Happy 2017!

UCWDC World Championships

Although the holidays are always fun, the calm and return to routine is always nice. img_2240-1We’re back from Nashville and the UCWDC World Championships. I did clench the world points championship in two divisions… I couldn’t be happier about it!

Crochet Ponytail Hats

I did manage to finish a couple of hats on the trip. Two ponytail hats came out really cute. I’ve added them to my Etsy site.  I decided on acrylic since I have so img_2288much of it and the stretch is nice. Next on the list will be an alpaca/wool mix. I think with a fun ball on the top of the hat. There’s always room for a pompom hat in any wardrobe 😉

Mohair Preparation

I started washing up the Angora goat that I picked up at Fibershed in November. I hadn’t spun Mohair before and I’m img_2309a little surprised at how slippery it is. I’m not sure what I was expecting. It is, of course, soft and wonderful. It reminds me so much of Angora rabbit and even more of Alpaca. It’s from a soft yearling and I love the curls. I played with some prep. Combing turned out beautiful results, but my hands could not take it. I tried carded a little, but I feel like it lost too much of it’s curly personality. My plan it to flick it out with the minimum prep possible.   Right now with the cold, wet weather I can’t get it to dry quick enough. It’s nothing like washing wool in the California sun. I may have to save all of my wool processing for warmer times. I’m really not sure how long the drying process will take. But, it’s not going to go nearly quick enough.

Angora Rabbit Shearing

Oh my is Daisy past her shearing time. I can barely find her under all of that wool! I’m hoping to head up to Bungalow Farms this weekend since my poor baby desperately needs a shearing. I’ll be making her a coat this week to keep her warm after her haircut. If I had more time it would certainly be something cute…but with the lack of time and the rough pattern outline, I think the first one will be an interesting prototype.

Needle Felting Mushrooms

While I was sick with my annual Christmas cold. I did some needle-felting. The little mushrooms that I came up with turned out SO adorable that I think I’m going to make up some to add to the Etsy site. Since I wasn’t enjoying spinning up the BFL, I decided to take a little of it for felting. It really was the perfect colors and worked so well. I won’t mention how many times I poked myself. But, I was pretty thankful for the finger guards that I picked up from Amazon!  In my opinion, they were worth every penny!

New Shaving Soaps

This week I’m excited to try some new shaving soaps. Lots of bubbles and I plan to add a little soft, smooth clay. Stay tuned!

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Getting Ready for the New Year

After all of the Christmas celebrating and as my annual Christmas cold is hopefully fading, we’re getting ready to head to Nashville for the dancing world championships.

While downing as much cold medicine as humanly possible, I did manage tfibermonthnovo make some needle felt mushrooms. They really did come out very cute. The fiber was from Upper Canadian Textiles’ November “spin-along.” I wasn’t crazy with the way this BFL was spinning up, but it was making PERFECT colored mushrooms!

I’m working on a few more little crochet animals before I leave. I’m also busy looking at which craft shows to try in 2017 and looking at expanding online…busy, busy, busy.

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Spinning Babydoll Wool

I started spinning up the Babydoll wool from MyLittleSheep on Etsy. The wool is prepared beautifully as 1 oz roving rolls. I think I purchased 3 or 4 oz. of wool from a sheep called Jasmine. I’ll definitely buy from her again! jasmine

I wanted to try Babydoll for a few reasons. I like the size of the sheep and as the goal is to some day have a few sheep, I’m trying to narrow down what breed makes the most sense.  So there was a little extra incentive to try this adorable little breed. Secondly, I want to work my way img_2131around different breeds just to see the differences and which ones really are my favorites for different purposes.

The first thing that I noticed is that this breed of sheep (given the variations of individual sheep) that it isn’t quite as soft as I’m used to. Not that it’s not soft. It’s softer than the Romney that I’ve spun previously. img_2107Another factor is that I’ve been spinning Alpaca and Angora. Which, spinning anything after that might feel a little rougher.

The second thing that I noticed is that this is spinning up so easily. I’m spinning long draw and these batts almost spin themselves. They are spinning up fast and even. Really fun to spin.

To wrap it up, I don’t think I would use it for gloves or socks. I prefer softer for those purposes. But for a sweater, shawl, poncho, it would be perfect. Not as soft as BFL, but not as rough as Romney. I have to say, I’m really enjoying spinning this Babydoll wool. And I look forward img_2128to trying it again!

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The Holiday Season

Happy Holidays!

The recent Winery Art/Craft fair was a success and I was lucky enough to spend time with some great people. While selling out of a few items is a WONDERFUL thing…I’m again feeling behind trying to re-stock. My grand ideas of making so many Christmas gifts is moving from reality to wishful thinking. There is simply not enough time. img_2059

I’m almost done spinning the Angora that I picked up at LambTown. This poor bunny must have been the most matted little thing ever. The waste was overwhelming when trying to comb it so I moved to a flicker. Better…but really I could have spent months preparing this bunny fiber. As a result, img_2060while super soft (I hand carded in some fantastic Merino), it is not pleasant to spin. I have to admit, I’m anxious to try the Babydoll wool and Cormo that I recently purchased (thank goodness I came to my senses and bought it already prepped). And, I still have almost four pounds of Alpaca, some Suri Alpaca, and some promising mohair to prepare. Then there’s the Rigid Heddle that I want to warp for the shawl that I want to start for myself.

I won’t even mention the dance world championships that are only a few weeks away and my non-existent practice schedule! Gulp! Not exactly the way to go into that.

Busy, Busy, Busy. But this time of year we all are. Daisy isimg_2064 enjoying her open explorer time in the studio. She has to sniff everything in the room, come up and give me a nudge, then she’s off again! Her personality is almost as big as she is!

And…back to work for me 🙂

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Join me at Holidays in the Vineyard!

This Saturday is a perfect time to do your holiday shopping and taste some wonderful Livermore wines!

I’ll be at Occasio Winery in Livermore with a spinning demonstration; as well as soaps, handspun yard,  lots of crochet scarfs, fingerless gloves, wine bottle gift bags, and so much more for your gift giving! Jamie McKean from Mary Kay Cosmetics will be selling great holiday gift items and local glass artist, Kim B. will be there with beautifully handcrafted soap dishes and plates. All this while tasting great local wines.
Now THAT’s the way to kick off the holiday season!

Visit us at Occasio Winery from noon to 4pm Saturday & Sunday, December 3rd & 4th

2245B S. Vasco Rd, Livermore, CA

See you there!

Visit the winery website here

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Spinning Jacob fiber

After a long day watching my son at his wrestling match, I ended it plying a bit of fiber
from Meridian Jacobs. It spun up beautifully. I spun it a little thicker than normal. Which, after spinning thin for so long, I was surprised how tricky it was to spin thicker singles again… ah muscle memory.  My favorite way of spinning is long draw, this trip around the bobbin I decided to use short draw to force consistency.   It really did spin up nicely. img_1971

Now I’m trying to decide if there’s enough of it to make a vest.

 

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A new bunny joins Cottontail Farms!

A stunning German Angora Rabbit. We’re still working on names; img_1928Lilly, Daisy and Marilyn are the top names so far. At six months old, she’s a big girl already. She had a shearing about a month ago so her next one will be in January (hopefully with help from Erin). She’s already cuddled on the couch with me and started investigating her new “apartment”

This beautiful bunny was adopted from Erin at Bungalow Farms & her lineage is from Canada.

After seeing Erin give a sheering demonstration at Fibershed, I fell in love with the docile German Angora. As an early Christmas present we headed up to Bungalow farms where “Daisy” was waiting for us.

Welcome home… um…Lilly, Daisy, Marilyn?!

 

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Craft Show Prep

Craft show prep work. Soaps drying, spinning some alpaca and showprepsome fun Merino Christmas wool. Leaving the Alpaca natural (Natural xmasyarncolors are my favorite) and dyed some of the white Merino red, added some fun Christmas shine. It would be a coffeesoapgreat scarf, accent…or anything for that matter. Made up some wonderful honey & goats milk soaps. They are fantastic and great for soft skin. I think they may be my favorite. But the coffee, espresso soaps are a huge hit. I love the smell & the whipped soap turned out even better than I had thought!

and then ….
Processing the most dirty, disgusting Icelandic wool fleece ever. Trying some dyer balls with it and if I can get it clean enough I might try to comb it and see if it’s worth doing anything with. But that’s a long shot. It may end up as stuffing at this rate.

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Blue Faced Leicester

bluefacedBlue faced Leicester… Spinning up like a dream!

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Spinzilla Results

Spinzilla is over. What fun! My goal was originally to get over 1,000 yards… I ended up with over 2,000 yards of Alpaca…well over a mile! 👏
I’m anxious to crochet a shawl. It may be a little heavy, but certainly warm and soft!spinzilla

But, I signed up for my first Craft Show and so I’m busy, busy, busy getting ready for it.

Then, a spinning guild meeting tomorrow night and the “hug a sheep” day this weekend… again… never enough time!

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