Monday, August 8, 2011
I started off Friday night with a trip to Home Depot. Armed with Lumber, Screws, and my power tools I built these! (Started Friday night, finished them Saturday afternoon during nap time, lol.)
We had been using a chair to get in and out of the hot tub. For under $50 I think these steps are a HUGE improvement. PLUS it's so much fun to say you built them yourself! lol
Saturday was Mom and Cully day. We went to the Farmer's Market in the morning and since my Romas are starting to ripen I got all the rest of the goods for Pico De Gallo! My favorite!!!
Sunday was 'date day.' This was a SURPRISE date day my hubby planned! Grandma and Grandpa B. had a fun day with Cully while mom and dad headed up to Traverse City! We went to the Northwestern Michigan Fair, Bower's Harbor Winery, antiquing, and even hit the casino on the way home!
BUT how could I forget dinner at Boone's Long Lake?! Look at this Prime Rib! (This is my husband's NOT mine, I had a mere 8oz compared to his 22 ouncer!)
What an absolutely wonderful weekend!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
As for the Tour De Fleece, the surgery put a slight cramp in my overly ambitious plans. I did however finish the following:
9 Scrappy Batts approx 3oz each ~ 24oz. total
10 Yarns ~ 28oz. Total
Singles - Left Mystery roving ball, Right Trade Art Batt from Hobbledehoy (Liz.)
Singles - Roving balls from CJ Kopec Creations (Coby.)
Singles - From my own batts, Red/Blk/White twin to Liz's trade batt, Green twin to the batt I traded a fellow "Michigan Knitter," Vicky, for our new kitty Dukers, and a scrappy batt
Corespun - From my own batts, left plied with metallic cord, right with add-in flip-flops!
2lbs of dyed top, 1lb Polworth and 1lb BFL.
Overall 'FIBER' activity for the tour approx 5.25lbs! No too bad considering I was out of the race only a few days in. How did you do with your Tour Spinning goals?!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I had a request to spin a couple of my batts for a customer in Australia! I rarely spin my own fiber, but this was a wonderful opportunity to do so.
I LOVE the way the yarn turned out and I hope she does too. She had asked for a Bulky 2-ply, which is not normally how I spin art batts, but WOW is the yarn great. More art yarn 2-plies are in my near future...which leads me to...
Tour De Fleece!
I tried to participate in the tour a few years ago, but failed miserably. Well I am giving it another, more focused, attempt this year! I'm prepping my bobbins,
and plotting my spins. Here's a run down of my goals:
Corespins for a weaving project
Bag of fibers for Singles, including some BAMBOO!
2-plies, including some fun patchwork yarns from some hand dyed merino.
Testing the limits of my Ashford Country spinner and I am going to try a 7-ply from some hand dyed sw wool!
And doing a bit of carding for team "Tour De Batt"!
The other teams I'm on are; Peloton, BohoCrafty, Lendrum, All Spun Up, and Stash Busters. Are you joining any teams? If so use coupon code TDF11 and receive 11% off any purchase in my etsy shop! Good now though the end of the race!!!
Midwest Folk and Fiber Festival
This past weekend my hubby had to work in Michigan City, IN so we borrowed my dad's truck, loaded up his golf clubs (he does demos for PING so he goes to courses with a bunch of product, about 8 golf bags stuffed with clubs, and fits people for new golf clubs) and headed down to MC. Well I notice that Midwest Folk and Fiber was going on only about 2 hrs from where we were, so we made the drive over! It was semi-impromptu, so not much money to spend, but I did pick up a few things,
Warp yarn for above mentioned weaving project, some silk cocoons to dye and play with, and a new fast bobbin for my Lendrum to spin some silk! Also not pictured some new felting needles and a bigger foam felting board (already in use!!!)
I wanted to hook up with some people I knew were there, but couldn't find anyone. :( Oh well it was a nice day with the family. :)
Coats for Sheep!
I have been purchasing fiber from Sandy and the sheepies at Homestead for several years now. Sandy is raising money to coat her babies, and I had to donate. I think what she does is great and I love to support a good cause! I have adopted a sheep named Amelia. :) Here she is,
and will be getting some COATED fleece from her next year! From the website:
"Amelia's ivory Cotswold fleece features curly curls, locks of about 4-5 inches and next to the skin soft." I'm planning a special sheep to shawl project for this lovely endeavor. Hope you will find it in your heart to donate as well!!! Otherwise just visit the Homestead Wool and Gift Farm website and read about what they do, and maybe support her with a purchase. All the fibers I've ever gotten from her have been lovely. :)
Here's the first yarn about to come off my Ashford Country spinner. 8oz of corespun and it barely made a dent on what I could fit on that bobbin! WOW I'm in love!!! Need to get a yardage and pick a special project all for ME! :)
That's all for now, TDF updates soon!!! Tour rides July 2nd through July 24th! Go join a Team on Ravelry!!!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I almost have my studio/guest room put back together and I am ready to start listing on etsy regularly again! Look for updates starting this weekend!!!
I have realized amongst the packing and unpacking that I have a bit of a hoarding tendency. I do NOT like this about myself and it needs to change. Wool is a renewable resource so I don't need to buy it like there will never be more. I am going to be very selective on my purchases and enjoy the process of it all more. That is my goal and my focus at this time. I started my little shop because I LOVE doing it. I am 'going back to my roots' and will be simplifying my life whenever possible. It is all about enjoyment and balance right? :)
I am still hoping to get into a couple more festivals this summer. I need to get in contact with a few people and see where I stand on wait lists. I am also considering a local artisan market. Welcome to the Summer of SIMPLIFY!!!
Friday, May 27, 2011
Here are some pics of my booth setup:
Fiber Buffet - I debuted my 'Fiber Buffet' at this festival and it was a HUGE hit! I had hand dyed ingredients, as well as angelina, sari silk, and more for those that card or felt. This was a HUGE hit and I will definitely be continuing this!
Handspun Yarn - Always a conversation piece. Many questions about corespun.
Gifts and Goodies - Spindle Kits, Nuno Kits, Ornaments, and more!
Batts - Didn't sell well at this festival, unfortunately not many spinners. LOTS headed for the SHOP very soon!
All in all a good festival! I understand they are changing the weekend for next year however and it is my Birthday weekend. :( I might have to pass on this one for next year, but it was a very good time this year!!!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
When I vended at the Michigan Fiber Festival in 2009 my booth neighbor Gale, from GalesArt was selling Trindles. I watched as she spun with ease on them and the beautiful arrangements kept diminishing throughout the weekend. So by Sunday afternoon I decided to give it a try. WOW was I impressed. It spun SO much longer than any other spindle I had ever spun on! I had to have one! I took my new baby home and up on the shelf she went. Well recently I have busted out my trindle and taken her on the road with me. Although she has suffered a minor break and repair, she spins just fine.
Upon visiting the etsy site for "research" purposes I noticed the trindles have been redesigned with removable arms, which DEFINITELY solves the problem as to why mine broke. Be sure to check out Trindleman on etsy.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
This will be the first festival I will be introducing my Build-a-Batt BUFFET! Not only will I have my personal UNIQUE (medium texture), INSIDE OUT (high texture), and JELLY ROLL (smooth texture) hand carded batts for the spinners and felters in the bunch but I will also have a wide selection of your favorite add-ins and hand dyed goodies for all the carders in the bunch as well!!!
The plan for the buffet at this time is to have my drum carder available for use and instruction with any purchase. I will be doing carding demos throughout the day as time permits. Feel free to stop by and ask questions!
I will also have a nice selection of fiber related gifts, and of course handspun yarn. Be sure to stop by! Every purchase will receive a secret coupon code for FREE SHIPPING for the remainder of 2011 in my etsy shop!!!
Monday, May 2, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
ON THE DRUM - Nada. (Bad fiber artist, BAD!)
IN THE POT - Nada. (Eeeek!)
IN THE SHOP - TOO much fun with my boys on Sunday. We went to the park, flew kites, swung on the swings, and then the hubby and I went golfing while Cully had some Grandma time. :) GREAT day, but no update this week. :( NEXT week I PROMISE!
Monday, April 4, 2011
ON THE DRUM - Next up are some 'Unique' batts for the shop! In case you are unfamiliar with my batts, I categorize them by Marbles, Unique Batts, and Inside Out Batts. Marbles are the prestripped roving balls, Unique Batts are moderately smooth with hints of texture, and Inside Out Batts are my HUGE texture fleece filled batts carded in the style taught at Pluckyfluff workshops by the ever-so-talented Lexi Boeger.
IN THE POT - FLEECE! Dyeing up some Shetland from Windswept Farms
IN THE SHOP - Missed my usual Sunday update due to a HUGE storm that rolled through yesterday knocking out our internet. Will be updating later today.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I am not going for a smooth card, but rather an organic "fleecy" look to the batt that will spin up relatively smooth but still have some natural texture. The first step I take is evaluating the fiber. As you can see this fiber is very clear of any VM, and has gorgeous luster and a nice wavy crimp. It is ready to card!
Here is my #1 drum carder, a Louet Classic. I LOVE this drum carder and have had lots of luck carding everything I've thrown at her. She's definitely my work horse and I wouldn't trade her for anything!
As you can see I have started loading the main drum already. I prefer to card ALL fibers directly onto the main drum, bypassing the licker-in completely. I like the control I have carding this way because I can place fibers exactly where I want them to end up in the batt.
For "fleecy batts" I apply the fiber using 2 methods. The first, as you can see here, will create smoother portions in the batt. This fiber has been slightly fanned out by hand only.
When applying the fiber to the drum I hold it with my thumb and fingers perpendicular to the rotation of the drum. I hold the lock tips out allowing for the drum to pick up small amounts of the fiber as I crank it.
Now I am going to add some "textured" spots to the batt. This fleece is not going to be carded as smoothly as the other. First notice that the fiber I am about to apply is NOT teased out at all.
When applying the fleece for texture I hold it differently and allow it to go on to the drum in a chunkier manner. In this step I point my thumb towards the drum and when the fiber takes to it I almost pressure it right onto the drum as quickly as possible.
When all the fleece is loaded it is time to remove the batt!
Here is a picture of the bottom (drum side down) side of the batt on my rolling table.
Here's the batt all rolled up and finished!
This particular batt is part of a set of 3 varying blue tones for a color gradient yarn. Here are the 2 batts I have done so far along with the starting fiber for the 3rd.
Like I previously said I am NOT conventional in some of my methods. Some people may gasp at my approach, but please remember I am just trying to share how I do things. "Right or Wrong" it's how I enjoy doing it and the results make me happy. So to those that think I'm "wrong," please leave. lol No, no, no, I'm just kidding, but please do respect that it's just a different approach. Next time you're at your carder give it a shot, you might be pleasantly surprised with your results too!
Monday, March 28, 2011
ON THE DRUM - Blending some dyed lambswool. It's Border Leister X Corriedale fleece from HubbardHandspun and I am blending them into color gradient fleecy batts. Yummmm-o!
IN THE POT - Just dyed some merino/seacell (Green and Purple) and scrappy odds and ends (Red) for carding. Currently on the drying rack.
IN THE SHOP - Just updated the shop with new Marbles. Marbles are pre-stripped batts rolled up and ready to spin. When I get ready to spin from a batt I will unroll it, strip it, and start spinning. I’ve already stripped for you, (lol) hence Marbles are ready to go right out of the bag!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I am a twenty-something mom that has a full time job working for my dad at the company my grandfather started back in the 70's. Besides the typical 8-5/M-F I also have a small etsy shop, UniquelyYoursDesign.etsy.com where I sell handspun yarn, spinning batts, and other fibery goodness! I also hope to break into the local market by applying for some fiber festivals and craft shows over the next few months. I previously vended at the Michigan Fiber Festival in 2009, but took some time off to have my son, Cullen, last year. My little man is now 9 months old and I am just starting to get back into it. I hope to get back in to the MFF and expand to other festivals as well. Besides sharing my fiber endeavors I also hope to update you with info on selling on etsy as well as at local events. Let's call it a "Fiber How-To Guide for the Modern Girl."
So where do I start? Here is a run down of some of the topics I hope to cover soon:
-What happens when WOOL takes over your house
-How a busy working mom sells on etsy (ie. ME)
-How I DYE
-How I SPIN
-How I Card Batts
I hope you will follow my blog and find some of the info I share useful. My goal is to update both my etsy shop and my blog at least once a week. If there is anything you would like to know I am always open to information sharing, questions, comments, and discussion. Thanks for checking out my new blog!
Private lessons are $30 per hour, with a 2 hour minimum (Can be split into 2 sessions if you prefer.) Email me to work out the details, JBenedictScott@aol.com
I specialize in spinning Bulky Singles, 2-plies, Navajo/Chain Plied, and Corespun yarns. I also can share my knowledge on needle felting, wet felting, nuno felting or weaving with a rigid heddle loom. My main area of expertise however is in fiber blending and drum carding. Please visit my etsy shop for examples of my work.