Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Special Dye Job for a Special Lady...

A couple weeks before Christmas I received a message from a friend on Facebook, Margaret, looking for a custom dye job... Margaret's very good friend, Leoa has been eyeing my hand dyed superwash merino yarn for a little while now... Leoa comes out to a lot of the local events to support me, so I was more than happy to create something special for her...

Margaret said that Leoa liked greens, blues, and browns... so what better than to create a yarn with all three colors in it :)

I went ahead and dyed two skeins in the same pot... just in case one of them sucked... at least I might have one turn out great... Here are the results :)

Outcome #1

Outcome #2

I decided that #1 was more vibrant and just spoke to me more than the 2nd one... So I sent Margaret pictures and we decided that I should wind the skein into a "cake" so that she could just start crocheting when she received her gift.

Here is the cake... I love it even more this way :)

And the top of the cake... but because I love looking at them this way...

Since I know Leoa watches her grandson almost everyday... and she is always making something for him... so what better than a secret little surprise that she can use with him... I made her some glow in the dark "Echidna" buttons :)

Here are the "Echidna" Buttons... I call them Echidna buttons because they are rolled... and when Echidna's get scared, they curl up into a ball to protect themselves :)

Miss Leoa loved her yarn... and that made me super happy! Hope that she creates something wonderful and has a ton of enjoyment working with the yarn :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Spinning Art Yarn with Tatted Accents

Recently I decided that I should start tatting Art Yarn Accents for art yarn spinners... most people just say that they are pretty, but really do not understand how they work.

So, last night, I decided to take 10 of the Art Yarn Accents I had created over the weekend, and spin them into my own art yarn :)

Here are a few examples of what exactly these little tatted beauties look like:

Teal - to me they sort of look like a cross between a flower and a radioactive symbol, lol.

Little brown flowers

Lilac Bows or Infinity Symbols

Sample of the packaging... They are available in 5, 9, 10, 12, and 24 count... or whatever you desire :)

The yarn was sort of difficult for me, just because I had never core spun before... and of course I did not check my books, just decided to try it out... 

I used dyed Border Leicester fleece that I completely processed from a raw state... cotton core thread... and plied with a silver "tinsel-y" thread.

The sample only ended up being 16 yards... but I did get to use all 10 tatted accents... I am actually quite pleased with how it turned out...

Basically, as you are core spinning, add in one of the "tails" and spin your fiber right over the tail... leave out the accent... then spun over the remaining tail the same as before... the outcome is an accent that is sticking out of your yarn and secure in the yarn :)

Please feel free to ask questions or contact me if you want to know anything :)

Grandpa's Hat for Chirstmas

My boy's grandfather, Stan has made a few comments about wanting a hat... so I figured what a better time than Christmas to go ahead and make him his hat...

It was sort of a last minute (two weeks) gift... but we needed something to go with everything else... and I figured I would try to get it done.

He and my husband are major Miami Hurricanes fans... and I had the perfect yarn in my stash... it is a wool blend and the perfect mix of green and orange.

I found the perfect pattern on Ravelry and then had to modify it just a bit because my needles were too long... but the hat ended up fitting great :)

Finished Hat

Another Shot of it...

Close up

Another Close Up

I didn't get finished with Grandpa's hat until Christmas Eve... around 10pm... needless to say I was up wrapping it (as well as everything else), until about 2am.

Stan seemed very happy with his new hat... and even fell asleep with it on :)

Grandpa's over in the chair with his hat on :)

Overall, I think that Stan will be on the "knit-worthy" list for a while!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tales from the Drying Rack - 12/23/2013

Yesterday was a very productive day for me... Aaron got stuck having to work, so I was home with the boys all day... Of course I was supposed to go up to Walmart and get the rest of Aaron's present... but washing fleece was obviously more important, lol.

About a week ago, I watched Beth from Blue Mountain Handcrafts Video on washing fleece... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntOs7b3GDKg ... Since I do not have Simple Green at home, I used Ammonia instead... The smell was terrible... but the results were awesome :)

I decided to wash Cotswold Curls and some already washed, but tacky Icelandic Cross... I was beyond ecstatic... so here you go :)

Isn't is gorgeous :)

Cotswold Curls... These should be super fun to play with

Oatmeal Icelandic X... I could not even believe how nice it came out... 

I will get some updates once they are dry... especially on the Icelandic X, since it was tacky to start... and we need to know if the ammonia/dawn will work to get out the "tack"

I hope that you all have a very Happy Holiday Season!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tales from the Drying Rack - 12-20-2013

Well, I got the Cormo out and washed out last night... Here are some pics from this morning :)

I can not even begin to tell you how unbelievably soft it is... Just lovely...

Here is a mix of the colors that were in the pot...

The Purples

Hot Pink :)

And a close up of the squishy-ness

Maybe Ill get some greens and blues done this weekend :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tales from the Drying Rack and A Look Into the Dye Pot - 12/19/2013

Tales from the Drying Rack:

Had some fun last night... the colors from yesterdays dyeing turned out better than expected... Check out the set of "Dye Pot Partners"... and the extra yarn in a golden color :)

Here are all three of them...

Partner #1

Partner #2

And the Golden... 

I was extremely pleased with how they all turned out... 100% Wool Bulky Yarn :)

A Look Into the Dye Pot:

A couple weeks ago, I received a bunch of mixed bags of fiber... some processed, some carded... everything was pretty much labelled though... In the box was a bag with this super soft white fleece... It was CORMO... 

I have never had the opportunity to work with Cormo, so when I saw it, I was super excited...

Well, this morning, I decided that I needed to drop some of it into the dye pot and see what happens... Here are the results...

Cormo... The purple and pink off to the right :)

Just a closer picture...

And I added a skein of the Bulky yarn in just for fun :)

I can not wait to get home and see what everything looks like out of the dye pot and washed... Hopefully it is awesome though :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Look Into the Dye Pot - 12/18/13

Just a quick shot of what I was dyeing this morning... I am pretty excited to get home and see what it looks like washed up.

There is actually a set of "Dye Pot Partners" in there... also the light orange one to soak up the extra dye... but I really am loving that color...

I should be leaving work soon... so fingers crossed that they are awesome :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Tales from the Drying Rack - 12/13/13

The other day when I came home from work... there was a package waiting for me... I had ordered some 100% Wool Bulky yarn blanks and they finally arrived... 

Needless to say, I didn't wait long to break into the box and start dyeing... 

This is a look at the drying rack from this morning... and some close ups of my favorite ones :)

The drying rack... Not only is there Bulky... but some of the Superwash Merino... and some Mulberry silk that will be used in the "Winter Wonderland... Florida Style" batts for next months Phat Fiber Sampler Box :)

A close up of "Mermaid"... There are hints of purple, turquoise, and of course neon green... This is 100% Wool Bulky weight yarn...

And of course, my ultimate favorite... look at how bright that neon green is... I did it half neon and half a dark gray, almost black color... should be very interesting knit or crocheted into something :)

Tonight I will be working on creating some more rolags to be delivered to Four Purls in the morning... Fingers crossed that I get lots of inspiration tonight :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

PSC Fall Fest - Meet A Few of the Vendors!

Polk State College (PSC) Fall Fest 2013 was held Saturday, October 19th from 9am to 3pm... I had a shared booth with my "step dad" Tim. 

Tim creates metal sculptures out of old metal... If it can be welded, he will come up with some type of creation to turn it into... He calls himself "One Step Creations", because he had to have one of his feet amputated after some health issues... The name fits great :)

Here are a couple of his pieces... There are way more, lol.

His first Motorcycle... At least you can tell what it is :)


Anyways... time to get back on track (I'm sure you all know how side tracked I get, lol)... 

This was our first year setting up for Fall Fest... and I had a lot of fun... if nothing else, I got to get some work done on a scarf I was knitting, and a little bit of spinning done. During the show, I went to search for some food... and found some vendors that I know.

This post is to showcase each of the three friends I found along the way :)


First is Jennifer of Sew Sweet Bow-tique... We went to high school together, but you know how high school is, if you don't run in the same circles, you don't speak to each other... Well, thankfully that is done and over with... I "met" Jennifer last year at the Sheriff's department show... actually through her mother, Margaret. Jennifer creates these amazing hair bows and outfits for little girls... and her mother Margaret... we she is pretty much a saint :) Margaret helps with Street Angels in Winter Haven, FL - it is an organization that helps feed and clothe the local homeless and under-privileged members of the community. 

Jennifer has recently opened up a store front in Downtown Winter Haven with her friend Danielle of Badge Boutique... they are located at 535 Avenue B NW, Winter Haven, FL if you have a little girl or young lady in your life :)

This is Sew Sweet Bow-tique's Facebook Page:

Jennifer and Margaret in front of their booth


Next, I ran into Cori from Crafts by Cori... I met Cori last year when I joined the Polk County Fiber Guild... At first, I wasn't really sure how to take her... Cori is a very honest person... so if she feels or thinks it, she says it... which can definitely rub some people the wrong way.

Over the past year... I have spent time with Cori at the fiber guild meetings, bobbin lace meetings, and at different craft things... She is definitely one in a million and I am extremely happy to call her a friend. She is primarily a knitter... but she also does bobbin lace... and lots of sewing... She also makes these super cute little pin cushions, made out of little metal tins... of course mine is sitting at my house and I haven't taken any pictures of it... shame on me.

This is Crafts by Cori's Facebook Page:

And this is the blog:

Cori with all her Goodies :)


Then, I found Leroy... I met Leroy almost three years ago when we moved into our house... he is our neighbor :)

I didn't know until the first Christmas there that Leroy as a "crafty" man... but me is awesome... he makes these amazing little wooden boxes and jewelry boxes in his building behind his house... He gave us one as a gift that first year, and I use it everyday... anyone who comes over is always asking about it and wondering where we got it... This is the man who makes them.

This year, I remember he told me that he was #20 and #21... so I was on a mission to find his booth so that I could say "hi" and see what he had... and of course I just had to buy this super cool little cedar box... that once again I have not taken a picture of, lol.

His son Ken (who was helping him this day) has a website that he shows off Leroy's Boxes:

Leroy with his boxes (at the end of the show)...

PSC Fall Fest 2013 was a very large, fun, and interesting event... if you have the chance next year to attend, I highly recommend it... Shoot, you can get all your Christmas shopping done in one day :)

They have not released the dates yet... but I will try and let you know when they do... Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pray for Chance...

I just want to ask anyone who reads this to please say a little prayer for Chance... he is a boy scout in my mother's troop... He was hit by a garbage truck yesterday morning, riding his bicycle to school.

Chance is 12 years old... he was on the sidewalk... the garbage truck driver did not see him and turned into a parking lot... hitting Chance and running over his leg and hip... also dragging him a few feet.

He was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital and came through surgery like a champ! This incident is going to change his life forever... so any good thoughts, prayers, positive energy... anything... please do... He really needs it...

Here are a couple of the links to different news articles about the incident:

This is his bike after the accident... 

I am praying for this little man to make a full recovery and I hope that he re-gains full mobility in his legs... Hugs to you Chance!

Ponce Inlet Arts and Crafts Show - Part 5 - Gaye Zarek

Like I said in the previous post... when I came up to the booth that was shared between Inspired by Nature and Gaye Zarek... I first met Gaye... she was super friendly and helpful.

She does a lot of fused glass work... and you can tell that she lives by the water :) All of her work that caught my eye were inspired by the sea or the animals around the water.

Some of her stuff is a little more abstract... but what great work she does... I should have gotten more pictures of her items... but shoulda, woulda, coulda... but didnt...

Here are some of her pieces...

See what I mean... I love the lighthouse in the bottom of the pic.

A Bowl of Sea Life :)

And of course, her business card... 

I highly recommend you go to the www.artistsofponceinlet.com website and look under G. Zarek... You will be in awe (just as I am) of Gaye's work. 

Ponce Inlet Arts and Crafts Show - Part 4 - Inspired by Nature

I have got to get back on track... there is so much beautiful artwork that still needs to be shared :)

Inspired by Nature by SuZen Steingress... what can I say other than... WOW... She is an amazing artist... and you can truly see her love in her work.

When I walked up to the booth, SuZen was not there, but her friend that she was sharing the space started talking to me (Gaye, but she is a different post)... I couldnt help but notice this amazing sheep mosaic from across the room... then next was this gorgeous leaf... breath-taking!

When SuZen walked up, she was so friendly and just a genuine, down to earth lady... I loved her immediately... Once we started talking, I found out that she used to be a spinner... and wanted to get back into it. The sheep piece that had drawn me to the booth was created around her memories of spinning and working with fiber :)

Rather than keep talking about her, let me show you her work... you be the judge...

Here she is... All handcut porcelain and millefiori... Amazing!

Close Up of her Face :)

I was pretty mad about how terrible this picture is... but you get the idea... the feathers... look at that detail, oh my goodness!

Flounder Pins and Earrings... They are so freaking cute :)

And of course her business card... She also has a Facebook page if you look up her name :)

What do you think? Her work is beyond impressive and lovely... If you see her at a show, I highly recommend taking the time to stop and see her work... I am still kicking myself for not buying something... Dont make the same mistake I did :)