Its a WoolWench Giveaway!

Posted by on February 24, 2016 in Events, Tutorials, weaving | 71 comments

Its a WoolWench Giveaway!

Oh my! I am not one for numbers, quite honestly, I don’t even know how old I am most of the time, and I don’t usually look at my Facebook stats or website numbers, but today I did and imagine this, we are over 24000 likes on my Woolwench facebook page! Wheeee! When did that happen?! I think its time to celebrate our growth and share some inspiration, so I would like to offer something special, something I have made… It is also my birthday soon too! So lets call this a double celebration! I thought about this for a little while, and what I would like to offer is a one off thing and also something that was a first for me, and I have a tradition of always giving away the first of anything I make. This was the first scarf I designed and created using circular weaving! I made this as a weave along project on the Majacraft blog complete with tutorial videos and written instructions – they are all still there in a series on the Majacraft blog if you would like to try one of these yourself! Majacraft makes the original wooden circular weaving looms and you can find out more about how to use these with their free tutorials and pattern book at the bottom of the loom page, and for more inspiration you can also visit the Circle Weaving Facebook page . We started that group way back when we had just brought out this new ‘circle weaving thing’ with our Fiberygoodness Creative Spinning course Journey to the Golden Fleece, – which we are about to relaunch for the fourth time! (wow time flies!). Since then, circular weaving has really taken off! Lots more people are joining in on this wonderfully simple and portable weaving, its just one of those mysterious things that once you start you cant stop! So here is the end result of the Circle Weave Along example that you can see me making through all the instruction videos! Modelled for me by my beautiful daughter 🙂 Scroll down to read how to get in the giveaway draw! And since this is a double celebration I will also pick  a second winner and send you your own Majacraft mini circle loom too 😉 I will ship to you anywhere in the world.. Enter with a comment below to be in the draw to win ! Please share this post and leave me a message to tell me what treats you like on your birthday! I’ll close this on (my) Sunday! GOOD LUCK! I can’t wait to see how far this scarf will travel!...

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A new Round of S3 Spin Course Enrolments

Posted by on February 4, 2016 in Events, Featured, Fiber, Workshop, Yarns | 0 comments

A new Round of S3 Spin Course Enrolments

This is always an exciting time for me, opening enrolments on one of our FiberyGoodness Spin courses! We run enrolments on the S3 Sketch Spin Scribe course every few months, and each time its wonderful to welcome new FiberyGoodness spinners into our community of like-minded fiber nuts 🙂 I especially like being able to offer the S3 course, because it is entirely self paced, people can pick it up and purely and simply enjoy being part of it, can take their time to immerse themselves in the spinning, and the inspirational stories, places, and times in each module. I like the structure that allows students to feel free to get as in-depth as they want to, with no deadline pressure or ‘getting behind’. We are all busy, but it is wonderful to have a treat waiting for us during those moments we have saved to indulge in our beloved fiber arts. If you are wondering if the S3 course might be for you, here is a bit more about it! We started off with the idea of creating a step by step ‘technique’ based spinning course, because our original (and continuing) Mothership course ‘Journey to the Golden Fleece’ is a very open, flowing, creativity driven program,  we felt it important to also offer an alternative direction for those who prefer a more straightforward and classical tuition style. However, Arlene and I do struggle to create anything that doesn’t also totally capture our imaginations! So we gave our S3 course its own personality 🙂 This course is story driven, based on my ideas about connections and continuity, ties that bind. Each module progresses the student towards more complex and creative yarn designs and techniques, backed by an ongoing series of short stories and encased in an historic time period or artistic movement. We are exploring the legacy of spinners and creatives that have come before us, and through this creating our own heirloom for future generations! The final project in the course is the creation of the heirloom journal, a record that maybe one day will be be held, treasured and shared by future generations of spinners to come. The course will guide you in the creation of the journal, it can lead you to be the record keeper, adding in samples of fiber, sheep breed information, spin techniques and yarn samples, and your observations of the process. Or you could decide to be the philosopher, write your own fiber journey story in the journal, keep all your inspiration images, colour ideas, and story prompts contained inside the pages. And then the grand finale, the course comes with these amazing Bamboo covers that Majacraft has created for us to our specifications, ready to be decorated with the unique weaving grid we incorporated into the cover! There are so many possibilities for using this, I cant even begin to describe it! Here is one of the lovely Evantia Montalvo’s photos of her cover and the first of her yarns and fibers 🙂 And here is an idea of just a few ways you can use it as I start experimenting!.. It is still a WIP but I have been weaving at different angles, crocheting, and stitched in a crochet circle too.. Also, the textbook itself is beautiful, I know a lot of people...

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Giveaway: An extended Yarn “recipe’ for wearable art!

Posted by on January 26, 2016 in ebooks, Projects, Tutorials, Yarns | 1 comment

Giveaway: An extended Yarn “recipe’ for wearable art!

This week I published a little ebook, an extended ‘Yarn Recipe’ for creating this yarn and wearable art piece. Previously I have made yarn recipes that were simple step by steps, but this time I have added in some spin tips for creating this yarn, about twist and where to add more, and it includes a new way of adding your long locks into the yarn as you ply! This means its possible to determine exactly where you will have the locks, and they are securely integrated without having to spin them into your single first.  You can read more about it and download the free ebook from our Fiberygoodness website by following the link HERE or clicking on the cover below. I hope you will enjoy this new way of adding locks and creating this textured skinny scarf, almost complete when it comes off the...

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Fibery Colouring Book!

Posted by on January 15, 2016 in ebooks | 0 comments

Fibery Colouring Book!

A couple of years ago we brought out our Journey to the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity course, (soon to be open for new registrations again, woot!) and along with it we created the Colouring Book featuring the cover page illustrations from each of the 7 modules plus the cover. Since then, adult colouring has become really big, I mean REALLY big. And yet.. I couldn’t find what I was really looking for, fiber art related colouring.. because I might be a little… obsessed… with all things fiber. So I decided to bring out a second colouring book, and this time really focus on the fiber, I did some yarn drawings, a woven pattern, a spindle with magical fiber flowing.. and created an 8 page downloadable colouring book for Fiberista’s. I have also been colouring 🙂 I printed it onto a light cardboard and went for it with my pens… I am hoping other people are going to enjoy these too! We have it in our FiberyshoppingGoodness shop page. And my plan is to bring out add on packs with new drawings every once in a while 🙂  ...

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Spun yarn Turned into Something – Project

Posted by on August 23, 2015 in Fiber, Projects, Yarns | 11 comments

Spun yarn Turned into Something – Project

I have found a new ‘favourite thing to make’ recently 🙂 And I think its a good one to answer the FAQ ‘what do you make with that yarn?’ Because its simple and quick and I reckon that if I can do it, anyone can! For this design I use a fine spun, energized single. I choose to use energized rather than plied for a reason, even though it can be a little tricky to handle because of the twist. What happens when you knit a very fine spun single (and I don’t wash and set it either) is that the energy in it actually opens up the stitches creating a really neat lacey look. I used size 25 needles for this, so I think the bigger the better. It also creates a really wonderfully stretchy fabric when knitted, just great for a scarf/shawl! I also use a heavy lockspun yarn, with as much texture as I can get in it. So the simple part is the pattern! All I did was cast on one, then add one stitch at the beginning and end of each row. Basically I just keep knitting (garter stitch) till I use up all my single. Then I take my giant crochet hook and crochet the lockspun with a single crochet stitch all along the long edge. I pretty much have three times the length of that edge in lockspun yarn which seemed to be adequate. Thats it, simple! And quick, and I love wearing these 🙂  And now I am going to inundate you with photos of them!...

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Brave

Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | 6 comments

Brave

Over the last year, as part of our Fiberygoodness activity, we have released a range of ‘Yarn Recipe Cards’. These are simplified instruction cards for spinning different kinds of yarns, completed with step by step photos. The first was a set of 12, mostly yarn designs I have worked on and developed over the last couple of years. The second set was an collaboration between Arlene (Spin Artiste) and I, and it was prompted by the words of the late Maya Angelou, an amazing woman with some astounding insights. This was Arlenes suggestion and challenge 🙂 And I say challenge because it often is just that, taking words, or some kind of abstract concept, and turning that into a tangible and solid form, in this case yarn. To me this is what makes a yarn ‘art’ – the layer of concept and abstraction that has caused it to be created at all! This is exciting to me and I love the thought exercise it gives me as well. Arlene is especially good at selecting these challenges! We chose three quotes each to work on. Today I want to share with you the motivation and explanation of one of the three yarns I came up with, it is my no twist single: ‘Brave”. This is why. The quote: In the flush of love’s light we dare be brave And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love that sets us free. (Maya Angelou)   I adore these words. To me these words describe unconditional love, simple but complicated, daring and full of risk, and yet it leads to ultimate freedom. Love challenges us to take chances, to be brave, it takes everything we are and we give that freely, and that act itself returns our freedom to us, in my mind it is all about letting go, and acceptance, and the consequence is the removal of fear. How to express that in yarn? wow! Its so BIG! This is my attempt… The Yarn: Along with the recipe cards, Arlene and I both did a short write up about each yarn design and how we related the words to the fiber. I would like to share with you what I wrote about this yarn, and Maya’s words. I hope it gives you some ideas for your own creations and another way to form a bridge between concept and concrete in your fiber work. Brave. A Woolwench yarn. I really connected with the notion of love requiring bravery, also that it offers us the chance to BE brave and even pushes us into taking risks. This prompted my idea for creating a very very low twist yarn, in fact this yarn has almost no twist at all, when the definition of spinning is really.. adding twist to fiber. Is this then what it costs me? Letting go of that fundamental principle that has pushed my spinning, so far, to extreme plying? When I think about my loves light being my passion for fiber, and the places that has taken me, this leads to the gold shiny thread that is holding this yarn together and even makes it possible. It’s unsubstantial, and yet its is what binds the fibers into their form, it provides strength, and without...

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Gridded!

Posted by on July 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Gridded!

I just saw that the last post I made was the free recipe card with my new yarn design, I hope lots of people have tried this out and had some fun with it! Today I want to share my latest little passion with you! For a long time I have been yearning to find the time to explore book binding. This is because (confession time) I am a total stationery geek. I love notebooks, pens, fresh sheets of paper, different kinds of surfaces, and embellishments. I have seen so many amazing and inspirational things that people have done making their own books, and about 6 months ago I bought a bookbinding book, packed with different ways to put paper together! I swore to myself that I would one day work my way through that book, one recipe at a time. Well ok, that day hasnt yet come, BUT I did manage to incorporate some book making into our latest Fiberygoodness project! I learned about Coptic binding and discovered, it wasnt as hard as I thought it would be! Yay! I did some experimenting and came up with a design for some book covers, ready to go with a neat little coptic binding. The project I wanted it for was to create a record book/journal/study book to go with the course, that could turn into quite an heirloom piece. To me that meant that the entire project should be hand crafted, not just sticking stuff into a notebook off a shelf, but really crafted, page by page into something that could become really special. I talked to my mate Andy at Majacraft and sent him my design. Well ok I sent him several.. but this one worked the best, and YES he could make these for us to go with the course!  So there are a couple of reasons why I am so excited about this 🙂 FIrstly, I LOVE that this will make a really special book, a bound manuscript or an adventurers journal.. It was a very very satisfying thing to make. And secondly, because I designed it to be customised, see that grid of holes in the front? That is so cool.. it can be a weaving grid, warped at any angle and even in different sections. Or it can be a stitching board to sew into like giant cross stitch, or it can be used to sew a knitted or crocheted sample or mini artwork onto, or ALL those things at once!In this photo above you can see how I warped it in two directions… and in the end I also cross stitched over the entire weaving:This was just my first weaving, I had so many ideas for ways this grid could be used, I need to make many many more book covers, or even see if Majacraft can make these as ‘ready to hang’ decorative frames of different sizes, I have more designs ready to go for the surrounds too, perhaps it would be fun to make some themes ones too! And I am loving the bamboo that Andy chose to make this from, its a rich colour that looks amazing behind the wool.  I am not sure yet what to call this, because to name it a ‘weaving grid’ seems really restricting when...

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Yarn Recipe!

Posted by on June 14, 2015 in Fiber, Projects, Tutorials, Videos, Yarns | 1 comment

Yarn Recipe!

I realise that my posts here are becoming a little more sparse than they used to, the simple reason being that I am more regularly blogging over our on Fiberygoodness.com website, I find it difficult to blog in two places! However apparently I have no trouble spinning on two wheels, although I havent yet figured the trick for doing that all at the same time.. yet.. Anyway I am just going to repost here the same thing as I posted last week on the Fiberygoodness blog, just because I would like everyone to share this fun yarn recipe I made up 🙂 Heres the post..! This week we would like to share something with you! Perhaps you already know about our Fiberygoodness Yarn Recipe series (for sale in our shop), these are spin techniques largely developed by myself (Woolwench/Suzy) and Arlene (the awesome SpinArtiste). They have included quite a variety of spin recipes and one of my favourites has been Arlenes ‘Helix’ yarn, a method of integrating locks into a ply. I love including the concept and activity of weaving into everything I do 🙂 Well I carried on playing with this technique, and not too long ago was lucky enough to be up to my elbows in the most amazing Teeswater locks at the farm of Virginia Scholomiti (The Yellow Farm) USA. I was teaching, and it seemed logical to focus the weekend on… locks! And now was my chance to do some more Helix spinning, this time adding locks into an Nply weave. I used some of the colours we had been dyeing that weekend and a neutral single I had spun earlier and made this:Up till now, the only people I have shared this technique with were the ones at the workshop 🙂 And I say up till now because.. today we would like to share the yarn recipe with YOU! It has morphed a little since I did that one, but mostly in the colours I have chosen, I have been busy with a lot of rainbows recently (for reasons that will be revealed in the next couple of months) and so I wanted to see what this one would look like in rainbow colours. I had a stash of rainbow locks that Arlene and I had dyed together in the US, and this rainbow batt just calling my name, and this is what i came up with 🙂   You can get your free download  with instructions to spin this yarn by clicking the image right here: I also made a video to go with the recipe card, in which you can see each step of the construction of the yarn pictured. I hope you like it!  (Go to ‘fullscreen’ or watch on the WoolWench You Tube Channel) We would love to see what you make with this recipe! Remember the colour possibilities are endless, and please feel free to show us any variations of your own that you come up with! Either here or on our Facebook Group ...

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The Yellow Farm

Posted by on April 22, 2015 in Events, Workshop, Yarns | 2 comments

The Yellow Farm

Or should I say, the Yellow Farm turns rainbow! Last weekend I spend an immensely enjoyable time with an amazing group of fiberistas at the Yellow Farm. Virginia is the most wonderful host and not only did she provide us with splendid lodgings and tasty sustenance, she also turned on the perfect spring weather for our dye day. Virginia was also assisted this weekend by Pam Blasko who took wonderful care of us, and they both understood my jetlag and kept the coffees coming 🙂 I only wish there had been more time, I feel like it was such a whirlwind and such brief visits with these lovely friends. But to top it off, there were also LAMBS! Gorgeous little Teeswater lambies 🙂   Despite the distraction of the lambies we did get stuck into some dyeing on Saturday, Virginia had everything we needed there, tables, heating, hot water, and lots of sunshine. We used Country Classic dyes supplied by the lovely Ashley Ann, the colours were delightful and just perfect for this Spring weather.   Of course we were treated to some of Virginias farm grown locks, and I can’t say enough about the quality of the fiber being produced on the Yellow Farm, its a real treat to both dye and spin. We also dyed some yarns and rovings as well as the locks, and we worked on a range of techniques to get some different effects in the different kinds of fibers.     The next day we started spinning up those lovely locks! We tried a range of techniques to bring out the texture in the fibers     Nancy did a beautiful job of her lock spinning   and Hope created some great wearable skeins!   and I made up a new technique to play with the pretty locks, I’m going to call this one Curl:     And my beautiful bestie Arlene created something VERY special with the help of some friends, Carol and Ginny) We will be sharing this at SWAY festival this coming weekend, but here is a sneak peak 🙂 Much thanks to everyone who came along, I really enjoyed spending time with this wonderful group of creative people. It was the best start to my visit to the USA! And now I am looking forward to a Studio day, just me and Arlene and a bunch of fiber and wheels 🙂 Heaven! Next update from Sarasota...

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Majacraft Fusion Engine Drum Carder

Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Fiber, Observations, Tutorials, Videos | 4 comments

Majacraft Fusion Engine Drum Carder

  A couple of weeks ago I wrote a review on the Majacraft Fusion Engine Drum Carder, and I thought it might be a good idea to follow that up with a video showing some of the cool features it has. One of these features is a special favourite of mine, partly because I had a role in its development! When I was out in NZ in 2013 I was able to use the prototype carder that Majacraft had developed at that stage. It was pretty much as you see it now (although there have been invisible changes and ‘tweaks’ since then), and there has since been one addition that I am very proud of, the Direct Injection Tray. This is an accessory for the carder that allows you to make super textured batts for creative yarns. It came about as I was playing around with the carder, Andy had asked me to put it through its paces, (he also told me to try and break it because they needed to know it would handle anything that was thrown at it.) I had made some lovely smooth and blended batts on it, and then wanted to make some really textured ones, with lots of locks and add ins. I figured if it was going to break, it would happen if it got jammed up with lots of fibre. I found that the carder was actually so very efficient, it was difficult to get it to ‘stop’ opening up the texture in the locks I was feeding in, as it beautifully spreads them out over the big drum in even a single pass. I looked at the clever design with the feedtray placed up high and how it increased the time fiber spends on the licker by feeding it in at the top. So I bypassed that tray and held the fiber at the bottom of the licker-in to see what would happen. And there it was! From that position the fiber gets whacked directly onto the main drum, retaining most of its textured locky glory! I told Andy about this and suggested that it was an ideal position for feeding in ‘fiber sandwiches’, stacks of fiber that effectively stash the textured stuff between two smooth layers. In no time Andy had created the Direct Injection feedtray that allows this feed position to be used with no danger to fingers or fiber. And it works brilliantly! This feature gives me the option of creating any kind of batt I want on the one machine. Using the standard 72tpi cloth I can create beautiful smooth blended batts AND crazy, highly textured fiber batts suitable for all kinds of creative yarn spinning. There is one thing that I really recommend doing when you use the Direct Injection tray: use your adjusters to move the licker drum as far back as it will go, this leaves a nice wide gap between the drums, which means firstly that your fibers wont get opened up too much, and secondly that they won’t jam up the carder when you feed that fiber stack in, your carder will continue to move easily and shouldnt need a lot of muscle power to turn. Once again Majacraft has created a tool with more adjustability than most others on the market. This video demonstrates...

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