June 29, 2008

Black Mustard's facelift

I've revamped my Etsy shop with a new banner, avatar and shop policies. Here is the new face of Black Mustard Fiber Arts!

I also listed another new pouch last night and it sold by this morning... so exciting!

It's been a great day for me! Now I'm off to finish a new batch of fabric headbands! I'll have some pretty pictures to share tomorrow.

June 28, 2008

Black Mustard bags are back!!!

After a short vacation, my needle-felted bags are back in my Etsy shop today! I've brought back a few old favorites, as well as some new ones, like these...

"Green Mandala"

"Last Leaves"I will be listing a few more in the coming days, and I hope to start making a few new ones in between my spinning and sewing!

June 22, 2008

Dappled - SW Merino handspun yarn

I have just added this yarn to my Etsy shop today. "Dappled" is 185 yards of 100% Superwash Merino goodness.

It was spun from gorgeous hand-dyed AllSpunUp roving. After the last yarn I spun, which took quite a long time to finish, I wanted a quick and soothing spin. This roving was a dream to work with, and I love how the colors turned out!

June 19, 2008

One for you, one for me...

I've just made my first trade with a fellow crafter on Etsy. To tell the truth I feel a little starstruck because it was one of the very first sellers I ever took notice of on Etsy, long before I started selling. Val of Actual Size Creations makes incredible knitting messenger bags, which I have been lusting after since I first saw them in their well-deserved spot on Etsy's front page. On my current working-part-time budget, I haven't been able to justify buying one yet but I dreamed of treating myself to one of her bags someday. Well, I made a comment on a Ravelry update post she made about how much I loved her work and she mentioned that she's always open to trade and that she liked my handspun yarns. Long story short, this bag is going to be mine!!!

It looks incredibly well-made and functional, as well as really unique (I love the zigzag of the needle pockets on the front!) I cannot wait to get it (it's on its way to me now). Val also sells beautifully dyed sock yarns in her shop - check them out!!! This one's my fave.

Oh, and my end of the bargain was this handspun yarn, and a couple of fabric headbands.

"Summer Showers" is 276 yards of fingering weight BFL, dyed by the amazing Kristin at AllSpunUp. I hope she likes it as much as I know I'm going to love my bag!

June 12, 2008

Plaything - Merino handspun yarn

I have just added this yarn to my Etsy shop tonight. "Plaything" is 235 yards of 100% Merino yumminess.

It was spun from the FreckleFaceFibers roving I mentioned a few days ago. Finished it a little later than I'd hoped, what with the spinning workshop and hanging out with my mom, who was staying with me for a week or so. But, it's in the shop now and I'm quite happy with the way it turned out!

June 9, 2008


Every now and then I see a treasury on Etsy's front page that just blows me away. This is one of those amazing treasuries.

That top row is just absolute perfection! Talk about an artist's eye for combining colors and theme to create a gorgeous, relaxing collection. This one was put together by Zygopsyche and I've noticed quite a few front pages with that name on them. Beautiful!

June 7, 2008

Spinning workshop round 2

Today my mom and I attended Judith MacKenzie McCuin's spinning workshop, organized by Lynne at Knitopia Wools Co. The class was "Spinning for Weaving" and although I have yet to get into weaving and it may be some time before I do, I took notes and tried to absorb as much information as I could to file away for use at a later date. We learned a lot about twist and yarn construction, and got a few pointers on making some gorgeous art yarns to use to add texture to woven cloth.

This woman is incredible - a wealth of knowledge and experience. Listening to her talk about fiber and textiles is absolutely mesmerizing. She discussed everything from the mystical and spiritual reasoning for direction of spin used in Andean spinning and weaving to some of the most innovative and original ideas in weaving today. I really got a better appreciation for the tradition of fiber arts and textile design, a small taste of the history there. Very interesting stuff! I also bought a copy of her book, which I am very eager to read through.

Although the spinning part of the workshop was great and I was able to tweak and improve a lot of my methods, what ended up being the highlight of the day was when I got to play with the drum carder and an assortment of fiber to make a nice big fluffy spinning batt to take home! Here it is, my first foray into combining colors for spinning!

I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. It was so, so, so much fun, happily flinging bits of color onto the carder and watching them blend and become this gorgeous batt! I had at my disposal a lot of merino, some kid mohair locks and beautiful shiny silk in a broad spectrum of colors and textures.

Having never dyed or carded colored fiber before, this was a new and exciting treat for me. Lynne, who has an incredible eye for color and makes beautiful hand-dyed rovings, such as the one I used to make this yarn, has been telling my mom and I for quite some time that we need to get into dyeing. After seeing how much fun it is to work with color, I told her that she was right! To which she replied, "I know, color just makes you pee!" I couldn't put it better. I absolutely can't wait to see how this spins up!

I am really looking forward to tomorrow's class, which is "Spinning for Socks". That's something I'll be able to put to more immediate use. Exciting stuff!

June 4, 2008

New Promotion!!

I've got a new promotion going on in my Etsy shop to introduce my new fabric headbands! Buy any 3 items and get a free headband of your choosing.

Here are some examples...

They're also available on their own of course! It's been so much fun playing with all my fabric - there will be lots more to come soon.

June 2, 2008

Back in business, baby!

So, I went to check the mail the morning and found 2 beautiful, bouncing rovings waiting for me! Can we guess what I'll be doing today???

This one is from Squoosh on Etsy, cloud soft BFL in the "Testament" colorway.

And this one, from FatCatKnits (also on Etsy), squishy Falkland combed top in "Roadside Slush". It's too soon to say, but I just might have to keep the yarn from this one... I'm a sucker for brown and the shades in this roving are incredible - from natural to chocolate, golden amber to burnt maroon - so gorgeous!

Here's a sneak peak at the yarn I've been spinning from this FreckleFaceFibers roving - Handpainted Merino in "Spring Fling".

Since Goliath only has one bobbin (which, by the way, does not make him any less of a man), I have to wind each single into a centerpull ball before I can ply them. This is the first half. The other one will be done today, and the yarn plied and washed. Hopefully I will have the finished product available in my shop tomorrow!