Sunday, April 29, 2012

catching up and upcoming shop update ^.^

so, it's been an incredibly difficult, and painful, and educational, and inspiring 2 years for me.  i've been through a lot, and learned a lot of important life lessons.  unfortunately i've also let my poor blog fall into stagnation many times because there's just so much i've been dealing with.  but it seems that things in my life are finally falling into place, after much hard work. i'm finally having some time to focus on growing and branching out as a fiber artist, and totally revamping my etsy shop.

so much has changed since i started this little blog back in 2009.  back then i didn't even know how to spin, and it was strictly a knit/crochet blog.  these days i'm spinning, sewing, fiber preping and most recently dyeing much more than i knit or crochet.

since it been so long since i've posted here i thought i'd do a little picture show of some of the things i've been working on for the past 6 months or so.

these days it seems i only ever knit anything with my own handspun.  i tell you i don't know how i ever lived before i could spin.  there's just something so satisfying about being able to take exactly the fibers you want in the exactly the colors you want, spin them exactly how you want them spun and then knit with your very own perfectly planned and executed yarn.  to that effect here's my first handspun hat

i bought this awesome set of batts from Play At Life Fiber Arts, one batt was black with a little sparkle in it, the other was a nice gradient from a dark coral to a lighter peachy color.  this is now my official "i'm having a bad hair day better throw on a slouchy hat" hat, hehe.

i've also knit my very first pair of handspun socks, which as it turns out proved to be more difficult than i imagined.  it wasn't the knitting of the socks so much as spinning the 2 skeins of yarn evenly that was the problem.  i ended up with 1 skein about 20yds longer than the other but decided to knit the socks up anyways.

as you can see, 20yds really does make a big difference in the length of your sock.  but seeing as how both skeins are a rainbow gradient there's nothing more i can do than keep these as my official "putturing around the house" socks.

aside from spinning and knitting i also have been bitten by the fiber prep and dyeing bugs, respectively.  i got my very first set of hand carders a few months ago and went on a carding frenzie, carding up hand pulled rovings for the ol' etsy shop.

hand carding is fun, and a great workout, but i'm already itching to get myself a drum carder so i can make some big, beautiful batts like the one's i'm always lusting after in other peoples etsy shops.  with my hand carders all i can do is card somewhat small amounts of fiber and pull them out into rovings to make these little roving buns.  but drum carder envy aside there's something to be said for the simplicity of taking just a few types or colors of fiber and creating a nice tonal or variegated yarn without all the crazy bells and whistles of art batts.

and now, my latest obsession:  DYEING!!!

i claimed some ashford acid dyes in a swap on Ravelry, bought myself some nekkid fiber and had myself a little dye party this weekend.

 this is my very first evar dyed braid of fiber.  it's lovely soft Falkland and this was a learning experience for sure.  there were originally supposed to be 4 colors that were equally represented, but i used WAY too much dye and when i was rolling the fiber up to be steamed the excess dye just made all the colors run together.  the purple and black are pretty dominent, while the blue-green and dirty yellow-green barely pop up here and there.  even so i still love this little braid dearly and will probably end up keeping it all to myself.

i did however use the lessons i learned with that first experiment when dying up the 2 tops i did today.

these two i decided to do as mirrored gradients and i'm really happy with the way they turned out.  i used way less dye this time so that i didn't have a bunch of excess being squeezed through and muddling up the colors.  these are out on my back patio drying at this very moment and tomorrow they have a photo shoot and will be put on sale in my shop.

but wait, there's more!

i know this post is pretty epic already but i would be remiss if i didn't mention my newest line at petite vache designs:                                                    

{ one of my Big n' lil box bag sets that sold last month }

so i mentioned in my last post that i started sewing little notions sized box bags.   well i got the brilliant idea to sew up sets of medium and tiny sized box bags, the tiny one nestles inside the bigger one and holds all your notions, leaving room for a small to medium sized project in the bag still.  it's basically the perfect way to keep your project bags organized, each one will have it's own matching little notions bag.

i had 4 sets of these that all got snatched up pretty quickly last month and have just recently listed another set, but i'll be doing some more sewing in the coming month so if you're interested in grabbing a set for yourself be on the lookout for blog updates in May :)

well i'm sure that's quite enough of an update for the time being.  i hope everyone had a great weekend and will have an equally joyous new week