement like a little snippet of code.  I think it turned our really cute!

We are finding out gender this month, so I'll have a better idea of what to knit and sew!!!!  

In the past 8 months I've had a vendor booth at two fibre shows and actually done really well at both.  I was selling handdyed and hand blended prepared fibre in the form of rolags and batts.  I was surprised at how well I did at the shows actually, not really expecting much.  I'm way to self critical and shy, and don't really understand why people would buy stuff that I make, knowing they can do it themselves too. I'm not sure if I'm going to do any more shows, since having an actual job really makes it hard to prepare enough stock to bring.  I only have a few hours every night to really do anything, just enough time to make one or two sets.  And then, if I do commit to a show, it takes about 2 months to prepare enough stock.  And now, I'm just overwhelmed with baby preparing.  I also am still taking the OHS master spinners' course, which year 4 will fall in august.  For this, I have a HUGE project to complete and bring.  Knowing I won't spin or do anything at all after june, I have to use my time wisely for this.  Let's just call this year a write off for building a business that I know can succeed.  There are so many people dyeing and carding fibre, that I really don't think it's all that special anymore anyway. 

Below are some samples of the sets of rolags I've been working on.  Depending on how they are spun, the create a lovely undulating yarn of, in my opinion, lovely colour changes.   I dyed all the fibre, precarded blends and then blended them into rolags.

I made about 100 of these sets in total and each one is about 5oz, which is alot of fibre.  At the end of two shows i'm left with 5 sets, and I think I'm just gonna spin them all myself.  They're a fun way to spin, kind of planned in terms of colour, but the yarn feels spontaneous, and comes out with blurred self stripes.  

I'm still working on my lampwork studio.  We just have to get a gas guy in to fix one small thing with one of the gas connections, and I'm good to go.  I've been waiting forever for the studio to be ready, so a few more months is not a huge deal.  It'll be exciting when it's done though. 

22 June 2013

rainbow daybreak shawl

Rainbow Spun DaybreakShawl

A few posts back I showed some striping textured rolag/batts that I was testing.  I spun up about 1.5 oz of rainbow striped rolag/batts and knit a cool shawl by a neat designer.  The pattern is called daybreak, it's a stephen west pattern.  It's been made so many times and can look so different depending on the colour progressions and pairings.

Rainbow Spun DaybreakShawl

Here are the rolags I spun the yarn from.  I dyed it all, even the bamboo and the nepps.

Carded batts half each

Below are some more sets I've put together:

Textured Rolled Batts 2oz

Textured Rolled Batts

Textured Rolled Batts

2 4oz matching striped batts

This is a skein I spun from one of my sets:
Self striping skein

I've also been doing lots of textured mixed batts. I love adding flax, linen, sari waste, nylon and tencel... it makes such a neat blend for doing fun art yarns.  Below are some batts and a cool bubble ply skein that I did.

Bubble Ply

Textured Batts

Textured Batts

Aside from dyeing solids to blend with, I've been doing alot of low water immersion dyeing as well.  I love the look of handpainted rovings, but hate the waste of using saran wrap for steaming.  So instead, I only put about 1.5 inches of water in the pot, and organize the yarn into sections with certain areas hanging in the pot so I can still apply colour in sections or areas intentionally.  The result is really neat because they end up being more painterly.  Looser, but still controlled.

hand dyed mixed bfl

Hand dyed mixed bfl

LavenderDesert 50/30/20 Wool Silk Seacell

ForestMoss 50/30/20 Wool Silk Seacell

Seafaring 50/30/20 Wool Silk Seacell

Baby Quilt done!

Baby quilt

Baby quilt

I finished the baby quilt I was working on. It ended up being about 52 by 52 inches so a pretty good size.  The backing is a plain organic cotton and for the binding I used the leftovers from the king size I made last year.  I attempted to do free motion quilting with a darning foot i bought, but the arm on my machine is not big enough, and it was too hard to have so much of the quilt stuffed into the little area.  I put the regular foot back on and just did stitch in the ditch but of course since I didn't bother to put the walking foot on, it got a bit pinchy.  Especially the binding. It kind of did a small pinch at each pin.  I'm not good enough to go without pinning for the binding.  So it's ok though, because they're just small mistakes.  I messed up the mitering of the corners a bit too, but nothing too major. I'm still happy with it.  It's a bit busy, I wish I had some solids in my stash.  Next time I'm at the store, I'll stock up on a few metres of neat coloured solids.

Baby quilt

28 May 2013

Baby Quilt for Paul's cousin

baby quilt squares

So since my last quilting venture was an enormous king size, I've decided to do mostly smaller quilts from now on.  That one was just too large to manipulate on my machine and ironing board!   I have a few quilting mags, and I'd found a cute little baby quilt pattern in one!  I'm excited because not only is the pattern fairly simple (rotary cut and piecing), but I also get to justify buying the magazine in the first place! ha!

Right now I don't have any solids in my stash so I'm just using a bunch of sweet prints I have been collecting for a while.  Most notably, I'm breaking into my stash of 'forest pals', which is my absolute most favourite print!  SO CUTE!  Since I'm lacking some solids, the quilt is a tad bit busy, but I feel like the turquoise strawberry print gives the eye a little bit of focus.  I'm planning on putting on a white or cream coloured border, and then a green print binding.  I'm also planning to just use a nice flannel on the backing and skip the  batting.  Still loving my husqvarna emerald!

some long pieces cut:
baby quilt pieces

pieced top, still needs a border and binding:
Baby quilt in progress

27 May 2013

OHS Master Spinner year 3

Well, I just came back from year 3 of the OHS Master Spinner's education, and this year will for sure be the most work.  Hard to grasp because the previous years were also quite a bit of work.  I've so busy dyeing fibre and carding so that I could sell up there, and it went well! I only came home with a few rovings and two batt sets.  However, I did spin one of my own, and I also ended up trading most of it or buying supply up there from other students!  haha...  I was able though to figure out a few different ideas, so I'm preparing new stock to open up the etsy shop with.

Since I've been back from haliburton, I've mainly been washing fleece.  I picked up some great cormo from my friend Stella who's with my year, and another cross from my friend Bridget who's also in my year.  I've also been getting going on my year 3 exotic natural dye homework.  I chose logwood and used three afterbaths to alter the ph and colour.  I'm not looking forward to doing all the lightfast and washfast tests though, ***sigh***.

Here's the logwood skeins drying.  from left to right it's logwood, logwood plus acid afterbath, logwood plus alkaline afterbath, and logwood with copper afterbath.
Logwood natural dyes

I enjoy the darkness and deepness since with natural dyes, you usually end up with orange browns or yellows.  I still prefer acid dyes because it's really no worse environmentally and you get much more colour selection, which is my interest!

22 March 2013

belated 6 months!

We just passed our 6 month anniversary!  I've never been so happy and everyday I am more in love than before.  I feel so lucky to have found someone who makes life so full.  We have such a fun time together doing the most mundane things, and I can't imagine a moment without him in it.  Happy anniversary Noodle.  <3 p="">
Paul and Andie

16 March 2013

RIP Shannon Larrett

Although I did not know him personally, it is because of his presence that I met so many people.  Not many people can have such a positive effect on so many others.  I'm so sorry for his family and close friends for the great loss.  Caitlin, you have my dearest sympathies.  I've only chatted with you online, but you can always email or message me if you need to talk to someone.

13 March 2013


#embroidery onesie all finished up

Well a few people I know are expecting babies, and I had a 3pack of onesie blanks I bought for embroidery projects, so I decided to finally attack them with some thread and needle.  I've only done 2 out of the 3 so far, and they are on the girl side of the spectrum, so the next one is going to be just a little tie and pocket protector design for Noodle's cousin who's having a boy.  It'll be cute.

Little embroidery project I just finished on a onesie #needlecraft