February 15th, 2008 at 12:19 pm (spinning, family, fiber arts, Knitting, crochet)
OK, maybe not “big time”, but I am moving….moving it all over to my new URL, finally! Right now the new blog is kind of lousy in a layout and graphics sense, but I’m slowly working on it. I’m not the kind of person to say: “…and now….I unveil this totally fantastic, finished, never-to-be-updated or changed format”, so it is what it is and can only get better as Craig helps me work on it while the software is in it’s development stages.
I toyed with the idea of having two blogs, one personal and one fibery/business blog. But the reality is that life is way too short for two blogs, and that my fibery existence is completely tied to my “Momminess” at this stage in life–an obvious fact as I write with a snuggly one year old on my lap–got the picture? So, that said, away I go! Please join me at TemptressYarn. I’ll keep this blog up and running until I can hopefully transfer all of the old posts over there to save.
My goodies will still be for sale at Handmade for now. I get too much organic traffic there to ditch it, and it’s my official business name, so I think it’ll stick with it for a while. And I opened a new Etsy shop under TemptressYarn and will be moving my items there from the old Etsy shop as I offer new items.
September 8th, 2007 at 9:46 am (spinning, felting, fiber arts)
I finally posted a small Temptress Yarn update at Handmade, with a gorgeous self-striping yarn that I spun from babycakes batts I bought from loop (a dream to spin!), a simple singles in lavender and this festive pair of Vegan (no animal fibers) skeins, spun from a drumcarded batt of red and lavender flax, cotton, denim cotton, orange ingeo (from corn), and black and gold sparkle. I plied it with a synthetic textured thread from Habu, my favorite fiber store. Anyhow, here’s a sneak peek of the vegan yarn, “Salsa”:
And a finished object I almost let “get away” without a photo, duh. I did this once before, this Spring. I created a gorgeous felt/knit combo scarf incorporating yarn I purchased from the marvelous Jacey at Insubordiknit. I brought it to a show only days after I finished it, priced it high because I didn’t wish to part with it ‘…but for the right price…” and it sold. An hour or so later I was kicking myself because I have NO photos of the damned thing, aargh!!!!!! (”It took so long to bake it….and I’ll never have that recipe again…oh no!”)
Anyhow…long story longer….I almost let this one get away at the Shelter Island show, and was able to get the buyer to model it for me at the last minute. I didn’t get permission to show her on my blog, so I cut her head off, but at least I have a few pics. The details are not showing well, though. I hand “wove” this on a large bubble wrap, laying pieces of felting roving over and under, then wove in a black and turquoise handspun of mine called “night sky”. After felting, I added ceramic beads on the fringe, and sewed on hundreds of little seed beads here and there in blues and blacks and irridescent hues. I was really happy with this piece. It sold before it got a name:
August 29th, 2007 at 10:58 am (spinning, felting, fiber arts, Knitting, crochet)
All my handspun is on sale over at the shop–Handmade. $5 off any skein until Labor Day. Say that you found it at my blog and get US shipping for only a buck (free shipping on any order over $50 as usual).
I thought a sale to help clear out some stock would inspire me to stay up late spinning down some of my ever-growing fiber stash. I may even post a few brand new yarns there in the next day or so if I can get the twist set and dry in time to photograph, so you may get access to some brand new skeins at sale prices. Run right over and check it out!!
August 22nd, 2007 at 10:59 pm (spinning, felting, fiber arts)
August 5th, 2007 at 9:39 pm (spinning, fiber arts)
Finally something fibery to talk about! Spent the day doing this and that…taking care of baby, eating, doing dishes, etc. Went to the Bellmore Antiques flea market and picked up a wild dress that I think I’m gonna shred and spin up, Pluckyfluff style, though I don’t expect it to come out great like “The Emperor Has No Clothes” which was truly amazing! This dress is sheer and sparkly and has it’s own brilliance that I hope I can transform into a beautiful yarn…I figure for $6 it’s worth a shot! I also ran across another Sheffield Farms glass milk bottle to add to my collection. This one may be a cream bottle as it’s a half pint. My Grandfather worked for them (out of Brooklyn I think) as a milkman–I believe it was around the 1920’s– delivering milk with a horse and carriage, so I keep grabbing the bottles as I run across them.
So it was pretty much “do anything” today to avoid doing more cleaning/organizing/paperwork that I’ve been working on, though I’m off to work on it again late tonight after I scavenge something to eat for myself. This evening, baby O went to bed around 7–teething, cranky and exhausted–and since the rest of the fam is in FL visiting Grandparents, I broke out my bulk white roving and the dye pots and went to work! I always forget just how easy it is to dye, really. I managed to do about a pound of miscellaneous stuff in about an hour and the results, though still too hot to handle, look promising. I won’t bother to touch it until tomorrow when it’s cooled off. I think it’s just easier that way and less likely to have a felting accident from too much handling and wild temperature changes.
So, on the stove top I dyed some Wensleydale in sunset colors (accidentally let that one boil, so cross fingers it’s not a big felted glob when it cools!!). In my enamel roasters in the oven, I dyed some merino/tencel in red-purple-chartruse blend and some bluefaced leicester in a red-purple-dark green blend. I’ll add pics tomorrow when I rinse and hang it all to dry. It’s not much compared to the amazing Yarn Wench or others who dye for hours and produce piles of rovings to spin and sell, but a pound is enough for me to accomplish, and will keep me busy for some time.
Maybe I’ll use some of it to finally get some of my spindle kits packaged up to sell…a girl can dream, right?
June 20th, 2007 at 10:47 pm (spinning)
I couldn’t resist finally posting a Temptress Yarn update to Handmade. I just added three skeins (two were previously only over at etsy, but are now in both places). I’m especially happy with this corespun yarn from wool, sparkle, recycled denim cotton, flax, ingeo and bits of two synthetic novelty yarns. It’s on a cotton/linen core, and named “When It Sizzles”. Here’s a pic before I took it off the bobbin to set the twist and skein up. Enjoy the update…lots of yarn available right now in the pre-summer lull!
May 3rd, 2007 at 12:06 am (spinning, family, fiber arts)
We took off last weekend for a much needed recharge/getaway. Drove off on Saturday morning early (well, around 8:30 which is early for us!) and headed to Vernon CT for the CT Sheep Breeders Association’s ‘Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival’. It was a nice, smallish fiber fair–just perfect for a few hours of fun. There were plenty of animals…sheep being sheared, a sheep dog (Border Collies) demonstration, a few Alpacas, and some Angora Rabbits. Oh the bunnies…thank goodness we didn’t come home with another one this time around. Me to Craig “…yes that one is cute, now put him down and step away from the rabbits, dear.” You’d think the 4yo girl would be the bunny collector, but no siree, it’s her Dad who is the one I have to keep an eye on when shopping the fiber fairs! Whew, narrow escape…. Of course, he attended an hour long demo on German Angoras and learned a lot. I think eventually that’s the breed we’ll end up with. The woman who did the demo has 30 of them, she shears them 4x a year and gets around a POUND of fiber off them each time, Wow!!! That’s a lot of bunny hair (with the going rate being about $5 an ounce!)
The fair also had a nice assortment of vendors, mostly with naturally colored fleeces and rovings, some lovely handmade fibery things, sheep and goat milk soaps, fibery tools (though no lendrum wheels or ashford country spinners there for me to try out, waaaaaah!), sheep cheese and yogurt, a cool sheep to shawl contest and more. I only ended up buying about 3 pounds of fiber…not shabby but not ridiculous overkill. I got some lovely prepared roving to spin, a pound of short fibered ‘felting’ roving, and an alpaca fleece that was going for ridiculously cheap prices at the end of the fair. Hopefully it’s in as good shape as I think it is. Anyhow it’ll keep me busy (as if I didn’t have enough fiber to last my lifetime already, heh). Overall the fair was just right. Full but not overcrowded and a little fix to keep me going until Rhinebeck this Fall!!
We spent the night in a nice hotel and on Sunday we drove to West Hartford and shopped at the Whole Foods for some things I needed and some lunch stuff for a picnic, then headed to the Children’s Museum there so little A could have some fun that was all her speed. It was a great museum with just enough to keep her interested for a few hours–more animals, lots of space info, a bubble machine and tons of hands-on kid science–Very nice! Then we drove around a state park trying to find an entrance. We could see the picnic area but all the gates were closed and there was no way in but to park on the road and hike in quite a distance, which wasn’t going to work with our hungry bellies and two kids to schlep and not even a backpack in the car. We gave up and finally ended up eating lunch at an empty baseball field on the bleachers, well after the sun went in and the temperature dropped quickly…ya win some, ya lose some, right?
Regardless, it was a relaxing weekend that we needed…fresh air, sunshine, a relaxing drive in the country. Just right. Now back to your regular (busy) schedule.
April 14th, 2007 at 6:25 pm (spinning, Knitting)
Sorry to bore everyone with the non-fibery posts all the time, but I have finally got some finished objects to post and here’s the first, hooray! Of course, my photos suck and I didn’t realize it until after I gave it away. This scarf was knit in celebration of a young friend making her passage into womanhood. I wanted to commemorate the event with something special for a special young woman, hence it’s in her favorite colors purple and green, with some complimentary colors and just a hint of red thrown in to mark this extra special time in her life. I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it!
The chunky yarn is my own handspun singles, spun bulky from a batt I carded including merino, silk, silk noil and sparkle. I knit it with alternating chunks of a thinner commercial mostly mohair blend. (Can’t find the label but I’ll post it when I do locate it.) I knit the handspun before setting the twist, in lopsided rows totaling 5 yarn overs in each double row, which makes for a real loose open look that I think shows off the handspun nicely (if that doesn’t make sense, feel free to ask for details, not sure I can explain without writing a pattern, which I have absolutely NO idea how to do!!). I had a lot of fun with this project. The fringe is uneven and wild on purpose for an extra fun touch. Here’s another lousy pic of the scarf on our fence–really gotta get a dress form or mannequin.
More eye candy coming soon…check in someday to see what I’m up to, please.
February 1st, 2007 at 11:14 pm (spinning)
On a recent busy day (aren’t they all busy days?), my tasks at hand made me chuckle to myself while repeating this classic line from the 80’s in my head over and over (if you’re too young to recognize it, you’re on your own).
Task #1: In the bathroom sink I had two wool diaper covers soaking to lanolize. That’s the process where you dissolve a bit of lanolin into hot water and soak the wool covers, making them extremely water resistant. You can watch a great video clip about lanolizing diaper covers here if you’re interested.
Task #2: In the kitchen I was working on a Navajo-Churro fleece that I recently purchased from Flint Run Farm in OH. Part of the fleece was soaking in detergent, trying to remove the lanolin and dirt from it. If you’re interested in a great tutorial on this process, check HJS Studio out.
As you can imagine (if you’re into both washing raw wool and cloth diapering, which probably eliminates most people I know, heh heh), I couldn’t help thinking that I should be able to integrate this process somehow, so I could do both things at once. Wash the fleece, then soak the diaper covers in the resulting greasy, lanolin-filled water. Of course, the result of that process would probably mean that my little baby’s bum would smell like a wet, dirty sheep, so I think I’ll pass this time around. Really, the title of this should be “grease on….grease off”, shouldn’t it?
As you can see in the photo above, the fleece that I finished washing turned out beautifully. It was shorn from a sheep named Faith, and it’s really gorgeous, virtually free of vegetation and much softer than I had envisioned for the breed. This is my first time working with a Navajo-Churro fleece, I bought it sight unseen (somewhat of a risky proposition) and I’m thrilled with how the cleaned/dyed fiber is looking and feeling. In the pic is shown about a pound: half of it I left white and the rest is dyed in rose and purply tones. Just gorgeous–I can’t wait to card it and spin it up!
October 29th, 2006 at 9:42 am (spinning)
Just a quickie post to add a photo of some yarn I’ve been working on. Though I like most of them a lot, it’s not exciting stuff from a really creative standpoint, except the chocolatey brown one that is a scrap yarn. I have to admit that I just love the scrap yarns–anybody’s scrap yarns, not just my own–I love running across them when browsing all my spinning sisters’ sites! Back to the chocolate yarn–I was thinking of calling it “life is like a box of chocolates” because it’s true that when you card up that pile of scraps, “…you never know what you’re gonna get”, when you spin it up! It ended up being chocolate surprise, in my shop…you get the idea.
Anyhow, here is a small benchload of yarn, some for an order to a shop, plus a few that are already for sale on my site. I am working on ’shiny, soft, very usable, long yardage’ yarns, mostly with beads for the yarn store order because that’s what they want, but I’m really aching to do some more outrageous yarn for my own shop and to get the creative juices flowing again before the baby comes in a month and my life is 100% kid-focused for a while.
Hopefully I’ll be back soon and post some garden pics, wip (I’m actually KNITTING a shawl out of silk sari yarn, whoa!), and spinning a whole pound of a gorgeous wool blend to make something for myself–maybe a shrug?–not sure. Also pics from our trip to Rhinebeck as well as our new fibery friend, Andora the Angora (jersey wooly rabbit) who my husband fell in love with and brought home to add to our fuzzy menagerie–we now have 3 matching pets!