Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Knot Hysteria’s Colour Retreat!!!!

From November 4th to 8th is the fall knitting retreat at Port Ludlow...except it's not just knitting! They will be spinning, knitting and dyeing!'s $735 plus whatever your flight costs. I would love to go, but will have to choose spinning wheel or retreat?

You can read all about it on the Yarn Harlot's blog at

Knitting, Quilting and Spinning

As if I didn't already have a ton of stuff going on, I can't seem to focus on one project at a time.

I finished the reversible quilt and it's ready to be deliever today! Then I was reminded of a small dog quilt I started 2 years ago! I started quilting it last night.

I did some knitting on a baby blanket.

I did some more spinning of the suri alpaca on  drop spindle.

Tonight, I have to stop a client's (also a friend) for some financial work as well as assisting her in caring for her twins.  So it doesn't look like I'll be doing much work tonight on the creativity/crafting part.

Monday, September 26, 2011

YarnCon, Chicago 2011

I went to YarnCon for the first time this past weekend. It was so inspiring to see my friend Lenae with her custom dyed yarns. I bought a few dyed silk hankies and a hank of a purplish/lavendar silk/merino/cashmire yarn. Talk about luxurious!

I also bought a few ounces of 100% suri alpaca roving that was dyed with autumnal colors. Let me tell you, I had to resist pulling out that credit card to buy a bag of unprocessed suri alpaca! Thank God I kept my cool. Suri Alpaca is a great alternative to silk -- it's so luxurious!

I also got my order of silk cocoons and undyed silk hankies. Sarah at Mia Bella Yarns will be having a yarn dying class so the silk will be perfect for it. I think I also have a hank of undyed wool yarn as well.

Come back a little later if you would like to see some pictures.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Louet Victoria Spinning Wheel

I am in love. Not with a guy unfortunately...not yet anyways.

I went to my Thursday night knit gathering last night and lo-and-behold, what did I see at Sarah's store? A Louet Victoria spinning wheel! I was a little star struck...I've been researching spinning wheels, but I didn't try one out yet. Sarah took one look at my face and asked "Do you want to try it out?"  Of course I said yes. Then Adrian helped me get started on it.

At first, there was a learning curve on coordinating my feet to treadle smoothly. So I just treadled for a bit. Then came spinning the fiber. Ugh, I wasn't used to it at first, but after a while of practicing the simultaneous drafting (I over spun the fiber a lot because I couldn't get a rhythm going as I was trying to pull the long fibers), I was finally getting the hang of it. I couldn't stop spinning. Luckily, Sarah had some test wool she recently dyed and she needed it spun. I was so enthralled with spinning, I forgot to take pictures of my spun yarn.

Let me tell you something, you can spin a whole heck of a lot of yarn faster on a wheel. The Victoria was the perfect size and it folds into a compact item when you don't need it use it. It ain't cheap, but as I am a financial specialist, I will be taking my own advice and saving up until I have enough to buy it out right.

That reminds, as I work in the financial industry and I as a designer with an art degree, if there's one piece of advise I can give all you crafting/artistic folks, its this:

It's not worth going into debt for the things that later will cause huge financial headaches.

It makes life harder and you live with the consequences much longer than the moment you decided to splurge. There's something about delayed fulfillment I think a lot of people are missing. The satisfaction of working for something and the peace of mind of not having to work harder or be chained to a job you hate to payoff debt. If you have a craft you love, it's a good bet you have a stash of stuff you can still work with without getting more. It also makes you more creative and a better designer working with what you already have. In these tough times, let's be wise. There are a lot of people out there worrying about their futures and I would hate for you to be struggling. Love you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bookmark from scratch

My fingers were itching to knit something quick from one of my first yarns that I spun in my drop spindle class. So here is my unblocked bookmark.

Made it in less than an hour. I brought it to my knitting group today and the owner of Mia Bella yarns in Highland Park, IL asked if I could write up the pattern for it so she could use it for one of her classes!

Stay tuned, I will write up the pattern for all to enjoy.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Spinning yarn!

I have taken up spinning in the last month. I love it! It's so relaxing to spin on the drop spindle. Doesn't take too long to have a good bundle of fiber to make yarn. I am so very excited about the possibility of creating something truly from scratch. Here's a picture of my first spindle full of yarn:
Sorry for the bad picture. I had some dim lighting in my room.

On the other news front, A reversible quilt I've been working on since last October is practically done. I just finished the binding but I realize that I need to do some more quilting around the edges. Good thing I didn't undo all the safety pins. These are pretty big borders and I think more quilting will give it a finished look. Pictures to come a little later.

How's my goal of doing something creative everyday...not bad. Sometimes there are moments when you feel like you don't want to do anything, but I'm sticking with it. I've cut out television so that's helping.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wow...Has it been really over a year?

It's September 2011.

My last post was March 2010.


With the economy being the way it is lately, it's been tough finding time to work at my crafts. Well, I guess it's time to get back to business of crafting. I am an artist. An artist that is not creating or working towards something is a grumpy artist. I'm also changing the name of this blog because I really do more than just quilting. I'm not ashamed to say that I find a lot of satisfaction in making things that can be worn, shared, gifted and/or used daily.

One of my big projects of late has been redefining my bedroom/studio/office space. One of the things I've had to do is put in more shelving and cabinets in a nook between my bedroom door and walk in closet. During the "remodel" I've had to throw out a pile of junk. Lately I find that having mass manufactured items don't have a lot of meaning or value. The things that I do hold onto are handmade and created with love, care and thoughfulness. I'm realizing that I have too many things and I have a huge desire to "unload."

So this is a challenge for myself and anyone who may stumble upon my site. My goal is to do something creative everyday and do my best not to get sucked into buying stuff that doesn't last.