Friday, September 30, 2011

All kindsa art going on here

Wow, it's been an arty week around GR.  ArtPrize has been in high gear all week.  Hopefully this afternoon I'll be able to check out a few more things.  Since they've announced the top 10, it should be easier to get to some of the venues I haven't seen yet as the crowds will be around the 10 favs. You can see some of my photos from ArtPrize if you'd like by checking my 4 previous blog posts.  Just click on the blog title and scroll down.

I finished spinning the single you see at the top of my blog.  The bobbin is nice and full see...
Now I must decide whether to wind off half of it to make a two ply or just Navajo ply it?  I'm leaning toward the N-Ply since I segregated the colors of the batt and spun them in a repeated order.  Having finished this batt I can concentrate on spinning some of the Jacob that I started combing...lots of that to spin so better get started.

The second Kill Bill sock is steadily growing, now that I know what I'm doing.  That first sock threatened to end my knitting career, I swear!
I decided to give it a black toe to make it more interesting when I'm spinning with the group at Urban Mill.

I feel that ArtPrize has renewed my enthusiasm for art/craft/creativity.  I do so love creating pretty things.  I have several ArtPrize pieces stuck in my mind, like these two...

I'd love to have either in my office at work where I could gaze upon them frequently.

Be sure to get out and find something that will renew your enthusiasm if you find it waning this time of year.  It can be a tough task this time of year, but if you can accomplish it the long cold winter will be much more bearable.

Visit more creative folks over at Andrea's blog.  Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

FAF 9/23/11

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!  Thank you for visiting and don't forget to check out the other crafty peeps over at Andrea's blog today.

Last Saturday was World Wide Spin in Public Day.  Did you spin in public?  It was a beautiful day and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with friends out on Rosa Parks Circle.  My friend Rita from Yarn Hollow brought the most beautiful basket of goodies...
I was spindling this from pretty fiber that Emily gifted to me...she has very pretty things in her Etsy shop.
I knit another headband...
and finally finished the most difficult sock ever...
toe-up, after-thought heel, ugh.  I really like learning a new technique but several new techniques in the same sock? not so much.  It is, however, finished and its mate started.  Mate will have a black toe and heel.  Might make it more interesting when I'm spinning and showing off my socks, LOL

My friend Paula gave me a pretty Jacob batt that she carded.
Don't you love the color?

Tonight I'll meet Val for an ArtPrize tour downtown.  I'm sure I'll have lots of pics when I get back.  Have a super awesome weekend everybody!

PS:  Vivian,  send me a PM on FB with your address and I'll send you something pretty.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What did you do on WWSIPD?

Maybe some of this?

World Wide Spin In Public Day 2011, Rosa Parks Circle, Grand Rapids, MI

Friday, September 16, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy...and a fabulous birthday

Happy Birthday to me!
Has your week been super crazy?  Have you stopped and taken stock of what you've accomplished during that crazy?  It may surprise you. At the end of each day I take stock.  I check my mental to-do list to be sure I've accomplished everything for the day.  I usually have a planning session while I'm in the shower in the morning.  When do you do your best planning?
My prize from Emily's stash!
It was my birthday on Tuesday, I was 55 shiver.  I'm officially out of the most desired demo in the media business.  I've not decided if that's good or bad.  I'm not sad about it though.  This past year has been one of the best of my life on the personal level.  My family is healthy and on the average, successful.  I have a great group of friends that share my passion for all things fiber.  The pooches are well.  And I'm still getting up and going to work every day.  Life is certainly good!  Thank you all for being a part of it.
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On Monday evening I visited Grand Alpaca Co with Paula and the Woodland Weavers and Spinners. The Talbots have a beautiful place with amazing animals.  The alpacas all know their names, 150 alpacas, that's a lot of names.
Isn't she beautiful?
Tuesday, the big day, included a road trip to Howell, MI to check out The Spinning Loft.  We had a nice lunch at Mr. B's Rustic Tavern (thanks again Paula) then made a stop at Sticks and Strings in Lansing (super cute shop and real nice folks) on the way back home.  The picture at the top of today's post is the stuff I gave myself for my birthday.  I finished up the day hanging out with the GR Yarnies at A Grand Skein's Grand Opening.  It was great fun!

Mixed in with all this fun there was some knitting and spinning.  I'm on a headband knitting kick, 2 adult and 1 baby-size so far.  The first one...
and the spinning...


Have you taken stock of what you've accomplished his week?  Make a list it'll surprise you. No task is too small to make note of.  There could be a prize involved.  Winner could be announced next Fiber Arts Friday so you might have til then to tell me about your list-making habits - or lack thereof.

Be sure to visit Andrea's blog and see all the crafty peeps that join in celebrating Fiber Arts Friday.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Taking the slow route

I'm taking Beth Smith's advice...combing my Jacob instead of carding it.  I'm ecstatic with the result...no neps!  The down side is, combing 4 Jacob fleeces may take the rest of my days...


In other news...the little LadyBug bag is finished.

and I've been spinning this pretty single with some roving I bought from Winding Wool Creek Fiber.  She makes the most amazing multi-color roving. click to biggie-size photos

My friend Emily has a new Etsy shop...you should go visit her!  Here.  You'll like her stuff, it's very pretty.

I spun and plied this past week too...
The dogs have been super lazy, maybe it's the cooler weather that lets them rest better.

 I know I've been sleeping better since the temperature dropped to autumn levels this week.  Guess it's time to dig out some long pants.

Have a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping by.  Go check out the Fiber Arts Friday peeps.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Proper preparation is important and time saving

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance!   I learned this phrase about 25 years ago when I was selling soap.  A good principle and had I followed it I mightn't be dealing with this...
those dark spots?  They're neps, little balls of tangled wool.  Not what you want in your batts of pretty Jacob fleece.  ugh
Looking at it from this angle without back-lighting you can see how they look on the surface of the batt.  Little blobs...dammit!  I will be picking them out of the fleece as I spin, which slows down the spinning.

If only I had done the following...

Lesson #1...lay your fleece out on a large surface with 1 1/2" to 2" holes all over and shake the daylights out of it.  This procedure gets lots of excess dirt and veggie matter out of the fleece prior to washing.  It will also get rid of lots of the dreaded second cuts.

A lesson learned.  It truly is worth the extra time and effort to get those short bits out of the fleece BEFORE you wash it, then pick it, then card it.  All of these make the neps more determined to stay in the fiber and make it impossible to make a super smooth batt.   Or pile-o-batts as the case is here.
On an experimental photo note, I've decided that I like the following photo without the flash best.  It seems more interesting to me.

Which one do you like better?
LittleDog says, Hey! have a fun and safe Labor Day Weekend! and be sure to shake out those second cuts.  And remember...Even a bad crafty day is a good day!

Hop on over to Wisdom Begins In Wonder to see lots of other fibery peeps.  Happy Fiber Arts Friday!