Woolville New Zealand!

Posted by on October 26, 2014 in Events, Workshop | 5 comments

Woolville New Zealand!

Its pretty awesome to be back in New Zealand, and I am loving my little road trips filled with familiar yet unfamiliar views. I’ve been away a long time. I am re-seeing the amazingness that is this country, the big blue skies that go on and on till they reach the majestically misty snow tipped mountains, the open rolling hills and the light that turns them into velvet draped countours dotted with sheep and trees. I have to remind myself to watch the road more than the scenery I am driving into! This weekend has been amazing. I left early Saturday morning on a two hour drive to Woodville (aka ‘Woolville’), the home of Inspire Fibres and the venue of our two day Rainbow Blending workshop. The early morning light was amazing and I have to admit, that, the giant coffee I brought with me, and the amazing scenery, was a great way to wake up and start the day! From that point on the weekend just kept getting better and better 🙂 This is a workshop that I love doing, there is something about the rainbow colours that is infectiously fun! Tracy and I had discussed our base colours which she did an incredible job of dyeing up, we all arrived to these big buckets of lusciousness!   We had combed, carded, and locks to play with in all three primary colours, dyed in a quite specific way to best create the kinds of rainbows we wanted. As usual Tracys selection of these fibres was brilliant and the quality fantastic! And who couldnt love being greeted like this first thing in the morning..   And the fun and vibrancy wasn’t only in the fibres, this was an awesome group of people to spend the weekend with, creative, enthusiastic, relaxed, and I laughed a lot. I would like to thank everyone who came along and made this such a lovely couple of days, I really enjoyed everyones company! Here are some more photos from the weekend, we spent a day on fibre preparation, mixing up colours and making our rainbow batts and roving from the carders, hackles and the combs:   Throughout the weekend I really enjoyed everyones company, its lovely to hear the ‘kiwi’ stories again, like Cecilia’s tale about the possums, the little bits of farm talk, and of course the local information and fibre knowledge! Denise and Amelia were a constant source of laughs and Susan and Tracy looked after us wonderfully the entire weekend! (let me just say this – CHOCOLATE FISH!) Thank you EVERYONE for making this such a great weekend! And I am looking forward to seeing Denise and Cecilia again next Sunday at the spin workshop here in Napier...

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A New Journey Begins!

Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Featured | 1 comment

A New Journey Begins!

It is probably most fitting and serendipitous and really just a nice convening of time and place, but it has certainly worked out that both my transition back to New Zealand and the opening of enrolments for the next intake of participants in the Journey for the Golden Fleece course are taking place together. I think thats very cool 🙂 So here is something about the course first, and then I will share some sunshine and blue skies from home town NZ too 🙂 The course is running through our FiberyGoodness.com website (thats myself and Arlene of SpinArtiste). We both had a dream to create a fiberygoodness hub for a global community, learning, sharing, building cool stuff together… Our first and biggest offering so far is the Journey to the Golden Fleece Creativity Certificate Course. To date we have over 200 students participating in this journey, and as they are working through the 8 course modules they are creating the most amazing yarns! Take a browse through the Fiberygoodness Galleries to see the kind of incredible variations, combinations, and imaginative yarns that are being produced! The course itself is an 8 part, ten month course, in which participants will receive 8 module workbooks, each with a theme designed to enhance creativity through reflection, experimentation, and yarn design around concepts and experiences. We have had some truly wonderful feedback from participants who are finding it a great way to get out of their current creative rut, finding new ways of doing things and new ways of looking at their spinning. Some spinners have grabbed the chance to try out new techniques and materials, others have found that the coursework has helped them really find their own unique style and given them the chance to focus on what they really love about their art. We have a wonderful facebook group that is open to everyone, lots of inspiration and sharing there! We also have some participant only forums, and we send out weekly emails with updates, creativity prompts, module related ideas etc. Arlene and I are also available to help with techniques, ideas, and yarn troubleshooting.  We have made some very special connections with people during the course and are also enjoying the online spin sessions we are offering course participants to discuss the modules and spin together, its great to meet people face to face! We are now looking forward to our first group graduating, the time has gone by so fast! and we are about to release the final module! Graduates of the course receive a FiberyGoodness course Certificate, along with a wonderful wooden badge, custom made for us by Majacraft. Alumni also have lifelong access to the Members area of our website, which includes the always growing Resource Library, the super fun ‘Yarn Randomizer’ tool,  and participants Forums. Enrolments will be opening very soon! (weeks not months!!) If you havent already signed up for the Fiberygoodness newsletter, hop over there now and be one of the first to get the announcement! And in the meantime, hows about some of this amazing New Zealand sky!! From the inside of a cafe of...

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Circle Weaving Majacraft Loom Giveaway!

Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Events, weaving | 68 comments

Circle Weaving Majacraft Loom Giveaway!

Here we are today with a special announcement! Hopefully you already know about the Circle loom and the Circle Weaving group we (Andrew Poad of Majacraft and I) set up on Facebook, its a really great community of creative people doing the most creative things! We made the group because, once the Circle Looms were made and we started using them, it quickly became obvious that there are way more possibilities for their use, and what can be made with them than we had even originally anticipated. If you haven’t seen it yet check out what everyone has been doing in the group, you will be amazed too! And one of the nicest things is the spirit of helpfulness and cooperation you will find there too, you can learn lots, and the sharing of tips and techniques is very open and inclusive, I am really enjoying being a part of that. So today we are announcing the winners of the ‘Warp Speed’ competition we have been running in the group. There are four Majacraft Mini Looms to be drawn! Warp Speed is a booklet that Andy and I put together with our new system for pattern making and warping instructions for the circular looms. We included a number of different patterns for people try out, and a template for making your own. You can get your copy of it from the Majacraft Website  if you havent found it yet! The entries for this competition have been absolutely stunning, inventive, creative, detailed, beautiful, and just simply gorgeous 🙂 We will be following up with a second booklet to feature them in and to share with you too! I would like to thank everyone who took part, I am deeply impressed with your creations 🙂 We are also announcing ONE MORE winner, someone who is watching the broadcast live (check the YouTube link below to get the countdown!), someone who has left a COMMENT ON THIS POST! Just say hi, thats all we need 🙂 The draw will be made live on Air today!! If you want to jump in and join the circular excitement, this could be just the thing to get you going, this extra draw is open to everyone, although we would love it if you join the Circle Weave Facebook group too of course! Comment below then watch the broadcast live on YouTube and see if you are a winner too!     ...

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DIY Rainbow Roving

Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Fiber, Projects, Tutorials | 9 comments

DIY Rainbow Roving

I thought it was about time I posted a little project, and I am currently preparing some rainbow roving for the Colour Blending Workshop I will be teaching at the end of the month, so thought it was appropriate to share it here too! This is an extension of the Colour Blending Course that we have available online from our www.FiberyGoodness.com website, so if you are interested in extending your fiber and colour experimenting you might like to check that out too! I have been making this for a while (since I got my hackle!) and when I was preparing this workshop a couple of months ago I made some specifically to spin this: and I also used some to spin this:  and in a little while there will be a Part Two of the Colour Blending course that will cover spinning techniques for making the most of your colour blended fibers! So here we go with the Rainbow Roving! You will need:    A Hackle, a Diz, some sparkles, and fiber in the rainbow colours of your choice. Here is one of my secrets, don’t just use plain old dyed fiber for this, do what I do, take some extra time, dye (or buy) only the three primary colours red, yellow, and blue, and then blend those with your combs or drum carder to make the gorgeous rich tones that are only possible when blending coloured fiber, trust me, its so much more complex and subtle than a simple dyed colour, once you get blending you will see! Use your primaries to make the secondary colours, orange, green, and purple. Add in some sparkle as you blend. If you are going to use dyed rather than blended, you can also add in the sparkle as you load the hackle, or (also cool) just give each colour a quick blend with the sparkle before you load onto the hackle, it will give you a more delicate and subtle mix. 1. Start loading the hackle with your first colour, make one not too thick layer all the way across the hackle. I used blue first: 2. Load on the next layer, try to make it about the same thickness as the previous one. My second colour was purple, and I added some extra bling to this layer: 3. Follow this with a new layer, again, all the way across the hackle and about the same thickness as previous colours. The reason for taking the colour all the way across the hackle is so that your stripes run the full length of the roving. 4. You can see we are building the rainbow horizontally across the hackle now! The red layer is followed with orange: 5. And then we add the Yellow, along with a bit of extra gold angelina, just because.. 🙂 6. And finally the green, also with some extra sparkles in a matching angelina 7. Ok that was the fun and easy bit 🙂 The diz comes next, and this can be a bit tricky to start with, but the more practice you get the easier it becomes. Take a small amount of fiber into a point at one side of the hackle, slot that through the largest hole in the diz. 8. It is important to make...

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Warp Speed Giveaway (Win a circle loom!)

Posted by on July 26, 2014 in ebooks, Fiber, weaving, Yarns | 4 comments

Warp Speed Giveaway (Win a circle loom!)

Warp Speed? Are we really heading to the final frontier, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before…? Maybe 🙂 Warp Speed is the culmination of a few months work and collaboration between Andy Poad and myself, following the growing discovery that this simple little circular loom that we designed and developed really contains all kinds of hidden depths, ones which we hadn’t originally anticipated! But upon exploration these depths have been slowly revealing themselves, in the form of a big variety of warping possibilities and potential patterns for creating a huge range of different kinds of weaves and shapes and forms. Once we put our thinking together we found that between us we could dream up all kinds of possibilities, and really wanted to find a way to share those with other people who are also discovering circular weaving. Having already started the Circle Weaving facebook group, and seeing how willing everyone was to share idea and techniques, we were very inspired to make Warp Speed into something that not only would offer patterns and designs for people to use, but also become a way for other people to create and share their own patterns too. So what is Warp Speed? Its not really a command from the bridge… Its more a suggestion 🙂 It contains a way of writing and reading a pattern designed specifically for circular weavings. Andy is very good at creating logical progressions of constructions and then also explaining them in a clear and simple way. We applied this to Warp Speed and came up with a neat way to explain different kinds of warps in a really consistent way, and it can be applied to any kind of circular loom (not only the Majacraft ones) as we wanted it to be as universal (see what I did there?) as possible. So it has the pattern key, it has a bunch of patterns for warps that Andy and I dreamed up and trialled, it also has some fabulous photos of some very inspirational weavings done by members of the Circle Weaving group, AND it has a template in it that can be printed and used for you to develop your own patterns! So here is the next cool bit! Majacraft is GIVING AWAY four of their new Mini Looms! And these are the coolest wee things, mine is now permanently in my bag with a project on the go, and they are super cute too 🙂  To be in the draw what you need to do is this:  if you havent already, join the Circle Weaving Facebook group (you will need to share something there later). Download Warp Speed for free from the Majacraft website (click the pic) Print out the template at the back of the book (as many times as you like) Design your own warp pattern!  Make a weaving from it and then SHARE the result AND the pattern you used on the Circle Weaving group page, Tag Andrew Poad and myself, and then email me your photos too so I can add them to the gallery we will create. You will gain one entry for entering a weaving, and you will gain a second entry if...

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Its a WoolWench Giveaway

Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Events, Yarns | 117 comments

Its a WoolWench Giveaway

Two things! First, to my utter amazement we are nearly at the 15000 likers milestone on my Facebook page! This coincides with my imminent departure for New Zealand (where I shall remain for some indeterminate time that will surely be at least 6 months), and an over abundance of yarns in my stash. These things add up to a pretty cool giveaway! I need to reduce the amount of yarn in the house and someone is going to get a bundle, some hand dyed skeins, some handspun art yarn, maybe a couple of fun cone yarns… a batt… it will be a big surprise 🙂 Are you in? Leave a comment here, share it on Facebook, and on the 30th July I will randomly choose a winner! And whether thats you or not, I want to thank you for your support and interest in the things I do here and on Facebook, I love to share that little part of our combined online lives in the places where they intersect, its pretty wonderful to feel part of a global family 🙂 So go on, leave a comment on this post, share away, and I will start making up a goodie...

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Circular Cooperations

Posted by on June 27, 2014 in weaving | 2 comments

Circular Cooperations

Do you remember a while back we released the online fibre creativity course ‘Journey to the Golden Fleece’..? And with it came the lovely wooden circular loom that we worked with Majacraft to create for the course? Well we are not the only ones enjoying this amazing little tool, and since then there have also been lots of non-Golden Fleece people who have picked up on this idea that circular weaving is really a great deal of awesomeness! Shall I tell you why? (cos I have made a little list) Its mega easy and fast to warp Your kids can also use it! Weaving on it can be as simple or as complex as you like Its a tool that fits in your bag and you can take with you to places where you usually (as a dedicated weaver) must endure watching ‘other’ people knit or crochet while your floor loom calls you from far away… With this you can also keep your hands busy in social situations and prevent excesses in other potentially less healthy indulgences Its light and really easy to handle There are a myriad of ways to warp it and things to create with it Ok that was just for starters 🙂 You know there will be more after I have consumed second coffee.. The point is, that this is such a versatile piece of weaving equipment, and its so easy to use, that it’s easy to get enthusiastic about it! We recently started a new Facebook group on Circle Weaving, and one of the first things I have noticed that makes this group such a pleasure to hang out in, is the sense of cooperation and sharing among the group members. I think this is encouraged by the very nature of the loom and the kind of weaving we can do on it, because it is FUN and SIMPLE and non-threatening. Its not something high-brow or elitist or specialised, things that sometimes lead to a high level of competitiveness and individualism. Nope our little circular loom is a humble wee thing, but just look what people are doing with it! It blows me away, AND the willingness of the Circle Loom group members to share their ideas. This has been the other spectacular thing I have observed (and taken part in) within the Circle Weaving group, the actual development of these ideas on the group page.   This to me is complete awesomeness, someone posts a question or an idea they are trying out, someone else posts to add more ideas that have sprung from the original one, suggestions go back and forth, its a whole cooperative creative process that actually gives us all the ability to take part in the growth of ideas and from there, into experimentation with them and ultimately into making things that we possibly would never have thought of in isolation. I think that the fun and simple nature of the circular loom also helps remove some of the need for ‘ownership’ that we all sometimes wish for when coming up with new stuff, when ultimately, there is very little that has never been done before.. I mean, even the circular weaving is old hat, my own inspiration for it way back last year came from a 70’s weaving book belonging to...

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A Country Market

Posted by on June 14, 2014 in Events | 2 comments

A Country Market

Birdsong, open spaces, greenness and some really cool handcrafts! The market day at my friend Alet’s place was magical. Alet has her amazing Textiel Wol en Zo studio on her farm property, and its packed with goodies, and I mean REALLY packed with goodies, all kinds of spinning fibers, a big range of Landscape dyes, books and more books (to be poured over for hours) and lots of amazing yarns. And last weekend a market materialised in the field behind the studio. There was fiber and yarn of course, also some amazing felted work from Adrian Art.. her dyed fibers were gorgeous and her wearables were also wonderful, check out the texture in this! There was of course also some spinning going on:   I didnt take my wheel with me , but I did have my loom, and shared the weaving with a young girl who was instantly fascinated with the process, and the pretty colours 😉 The day ended with a bit of a mad pack up before the expected storm arrived, but even that was fun 🙂 Great people and a lovely stressfree country day out. Thanks Alet and Eva!        ...

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And the Circles go on

Posted by on May 25, 2014 in Observations | 6 comments

And the Circles go on

Its Sunday today, and I am not very well with some mysterious something that is making me shaky and feeling very blah. I dont get sick very often and when I do it easily sends me into the depths of self pity. So instead of that I decided to spend some time blogging instead 🙂 I shall attempt not to wallow in misery and find something much more interesting to share! Here is something I was working on last week and I am very pleased with the result. Remember a while back I shared my Neckwear Tutorial with you? (available now at Fiberygoodness). Since then I have been playing around with a bunch more circular loom stuff, and there is a big treat coming up! I can’t show you that yet, but I can show you something I made with a variation on the neckwear warp I shared in the tutorial. I am very pleased with this piece, and it has a story 🙂 Fond memories. I found this amazing paper yarn with a super fine silk wrap around it at Habu in New York on our whirlwind tour of the city (of course we stopped at the most important places!). Habu was amazing. It was inside what seemed like an office building, through the doors, up the elevator onto a fairly deserted floor. A few doors along the corridor and there was Habu, fairly non-descript, until you go inside of course and discover yourself in this treasure trove of fibery goodness! Its a smallish place, but the walls are lined with shelving thats full of stunning Habu products. Habu is a Japanese brand that creates yarns that are just incredible to weave with, although knitters and crocheters also find plenty to do with these yarns too. There were rolls of stunning fabrics with such beautiful prints on the tables in the centre of the room, baskets covered the floor, overflowing with fine mohair in every colour and the shelves were neatly stacked with cones of fine silks. It was impossible to decide on just a few things. But I finally narrowed it down to a few gorgeous colours of silk and this amazing paper yarn, which just fascinates me. There were a range of colours but I chose this one because it reminded me of woven flax, something we see often in New Zealand as flax weaving is a traditional Maori art. So I made this: This variation on the neckwear warp in my tutorial creates a shape that I think is more necklace like, its a bit finer and the clasp has to go at the back, while on the other design it could be either front or back and could be made more collar like too. The stones I used on this were given to me by my 6 year old son, he is so sweet, he picks up stones for me while he is at school or out, and ends up with quite substantial collections in his pockets! He presents them to me as a special gift, and I love it, I know each time he has seen a stone and pocketed it he has thought of me and wanted to bring me something home. So sweet 🙂 The coloured pieces are stainless steel silk also from Habu, and...

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SWAY Art Yarn Festival, Florida 2014

Posted by on May 16, 2014 in Events, Fiber, Observations, Workshop | 2 comments

SWAY Art Yarn Festival, Florida 2014

It has been a few weeks now since the wonderful SWAY art yarn guild event held in Sarasota Florida. However I can still feel the warm sun and the welcoming environment that I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy there. This event is an annual one, growing every year, and the organisers, Karen Simpson, Deb Lambert, and Kim Perkins did an amazing job of creating a weekend full of great opportunities! There were some incredible products on sale from the well selected vendors, including the stunning fiber from Kim Perkins of Batts in the Bellfry (who I finally had the great pleasure to meet!), and really cool upcycled clothing, Saori looms and equipment (Kathleen Keenan) and the delightful Mary Egbert of Camaj Fibers who let me come home with some serious handfuls of her amazing Soffsilk product. The people attending this event were also amazing, so friendly and fiber nutty and fun, and what a great experience it was for me to meet everyone, in many cases putting real faces and voices to those I have met online through my Facebook page. We, (I had brought my daughter Ana along for the whole ‘USA’ experience) were welcomed so warmly it was easy to feel quite at home. Here are a few images from the days we spent together.. Above is Amy, who totally nailed the challenge she chose randomly from the challenge cards I made up for the event. Her challenge? Make a plied yarn without a wheel or a spindle. And what a yarn she made! Not only was it a perfectly spun plied yarn, she also went the extra mile and added in those lovely locks too! All done without the aid of any manufactured spinning equipment 🙂 And then there were other yarns created, including this stunning one from Mary (Camaj Fibers) As well as spinning we also did some weaving on the circular looms, supplied by Majacraft especially for this weekend:    I was very sorry to leave, there is something very special about a room full of creative people, the energy is fantastic, ideas and chatter and much laughter.  I think its one of the great pleasures that we have as fiber people, getting together and sharing these events, and I was also struck by the openness and friendliness of my American spinsisters,  I very much hope to be back in the USA again. My thanks to everyone who made it possible, it was an adventure that I will treasure 🙂...

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