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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The Majacraft Overdrive Revolution Begins

The Majacraft Overdrive Revolution Begins

If you caught our Fiberygoodness live broadcast last night you will have seen this already, the Overdrive, the bigass bobbin and spinning head that is now (probably permanently) afixed to my One Wheel, (my Aura). This is my baby come home! Over the last year of being let into sharing this process with Majacraft, I can tell you, it was like christmas at my house when this finally arrived. It took almost exactly a year from ‘first contact’, and discussing what features and systems a giant Majacraft bobbin would need, to make it something super special.It needed to work well as a ‘production’ wheel as well as keep the Aura characteristics that make it ideal for constructing the architectural yarns I am currently working on and the art yarns that I know many people enjoy spinning. Good things take time, no, I mean.. amazing things! It was so worth the wait. This has the features I already loved about my Aura, large scale. Bypassable orifice and guides, amazing tensioning system, easy treadling, and great visual presence too. And it spins so well, there is almost no transition to make between spinning on the Aura and spinning on the Overdrive, the same tension, the same fine responsiveness, no big difference in weight as the bobbin fills, it treadles the same way throughout. Having spun on ‘other’ large capacity wheels I can say for certain that the difference is the same as if you were to compare say, driving a tractor and then hopping in a Rolls Royce and taking it for a spin, it almost drives itself. But unlike the Rolls, this is no elitist item, if you are used to the Aura you will find this works exactly the same way, but  this is not exclusive to the Aura, for Rose and Suzie owners, Andy has designed it so it will fit these wheels too, effectively turning them into Aura style production spinners with a simple (2 minutes max) head exchange.   You can find more details about the Overdrive on the Majacraft blog and the Product page on their website. Another super fun part was planning the whole release-launch of this product, and again, I was grateful to be included in that, we found some cool stuff! Like the Bachman Turner OVERDRIVE track Andy posted with the teaser! I wonder how many people see the connection there now? It was a bit obscure.. and you were lucky you didnt get the 70’s video version with the big moustaches and skin tight silk jeans.. OMG! Well lucky THEN, because I am sharing it with you now! I had suggested to Andy that he should sport one of those ‘special’ moustaches for the...

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Dreaming

Dreaming

Its that time of year for it, making new dreams, New Years resolutions, promises, getting more determined that this next year will bring at least some of our dreams to fruition. Well actually, here’s a confession, I never make New Years resolutions, ever. I figure that if I want to do something that bad why wait till January 1st to decide and do it!? I mean, want it, or not? Ok so I am bad at waiting and impatient at best. I might sometimes take a long time to make a decision but once I made it, I dont hang around. Action oriented, thats me. So I for one won’t have some responsible New years resolution to break at my first opportunity (yes thats another reason I dont make them!). I already decided that I love my dreams, and if they come true thats great, if they dont, the best thing is I still have them. Sometimes I replace them with new ones, or make adaptations to them, occasionally they even do come true 🙂 But I do find that having dreams is something of a comfort as they become familiar like a best friend, always there for inspiration and motivation. Sometimes I have actual dreams. And remember them too! Not all that often but perhaps thats because I dont really sleep as much as I should.. but anyway, I also occasionally dream about yarn (and I am pretty sure that won’t surprise you) or about something I am going to weave or make. Its pretty cool when inspiration comes to you in a dream, its like all the hard work of thinking has been done automatically and your subconscious is just offering this wonderful idea as a reward for just being a good girl and getting some sleep! Or maybe its coffee overload 😉 Whatever it is, its what inspired some of my yarn creations. Here is one of my more recent ‘dreamed’ yarns: I thought I would share with you how I made this one, its pretty simple, but I think its really effective! So basically, this is a three ply yarn, spun as three singles, then plied twice. I first made a brightly coloured single from the hand dyed pinky purply fiber. I used commercial roving for all the singles, to make a smooth yarn and keep good definition between the plys, but its also fun to make the first single in a textured yarn too, like a lockspun. Then I made a second ply of a simple black single. Next I made an (overtwisted!) two ply of the black  single with the coloured single, creating a kind of candy striped yarn of the two. The...

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Manic Dynamic Majacrafters – Magic made on Looms!

Manic Dynamic Majacrafters – Magic made on Looms!

A little while ago, we (Esther, Donni, and Me) started up our new Manic Dynamic Majacrafters Facebook Group especially for those of us lucky enough to have our own Majacraft Dynamic Heddle loom to play with, (and those aspiring to have one). Since we started this group it has grown and grown in a most splendid fashion! We are up to over 160 members, and the creativity I see within the group is just fantastic and so inspirational.  I love it that the pieces people are making are all so incredibly different, unique, and very diverse, everyone has their own touch and special approach to working on their looms. So I thought it was a very interesting thing to highlight this idea of individuality and uniqueness by setting up a challenge for everyone! And the challenge? Make a piece in which the focus was on texture and form, rather than colour, so using the same tonal range within each piece, and working on developing ways of varying the weaving through creating surface design. I thought this might really highlight the unique approaches to the constructions and techniques used when creating these works of art. The results were stunning! I have gathered up some examples here of work from our group members. Its eye candy. Its brain boost. Its simply manically marvellous 🙂 I love each piece!   First, a pic of the piece made by a special friend who lives here in Holland too, Brigitte. These are totally ‘her’ colours 🙂 and I especially adore the way she has used the coils to make texture in the weft. Next is an image of some stunning textural elements created by Mary of Fiber Creek Farm, theres a lot going on in this piece but that is balanced beautifully by her choices of natural shades. This next gorgeous piece is from Tracie , I just love the colour, its so light and dreamy, and her use of contrasting textures and open weave really adds to that quality.    Now here is a very striking and dramatic item made by Robyn Betts from some amazingly black Alpaca fleece. She has also used some wonderful texture contrasts, and made a diva of a drapey scarf. I could see myself wearing this one ALL winter. Ahem 😉   What follows now is another wonderful, made in Holland, piece from Karen Bruinsma, her ‘Waterfall’ scarf, which combines some beautiful aqua blue shades with some very pretty textures and her clever use of the little felted neps that she created for this too. I must learn how to do that! Its awesome. The next image is from Rahel Hecht, who is creating some really stunning weavings...

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Alpaca Milestones Summer Wool Days

Alpaca Milestones Summer Wool Days

Finally we seem to have achieved something that resembles summer here in the Netherlands! Blue sky, warm sun, birds singing (at least in our garden) annoyingly peeping and dive bombing the cat. Apart from that though, it’s now definately a time to be outside. So last weekend I packed up my wheel, some Fiber, and my hand combs, and went off to enjoy the Summer Wool Day at my friends Alpaca farm in Ridderkerk. It’s always a pleasure to visit with Marian, not to mention the amazing Fiber she always has! I’m talking really fabulous quality alpaca fleece. It was Marian’s Fiber that I used for my Lord of the Rings concept yarns, my favourite of which is actually one of the simplest, hand combed white alpaca with a silver thread. It has the most amazing drape and definition and I am SO still hoarding it 🙂 Back to the day 🙂 It was gorgeously sunny, and populated with some amazing people, I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces, and sitting in the shade with Patty to spin, and (I am quite proud of this) I also managed not to maim her with my hand combs as I paused my spinning to comb the next bunch of fiber. Just as well too as she needed some concentration to work on her band weaving! I really like combing alpaca, I think it gives a much nicer preparation for the yarn, less fluffy, and I think it enhances the drape, or maybe thats just me 🙂  And I also usually blend in a bit of sparkle as I am combing too. In this case I also added an extra colour as well to make a nice reddish brown. Sophie was also with us from Belgium, and was curious about the hand combing, she tried it out on some newly acquired Ouessant fiber (I very nearly bought the black fleece!) This is a lovely fiber, from such a cute sheep – read about them HERE if youre curious too 🙂  As you can see in the pic, Sophie found that combing it worked really nicely!   The hosts of the day, Douglas and Marian, also took a tour to see the Alpaca, including a week old cria.  This is a working farm with a focus on producing top quality fiber, while they remain very much animal focussed, with the wellbeing of the flock, coupled with care for the environment, being one of their primary interests. You can visit them too, at least, virtually: at their Alpaca Milestones website. These ‘Summer Wool’ days are an annual event at Marians, and I can totally recommend going next year, such a lovely atmosphere there, and of course, awesome...

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