Monday, May 20, 2013

What I did on my spring vacation

I didn't do nearly as much dyeing as I wanted to, and didn't make up any new colorways - I spent the early part of the week, when the weather was nice, mostly skeining up yarn for stripes and other special effects, and then it started raining, which limits the amount of special effect dyeing I can do.  (I don't have as much space indoors as I would like to lay out the long skeins.)

I also discovered I don't have nearly as much sock yarn in stock as I thought.  Instead, I dyed mostly laceweight and DK yarns in some of my favorite colorways:  Oceanic, Warmth, Summer Splash, Deep, and Kermit.

I also used some of the indoor time to catch up on some carding.  There will be some beautiful romney batts in the shop soon - greens, blues, and purples.  They have some lanolin left in them, so for those who like to spin "in the grease" but also like color, these batts are for you!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Being on vacation is exhausting!

I ended up with about 15 lbs of fiber, my most restrained Shepherds Harvest yet.  Now, that came from 7 different sheep, but I bought only one full fleece - I mostly got only 1-2 lbs of the rest.  Several of the fleece were from breeds I haven't worked with before - a Columbia X, Dorset, Suffolk X, and Shetland.  And then there were the tried and true breeds that I get every year, like a BFL x Romney.  Some of this fiber will probably show up as batts in the shop.

And now I'm halfway through my third annual post Shepherds Harvest week of vacation.  I've been skeining yarn like crazy for my first attempts at gradients, long stripes, and other fun techniques I've not tried before... or at least not tried successfully.  In the past, these dyeing binges have resulted in new repeating colorways.  If all goes according to plan, a lot of this week's dyeing will happen tomorrow.  We'll see what happens.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Wool fumes

This weekend is Shepherds Harvest.  Every year I say I'm going to get 1-2 fleeces, and I take home 5ish, sometimes more.  This year... I have no idea.  Up until a few days ago, I was saying 1-2, because I have so many remaining from previous years.  Then wool fumes hit, and I started to think 8 was a decent number.  Right now, the wool fumes have calmed down again.  I have no idea what will happen tomorrow.

Then I'm taking next week off from work to have fun with fiber.  I'm busy prepping skeins of yarn for handpainting, and I plan to attempt more striping yarns, though I don't yet have a clear idea of what colors will call to me.

Meanwhile, for those who didn't see Sarah's Facebook post, the new homepage is up, with displays of one-of-a-kind colorways, past and present.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Check out my new colorway gallery!  These are some of the colorways that are repeatable, with not always identical results.

This is the first in what I hope will be a series of new additions to the website.  It's only one piece so far, but since it involved learning several computer languages, as well as building and popuating a database, I hope that the next pieces will happen more quickly.  I also have in mind a product gallery (organized by yarn/fiber instead of colorway), and with the help of friends and customers, a showcase of finished projects using The Spinning Daisy products.  Let me know if you have pictures you'd like to share.

I'm nearly finished with a project I'll be able to showcase there - a cowl neck sweater that I knit from yarn I dyed from fiber I had processed from fleece (and silk) I bought back in 2010... or possibly 2009.  Slowly but surely.  All I have left to do is knit about half of a sleeve, then block it and show it off.  :-)

This time next week, I will be in or very near the Stringtopia Fiber Arts Studio in Ohio for the Spring String Thing!  So many things to do before then, including getting some new items up in the shop.  I've made my first striping yarn, and look forward to doing more.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spring Fiber Fever!

I'm gearing up for lots of fiber-filled fun this spring.  In late April, I'm going to Ohio for Stringtopia's Spring String Thing, where I'll be taking three classes from Beth Smith of the Spinning Loft:  Finish That Skein about different finishing techniques, Woolen and Worsted (about spinning techniques) and a Breed Study (about the characteristics of different sheep breeds).  These are all things I've learned the basics of from the internet, but this should be a more in depth experience with more explanation of the whys and wherefores.

Two weeks after that, I'll be staying local with Shepherd's Harvest, where I plan to take a course on the long draw technique from Stefania Isaacson and I hope not to come home overloaded with wool like I usually do.  I plan to bring a photo album (on my iPod or something small like that) of all the fleece and roving I still have so that when I'm distracted by the pretty, I can check to see if I already have pounds of something similar - and it's likely that I do.  I don't expect this to completely prevent me from buying anything, but maybe I can minimize the damage.

But all that is several weeks away, so meanwhile I'm spinning the fiber I have, knitting with my handspun, and continuing to build the site, including a new photo gallery (or two).  Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Yes, my longest absence yet.  The funny thing is, I've spent more time "computering" for The Spinning Daisy than ever.  I've been working with a friend on creating a better website, with a gallery of repeatable colorways and other features, along with a behind-the-scenes database for administration.  We get together weekly and spend 2-4 hours on this, mostly learning from scratch which is why it's taking so long.  The minor aesthetic changes to the blog are a taste of what the new website will look like.  It's coming together, and I'm looking forward to unveiling more of it soon.

Meanwhile, the Etsy shop is still up and running, and if you use the coupon code HAPPY2013 at the checkout, you'll receive a 13% discount through the end of the month.  There's roving, top, batts, handspun yarn, and handdyed yarn, in all colors and sizes (well, many colors and sizes).  I've also added some natural-colored roving, and large amounts of spinning fiber - even sweater amounts.