Friday, August 29, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday - Week 35 2014

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  It's the beginning of the long Labor Day weekend and the last of Summer before school starts next week.  How do I celebrate?  Washing fleeces!  Dying fiber!  Weaving, Knitting and Spinning!  I have a feeling my kids will want to sleep away their final non-school weekend.

This is my newest Saori Weaving creation.  I am well over halfway done with it.  It will be a Cowl.  As much as I love my four harness loom, I find that I use it more as a Rigid Heddle for most of my projects...or I simply use my small Rigid Heddle. When it comes to weaving with handspun, the beauty of the yarn explodes with the Rigid Heddle a the texture and color just shine.  I've sold a few of my cowls recently so my goal is to weave a few more before the holiday show season starts.  I have been getting a lot of work done on the loom in the early morning hours before everyone wakes up and before I have to go to work.  One day I will be able to spin and weave all day...one day.

My second creation is another Saori Weaving project.  I participated in a Narrow Warp WAL(Weave Along) where we needed to create a project no more than four inches wide.  I'm thinking about taking some of this fabric and making wrist cuffs and some of it for buttons.  The rest?  We'll have to wait and see.  I used coordinating colors but played with different textures and techniques.  I might be adding buttons and beads on as an afterthought once I soak this narrow fabric.

I am also knitting another Trillian shawl by Martina Behm using a Merino Fingering Weight yarn I purchased back in 2010.  See, I'm working on my stash pile ;-)  This shawl will be a gift and I seem to only find time to knit it at lunch hour.

Oh, I did finish some more handspun too!  How could I forget that?
My first 100% Silk yarn.  It is delicious!  .7oz, 146 yards 2 ply 20WPI
This skein was completed at the Michigan Fiber Festival.  One ply is my Suri Alpaca and one ply is BFL that I dyed. 3oz 268 yards  2 ply

That's all for my week of creativity.

Now share your adventures in Fiber Arts!
Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday - Week 34 2014

Do you remember that feeling when you leave Disney (where most people will call the most magical place on earth) and you have this empty sad feeling because the feels are gone and reality kicks in?  Well, that is how I feel this week.  I left the most magical place I know...the Michigan Fiber Festival and now I have to start the count down until next year's festival.

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday.  I hope it's another magical place for you to find fiber arts blogging fun.  I am seriously going through withdrawals this week.  The enjoyment of camping, taking classes, vending and meeting up with some of the most wonderful fiber arts people in the Midwest is truly magical. I shared many of the photos from my week on my Facebook Fan Page but wanted to share a few more...my purchases.

One of the best parts about loving fiber arts, is that I truly enjoy supporting the other vendors at the show.  As much as I love my Alpaca, I adore spinning other fibers and learning more about them.  I'm a sucker for buying new tools too so...I did.

The Tools!
My Support Spindle made by Kenneth Ledbetter

Variable Dent Reed - For my Cricket
It will allow me to use chunkier yarns in my warp
The Fibers!
oh yeah, Eri Silk, baby!
On the left, it's Eri Red Silk (that looks gold) purchased from Carolina Homespun
On the right, bleached Eri Silk from Lucky Cat Craft

From Spinning Moon Farms - a Michigan Farm
On the left, a gorgeous blue BFLxDorset/Mohair
On the right, a lovely Romney/Mohair blend


Sparkle Superwash in the Neverland Colorway
dyed by Emily at Fiber Addiction.  I adore Emily.

oooooh, yes, please drool.
On the top, a fleece from Rachel, a Border Leicester/Wensleydale mix
On the bottom, a lovely mohair fleece from....a female (lost her name)
both fleeces from Wool-E Farms in Michigan.

The Accessories!

The handcrafted necklace made by my friend Emily from Bricolage Studios
and finally, the most wonderful gift I was given at festival...another stunning shawl by my friend John.  He purchased the fiber from me then spun the yarn (gossamer) and then knitted this amazing shawl.  It is absolutely rock star!  I get excited when I can spin 16 WPI and get 600 yards out of 4oz.  He gets 2000 yards out of 4oz at 40 WPI.  Isn't that just mind blowing?  I am truly spoiled.  The fleece came from a by named Whirlwind.  He was never on my farm but I enjoyed his fleece so much that I was able to get it from a friends farm for a few years.  Now I have this treasure.

He even made a shawl for Marilyn (who I bought my fleeces from).  Her shawl came from one of her Shetland cross sheep.  He sure knows how to spoil us Shepherdess.

Thank you for visiting my blog each week and leaving comments plus linking in your blog posts.  I enjoy getting to visit other fiber artist from around the world and learning more about their particular skills, techniques, lives, and all around joy of fiber.
Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs


Friday, August 15, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday - Week 33 2014

It's Fiber Arts Friday and I'm reporting from the Michigan Fiber Festival.   I've been camping at the festival since Tuesday night leaving the family home to tend to the farm.  It's been a blast camping with many of my favorite fiber friends.  Even when we aren't taking classes, volunteering at the festival or vending, we are back at the campsite, laughing and having a grand time knitting and spinning.

I have limited internet so I'm not uploading any photos to this post but I am going to snag a couple that I shared on Facebook.  If you aren't already a fan of my Wonder Why page, check it out!  Many photos and fun get posted there instead of here.

On Wednesday, I took the Queen of Silk Spinning class with Patsy Zawistoski (Patsy Z) who is an AMAZING instructor.  She is at a handful of fiber festivals each year so for any spinner who has an opportunity to take one of her classes....do it!    I have always struggled with 100% Silk.  I've created new cuss words due to that fiber.  I don't know what I was doing wrong but within an hour of being with Patsy I was spinning it.  She taught us a bunch of new techniques including her Miss America ply which is perfect for fiber at the end of a bobbin and when sampling.

An important wisdom I learned from her, was to swatch and sample my fiber.  I know...gauge schmauge!  I'm not a big sampler (or never have been) but I have also never taken a formal spinning class.  What I learned was not only how the different forms of the fiber spun for me but also if I liked it and it's characteristics once plied.  I've been on cloud nine ever since I took that class.  If you get a chance, try to get a hold of the different types of silk.  It was interesting and as you can see from my notes in the last photo, I loved the Eri silk!

I also set up my vendor booth all day yesterday.  Seriously, it took me most of the day to set up that 10x12 booth.  I normally can do it in an hour or two if I'm forced to but when you have the day...you just keep tweaking it.  Ok, ok...you got me!  My mouth was running like crazy too.  This is my once a year reunion with many people I adore.

I was also checking out product from other vendors as we were setting up.  I already have a gorgeous Wensleydale fleece set aside for me and the vendor is bringing in a few more Mohair fleeces for me to drool her decide over.

Before I forget!  Here is my Brickless shawl all blocked and ready to wear.  I am in love with how it turned out.  As for last weeks comments about it looking like Sister Bear's bedroom.  It's a bit brighter...but close.

Oh!  Once last and most important item.  I am slowly improving my Lendrum spinning wheel whose name is Frodo.  He's been a wonderful wheel but sadly needed improving.  I had stained him Orange a few years ago and did an awful job so...He now holds the one ring to rule them all...My Precious.

Have I mentioned that I love the Michigan Fiber Festival?  So, if you are quasi-local, stop by!  If not, I promise to take more photos.  Have a great Fiber Arts Friday!  Now, share your adventures.

Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs



Friday, August 8, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday - Week 32 2014

It's Fiber Arts Friday! It's hard to believe that another week has passed.  What projects have you been working on?  Last weekend, I took a break from fiber prep and spent it spoiling my daughter.  Apparently she isn't a little girl anymore and has grown into a beautiful teenager.  How did this happen?  When we built our house, she was a newborn so I painted her bedroom a lovely lavender with lots of butterflies. Apparently butterflies and lavender aren't cool anymore so I told her I'd let her pick out the new color and she could help me decorate.  Decorate we did.  She picked out a Seafoam Green that I thought was insane when I was painting.  Grumpy and the Bears had left Saturday morning to pick up our newest addition to the farm, Princess Buttercup, a Nubian Goat.  

While they were gone, I went crazy taping up the room and getting the paint on.  It reminded me of all of the 1950's blues that you see in the movies and museums.  She had big plans!  She picked out the bedding (a cook peacock pattern) and also helped me with picking out the window coverings (lime green and black) while many of her accessories area fushia/hot pink.  Totally not my colors but awesome for a teenage girl.  The room came together and she is in heaven in her teenage room.  I love that little bear of mine.

I have the Michigan Fiber Festival next weekend and I should have spent the weekend prepping for the show but every second I spent with my daughter was priceless.  We managed to get back to school shopping done too...complete with pedicures.

Now, I don't want to disappoint.  I did manage to spin one yarn this week plus finish the shawl I cast on back in July.  Last night I put my Brickless shawl by Martina Behm on my blocking boards.  I hoped to have pretty photos for you today but it still isn't dry (plus it's 5am).

Now, share your adventures in Fiber Arts.  Next week I will be sharing Michigan Fiber Festival photos.  I'm taking a lace spinning class with Patzy Z on Wednesday.  I am super excited for this class.

Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs



Friday, August 1, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday - Week 31 2014

Hooray!  We've made it to another Fiber Arts Friday.  The Tour de Fleece is officially over so before the dust begins to collect on my looms and knitting needles, it's time to slow down at the spinning wheel...but not stop.

I have another photo heavy post.  I really need to focus on making spinning batts for the Michigan Fiber Festival.  The show is in two weeks and I've been selling out of my batts as I make them.  I need to get ahead of the game but it's hard to do on week nights after work so hopefully this weekend I can tie myself to the drum carder.  Meanwhile, I've been able to work on my Fiber Arts while our family enjoys time together.

First, my end of Tour de Fleece totals!  I am really pleased with how much I accomplished.  Having a week of vacation during TdF really helps the productivity.  I found a nice balance between my textured art yarns and my fine spinning plus the balance between bright colors and the naturals.

Next, I am working my way through the Brickless shawl.  I've accomplished a lot during my lunch hour.  I do adore the Martina Behm patterns and plan to work my way through her collection.  I have one more repeat to go the it will be done.  So far, it's taken 250 yards.

Finally, I finally finished my weaving project that I started last November.  2.83 yards aka 102 yards. It's seems like so much more but that's what I measured. Maybe because I struggled with the warp for so long. Now I have the yardage needed to complete the skirt I want to sew.  Fingers crossed, you will be seeing sewing posts soon.

Now share your adventures in Fiber Arts!
Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs




Friday, July 25, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday - Week 30 2014

It's another Tour de Fleece week in Fiber Arts Friday!  I've spun almost ten skeins of yarn in the last month plus getting a bunch of knitting time in.  Tomorrow is my favorite fiber festival, the Wine & Wool at the Sandhill Crane Winery in Jackson, Michigan.  If you are local to the area, come visit us.

Without further ado, here is my photo heavy post!






My day of rest was spent conquering beads.  Hooray!   Why did I think adding beads to a knitting project was so hard?  Oh...because everyone uses tons of beads and floss.  Instead I'm using a crochet hook and one bead every 12-15 rows which is a much more manageable goal for a beginner.  I'm loving the look so far.  I even added two of the beads after the fact.  Woot!

Thank you for stopping by!  Now share your adventures in Fiber Arts!
Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday - Week 29 2014

Yikes!  It's the 29th Fiber Arts Friday of 2014.  Where has the year gone?  This week I'm sharing more of my Tour de Fleece spinning.  I've really enjoyed seeing all of the yarns created by my Team of Wonder on Ravelry.  A beautiful mix of yarn weights, textures and fibers from the whole team.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by to read my blog each week.  I do apologize if I didn't post a response on some of the blogs who linked in last week.  I was without my computer and  blogger isn't always the most friendly on my cell phone.

Here is the week in spinning yarn for me!
Day 10 was the day of rest and knitting was on the agenda for that day.  I am knitting Brickless by Martina Behm using the My Pedro yarn.  I love her patterns and how this shawl is coming along.


I will give the grand totals of my yardage and weight spun at the end of the Tour de Fleece.  I think this might be my highest yardage year yet.

Now share your adventures in Fiber Arts!
Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs