Monday, November 23, 2009

How do I do it? Coreless Corespinning and Crazy Wrapping. Techniques & Tricks

Here's the second article in my "How do I do it?" technique series. I started with "regular" corespinning so you could get the feel of corespinning, and wrapping the fiber around a core. Once you've gotten that down you can move onto some other corespinning techniques.

One of my favorites is corespinning the fiber onto itself- or coreless corespinning!! It's super cool and once this is mastered, then doing cocoons is SUPER easy.. since it's basically the same thing in just one place.. In this video I also demonstrate crazy wrapping with thread. This is a textural element that is super fun and easy to incorporate into any yarn.

Here's a pic of the final yarn. You can see how light and fluffy it is. The pic was taken before the twist was set, but it'll do :)

As always, please post any questions you may have and share your coreless corespun yarns. I also would love to hear suggestions on what corespun techniques you'd like to see me demonstrate.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How do I do it? The In's and Out's of Corespinning, Spinning Sequins & Adding in unusal objects. Techniques & Tricks!

I've had LOTS of people ask me to give some tricks and tips for some of my art yarn techniques. So, at least once a month I'm going to post a video demonstration of a different technique. Please feel free to give me some suggestions on what technique's you'd like me to show.

I've gotten the most requests for corespinning.. so here we go as our first in the How do I do it? series- Corespinning the In's and Out's!

First of all it's important to have all of your supplies ready and at your fingertips-

After you are prepped and ready to go.. you have to attach the core to your yarn before you can begin wrapping the fiber. This clip shows how to attach your core, and begin corespinning. I explain where to pinch- so you DO NOT build up too much twist. That's the biggest problem I hear from people, is that their corespun yarns are totally overspun. If you try to pinch to the side of the core, rather than onto it, it should help take care of that overspinning.

In this third part, I show you how to spin sequins strands securely into your corespun yarns. I also talk about how to prep them for spinning.

Next we come to almost the end of my yarn and I want to spin in an add in that's too large to fit thru the orifice. I show the trick I've come up with to bypass the orifice- by spinning in the dangly ornament BEHIND the oriface- so it can wind right onto the bobbin! It's pretty cool!!

Finally, I show how to end your corespun yarn, so that the core is secure inside the yarn and you don't have to worry about the fiber unwrapping from the core.

Here's the final yarn.. this pic was taken before the twist was set.. but it'll do-

So that's it.. that's how I spin my corespun yarns- and some of my tricks for adding in fun stuff!! Please post any questions you have- and share your corespun yarns!! I'd also love to know any thing else you've seen in my shop that you'd like to see me demonstrate.

'Tis the Season to send a Stocking Stuffer Custom Gift Batt!!

'Tis the Season to give the perfect gift to the spinner, felter and all around fiber addict in your life. What does a fiber lover want more than FIBER?!?! Send a custom batt full of color, sparkle and texture to a special friend (or yourself!) this holiday season!!

This batt will be 3.5 - 4 oz of fiber, plus add in's to work into your yarn or finished project. The batt could contain any/all of the following fibers: merino top, alpaca top, merino fleece, corridale fleece, coopworth locks, merino/cormo fleece, cotswold locks, kid mohair locks, rambouliet fleece, targhee fleece, romney locks, alpaca locks, llama locks, bamboo, silk, milk protein fiber, black diamond, sari silk strands, sari silk yarn, sari silk ribbon, novelty yarn snippets, recycled yarn snippets, silk noil, bamboo noil, cotton noil, banana silk, thread waste, firestar, angelina, lurex, tinsel, sequins

Once you make your purchase, I will send you an email with a few questions about your batt! You'll be able to include any special color requests, whether you'd like a holiday theme or not, glitz/no glitz, allergies..etc. There will also be a place for you to add the name and address of the recipient and any message you'd like me to include.

These batts will ship with regular Tues/Thurs packages- as Hanukkah starts early this year. If you'd like me to hold your purchase until Dec 15th, there will be a question about that in the email you recieve, so just let me now and I'll ship on the 15th so it arrives just before Christmas. Shipping is set so that packages will be sent individually, however if you'd like more than one batt to go to the same place, let me know and I'll refund the difference or set you up a reserved listing.

New Fiber, Sparkle and Glass Christmas Ornaments

I'm so in love with these ornaments! Full of color and sparkle.. bring your love of fiber to your holiday tree! These are PERFECT for gifting! Ready made ornaments are avaliable in the shop, and custom ornaments can be created!
These ornaments are created with perfect curly locks and sparkle, or bits of carded fiber. They celebrate color and will glitter when they hit light.
They will be sent in a little bag with a silver tie, ready for gifting. Come to the shop to check them out!! New colors go up every few days!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Art Yarn- Let it Go; Camp PluckyFluff Chicago 2009

Well, I'll start my "What did I do this summer" series of blog posts with the MOST amazing weekend ever!!! I was SO lucky to be the host of the first Chicago Camp PluckyFluff with Lexi Boeger, the author of Intertwined, the Art of Handspun Yarn. This weekend includes 2 days of intense art yarn spinning and crazy carding! It's also a wonderful chance to meet other spinners and fiber artists!!

I picked up Lexi on Friday afternoon and we had a book signing at our workshop local, the amazing Loopy Yarns, at the old Dearborn Station in Chicago's downtown.

It was a wonderful evening of wine and snacks and meeting some spinners I had only known over the interweb!!

After the signing, Lexi and I went to see some good friends of mine that happened to be playing at my favorite jazz bar, The Green Mill. This was really kizmit as I spent SOOOO many nights at the Mill when I lived in Chicago (one of the city's most well known, and oldest jazz bars... once owned by Al Capone's crew), as well as the band that was playing was the group I was on the road with when I met my now husband. I hadn't seen them play in over a year.. and they just "happened" to be in the City and playing that night! Lexi and I were able to skip the line (thanks to the awesome guest list +1) and just mosey into the bar! It was a great evening of jazz and whiskey! Lexi and I hung out for as long as possible.. and then back to the hotel to rest up for the next day's spinning extravaganza.

Sat started with a tour of the "sharing" area. It's SO amazing how generous people can be!! All of our spinners (we had 16 people of ALL ages!!) brought stuff to share!!

And that's just the FIBER/Carding area!! I didn't even get a shot of the "add in's" table which had plying yarns, ribbons, fabric, feathers, bells and anything else you could imagine!!
We were really blessed with an incredible group of spinners! We had all types of spinners as well.. from folks like me who spin primarily art yarns, to some who were just dipping their feet into the art yarn pool.. to our youngest member, a 13y/o boy who'd started spinning because he liked the yarns he saw in his Grandma's magazines.

SO.. first we spent some time in the carding area, where Lexi demo'd her "crazy carding" where she put "fiber sandwichs" thru the carder for super textured batts!!

We started with spinning our new crazy carded batts.. and just letting the fiber be spun as it wants. For me, this is the way I always spin.. lumpy, bumpy- just let it happen. For some, though, this was very difficult. Letting not evening out the slubs or neps.. we came up with our weekend Mantra- It's Art Yarn- Let it Go! Lexi also demo'd adding things into a single like sequins, fabric, feathers and other goodies.

Lexi Spins her Crazy Batt

My Crazy Batt yarn on the niddy noddy

The rest of the day we spent like the beginning- spinning and spinning and spinning!
It was so wonderful to finally sit and spin with my ravelry/etsy internet friends Jenna (Pumpknpunk) and Mary (butterflygirl)

We did thread plying techiniques like grannystacks, coils and beehives. We added cocoons and plied them into halo's. My cocoons were firestar and angelina.. sparklelicous!!

At the end of the first day the floor looked like a sparkle fairy had visited us all!

That night we went and had a wonderful dinner at a local joint.. and then it happened to be Venetian night in the City and Lexi had a hotel room that looked right over the lake.. right where they shot off the fireworks.. so we were able to enjoy a post dinner show! It was quite wonderful!

Lexi kisses my fish

Fireworks from Lexi's room

Day 2 was spent as day 1.. spinning, carding and just creating!

These were the techniques I really wanted to master- corespinning without a core, translucent mohairy, extreme tailspinning and Lexi's most difficult, aura. it was a wonderful day and I got to master all 3!

Lexi tailspinning

Lexi Spinning Aura

Me tailspinning

It was an amazing weekend! I spun 8 yarns.. mastered difficult techniques I'd been working on for awhile.. spun with new girlfriends and just had a totally creative weekend!

My yarns

New "real" friends- Mary (butterfly girl), Lexi, Me, Heather (girlwithahook), Natalie (cloudlover) and Jenna (PumpknPunk)

I can't wait until April when I bring Lexi down here to North Carolina and I do it all again!!

Tomorrow.. the next best weekend of the summer.. spinning backstage at Bonanroo music festival!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ok.. I admit it.. I suck at blogging!!

But I PROMISE that for the rest of the year, I'm going to be BETTER!! I can't believe it's already Nov 1!! The entire summer is gone.. and I haven't even told you about what I did!!
I'll break it up into a few posts tonight, so it doesn't get too overwhelming.. for me that is, not you!! LOL!!

So, I'll get started on those posts now.. and until then, watch for a HUGE fiber update to start tonight and go thru all day tomorrow! LOTS of stuff going up.. including TWO 2 heavy worsted/bulky 2plies! YEP.. 2plies!!