A Free Offerings and Chicken Salad kinda day.

A Free Offerings and Chicken Salad kinda day.

Today was a pretty epic day! Today I published my first ebook right here on my website! I also went to the supermarket, posted some stuff, and managed to cook a pretty damn tasty chicken salad for dinner. But the biggie was the book! (although I am sure my kids think dinner was the biggie and NOT the book). It took me some time to write it, it started out as a collection of answers to various questions I needed to answer in order to complete my HandSpinners Certificate with the New Zealand Creative Fibres guild (which I passed with merit! YAY). When I had finished, I was already thinking how useful I had found the information, some if it I already knew, some was new to me, but most importantly, here it suddenly all was, in ONE place! I thought that there was also a chance someone else might find this stuff handy to know too. I also already had photos of fleece in its unwashed, and washed states. ok I ‘know’ it might not be utterly normal to have those photos in my possession just for the sake of it… My daughter is still complaining that our holiday plans are dictated by where the fiber festivals are being held, I know that its geeky XD But what the hell, youre reading this page, so I bet you totally get it too! Anyway, the book. This is the first, its quite specific to spinners, and I think for any kind of spinner, but the next one, due out soon, is going to be handy to many people and not just spinners and fiber addicts lovers. My next book is going to be on photographing your creations to display online, like in your Etsy shop! I get a LOT of people contacting me to tell me how much they like my photos, its always lovely to hear that! because we have put a lot of effort into getting them to look the way they do! I say ‘we’ because my husband has been instrumental in the technical side of the photography, while I have worked on creating a style and ‘look’ to try to make my photos instantly identifiable as WoolWench pics – branding I guess. Of course I am no photography expert whatsoever, but what I ‘can’ share with you in the book is, a bit about the kind of equipment you can use, some technical stuff about lighting (dont worry, if ‘I’ can understand it, its not very technical!), and some of my starting off ideas to help inspire you in finding your own style and look for your photos.  The reason I want to do this book is...

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Experimentation

Experimentation

So often we see only the end (and best) results of peoples experimentation. It makes it look effortless doesnt it? My daughter once complained that her sketches didnt look as good as the ‘sketches’ shown in her How to Draw Manga book, but of course they all had their rough sketch lines removed, the mistakes rubbed out, and what was left was a perfect looking line drawing presented as progress images as details were added in stages. It looked like they started out able to draw perfect lines already. That kind of thing sometimes makes me feel… inadequate. Its even easier to feel that way these days, with online groups, Facebook, Twitter, people posting a steady stream of wonderful  ‘look what I just made’ images of beautiful finished items. In the online groups I frequent I see amazing yarns pictured on bobbins, incredible knits, beautiful dye jobs, total eye candy and the poster (quite rightly) proudly sharing their creation. Its enough to make you want to just stick to what you know you can do well so you also have something to bring to show and tell! I know I can dye pretty rainbow rovings and make nice yarns with it. So I do that. Often. I also know I can spin a nice coil yarn, and people seem to like those! So I do that too. But sometimes its too easy to get in a rut, staying with the things we feel safe with. As a fiber hoarder collector its also difficult to imagine wasting any of the wonderful fibers in my possession, I dont want to risk a single staple to some weird idea that I dont know if it will work or not! Crazy right? But sometimes I get ideas (usually after my third coffee) and occasionally retain them in my head long enough to start thinking I want to do them and planning how. It requires experimentation. I saw it work for the cat once. She saw the pond and glimpsed that flash of gold as the fish darted under a lilypad. It must have caught her imagination, because she sat there just watching. I know she was thinking because the tip of her tail was twitching. She sat there a long time. I got bored and left. She still sat there, but the next time I looked she had changed her  position. Much closer to the pond and on the shady side. Clearly she was after the fish. The risk involved was of course a fate worse than death for a cat, getting wet. She could have stuck with her usual activities, sleeping, eating, meowing for food, waiting by the fridge for food, sneaking...

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And the Winner is…..!!!

And the Winner is…..!!!

Thank you everyone who came and commented on my brand new website and Welcome post! It has been a huge effort to put the website together but I think everything is working now and your comments and feedback have been brilliant! I am pleased to announce that the winner of the draw is Monica of Craftwich Creations on Etsy!! She is selling the most stunning hand crafted crochet hooks ever too, I was just totally sidetracked browsing her shop 🙂  Congratulations Monica! I will be emailing you too. If it wasnt you this time, I wish I could choose everyone who took the time to say hello.. but I will be doing more giveaways in future.. so keep entering when you see one, as we say in New Zealand.. you gotta be in to win! I appreciate all the positive feedback and suggestions, I already added a ‘creations’ gallery to show some of the things I have been making with my yarns, and still to come is a free e-book section with woolie information for spinners and a soon to come booklet of designs and patterns to use with my yarns! Thank you for all your support, hope to see you back soon 🙂   Suzy...

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Hobbity Feet

Hobbity Feet

Maybe you know already, I am working on a new yarn series inspired by Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It seemed appropriate since my One Wheel campaign and the fact that my wonderful wheel is in-scripted in Elvish!  So I have already made my Mines of Moria yarn (which will be revealed when the series is complete!) and I have about another 10 planned! But today I made the prototype of my ‘Hobbity Feet’ yarn, and I really love how it turned out, very hobbity! I showed a pic on my Facebook page earlier.  I love the rich brown of the natural Polwarth and the lighter brown of the Alpaca together, they make a lovely blend that I think is really Hobbit-appropriate, rich and earthy. When I posted this pic on Facebook, someone suggested it would make great slipper toppers! I thought that was a fantastic idea! Since this skein was just a prototype practice, I hadn’t spun enough to do that, (next time though!)  but I did want to see it knitted up into something to know if my spacing and ‘hairy’ fluff was a suitable amount to make a nice effect. So I kinda just started knitting with the vague idea of making a cuff, since I didnt have a lot to play with, but it got longer, and as I knitted I thought it might make a nice boot trim, and then when I had finished it and was getting my boot to try it on, my son wanted the boot with it on and I thought… hang on… it would be a cool leg/foot warmer or even a dress-up! So he modelled it for me too 🙂 I will make him a second one so he will have matching feet. It was very simple knitting, cast on, stocking stitch, being sure to pull the hobbity bits to the outside, then cast off three each end to make the point! Thats what I like about art yarns, the yarn does all the work and the knitting can be really simple...

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Welcome!!

Welcome!!

So this is it! The culmination of some days (did I say days? maybe it was more a couple of weeks) of work by me and my husband, creating my new and even-better-than-before website!! I hope youre going to really enjoy it! I wanted to make it as utterly visual as possible, because I am a very visual person and I suspect you are too, since you’re here 🙂 You probably love yarn too, love looking at it, snuggling it, knitting it, crocheting it, spinning it. I draw the line at eating it but anything else goes! I wanted a place to share stuff, where I could allow my talk to muchiness free reign, where I can make my projects and ideas available for others, and later (in a couple of weeks) where I will be hosting my upcoming free E-Books and the soon to be created Newsletter archive so you can catch up on any you might have missed. This is still then a work in progress, and I have lots of ideas for building more cool stuff into the site. I can’t wait! And since today is the first live website day!!! I am celebrating with a GIVEAWAY!!! Leave your comment here on this post to be in the draw, but first, explore my pages and galleries, then come back here and tell me what you think of the new website, and about anything you’d like to see that isnt here yet.  If you’d like to subscribe and get updates on new stuff I would love that too! The subsription stuff is here on the bottom right of the page. If youre drawn as the winner  you can choose to receive either a wonderful fluffy ART BATT or a SKEIN OF HANDSPUN WoolWench Yarn! And let me just say this, I have in my possession right now the most gorgeous white Alpaca fleece 😛 Thanks everyone, I hope you enjoy the site Suzy xxxxx...

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