The Week in Projects: September 24, 2017

Well, this is starting to become a theme…still working on the Unicorn Vomit scarf/stole (that’s going well), still working on the website (chug, chug), and really wanting to start new things! I told myself I need to finish stuff before I do new stuff…

…that didn’t stop me from buying new stuff. Heh heh heh…

A few weeks ago, I signed up for Wanderlust 2018, which is a year-long art journaling class. I keep saying I’m just going to sell only fiber-related things online, but I’m starting to think that’s lies. I love all kinds of mediums and I’m super geeked about this art journaling thing. I’m not a journaler, but I’m hoping I can discipline myself to make art once a week. It sounds like fun (and it’s an excuse to buy art supplies. I love art supplies. I own glitter markers now.)

I’m in no way an affiliate, but if you sign up for Wanderlust, let me know. It’d be fun to have people to do it with/share projects with.

I also bought two pounds (I think) of pretty wools. I don’t know why I bought pastel colors, but they just wouldn’t leave me alone until I bought them. This group is full of temptation!

(Again, no affiliation…just a group I’m a member of.)

Lastly, I bought a batch of kitchen gadgets I didn’t really need. But they were on clearance, so they followed me home. 🙂 I got a food mill and an apple slicer/corer (and made my own ginger gold applesauce in a heartbeat!), a pot strainer (it looks like a weapon, but handy looking to keep pasta from landing in the sink), and a Kilner Jar Spiralizer. I’ll admit it, the packaging got me. I wanted to make pretty jars full of veggies. So after some Googling, I figured out how to do this:

Maybe I should become a food blogger?

It’s spiralized cucumber with Asian sesame dressing, sesame seeds, and chili powder (skip the chili powder…IMHO, it doesn’t belong there).

Today, I had to go buy veggies to spiralize (zucchini works much better than cucumber!) because I spent most of yesterday Googling for recipes. So I made this:

It looks kinda fancy, doesn’t it?

It’s zoodle soup! I need to figure out how to make it better (the veggies are still crunchy because it’s not actually “cooked” and the flavors weren’t mingled yet), but overall it was pretty good. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so fresh in my life!

As far as Studio stuff goes, I’m now working on the shop part of this site. I think I’ll be adding things a category at a time (I have a lot to list), so stay tuned to the blog and the Sleeping Pond Facebook page. And don’t forget to sign up for the mailing list to get extra special deals and discounts!

Help Wanted

This was kind of a slow week for making anything fibery. I’m still working on Unicorn Vomit (maybe I should give that a new name) and I haven’t started any new spinning. What I’ve been doing instead is trying to make my own e-commerce site. Wow…that is quite a bit of work! I’m happy I’m nerdy enough to understand what I’m doing. After I finish the back end stuff, then I gotta list products. But at least they won’t expire, right?!

So this is where I’m asking for your help. I’m hoping to get the store off the ground in a few weeks, and I’d love to get feedback from you! Every now and then I’d like to send you a quick survey (and I mean quick) and spoil you with freebies in return for your time. Think of yourself as being part of my product advisory committee. 🙂

If you’re interested in giving me a hand, fill out the form below, and you’ll get a cool mandala coloring page (because I can’t send you all yarn!) just for signing up.

Back to coding…I look forward to working with you!

Yeah, I wanna help!!! I want that coloring page too!

* indicates required

The Week in Projects: September 10, 2017

Welcome back! It wasn’t the most productive of project weeks, but I did get some spinning (and weaving) in.

I don’t know if I’m supposed to spill the beans on this one yet, but my friends over at Napa Valley Fiber came up with this lovely, lovely kit and I had to do something with it before I went crazy! Nearly 400 yards of two ply sockish weight worked up so fast!

I wanted to give up adulting to play with this!

It’s hard to get the colors right, but it’s this rich black/charcoal with bits of turquoise and pink and gold in it. The gold bamboo makes it look like I gold leafed it. It’s really wonderful. And it’s so smooshy!

Next up, I decided to try weaving with the Unicorn Vomit. Here’s Loomikins all warped up and ready to go.

I should learn to do math before I warp Loomikins

It wasn’t until I was sleying* Loomikins did I get the bright idea of doing the math before setting things up so I could make sure I had enough yarn for this project. I never did the math, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have enough yarn to finish the project.

I went a little crazy digging through the stash looking for suitable yarns (I still can’t find this skein of Koigu I’m sure I still have. Somewhere.) and I settled on this pastel neon rainbow yarn from a kit I bought at a fiber festival many, many moons ago. I don’t know where the pattern went (probably shacked up with the Koigu) and I know nothing about the yarn other than it’s alpaca. No idea about who I bought it from or what brand (if any) the yarn is.

Color-wise, I think it looks ok. Tone-wise, I’m not sure. It’s lighter and brighter and it’s different. I don’t know. I do know this whole yarn didn’t turn out how I expected, and weaving was probably not the way to test what I was trying to do, but I’m a little committed now, and I might just love it and think it’s the best thing ever. I’m trying to trust my muse here. I just hope she shares what she’s smoking. 🙂

Stay tuned for more adventures next week!

*Sleying means to get the threads in the slots and holes of the reed/heddle (the white thing the strings are going through in the photo) before you start weaving so you can move the heddle up and down to weave. It moves the threads so it’s not over-under on every row.

The Week in Projects: September 3, 2017

Hey everybody!

This is quite possibly the most boring post ever. *laughs* I didn’t get much done this week, but I did have some fun taking pictures of the process…

A few weeks back I got this electric fluff at the Michigan Fiber Festival:

My rods and cones! These colors are so bright!

I don’t know the actual fiber content as the lady selling the fiber had a giant container of chunks of wool for a dollar (buy 10, get the 11th free! Twist my arm!) but my guess would be something on the order of merino with maybe some silk. It wasn’t super buttery soft, but it drafted like silk was in it.

I broke the 6 rainbow chunks (I had one of each color, and 4 cream ones) into smaller chunks, alternating them with the cream chunks. I tried longer color runs, shorter runs, different orders of the colors, all broken up with long cream runs. Sadly, the colors didn’t line up when I started plying. So instead of making a bazillion joins, I just went with it.

I know I broke color wheel rules here…
But lookit the bobbin in motion!

As you can see, I figured out how to get an action shot. *grin* Check it out when I added more colors:

Bobbin not in motion
Bobbin in motion

All said and done, I ended up with 600+ yards of superfine two-ply. I’m on the fence on what it should become. I’m not sure if I want to weave it into a wrap or knit it into a shawl. I’m really curious to see how it makes up since because of the color runs. It’s going to be really awesome or really awful, I think.

It’s 640 yards of Unicorn Vomit to be precise

I didn’t realize those two little balls of fluff were going to yield that much yarn. No wonder it took me all week. *wink*

I received some new wool in the mail over the weekend and I had to play with it. Stay tuned to see what that’s all about.

See you here next week!

The Week in Projects: August 27, 2017

This wasn’t the most productive week in projects, even though I had two days off from the day job to just play. I did learn some stuff, though…

I started spinning the electric rainbow from last week’s fiber festival…I finished one bobbin and I’m about a quarter of the way through the second.

Spinning in process. It’s so more vibrant than the bobbin shows!

I started going through the yarn left from when I closed down Yay for J! and I decided to challenge myself and conduct a little experiment. I wound up twelve 20 yard skeins of yarn that doesn’t belong together, broke out the vari-dent reed that followed me home last week, set my warping peg for roughly 100″, and started warping Loomikins.

There was a little planning for this experiment…

The final warping order:

It doesn’t look too bad, really…

The final product on Kaley the Mannequin:

I really like how it came out. I’m glad I continued on…

Close up of the colors:

It’s really soft and smooshy too!

Here’s a summary of what I learned from this project:

  • 240 yards would’ve been enough to make a slightly narrower scarf. I added 10 yards of one of the colors because I freaked out. I’m glad I did for the sake of this project.
  • It was scary working with so many short lengths of yarn. I constantly felt like I didn’t have enough to even get halfway, but I really did have enough. It’s amazing how far 20 yards will go.
  • The vari-dent is cool, but I don’t know that I like thick yarns next to thin ones. The weaving is looser than I feel comfortable with on the one side (where the big holes are), but it seems to be ok.
  • If you’re gonna use the big holes, use a big yarn! I misjudged a few yarns (they were too skinny in my opinion).
  • Sometimes it’s worth finishing a project even though it seems like the ugliest thing you’ve ever done. I got disappointed when I was a little more than halfway and looked at everything I wove. It looked hideous. But I have to say, I like how it came out. It will look even better when I finish the finishing (adding beads and fluffing out the fuzzy yarns).

I kinda want to experiment with knitting/crocheting with the same batch of mini-skeins. We’ll see.  🙂

What do you think? Do you think the colors work together? Would you be interested in trying them yourself? Leave me a comment and let me know!