Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Archive for the ‘Spinning’ Category

Pinterest for Etsy and crafts

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I signed up for a pinterest account back in January at some point.  I figured I should find out what all of the buzz was about.  Then, almost seconds after I created the account, I got off of there as fast as I could!  I could tell that it was going to be another time waster.  And at least, with Twitter, I’ve followed some people who always lead me to news articles and information that I’m interested in.  

Today, I stumbled across this article: How the Wall Street Journal Uses Pinterest.  This reignited my curiosity about Pinterest, and I headed over to do some pinning.  Pinterest was even so successful at distracting me that I never got around to following the Wall Street Journal, even.  

I started making a board.  Lately, I’ve been bitten by the spinning bug.  I had been spinning up some roving last fall when our full wedding preparation time hit us.  The spinning got dropped, and then I was so busy with my new job that I never picked it up again.  I finally finished that yarn a couple of weekends ago, but haven’t wound it off the bobbin yet.  Spinning it up made me want to go on Etsy and purchase a whole bunch more hand dyed wool to spin, even though I have plenty of natural colored wool in my closet.

Here is my Pinterest board, “Pretty fiber & handspun yarn“, filled with hand dyed fibers and some handspun yarn that I found while “window” shopping in etsy shops.

I even added a couple of my own photos of yarn I spun last summer, though I don’t have the photography skills to get the color accuracy and beauty that my favorite etsy sellers can get of their stuff!

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Handspun falkland wool yarn

As I get more time for crafting again, I suspect that Pinterest will be a very nice platform for sharing crafts. I imagine it would be a very useful way to sell crafts, too, especially if you have great photos of what you’re selling. I should make a board for all of the patterns I want to knit. Oh wait, that’s called my Ravelry queue. Hm. So much going on online, so little time!

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Written by nikkinbird

April 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Summer spinning, knitting

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What have I been up to?

I’ve been spinning…

Handspun falkland wool yarn

Chevalier singles 1

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And knitting!

Fern cowl

The cowl still needs blocking and probably a photo of me modeling it. The pink yarn is bamboo fiber, my first time spinning something other than wool or alpaca. It was a learning curve for sure! I have 8 more ounces of the same fiber to spin up soonish. The other yarn and singles are fiber from FatCatKnits.com. Lovely colorways! I love spinning dyed rovings to see how the colors are going to interact once the yarn is plied. Always a surprise and always interesting.

Written by nikkinbird

July 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Beautiful handspun yarn – if I do say so myself.

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The fruits of the past week’s spinning adventures:

I’m quite pleased with how this yarn turned out, and now I’m itching to spin from some more hand dyed rovings. This is hand dyed merino top from HoneyGold Acres. I purchased it at the Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival. The tag on the fiber doesn’t list a website, but it does have an email: hgacres@gmail.com. A quick google search also gave me a listing on localharvest.com if you want to know more about them – HoneyGold Acres. I was very pleased with this wool and excited to be able to purchase from other fiber folks in my state.

The red roving was the only one I remembered to take a picture of before spinning, and even then I’d already unrolled it a bit. Here’s the “before” picture of the red/orange.

Though I haven’t been back at the wheel all that long, I feel like I’m getting better at spinning. I’m learning how to better tweak my wheel so that it works the way I need it to work, and I’m figuring out new methods for making the most out of my wool. For example, in the past, I would just tear off a chunk and spin until the bobbin looked full enough, then spin another bobbin to about the same amount. This is fine, except then I would end up with one really big skein and one smaller skein from the same 4 oz of fiber. This is what happened with the blue/purple yarn pictured. With the green, I started out by dividing the roving in two, then dividing those two halves in two so that I would have two even skeins. I used my digital scale to weigh each one to make sure all the chunks of roving were about the same amount. Now I’m not wasting so much fiber.

Overall, I’m glad to be spinning again and hope to keep learning more. I may even see a second wheel in my future…maybe.

Written by nikkinbird

June 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Morning knitting, finished Java socks, and doggie fiber sabotage.

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I love waking up just a little extra early in the morning, so that when I finish getting ready for work, I have time to do this:

Sit on the deck in the sun and knit a little bit with some coffee. I’ve finished my Java socks and am now using up the leftover yarn for some more blanket squares. It will be a long time before it’s done, but someday I will have a sock yarn seed stitch blanket!

Here are the socks:

Has anyone ever mentioned that it’s really hard to take decent sock pictures of socks on your own feet?

I left a couple of my aluminum size 1 dpns on the couch after starting my blanket square, and it was at this point that I learned never to leave anything, even METAL knitting needles, on the couch.

Gru ate it! And those needles only came in a set of 4, so I don’t even have an extra to make due with. Then, mere moments later, I went to grab another chunk of roving to start spinning it up, and couldn’t find my pile of roving. I found it in Gru’s favorite place to lay and chew things up:

Luckily, he mostly likes to pick things up and move them around, and he didn’t ruin any of it. But now I know my dog a little better and I know to be more careful! My cats have spoiled me with their disinterest in yarn, I guess.

Spinning tricks: spinning wheel mat and drying handspun yarn.

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It’s a delightfully rainy and stormy day here in Duluth, MN. Chris is out of town working so I’m left to entertain myself. I wanted to get out of the house, so I’m at Dunn Bros enjoying a latte. Yum! I’ve been spinning this weekend, and wanted to share a couple of tricks that I use when I spin.

On Saturday, I brought out my spinning wheel for the first time in almost a year. Since we’ve moved I kept putting off getting rubber feet to keep it from sliding on our hardwood floors. I tried some rubber feet Chris had bought for something else, little bubble-like things, but they kept sliding off because they weren’t sticky enough. I thought of getting a bath rug with a grippy bottom, but thought the wheel would slide across the carpet, too. Then, I thought of the perfect thing:

It’s grippy contact paper from the kitchen cleaning aisle at Target.

Another trick I thought I would share is how I weight the yarn when I dry it. I must be getting better at spinning, because my plied yarn seemed fairly balanced and not twisty this time, but I still hung it the way I usually do. I put one end of the wound skein around the top of a hanger. I used to put a soup can or other heavy can through the bottom loop, but recently have started hanging another hanger in the bottom to weight the skein. To make the hanger heavy enough, I put a folded towel on it. This way, the water that drips from the bottom of the skein drips onto the towel instead of the floor as it dries.

Puppy News
Gru is getting along just wonderfully at our house, and we couldn’t have asked for a better dog. The other night, when I went to Target to get my spinning wheel mat material, I brought Gru. Little did I know, I was driving straight into a thunderstorm. I could see it in the distance when I parked the car, and by the time I got out of the store it was right over us. I came back to no dog in the back of my wagon – he’d climbed over the seats and was huddled in a ball in the driver’s seat! He’s afraid of thunder, lightning, and, by association, camera flashes.

When Chris is gone, Gru sleeps on the bed with me, and he woke me up with a nose in the face this morning to let me know there was more thunder. Every time there was a boom or a flash, he paced nervously around the bed. Finally, in search of a small space to curl up in, he jumped from the bed to the top of his kennel.

Here he is looking very sad, trying to be in a small space between the wall and the clothes hamper:

I had to pick him up and put him back on the bed, and I finally got him to lay down by petting him. He’s gotten better about storms since we first discovered his fear. The first time we figured it out was because he woke us up by scrabbling under the bed. Now, he comes to us to be comforted, and will just lay on the floor as close to us as possible while making sad faces.

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