August 31, 2010

fortune

...
you find beauty in ordinary things. do not lose this ability.
...

August 27, 2010

the good stuff

I started spinning with my new roving last night. It's beautiful stuff from a local woman in Felton. It came to me in this lovely braid that showed off its gorgeous colors...
All was well until I unbraided it.

For a moment I stared at this giant pile of fiber, wondering where to start and what i got myself into. It looked like the flying spaghetti monster had abandoned his bastard child on my floor.

I separated it into segments, picked one, and began pre-drafting (drafting is pulling apart the fibers to thin it out a little. It gives you  more control over the fiber and allows you to control the thickness of the yarn). For some reason this fiber was harder to draft than the other one...which means i tore it apart a few times. But I got it to what I believed was a spinnable state, and began working. The colors are beautiful - subtle and dark with little bright patches of green shining through.

I think I need to work on drafting while spinning. So far I have just pre-drafted, but as you can see in the pictures I still have some varying thickness. Drafting while spinning will give me more control over that, but it's also another thing I have to pay attention to, and I'm trying to make it one step at a time. I still have a bunch of piles of roving to go - I hope the final product yields enough yarn to make something! I would love to be able to knit a quick hat out of this... or maybe some wrist-warmers. Hmmm....


August 25, 2010

round 1

drop spindle in action
After a week of twiddling and fiddling with my new drop spindle, I have some results. Granted, they are nothing extremely amazing or fantastic, but I think they are pretty great considering I've never done this before. I bought a pack of small roving samples from Knit Picks when I ordered my drop spindle. Each color is only 1/4 ounce, so the yarn I spun didn't amount to much. It was actually nicer that way - I was able to start small, see results quickly, and when I got bored with the color it was already time to move on to a new one! Obviously there isn't much use for a ball of yarn that is only about two inches in diameter, so I decided to very cleverly place them in a bowl and have them sitting on my coffee table to remind me of how much I've improved when I become a spinning virtuoso.
I had fun "artfully" photographing these little guys yesterday.
Cindy wanted to help too

So now the very basics of step one have now been accomplished. My next step is to take this beautiful roving that I bought from a local artisan on Etsy and attempt to spin it. It is a lot more than 1/4 of an ounce, so I'm a little nervous about it. Also, it's really pretty and I don't want to fuck it up... cause I tend to do that to pretty things. Wish me luck!

August 24, 2010

and so it begins


I've always loved creating things. When I was a child I made macaroni noodle necklaces, egg-carton caterpillars, and even tried to attempt Barbie clothes. Unfortunately for me, the beautiful image I see in my head isn't what my hands create. What in my head looks like a stylish dress made out of a scrap of lovely pink shimmery fabric actually turns out looking like regurgitated bubblegum ice cream spewn all over poor helpless Barbie. This continued as I got older - creative collages of boy-band crushes to cover middle-school textbooks ended up making studly tween idols look mentally unstable, and attempts to modify thrift-store clothes to make them more stylish rendered them unwearable (note to self - lace can not fix ugly. in fact, lace makes ugly even uglier, no matter what).  


Part of my problem is that I am impatient. As much as I love taking on large craft projects, my goldfish attention span moves on to something new and more exciting very quickly. This is why as I write this laying around my (not so large) house, there is an unfinished quilt (and by unfinished I mean I have made 3 squares), an attempt at making a latin-american style mola pillow, two halves of a knit purse (all i have to do is sew in a lining and put the two halves together...but I deemed it unnecessary and it has remained unfinished for three years), about 45 neckties in a trash bag leftover from a purse-making binge, a nearly complete sweater for my friends baby (who is now too big...I told myself I will finish it when another friend has a baby and give it to them- i hope its a boy), numerous single knit socks ranging from infant to adult (making socks is hard...as soon as you finish one you have to make another one!), and a beanie and a scarf that I have every intention of finishing soon. I know there are more, but the act of listing all of these monuments to my lack of focus is making me depressed.


 Another looming issue is that I have no idea what I am doing most of the time. I tend to wing things, hoping that once I have all the supplies laying out in front of me I will be hit by some lightening bolt of understanding and will magically know how to create these wonderful things flying around in my head. That isn't the case... most of the time I end up covered in fabric scraps and glue, waving my arms up at the heavens screaming "whyyyyyy??!?!?!". Ok, that is a bit dramatic, but it neatly sums up how I feel internally when most things I try inevitably fail.


Here is an example:
Attempt at an amigurimi ghost (cute, right?!) that i pictured looking like this....
ended up looking like this...
Not cute, right? In fact, it's a little creepy. I would include more, but it's a little embarrassing. 


The point of this blog is mainly for myself (read: I'm not going to delude myself into thinking I will have readers). It is to encourage me to follow through with my newest crafting endeavor: spinning. I just learned the basics of this awesome craft last week, and already I feel myself pulling away from it and wanting to move on to something new and more sparkly. I need to focus! 
Here is my lofty goal: to create my own yarn from start to finish. This means learning everything: how to spin, draft, dye, and eventually raise and shear fiber-bearing animals - sheep, rabbits or llamas (or all three!). Ready...set... go!