To boldly go…

As I started writing this post I thought about calling it “Enterprise”, which immediately made me think of the Starship USS Enterprise and to “Boldly go where no man has gone before”. In reality I’m going to boldly start selling my craft kits online via Etsy. My shop Crafty Fibres is live and I’m adding my dyeing kits to the shop with their various flavours (Shetland tops, BFL DK yarn, Cheviot DK yarn or Falkland Island Merino 4-ply yarn). I am currently working on other kits and will be listing these as they become available.

There’s a lovely orange Etsy badge in the menus which also takes you to my Etsy shop (it clashes brilliantly with my purple theme here!)

I also have a business website Crafty Fibres, where I’ll keep you up to date with my enterprising endeavors.

A Felted Single

Even though I’ve now been spinning for seven years, I have avoided spinning the simplest of yarns – the plain single. I have spun singles – coreless-corespun and thread wrapped yarns are both singles.  But I’ve left the plain bulky single alone.  Until this week.

One of the recent braids I dyed was very slightly felted (just slightly) and as a result I didn’t want to spin it too fine.  (It was the first one I dyed in the slow cooker, while I was still getting the timings right, and may have been handled more than usual.) I wanted to spin it chunky so that I could use it as a weft for a cushion.  And felted to give it the extra strength needed for such an item.

After spinning the resulting skein was incredibly twisty:
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I gave it a bath in very hot soapy water, moving it around lots. I shocked it by plunging it into very cold water (and then repeated between the hot and cold a few times). I also tried thwacking the skein onto the draining board – but found that was an excellent way to make the kitchen look like it was raining inside and get me covered in water. I finished by rinsing the soap out in changes of hot and cold water.

After this treatment the skein was completely different:

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Not a twist in sight.

Getting There…

When I moved, the large table that used to be in my kitchen (bought to give lots of space for everyone’s creative endeavors) became the “work” area in the lounge. With space for my PC and the old laptop for the children (and possibly a Raspberry Pi with monitor, at some point). I also intended that my 4-shaft table loom would sit on the end. Since moving, the loom has been sat, folded and wrapped in bubbles, against the wall at the other end of the table. This week I looked at the bits and pieces scattered over the table and realised, with a little tidying, the space was enough!

The following day the loom was carefully extracted from behind a box of books and some magazine files (I’m still a little short on book cases) and put into its rightful place.

Bubbles:

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Unwrapping:

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All tied up:

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Removing the ties:

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The castle is upright:

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Adjusting the tension:

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Where am I?

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I felt an immense sense of calm (possibly helped by the beautiful harp and piano music I’d just discovered: “Stanze” by Ludovico Einaudi and Cecilia Chailly) as I adjusted my weaving stool, unwove a couple of picks of the existing weaving (in the process discovering that my note that I was on pick 83 of the pattern repeat was wrong, as there are only 82 picks) and started to weave away…

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Hello loom, it’s nice to have you back.

Adventures…

I had a lovely time launching Crafty Fibres and my dyeing kits at Textiles East.  I learnt an awful lot, from planning ahead so that I had a float and something to put it in, to how to make my stand look more appealing (over the weekend I think I rearranged it about 4 times)!

onstand

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It was a great experience and I will be doing it again.  However, my next adventure is to open an Etsy shop, where initially I will be selling the dyeing kits.  And then onwards to July, where I will be taking part in Open Studios with 3 other spinners and artists as Spindependence – collective.