Nikki's Notebook

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

Posts Tagged ‘spinning

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

IMG_2604

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

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.

Spinning dog fur

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Last night I sat down to brush Gru for a bit, and I got so much fur I couldn’t stop. The craziest part was, I just kept brushing the same spot on his haunches over and over, and kept getting fur! He’s in full-on spring shed mode. This pile is just what I got from the right side of his butt. Just think what I’ll get as he starts shedding everywhere else, too! I plan to experiment with spinning his undercoat into yarn on my spinning wheel. See that look on his face? He’s afraid of cameras.

photo

Written by nikkinbird

May 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Sunny Saturday

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Today was a very full day. Despite a couple of inches of snow that we woke up to Friday morning, it’s starting to smell like spring around here. Most of that snow, and the accumulated snow from all winter, is all melted away now, and it was 44 degrees today! Yep, that’s right, in Duluth, when it gets to be 40 degrees, we all crawl out of hibernation and do things outside like take walks by the lake and wear shorts. Well, I myself do not wear shorts, not even in the summer, but other people were.

Anyway, this morning started with a fiber rummage sale. I wouldn’t have even known about it if Chris hadn’t spotted a sign on the side of the road! The fiber rummage sale was held in the Duluth Art Institute’s building in west Duluth. It’s an old vine-covered brick building that used to be a library. It’s awesome! I grabbed up a whole bunch of fun stuff.

rummagesaleyarnz

Various types of yarn. Big cones of wool, smaller cones of cotton, one of which is labeled as “rug warp,” balls of “weaving wool,” and three things of linen yarn. I’ll probably weave more scarves with the wool. I got the bag of cotton yarns because I’ve been wanting to try out tablet, or card weaving. I got the book Card Weaving by Candace Crockett last year and then later happened across a pack of pre-made cards for it, so I’ve been wanting to try for awhile. Inexpensive random yarns from a rummage sale seem like just the thing to practice with!

Then, for a total of $8, I got this:

rawwool

and this:

alpacafleece

The first one is labeled “raw wool” and the second is alpaca fleece. They both need to be washed and processed before becoming spinnable, but I decided this will be a learning experience. I figure that there’s a high chance that there won’t even be any very good, usable wool in that $3 bag, but it was a $3 bag of wool! It’ll be a good summer project to learn to wash and process it. I have high hopes for the alpaca, too. It’s full of VM, or vegetable matter, but already feels super soft.

After our short stint at the fiber sale, we went out for lunch, then ran home and got the pup for a walk. We went down to Canal Park and walked him on the lakewalk. We discovered that he likes going in water. Many huskies do not. Gru made many friends, human and canine, on our very long walk today. He’s so pretty and then when people approach him he flops right into them to get pet, so he’s a charmer. We couldn’t have asked for a better dog.

grusuperiorshore

All in all, a very nice sunny Saturday.

Written by nikkinbird

April 3, 2011 at 12:35 am

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