The One Wheel. A Mission and a Half

The One Wheel. A Mission and a Half

Last month I did a big thing. Well it was big for me at least! I had been thinking about it for a while but was very uncertain about if it would fly or plummet screaming into the firey heart of Mount Doom in the biggest crash and burn in the history of er.. crashy and burny stuff.   I had been dreaming for ages about a new spinning wheel. Not just any wheel, but what I fondly renamed (in my head) The One Wheel to Rule them ALL (mwahahahaha!) the Majacraft Aura. I absolutely became obbessed with fell in love with my precioussssss the look of this wheel. Its made with beautiful Rimu timbers, native to my homeland New Zealand,  it also fills me with pride that Kiwis (New Zealanders) are producing such quality equipment as this, and Majacraft, along with Lexi Boeger (Pluckyfluff) designed this in a stunning organic looking form that is also incredibly functional. SO functional in fact that it earns its One Wheel title (IMO) because it is capable of spinning a huge range of yarns, its so very adjustable that it can be used for many different styles of yarns, and particularly the big chunky art yarns with crazy integrated objects – exactly what I couldnt do with my reliable but small orificed Ashford. I was already selling my yarns quite happily in my Etsy store, but then I discovered crowd funding. People make a project, and ‘the crowd’ (aka internet people) fund it! Project makers offer ‘perks’ or items in return for financial support for their projects.  I liked Indiegogo, it has a big range of fundraisers running and lots of funky arty indie projects. I made the decision to close my eyes and take the leap! I wrote the story of the One Wheel, and made my presentation video to go with it; described by some as ‘epic’ I hoped like hell that I wasnt going to annoy Majacraft with my odd references to Lord of the Rings. I found out later that Andrew Poad himself is something of a major LOTR fan too, the whole thing ended up quite serendipitous 🙂 breathe in, breathe out, calm and centered…. calm and centered….. Anyway.. 🙂 I made my campaign, my One Wheel Fundraiser! I had listed a range of ‘perks’ at different prices, mostly including at least one skein of handspun yarn. I hoped someone would like it and I was a bunch of jittery nerves by the time I hit the ‘go live’ button!  But it worked. It really actually worked! I did quite a bit of researching, looking at other campaigns and figuring out what was cool and what wasnt,...

Read More

Dye Another Day! Dyeing wool in a bag tutorial

Dye Another Day! Dyeing wool in a bag tutorial

Hey! Glad you could make it. In this post I am focussing on dyeing, because I just got a huge box of undyed roving delivered! Dyeing is definitely a current and ongoing activity and one of my favourite parts of the yarn making process. I love colour! I love how there are infinite shades that create even more beautiful tones and colours when they mix and blend. It really is endless possibilities when you’re dyeing, and wool and fibers provide such a wonderful medium for experimenting, allowing not just for colour play but to take it further, what happens to my colours when they are spun? How do different spinning techniques change the colour mixes in this roving? And then what happens when that yarn is knitted! See its so cool! So today I am going to show you one of the simplest ways I know of to get some pretty colours mixing it up in your roving.   I’m going to show you how I do my ‘boil in the bag’ dyeing. If you came here from my Newsletter, you already got the ‘what you need’ list, but in case you didnt, here it is again: – about 150-200 grams roving (5-7oz) soaked in water/vinegar solution – ziploc or similar sealable plastic bag with plenty of room for the wool – large pot (this is stovetop dyeing) which you have dedicated to dyeing not food prep, filled with water – premixed dye stock solutions, in three or four colours (ones that blend well together, not contrasting)     In the roving you see pictured here, and in the video, you can see some gorgeous white streaks through the fibers, i LOVE this! I chose this blend specifically to get that effect, its merino with bamboo through it, and the bamboo doesnt take the dye but stays wonderfully white and streaky – its such an easy way to get this really pretty effect! If you dont want that though, just use a roving thats unblended or blended with fibers that will take the acid dye (protein fibers). This is a really simple technique, its fairly kitchen friendly (unless youre a Mess Goddess like me and it just generates itself around you), and you can get some lovely vibrant colours and pretty blends without the extra time it takes to hand paint. If you want more pastel and softer shades just make your dye stock solution weaker by adding some more water into it. One of the advantages of setting the colour with this technique, is that it basically steams in the bag, so unlike in the microwave, the heat is dispersed evenly through your fibers, its less damaging and gives a...

Read More