May 30, 2008

Making friends with my sewing machine

I've decided to dip into my stash of beautiful fabrics and start making some cotton stretchy headbands for the Etsy shop.

This is my first attempt - for sale at a discounted price. My sewing can definitely be improved, but the sewn parts are completely hidden anyway when the headband is worn.

There will be lots more printed fabrics available soon, including more Japanese florals, batiks and some contemporary prints from Amy Butler, Heather Bailey and Rosemary Lavin. I'm really excited to get these underway.

May 29, 2008

Rose Garden - BFL handspun yarn

I am so excited that I have had 4 sales in 3 days in my Etsy shop, and 3 of those have been handspun yarns! This has definitely fed my spinning addiction and I have a delicious assortment of rovings on the way from a few different Etsy sellers!

This is my latest yarn, dyed by Lynne at Knitopia / West Coast Colour. It's also my entry to EtsyFAST's "May Flowers" challenge. I've called it "Rose Garden" for obvious reasons. 100% Blue Faced Leicester goodness!

May 27, 2008

Featured in an Etsy Treasury

I always love randomly browsing the Treasury on Etsy and seeing that little gold star that means someone has featured me! Today I found this one, which I particularly like. The color combo is brilliant! That's me in the top left corner. Maybe it will make it to the front page. Fingers crossed!

Thanks to Stockton for featuring me! Here's something cute from her shop - gotta love elephants!

May 24, 2008

Sonora - BFL handspun yarn

This is the yarn I spun from my second batch of All Spun Up roving. This was a custom dye job that she did for me to recreate a colorway that had already sold in her shop and I was sorry for missing out on. Here's the roving...

And here's the yarn...

I am so pleased with the way it turned out! The colors work beautifully together, and it's a light DK weight (something I've been striving for - especially challenging with Goliath). It's now for sale in my Etsy shop.

May 22, 2008


I've just spend the last hour or so spinning on the deck, watching the sunlight shifting on the trees in my backyard and listening to The Brian Jonestown Massacre until it got too dark to see my yarn and my little toes got too cold to treadle. I am almost in a state of bliss right now. I mean, isn't this exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to be able to do when I set out to work less and live more a few months ago? Isn't that pretty much a perfect moment, spinning outside while the sun goes down? And the nice thing is that I was able to appreciate it while I was in it, instead of thinking about how it could be better... That's quite an achievement for me. I think I'm starting to realize that there isn't one moment when everything lines up in your life and you think "I've arrived" but rather a series of little moments like this one that are perfect in and of themselves. The only thing I have to do is to notice and accept these little pockets of paradise.

Anyway, I've had a few requests for pictures of my new wheel. Thanks for the interest! I've decided to name him Goliath because he's big, clunky and he was pretty scary until I learned to control him.

I was bummed out the first time I sat down to spin on this wheel and produced barely twisted yarn that pulled apart and was super lumpy and uneven (not in a good way either). But, I persisted, and I was rewarded for my efforts. I learned that this wheel is going to want to pull the yarn faster than I can even draft it! I just have to be firm and pull right back until there's enough twist built up. There's no way to adjust the tension or speed except with the treadling, so it definitely took some getting used to.

Tonight I was spinning the very same type of fibre as that dreaded first try, some extremely soft BFL dyed by Lynne at Knitopia / West Coast Colour. I was worried that the fibre had something to do with the loose twist and unevenness of the first batch, but I don't think that's the case. It's turning out quite well this time around. Here's the first 1/5 or so of what I bought.

One last picture. Note the humongous bobbin (but don't mind the poor broken dandelion in the background). Even if (when) I get another wheel, I could definitely see keeping Goliath just to ply on. I don't think I could fill that giant bobbin if I tried!

May 20, 2008

More spinning, finally!

I have finally been blessed with my very own spinning wheel! Once again, I have Lynne at Knitopia Wools Co. to thank, since she's been keeping me in mind since the workshop in March and she alerted me to a great deal on this used wheel. It was a bit of a challenge to get used to it at first, since it is an older wheel and it's much more aggressive than the wheels I've used so far. But, I think we're pretty well-acquainted now, and I'm starting to produce things like this...

This yarn was spun from the gorgeous roving hand-dyed by Kristin at All Spun Up on Etsy. It's made of 50% alpaca, 30% merino and 20% silk. It is very soft and smooth, and the colors are unbelievable! It's currently for sale in my Etsy shop.

This was the roving (sooo beautiful) in various states of progress...

Isn't Kristin's eye for color amazing? I would strongly suggest that any spinners out there check out her shop. Her hand-dyed roving is seriously addictive! She also carries a few handspun yarns, which are gorgeous as well! I purchased this sock wool from her a little while ago, and I will have pictures of the resulting socks up here eventually!

May 12, 2008

Awesome Etsy Sellers - Merimask

I stumbled upon this shop on Etsy about a week ago and I was totally blown away. Andrea of Merimask creates absolutely stunning life-size masks out of sculpted leather. These hand-formed, hand painted masks are truly "wearable art". Andrea has done work for Cirque Du Soleil and has pieces in galleries all across the US. What amazes me is that she is completely self-taught! The mask pictured above was my favorite, but alas, it has already sold (not surprising). These ones however are still available in her shop...

I absolutely love her animal masks, as well as the Japanese influence apparent in many of her pieces. As she says in her profile: "I think a GOOD mask should reveal what's inside, rather than conceal." That exactly what these masks do, allowing the wearer to convey aspects of their personality through beautiful adornment.

I would love to have a collection of Andrea's masks to offer friends to wear. I can just imagine how amazing these masks would be at a Hallowe'en, New Year's Eve or masquerade party, or a concert or outdoor festival.

She also sells a wide selection of smaller items such as keychains, barrettes and pins. These are incredibly crafted in their own right, but for me her masks are the main event. One more picture... can you believe the artistic detail in this "Blue Angel" mask?

Be sure to check out her sold items as well, there are some phenomenal pieces in there!