Category Archives: Blog

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!

The Week in Projects: August 20, 2017

It’s been a busy week this week! Let’s get started, shall we?

We had a team building outing at the day job and I won a large prize!

I won an important prize!

Apparently you needed at least two tickets to win the prize. That was kind of misleading. It’s ok. I won other (smaller) prizes.

Friday, Brenda of B n C Craft Boutique went with me to the Michigan Fiber Festival. It was her first ever and my first in several years. I’m a little embarrassed to post my haul, but let’s just say I had FUN. *grin*

I did knock an item off my shopping list…I am now the proud owner of a Russian supported spindle:

There was a whole lotta nyet in the beginning

Brenda isn’t a spinner (yet), but as a thank you for putting up going with me, I wanted to spin some yarn for her. She picked out these fluffies:

Step away from the fluffies and no one gets hurt

I added some extra fiber to make sure I had enough for a scarf and let the fiber dictate what it was going to become. This is probably the fastest 300+ yards I’ve ever spun up. Ever. I can’t wait to see what she does with it!

It got better after its bath!

I’ve been seeing bright rainbows paired with neutrals and I’m a little intrigued by this. We found a lady selling chunks of fiber for a buck (buy 10, get the 11th free! Ok, twist my arm!) so I picked up a neon rainbow and a neutral. This is going to be lovely to spin!

These fibery bits are total crack…

And last but not least, Brenda has graciously made these towel sets just for Sleeping Pond Studio! The colors, prints, and handiwork are simply wonderful! They have to be seen to be appreciated! You can buy them on the Sleeping Pond Facebook page.


That’s all for now. Stay tuned for what’s new in the studio next week!

The Week in Projects: August 13, 2017

It was a pretty productive week…I spun up the itty bitty rainbow batt (from this post). I spun it extra super fine, and I ended up with 280+ yards of two ply! Crazy!!!

280 yards of lace weight-y rainbow-y goodness… #laceyarn #handspun #rainbow #yarnporn #spinnersofinstagram

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Earlier in the week, I saw a post from ArtTutor.com that completely enamored me…here’s my take:

(The paper was awesome too…It’s Stonehenge from Legion Paper. I just need to finish them. Stay tuned.)

On Saturday, I got some packages from Napa Valley Fiber. (Deborah is awesome. Go check her out.)

I love it when bags of fibers show up on my doorstep. #napavalleyfibers

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I had to play with the fibers while I waited for the laundry to do its thing. I used the fiber on the right with a little lime green and whipped up 150+ yards of super yummy yarn…

Well, that escalated quickly… #instantgratificationproject #spinnersofinstagram

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And I did a little cleaning in the studio…I want to make room for new stuff! Visit my eBay store for deals unavailable anywhere else…

That’s all for now…see you in the studio next week!

Need your help…

I need your help…what do you prefer to purchase? Something finished like a wrap or a scarf?

Lacey woven scarf

Or yarn to make your own pretty?

Tour de Fleece Yarn 1

Or fiber?

The fluffies!

Let me know! Leave a comment or send me an email…I’d love to hear what you think!

Stop! No, Go!

Sometimes I am so taken with an idea that I have to drop everything and try it because I’m not going to focus on anything else. It all started when I received a lovely green braid from Napa Valley Fibers (I used Deborah’s kits as an excuse to buy a drum carder…tee hee hee… ). I decided the green braid would look so lovely with these other fibers:

Yes, they are that vibrant!

I had this other brilliant idea that I would document this whole process so a) I could share it with you and b) so I would know what I did so I could replicate what I was doing. I kinda played more than I documented. But that’s ok…you’ll get the idea.

I took roughly one arm’s length of each fiber and split them in half lengthwise. I took the one set of the halvsies and ran them in strips/stripes on the carder twice. Once to fluff, second to lightly blend. I came up with this:

Squish the rainbow (batt)! Drool…

Well, I got really excited about this fluffy! It’s soft, smushy, and a rainbow! I love rainbow yarn! I love the color!

But another part of me was super curious…what if I mixed the different colors together? Blue and pink, blue and green, green and yellow, and yellow and pink? What if I did that and made a self striping yarn with long repeats? Ok. I ran each color set separately through the carder three times. I got this:

Color mixing is an art as well as a science. I wish I had blended equal amounts of each color.

I split these batts in half crosswise (the short way), predrafted ’em and started spinning.

It was a little too stoplight-y for me

That’s when I realized I made something that looked like an Excel stoplight chart. I did not like this. What’s not apparent in this photo is how much of the red color there is.

This was intended to be more of a sampling project (ok, a Tour de Fleece withdrawal project) than a yarn design project, so I tried to figure out what I could do without adding more colors.

I’m not a huge fan of tweedy yarns. They’re ok, but I’m really on a self-striping trip now. That Stoplight was nope, though. I took the other half that I hadn’t spun yet and quartered each color. I didn’t want little color bits and a full quarter of each color seemed to be too much. I misjudged the math, so the color repeats weren’t equal. It was ok. I came up with this compromise:

They look like technicolor snakes. I wonder how much wool is stuck to the carpet…

I had been kicking around the idea of plying this with the dark purple you see on the bottom bobbin because I didn’t know what to do with it. It’s all I have and to ply it on itself was likely to be painful (pull skeins and fine singles can be a pain when they tangle).

Kate’s full!

It wasn’t bad. I kinda liked how it was coming out. And I think it was the first time I’d ever made a non-chain three ply yarn. It was trippy trying to figure out how to hold them together and keep the right tension. It was going along fine until…

I didn’t plan that as well as I thought…oops

I took what was left on the middle bobbin and wound it into a tiny pull skein. That was a little painful, trying to manage the two ends of the same ball and keep the tension on the third strand (my foot came in really hand-y. Har har har…).

What fresh hell did I get myself into?

I had a little of the dark purple left, so I plyed it with the little bit of what I call the “Mud Yarn”. I spun up the leftover bits on the carder and made a yarn only a mother could love.

This is why we don’t blend green and pink together…

It was a few yards at most, and it will probably end up in a weaving or something. It looked pretty good with the purple, amazingly.

I know, you’re probably wondering what does the finished yarn look like? I proudly present to you, the Stoplight yarn! Ta-da!

Green! Green! Green! The finished Stoplight Yarn!

I really, really like it now. I’m glad I saw it through. I now have 245 yards of sock/sport yarn that I’m really not sure what I’m going to do with it. Weave it? Knit it? Crochet it? Sell it? I don’t know. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them!

Nerdy Stuff – WordPress

I’ve spent the last few days plucking away at the website, and I’m starting to like it. It’s got some flaws, but it’s getting there.

In case you want to know what I’ve done (besides a lot of Googling!), I decided to go with TwentyFourteen that comes with WordPress. I like how clean it looks and how good it looks on my phone. Plus, it seemed a little easier to customize than TwentySeventeen. Then too, maybe I’ve just learned to read the CSS better.

A lot of the changes I made were from the menus within WP, except for the colors. I used this site to figure out what the majority of the tags were for the colors and changed them to my own. If you copy everything in the big gray box and paste it into Appearance > Customize > Additional CSS, you can play with the colors and figure out what goes to what.

And since it’s not best practice to leave your custom CSS there, I learned how to make a child theme here. A little nerdy, but fairly easy to follow along with.

Whew! So here I am! On to the next tweak…

Getting Started

It’s been a really long time since I did the blogging thing. My goal is to keep up on it weekly. Hopefully enough to keep you interested and enough to keep me writing it.

As I said on the main page, I’m working on getting my online studio up and running and instead of getting bogged down in getting it perfect and launching, I’m just doing it live on the site (which is the biggest no-no ever, especially from an IT standpoint).

I’ve been torn as to where to start. Do I start posting products on Etsy and then build the website? Do I post products on Facebook or Instagram and then build the website? Do I build the website first? If I build the website, what am I putting on it? What am I trying to do here?! Am I supposed to do x, y, and z? AaaAAAAaaAAAAHHHhhHHH!

For a long time I did nothing because I just couldn’t. There was too much noise. Things I knew I should be doing, but things I just didn’t want to do. I know I should have consistency and a brand and a niche and an ideal customer, and all of these things.

Oh, never mind that I didn’t know what I wanted to sell. I just wanted to sell my fiber and fine art to everyone! Because that’s how it works when you’re setting up a new business, right?

FYI. Not really. All that stuff that’s been overwhelming to me is actually good stuff to know. Especially if you want something more than a hobby business.

I don’t want to create a giant corporation. I really do just want to make stuff for people who love it in order to support myself creatively and financially. I mean, how cool is it to say that you support yourself with your art? Take that, starving artist stereotype! 🙂

So today I start. I stripped down the website to the out of the box WordPress Twenty Seventeen theme, and started writing new content (like this!) I’ll work on getting links up so you can find me on the other corners of the Interwebs, and we’ll see what happens!

Oh…I forgot the most important part! I decided to focus on yarn/fiber art. I’m planning on getting together some yarns and kits for the DIY’ers and some finished products for the folks who don’t have the time to make.

If you find this useful, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!