Beautiful Bulkies!

Beautiful Bulkies!

I love them! Big bouncy beautiful yarns.. and I especially love to make giant yarns that at first look like traditional two ply, but when you start to see the perspectives you realise they are actually mega sized monolithic yarns! SO much fun to spin and use 🙂  I started spinning these yarns years ago, experimenting with different fibres to find the ones that would give me the best results; staple lengths, crimp, and then what plying methods I could use. If you have been following my page for a while you may have already seen the Newsletter and video I sent out (December 2012 – where does the time go!) all about spinning bulky, but it was clearly time for an update and major expansion! Luckily for me, Arlene also loves these giant yarns, so between us we created this new course that we think is informative, fun, and unique! So last year Arlene (my Fiberygoodness partner in fibercrime) and I, developed an entire course, totally focussed on not just spinning thick, but spinning super bulky AND lofty. The goal is not to create rope, but to spin a smooshy soft and useable yarn in giant proportions! From there its easy to go backwards and spin thinner, but achieving those huge yarns is actually much harder than it seems once you have learned to spin thin. We have made all three videos available to enrolled students via their own (permanent access) area on the website, so even though what we had in mind was one video per week with your practice in between, you might want to settle in with your food coffee and fibre supplies and work through them much faster (or much slower!), it is self paced because everyone learns in their own way and in their own time – you can’t push creativity! But I will be available to students for feedback, advice, and tips at any time after enrolment, and we have our lovely Facebook Group for sharing in! I am excited about the possibility of seeing people spinning up some of these luscious yarns 🙂 And I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share everything I know about spinning them. Arlene devised the super exercises for a very practical hands on course, and I think between us we have created something truly helpful and unique! More information is on our website HERE...

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The Journey to the Golden Fleece Returns!

The Journey to the Golden Fleece Returns!

I am just cross posting my original post from the Fiberygoodness blog, because afterall, this IS where it all began 🙂  Between my WoolWench website and the Spin Artiste blog, plans were hatched and activity ensued! I am very proud of the way our Journey to the Golden Fleece Creativity in Fiber course has developed, and the way the Fiberygoodness community has grown! We started out with a vision and it turned into a plan, which has morphed and altered along the way but remains true to its origins and initial dreams. I am very excited to be launching the fourth edition of this creativity boosting course for fiber artists! What follows is an excerpt from my Fiberygoodness blogpost and some information about this 10 month course for spinners!   We have taken some time to relaunch our Journey course, and in that time we have been very busy behind the scenes, streamlining our ship, revisiting our maps and guides, and anticipating how to deal with any of the trials we may come across. We are very excited to be adding a new video component, much like we have done with the S3 Course, we will be adding a video for each module in which Arlene and Suzy discuss the contents of the module, the goals and different pathways there are to them, and of course we will add in any relevant demonstrations of spin technique or fiber prep as well. We will also be hosting pop up class sessions! We will be sure to give enough notice for people to be able to join us and will vary the times to allow people in all the different time zones to have the opportunity to chat about the course with us too. We have also revised how we will be providing personal feedback on all the yarns sent in from each module and we think you are going to really enjoy the new and exciting format we have chosen for this! When you send us in your yarn photos we will be recording our responses and feedback in video format, its a chance for us to be a bit more personal than email and also to offer you visual support such as sharing examples and showing a technique. We are pretty excited about this and hope its going to be a great addition to the way we can support participants in this course! With enrolments we will again be supplying the special edition Majacraft circular loom as one of our options, and all graduating students will receive their very own  Majacraft Journey to the Golden Fleece Badge with the class logo and their Certificate of Completion. Please head on over to THE FIBERYGOODNESS...

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Its a WoolWench Giveaway!

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

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...

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The Yellow Farm

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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Woolville New Zealand!

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...

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