Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Little Man

Just because I'm a proud momma, I gotta brag a bit. Here's my little man, 9 months old and absolutely the joy of my life. Being a Mom is awesome!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Unique Technique - Carding 100% fleece batts

I LOVE to card batts. I card smooth batts, chunky batts, EXTRA chunky batts, sparkly batts, fleecy batts, and more. I just LOVE playing with fluff! Here's my 1st little tutorial on how I card a 100% fleecy batt. Here I am carding some Boarder Leister X Corriedale fiber from HubbardHandspun on etsy. I purchased this fiber from Elizabeth already washed and dyed and it is simply yummy! (As is all of the fiber I've gotten from her, washed or raw.)

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

Current Projects - Weekly Rundown

ON THE WHEEL - Corespinning Merino, Silk, Firestar batts I carded. Will be finished with the "Unique Technique" hopefully to be featured in an instructional YouTube video!

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

This Modern Girl's SPIN on Spinning

I decided I'm going to blog. So what am I going to blog about? FIBER of course! I have a love and passion for pretty fibers and I decided I'm going to share my modern twist on spinning in the form of this blog. I have unique, and sometimes unconventional ways of approaching the old art of spinning yarn, and I hope to inspire others by sharing my techniques, trials, errors, and successes.

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, 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 Card Batts
-Equipment Reviews

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

If you are local to the Muskegon, MI area and in need of Spinning, Weaving, Felting, or Drum Carding instruction I would be more than happy to help!

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,

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.

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