Monday, March 24, 2008

A NEW HOBBY hehehe

I have decided that the fiber arts are fabulous! So naturally I've been researching all things crafty that you can do with fibers of all sorts. I love yarn, and become mesmerized when I see beautifully dyed yarn especially if it looks soft and shiny. So I figured making my own yarn would be so cool! I was right! My spinning all began very innocently with some reading, and more reading online. Then I figured I could probably do it after reading so much about it for months! So I ordered some wool, and headed to the craft store to pick up some supplies to make my own home made drop spindle. I then started playing with the wool and spindle. It was fun, but I wasn't real good at keeping the spindle spinning while drifting out my wool. So I hatched a plan to get a spinning wheel because it seemed to be right up my alley. Then disappointment set in as I realized that spinning wheels cost a bit more than 5 bucks! Okay, a LOT more than that! Luckily I knew where to ask (craftster has a great fiber arts forum)! I discovered a place that makes spinning wheels out of PVC pipe and a wheelchair wheel. As much as I love asking my hubby to make things for me that neither of us knows how to make I really had no idea how this thing should work when it finally is done. So how would I know if there was a problem or how to fix it? Yeah I wouldn't. So I somehow talked him into letting me buy something I had no idea how to use! LOL!! Isn't that nuts!? But my hubby is a really nice guy, and he likes to keep me happy, and he knew that I'd figure out how to use it. After all I learned how to knit and spin and make a spindle online, why not figure out how to spin there too? So I ordered this wheel that I'd heard great things about and the agony began. I thought I was going to die before it arrived. Luckily I survived though. And I LOVE it! It's just sooooo cool! Watching the fiber be spun into yarn is almost hypnotic. Plus now I get to play with all these great fibers! I also ordered a variety of fibers to spin on my new wheel (alpaca, angora, Bamboo, cashmere, mohair, nylon, firestar, silk, soysilk, and wool), and if you have all this fiber you gotta have something to blend it with right? Of corse you do! So, I ordered a drum carder too! HEHEHE and hubby put up with all of this so well! Though in my defence I researched all of it for months and stuck to a budgeted amount before ordering anything so there! hehehe

So I bet that a lot of you are wondering what on earth a PVC spinning wheel looks like huh? Well it looks just like any other spinning wheel only it's made of PVC hehe. Oh yeah and I have a pic to share too. It's more like a modern wheel, and no it doesn't look like the one that Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on, though the 2 do the same thing.

Anyway, here's my wheel. Isn't it cool?

OH and if you're wondering what on earth a drum carder is. Well, it's a dangerous tool if you don't know how to use it right. It's used to combine fibers, or align fibers so that they're ready for spinning. They're also more than $5! Darn it! I ordered mine from and it came with 8oz of "free" silk (as in it wasn't extra, but I had to plunk down the $$ for the carder to get it, is that really free?? hehe). Oh silk is soooooooooo soft! I'm gonna have fun spinning it! So here's a picture of my Strauch "Petite" (it's not small) Drum carder.

Anyway, I ordered a kit rather than a pre-assembled drum carder. It saved me $15 and I got to learn how it was put together. That's how I know it can be dangerous! I was moving it, and poked my thumb on it, and made it bleed! See!

So a word to the wise, DON'T touch the spikes on your drum carder and you'll get along better with it!

So of course having these new toys gives good reason to USE them right!? So here are my latest projects.
This one is my first hand spun yarn.

Here's a picture of the first fibers I carded together, pulled into roving, and dyed. It's 25% nylon 75% wool. I'm hoping to spin it into sock yarn one day. Though I think I'd like a little more practice to get more even yarn first.

And this one is a 2oz batt of wool/silk that I carded together. It's about 1/3 silk 2/3 wool. The silk makes it shiny. I'm going to dye this one, but I'm not sure what colors yet, and I'm not sure what weight it'll be when spun. I'm waiting for it to tell me what it wants to be. Right now it's happy being a beautiful cloud of fiber.

Be sure to check back later. I've dyed up the handspun yarn, and I'm working on a hand knit headband (too bad it's getting warmer huh? did I just say that?! I hate the cold! But you don't wanna go running around in a wool headband in the middle of summer. oh well, one thing's for sure, winter always comes again around here!). Hopefully it'll be done soon! I can't wait to see it when it's done!
Have a great day!


I have socks! For those of you who haven't been bitten by the sock knitting bug you may find it hard to believe that I'm having so much fun taking so much time making something that I'll just put holes in by wearing them around on my feet! But it's true! I've been bitten by the sock bug! Socks make a great knitting project for so many reasons!
1. They're reltively small, and therefore can be finished quickly.
2. You can do any number of beautiful patterns on socks so they're always interresting.
3. There's so much lovely sock yarn out there, and knitters just wanna try it all!
4. You can't buy the beautiful socks you can knit.
5. They're warm!

See! I've just listed 5 reasons off the top of my head why socks are so great! And I'm sure all the sock knitters out there can come up with many more! So now hopeflully you know why I love to knit socks, and if you don't, well... maybe you should try some for yourself and see!

I bet you wanna see some of these socks that I love to knit don't ya? Okay! here ya go.
This is the first pair of socks that I ever knit. They're the Baudelaire sock pattern FREE from I made these from some wool/nylon sock yarn in burgundy. I love them. They took me forever, but that's what I get for going for fancy shmancy lacey socks on my first pair. But this is what I wanted to knit, so I did. This first pic is of them on my needle. I'm an impatiend knitter and for fear of never making the second sock I made them 2 at a time on one long circular needle. It's not as hard as it sounds. Just a litte trickey to keep your yarn from getting tangled up seeing as how you need to knit from 2 different skeins of yarn at a time. Anyway enough rambling about these socks. Here are the pics.

Here's a pic of the socks fresh off the needles.

Here they are on my very happy feet!

These are some toddler socks I just kind of made up. I thought it would be cute to knit some socks for the twins. So I knit up a swatch with some yarn that I found at an adorable little yarn shop in South Jordan called "From Robbin's Nest" It's all acrylic which I thought would be good for toddlers since they don't take real great careo f their socks anyway. And mostly I just wanted to make some cute socks!

This is pair of socks that I just finished up today. I used the generic toe-up sock pattern from (sorta, I read the pattern once, then kinda guessed on the rest). These are made with my own hand dyed yarn, in a colorway I'm calling "Mint Dream". The design part of the socks is kind of a play on seed stitch. I saw a REALLY expensive sweater in the mall with this stitch pattern, and figured I could just do it on socks to see how I like it.
It's really simple.
row 1: K2, P2 across the top,
row 2: repeat row 1,
row 3: P the K's and K the P's.
row 4: repeat row 3.
Repeat rows 1-4 for the pattern part of the sock. Makes for a fun texture.
So here's a close up of the pattern.

Here's the side view.

And here are my happy feet.
I'm not sure what pattern I'll use for my next socks yet, but I already have the yarn! I do however have a few projects that I feel obligated to finish b-4 starting on a new one. So it could be a while before I get anymore socks done. But I hope you like looking at my socks as much as I like wearing them! LOL
Happy Crafting!