So.. I have a spindle and fiber.. How do you actually SPIN yarn?

There’s plenty of things in life that we know what they should look like in process, but just can’t quite execute ourselves. Have you ever tried to cut your own hair like the hairdresser when you were a kid? Exactly. You know what it looks like to get your hair cut, but you can’t do it.  Spinning isn’t like that. North American culture (for the most part) doesn’t use spinning, or even know about it beyond sleeping beauty pricking her finger – and even that’s on a wheel, not a drop spindle!

I got a comment on this post I wrote about making my own drop spindle, which for some reason didn’t show up on the site, so i’m not able to respond to it there. I’m sorry Katie, whoever you are, I hope you see this post!

-Katie asked: What did you do after you made it?  I mean to spin it and all.  I have never attempted this or even thought I could do it.

-Answer: I’m a super beginner when it comes to drop spindling, so I can’t necessarily tell you how i’ve perfected my technique, what to do, what not to do, all that. BUT! I can show you where i’m learning from!

The internet is fantastic, and i’ve found a number of excellent spinning videos, and i’d like to share a couple of them with you (and what i’ve learned from them).

Absolute favorite tutorial: Abby Franquemont, hands down. This video will help you with drafting, basic spinning, and understanding what in the world people are talking about in other videos when they explain spinning.

You have to be able to draft the fiber before you spin it -

The Paradise Fibers Intro Tutorial – I really like this one for its details, and not making you feel silly!

Megan La Core – She also has an entire series on spinning

This isn’t so much a tutorial, as a fascinating video of a very experienced Navajo spinner/weaver. I find it extremely helpful to watch

people who are skilled at what i’m trying to learn, and to listen to their advice, because it stays in my head when i’m attempting to spin.

 

So here’s what i’ve learned so far:

-Spinning (at least the basics) isn’t the difficult part – consistent drafting is.

-Consistency takes practice – your first spinning isn’t actually going to come out looking like machine spun yarn.. because it’s not machine spun. Did you miss what my spinning looks like right now?

Image It looks like twisty wool. (I’ll post better pictures soon. Promise.)

-Watching experienced spinners (even when they’re not doing tutorials) is an awesome way to learn what spinning should look like.

 

Katie, I hope this helps, and that you saw this!

 

Anyone else have good spinning tips? Like I said, i’m still a super beginner! I can use all the help I can get!!

 

 

 

I finished some of them!!

So those projects I was working on? I actually finished two of them, AND! I started and finished another small project as well.

The first one is the 12″ teddy bear that I referenced in This post. The links to the patterns used are in that post.

SamanthaCloseup Samantha2

 

She’s a pretty good size, and SOOO fluffy!

If you’d like to make one yourself, here’s a link to my Ravelry Project Page.

OR! If you’d just like to buy one because you don’t have time to make one yourself (or don’t know how), you can check out my Etsy Shop. She comes in 6 different colors, including different body and shirt colors!

Check back to find out what the other finished projects are – I promise you’ll love them!

 

Modified Cuffed Baby Booties

One of my favorite baby shoe designs is the Crochet Cuffed Baby Booties Pattern by Repeat Crafter Me. It’s a sweet and very versatile pattern that i’ve used a number of times.  One of the issues i’ve run in to, however, is that when you cuff the bootie, and sew the button on, it’s really difficult to get the baby’s foot actually in to the bootie.  My solution? I’ve created a cuff that actually buttons, but looks very similar to the one in the pattern.

Here’s my shoe:

Full Buttoninaction

Want to know my secret? You’re in luck! Here’s my modifications:

Work bootie pattern through rnd 13 as written. Cut yarn and finish off (I also like to weave in my ends as I go, just so there’s no awkward fiddling with a tapestry needle and ends inside a completed shoe).

Right Foot

  • Row 1: Join Color 1 in 5th st to the right of the back seam. sc around, DO NOT JOIN! Ch5, turn You will now work back and forth across the cuff instead of in the round
  • Row 2: sc in second chain from hook, and in each ch and sc across. Ch 1, turn
  • Row 3: HDC in 1st st, and in each st until you have 2 sts left (you should have worked 24 HDCs), ch 1, sk next sc, hdc in last stitch. Ch 1, turn
  • Row 4: sc across, finish off.

::Theoretically, these 3 rows could be repeated as many times as you want for a taller boot::

Left Foot

  • Row 1: With Color 1, Ch4. Without turning, work your next sc in the 5th sc to the left of the back seam on the bootie. Sc in every st around, but DO NOT JOIN! Ch 1, turn. From this point on, you are working back and forth in rows instead of in rounds
  • Row 2:Sc in Every st across (26 sc)
  • Row 3: HDC in 1st st, ch 1, sk next sc, HDC in next sc, and all sts across . Ch 1, turn
  • Row 4: sc across, finish off.

Sew buttons on, weave in ends. Ta-da! Functional booties!!

Like what you see, but don’t have time to make them yourself?

Come explore My Etsy Shop! You’ll find these booties in multiple color choices, and so much more!

 

I’m finishing up my PhD!!

No, really, i’m finishing my PHD!

my Projects Half Done!!

 

There will be pictures soon, I promise! I have soooo many projects i’m in the midst of, you wouldn’t even believe it! Ready for my list (because i’m totally a list person…) I’ll link patterns when I can, but some of these are either my own pattern, or i’m test knitting for someone, so the pattern’s not up yet!

This is me:

knitallthethings

1. Squirrel’s Paradise Lace Baby Blanket Test Knit – Finish cabled i-cord bind off over 650 (ish) stitches!

2. Crocheted princess hat with braids and crown – add braids, make crown, ship to customer!

3. Doctor Who double knit blanket squares (5) – Start… make… finish.

4. Samantha, the big Fluffy Teddy Bear – Make Legs, attach appendages, give to Sister in Law – this pattern is a mix of two: Sam and Jif

5. My orange Wool of the Andes Spinning Project (as seen in the post below this! Ravelry Link for those interested)

6. A Pink Mesh Cotton Beach Bag – Make and add handle

7. Fluffy Rainbow Colored Owl Obsession Blanket – Add White parts and sew together

8. A Rainbow Infinity Scarf that i’m designing – Make 85% of it, and get pattern tested, publish pattern

9. A crocheted bag that i’m designing – make 50% of it, and get pattern tested, publish pattern

10. Lafayette Scarf – Finish other 50% of it (I’m using 1 skein instead of 2, I think, for a scarf instead of shawl)

11. Blue Serenity Blanket – Finish the last 25%

12. Waterfall Blanket - Finish last 40%

13. Jude Bag – Just Add Lining!!

14. Cabled Slipper Boots – Make 1 foot, and 2 tops

15. Color Block Blanket - Make the other 50% of the squares and sew together

16. Cool Kid Cowl - Knit 20% more and Finish off

 

There’s more, but I think you get the picture for now!! This isn’t even including the ones I WANT to make – That’s another list in and of itself.. maybe you’ll get to see that sometime too!

 

Stick around, you’ll be seeing a lot of progress/ finishing pictures of these projects and more soon!

 

In Which Ruth’s Fiber Addiction Reaches the Next Level!

It’s finally happened!

I knew the day would come…

I can finally spin my own yarn!! {because I made my own spindle!! you can too – keep reading!}

 

I’ve dabbled in spinning before, but without having done much research and, it seems, without having a decent spindle, most of what I produced was super super super bulky weight yarn, which doesn’t do anyone much good.

I know i’ve mentioned before that I participate in something on Ravelry called (don’t judge my nerdiness) Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup (henceforth referred to as HPKCHC). I love this group because i’m forever learning new crafting techniques and being challenged to try new ideas! This month, the Room of Requirement challenge is to make your own spindle! There were a couple tutorials but, being me, I wanted to figure it out on my own.

I went digging through my craft drawer and found the following:

A dowel (don’t ask me the size, I don’t know), and a wooden wheel of some kind

Spindle and Wheel

So My first problem is that the hole in the wheel wasn’t big enough. Thankfully, I have a lovely husband who knows how to use power tools, loves to help me make things, and fully supports my fiber related endeavors!

First we matched the drill bit size to the size of the dowel:

Matching Sizes  Matching Sizes 2

 

Next, I got to play with the power tools and drill a hole in the wheel

Drilling Hole Making Ruth's Spindle 011 Making Ruth's Spindle 012

 

 

Clint had to help me put the wheel on the spindle, because it was a super close fit and I didn’t want to use any wood glue to keep the pieces attached:

Making Ruth's Spindle 013

 

Since I didn’t have a hook to put at the top like normal people have, we used a screw.

Clint says to tell you that if you’re going to do this, you must drill a hole in the dowel first, or else you could crack the wood. I’m also supposed to tell you to use a small-ish bit, because you still want the screw threads to catch the wood, not just be all loose and rattly in the top hole.

Making Ruth's Spindle 016 Making Ruth's Spindle 018

 

Making Ruth's Spindle 019 Making Ruth's Spindle 022

 

I left the screw a pretty good bit out of the dowel, and Clint cut a notch in the side of the screw for me.

I tried to use just the screw to secure the fiber (silly me!) but alas.. it didn’t work. The notch in the screw works REALLY well, though!

Want to see what happened when I started spinning?!

Making Ruth's Spindle 024

BAM! I’m so pleased!

Better pictures will come soon, but I just couldn’t wait to share this!!

 

Have you ever made a spindle? What materials did you use, and how did it work out?

 

Business Name Poll – And there’s perks!!!

obiwan

Edit (6/2/14): ok, i’m down to two name options! Please remember, I’m a “young mom with kids/ grandmoms” store.

Edit (5/31/14): I just found out that one of the options I was considering changing my name to has been taken, so i’m going to remove it from the poll :-(

 

Ok, so I’ve been researching a lot of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) stuff trying to figure out whether I want to keep my business name or change it. My Etsy Shop Right Now will give you a good idea of the products I sell if you don’t know.

So here’s the incentive:

If I end up choosing your chosen business name (and actually change my business name to it, because i’ve decided to go for it)

You get 50% off any one item from my shop!

Here’s how I know which one you voted for: you comment your vote right after you use the poll! (If you want to tell me why you chose the option you did, that would be SOOO helpful!)

Why am I not just doing a comment poll? Because I like the fancy little thing below with the cool choices, that adds up the percentages for me!

 

Rules!! You can only vote once, for a maximum of 2 business names.

At least 30 people must vote for me to consider this valid, so share with your friends!

Announcement of the poll winner (the business name that got the most votes) will be announced Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Decision of whether or not I will change my business name will be announced by Saturday, June 14, 2014 (or perhaps sooner if I get antsy!)

 

***DONT FORGET TO COMMENT AFTER USING THE LITTLE POLLING GADGET ABOVE!!!***