26 July 2013

TdF round up, Bendigo, and Etsy!

Welcome to Fibre Arts Friday! I'm sorry I missed posting last week, got a bit carried away with TdF and other stuff... anyway, this will be a longish post so please bear with me :)

First up, Tour de Fleece has drawn to an end last weekend, it was my first TdF and I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially with Team Wonder - such a wonderful group of like minded people. Thank you everyone on the team, I wouldn't have had so much fun without you, and the beautiful creations are so inspirational.

Here are my achievements during the tour: a total of 7 skeins and 1620 meters, not bad for a rookie :D
Before the TdF started I'd set myself some challenges, posted here, these were:
  • spin 100% alpaca (I only spun alpaca in a blend before)
  • intentionally spin sock yarn
  • perfecting the woollen long draw technique
  • spin from stash
How I did: 
  • I can honestly say all my spinnings were from my stash that's at least three months old. 
  • I spun two 100% alpaca skeins (top right in the collage), the natural coloured one was from alpaca fleece and the brown one was some mill end rovings (actually only one single was spun during the tour). Out of these two I prefer spinning from the fleece. 
  • I "intentionally" spun two sock yarns (first & second in the right column). The first, dark red, was spun into a thin single and Navajo plied, it did come out at a fingering weight. The second, candy sherbert, was spun into three singles and plied, also at a fingering weight. The verdict? you will have to wait till I knit some socks with them and give some wearing ;)
  • I practiced and practiced and practiced woollen spun: the first alpaca, the two in the left column, and the bottom right, were all spun using the woollen technique. Apart from the alpaca which was spun from rolags, all the others were spun from the fold. I DO love woollen spun, and I got better at it, but far from perfection. So I need to practice some more...
Last weekend was also the Bendigo Sheep & Wool Show,  the weather was terrible, it was cold and wet and miserable. But the spirit was high, my friend Rachael did a fantastic job manning the booth for three days, she told me that about 1/3 of my stock sold. That's not bad for a first timer, consider the allocated booth was in the very end row of buildings.

We went up to Bendigo on Sunday, I helped a little bit at the booth and made some sales, yippee! And of course fun was had by all as you can see from the photos here :)
Elli was stuck at the Ashford booth for ages playing on their knitter's loom, we met Mr. Richard Ashford himself, who was doing a really good job trying to get us walk away with that loom and a matching bag. I felt a bit mean not buying it for Elli, but I'd set my heart on a cricket loom - thanks to Andrea's raving review :) ... we will be getting the cricket loom when we visit America in January, can't wait!

And the last but not the least, I have finally managed to list something in my Etsy shop: Cat's Cauldron Fibres.
At moment it's mainly my handspun, once the weather gets better I will be dyeing again. So stay tuned :)

Oh yes, you might have noticed that my blog has a new look, I've adopted a more traditional format because Vivian brought it to my attention that sometimes the comments don't load properly in the other format. Fingers crossed it should work now!

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

12 July 2013

Tour de Fleece 2013 - Week 2, and more...

Phew, What a week! I'd travelled 1300km and visited 5 destinations across 2 states in the last 4 days with a Chinese delegation; then I attended a Committal's Hearing this morning which signaled that things were back to normal ;)

Before the long week began we went to a Folk Festival in a neibouring town last Sunday, where we all (Except J the teenager) tried our hands on a weaving loom - it was a knitter's loom by Ashford. It was a lot of fun!
On the left was my effort... as it turned out Jelly was a natural at weaving, he even showed his dad how things worked. I definitely want a loom now, the question is which one? Any suggestions? :)

Now before I show you what happened with my TdF I have to share with you this cool tutorial for making a DIY Turkish spindle. I wanted to bring a spindle with me so I could still spin while on the road, then I saw someone on Team Wonder who made a Turkish spindle with double pointed needles. After reading her comments I also did a search and found the tutorial linked above, the instructions were very easy to follow and I made one in 20 minutes, all I used was three bamboo skewers from my cupboard, it didn't cost anything - always a bonus ;)

As you can see from the progress photos below it "does what it says on the tin" - I love it!
The photos show my efforts from Day 8 - Day 12 except day 10 which was a rest day. I came home for a pit stop on Day 12 so I was able to work on my wheel for a little bit. Day 13 was a total wash out as it was a long day (14 hours) of travelling/meeting/travelling, I only managed about 10 minutes or so on the spindle while waiting for the return flight, and there was no photo. Today is Day 14 but I'm not done yet ;)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

05 July 2013

Tour de Fleece 2013 - Week 1

Wow, what a week it has been! I'm having so much fun at my first Tour de Fleece, look at all the spinning I did! :)
6 days of spinning :)
Day 1: 1.5 bobbins of 100% alpaca, spun woollen.
Day 2: finished my first skein of 2ply alpaca, 110g / 153m approx.
Day 3: finished 1st bobbin of BFL/silk.
Day 4: finished 2nd bobbin of BFL/silk.
Day 5: plied the 2 bobbins and I have my second skein of the tour. 100g / 400m approx.
Day 6: started on a new braid, a blend of Shetland/BFL/silk.

Unfortunately you won't see such productivity next week as I have to be away for 4 days (working, nothing exotic). I'm going to bring my spindle with me, not sure how much I'll get done but it would be a good opportunity to practice on the spindle, it's been much neglected.

Have a good weekend everyone! Happy spinning/knitting/crocheting/crafting... :)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

p.s. Team Wonder rocks!! :D