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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Branding for Fibre Artists

Branding for Fibre Artists

I recently made a blogpost on the Fiberygoodness blog on my thoughts about how we go about branding our fibre art works. I think that as artists and crafters we are naturally most focussed on our creative projects rather than how the rest of the world might see it, and in fact I see that as one of the keys to successfully branding what we have made when we do take it to market. In my eyes, what makes your work different from mine, or anyone elses, is the culmination of who you are, what you have done, the things you have experienced, and the way you view the world. The goal of branding is to make that obvious, to create something that is recognisable as ‘yours’, so when people see it they know you made it. And then, like me, you might wonder what makes your beautifully spun natural coloured Merino from a commercial top prep any different from the next persons. How about this.. it is the way you feel about it that makes it different. It is the wheel you spun it on, the room you sat in, the people around you while you spun it, the love you felt for the fibre in your hands, the place you got that merino from, and your own enjoyment of your final skein. These are all difficult abstract things to try and embody into a single photo of your yarn when you put it online to sell it! In my blogpost I have started with some ideas on how you can start to identify and pinpoint the things that shout ‘this is me’ in your yarns and fiber, and the next post will be about how to highlight those things in your product photos. I hope you find something useful! Head over to the Fibergoodness blog for the...

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Fun in Groups, Games for Spinners

Fun in Groups, Games for Spinners

2014, SWAY Art Yarn Guild Florida, Festival time! It was my first foray to the United States and I couldn’t have had a better place to land 🙂 What a fantastic group! I came prepared, I had my workshop program and a handful of challenge cards to kick off with some fibery fun and games. Literally…. games 🙂 These were cards I had created previously, but had not had the opportunity to try out with such a large group, I believe there were 70 people attending that year! And now I am going to try them out with an even LARGER group – everyone reading this post in fact! Well ok not exactly, because many of them require you to be in the same room, BUT hows this for an idea, please feel free to download and print these cards, take them with you to your next guild meeting, or spin group meeting, or any spin day with any size group. There are a total of 14 challenge cards. Share them around and see what you can make with them 🙂 They are just for fun, to get you doing something different or unusual, and to work together with others! We are often such solitary creatures aren’t we, in our spinning.. Its great to branch out every once in a while and be a party animal instead, I double dare you! If you use them, please mention me and Fiberygoodness as the originators, and you know what, I would love it if you would come back and share your experiences with the cards, either here on our my facebook page! If your group creates some magic with them please do let me know, this is a little like releasing my baby birds into the wild, its great to know where they end up!   So without further ado – click the image to get the entire download! Have FUN!...

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

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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Spun yarn Turned into Something – Project

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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