Archive | July 2013

Day 3: More Colour Play and Worsted Spinning

Wendy was with us in the morning. We finished up the work with colour and did some more spinning.


Alpaca fleece

Sheesh, I’m sort of dropping the ball on taking pictures! I had spun and plied that alpaca fleece (pictured above) and did get a photo of the end result. I’ll TRY to remember for tomorrow.

Karen joined us in the afternoon. She’s amazing! Her teaching style is different from Wendy’s, both of which I like. She too is a fountain of knowledge, with a lovely, bubbly personality that makes you want to learn more! She raises Shetland sheep. I loved listening to her talk about sheering the sheep and how the “bratty” ones would come over to “help.” I would love to see that! LOL

So Karen showed us worsted spinning and the long draw for woollen spinning. Quite interesting. I think I’ve fallen in love with worsted spinning, although you have to prepare the fibre differently. It’s all VERY interesting. When you spin worsted yarn, it is tighter and sleeker. Woollen yarn is lighter and airier. Both types of spinning definitely have their time and place.


The picture above is a fleece from one of Karen’s sheep. That’s as raw as it gets! We’ve spun some yarn from her sheep and I’ve really liked it.

We ended the day with a trip to Marty’s! WOO HOO! (for those who haven’t seen me mention Marty’s, it’s the local store that has roving, spinning supplies, yarn, health food and lots more… AWESOME store!!!). I picked up a couple of bags of vibrant pencil roving (damn you Louet for not making it anymore!) and a gorgeous braid of black, purple and gold roving. That should keep me busy for awhile!


Day 2: Crepe Yarn and Pretty Colours

I’m a little behind with the updates about the course, but it’s just been so AMAZING that I’ve been playing with fibre rather than posting on my blog! I will back date the post for Monday and I will do my best to put up my thoughts about today’s class this evening. Unless Wendy and Karen show us something that distracts me again. Oooooh, look! Shiny!

Today was ANOTHER mind-blowing day in the Intermediate Spinning Class!

We started out with making Crepe yarn. This plying technique makes the wool extra strong. It’s good for garments and borders, especially from fibres that can’t/won’t hold their shape. Wendy’s example was that of a vest that she made for one of her courses back in the early 80’s. I believe it was a blend of camel down and wool. It was still in perfect condition! I enjoyed this kind of plying and I’m really glad to be able to add it to my toolbox.


This is what I spun into the crepe yarn


The center bobbin and the bobbin on the left will by plied together to make crepe yarn


Crepe yarn

We did a lot of colour mixing today with roving. It is so cool to see what you can achieve by carding colours together. We’re working on a colour triangle. We also covered tones, shades and tints (pictured below). Interesting stuff!


Here, we are looking at the tones, shades and tints with the colour magenta. It’s interesting how some of the puffs of wool look so similar in spite of the different colour contents


This is the scale after we removed the colours that are too close together


The shades of pink here are what my class partner and I carded for the scale above. The yarn in the center is my silk spinning. I had to take a second look at it because it was so well-spun that I questioned whether or not I actually did it!


One of the really cool things we’ve been working on is a colour triangle. Below we’re starting with the three primary colours. All of the colours here are achieved from a combination of carding primaries together. I have to say, this is something that never really crossed my mind before (because the novelty of all the other fun stuff hadn’t worn off and I wasn’t bored yet LOL). This just opens up a whole new door here. If you know me, you know that I LOVE playing with colour.



I started playing with some roving this evening and came up with some cool blends. I’m taking them to class with me, so I’ll try to snap some photos.

I have also officially set my sights on the OHS Master Spinning program. I am so excited about it! I have no idea how I’m going to pay for it, but I’ve learned something after all the crap that I’ve been through. Don’t ask how, just believe it’s going to happen. That’s how I got to the fibre arts course. That’s how I ended up here. It just seems that if I want to do something for the greater good, the clouds part and it magically falls into place. It’s like the Universe knows that I’m going to do something beautiful with these skills, so it sets things up to help me build them. I am so grateful for that!!!!

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store!

And if my Sweet Pea asks, Little Mickey and Pooh did come to class with me:


Day 1: Intermediate Spinning

This week I find myself back at the Haliburton School of The Arts. I tell you, once you take one course there, you’ll want to keep coming back 😉 This time is a little different (and a LOT more relaxed). We’re focusing on spinning. Wendy, who taught the spinning and weaving portion in the fibre arts course I took, is teaching us this week. She’ll also be joined by Karen, who I’ve never met. I’m looking forward to it! I’m also in a group of delightful women which makes the course even more fun!


Course materials

The first day we did quite a lot of work with colour. Have you even had one of those moments where you’d just like to smack yourself upside the head because you “didn’t think of that??!!??” Yes, I had some of those today! We did a lot of colour blending with roving. Well let me tell you, this put a whole new “spin” on spinning for me! If you know me (or have looked around my blog), you’ll know that I LOVE colour. Put colour and spinning together and you get one happy camper.


Colour play on the wheel


Sample card… This is just so that we can remember how we got those colour combinations. Keeping notes in spinning is VERY important so that you can get consistent results if you spin something you love (or know what colour combinations to not do if you don’t!)


A variety of spinning combinations from just three colours



We did a LOT of plying today too. I already knew how to do Andean plying from school. I was introduced to Navajo plying (I realize that this is not the new “politically correct” term, but the other one seems to have slipped my mind since this term has been used for so long). I definitely want to play more with that plying technique because it allows you to keeps strips of colour. That is something that is very appealing to me.

The course is being held at the high school in the music room. So right off the “batt” I was smiling because of all the good memories that room holds for me. That was my home when I was in high school. I think I may see if I can feel anything by standing in the spot where I used to sit for my three years of taking music there. By the way, Pete the Fly is still there. And he’s just as annoying as he was back them. Good times. Good times…


And to those who think they have “won” and that I would be shut down and curled up in a ball this week… Think again.


Selling Those Adorable Crocheted Lovies for Little Ones? Did You Consider This?

I’ve noticed a LOT of “lovie” patterns for sale and free on Craftsy and Ravelry. There are so many cute patterns out there! I’ve also seen a lot of patterns for Despicable Me’s Minions too (I’m on number 2 for my little guy). One thing I haven’t seen in these listings though is a warning that if you decide to sell these items geared towards children, you’re going to have to follow government regulations regarding toy safety.

When you get into make and selling toys, there are a whole other set of rules and regulations that you will be required to follow. Some people have suggested that you could include a warning that the item is not suitable for children under the age of three. I could see that working, but I would still err on the side of caution and find out what the regulations are in your country. Let’s be realistic here… If you’re selling one of those blanket “lovies,” it’s pretty obvious who your target users are. For your own interests, I would say that it would be well worth your time looking into it. Perhaps a warning like that would suffice. But would it be worth it to find out the hard way?

This is something that never would have crossed my mind if it wasn’t discussed in Sew Resourceful. I consider myself “in the loop” when it comes to such things, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was something that I overlooked. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I’ve heard of people getting their tables shut down at art/craft shows because they didn’t have the fibre content listed on their tags. I’m not sure if they were fined or not (that is a possibility too), but it’s still a bummer after all the work, setup and fees paid to go to that show. And if they’re that strict with clothing and accessories, how do you think they’ll be with something obviously geared towards little ones? Not worth the risk in my opinion!

Happy stitching!

For more information:
Toy Safety (Health Canada)
Toy Safety Standards Around the World

Kinmount Artisans Marketplace

On Saturday and Sunday, I did my “duty” by working at the Kinmount Artisans Marketplace. It’s a co-op. I LOVE the idea of this. I have worked three shifts now since May and I just thoroughly enjoy my time there. I am able to take my work in with me, so really, I’m not doing anything different than I would be at home. Other than interacting with some very wonderful people who truly appreciate all of the work that goes into art!

I’ve decided to write this post to give people an idea of what’s in the Marketplace. So many local people that I’ve spoken to didn’t even know this place existed. Or perhaps they didn’t know the hours or that it was open year round. I’m guilty of that myself. I didn’t know what the hours were until I got my work in there. And I must confess (as I hang my head in shame…) that I had driven right by on my way out of town to do Christmas/birthday shopping. Not anymore!

While I was doing my shift on Sunday, I decided to snap some photos to show a bit of what’s in the Marketplace. You may be pleasantly surprised!



Many wonderful things have come out of being a member of the Kinmount and Area Artists Guild. I started off at the Marketplace. Now I will be participating in the studio tour, the Kinmount Fair and some other community events. I was commenting to Mom yesterday that, for being such a small place, Kinmount sure has a BIG sense of community (especially if you want to compare them to a couple of the surrounding towns). I have been blown away with the support and opportunities that have come with being a member! They want to see you succeed and they will do whatever they can to help you achieve that. I consider myself so blessed! The seed to get involved was from my best friend’s mom and I’m so grateful to her.

So next time you’re looking for a special gift for a special somebody, something to perk up your wardrobe or an addition to your house or cottage, please keep the Kinmount Artisans Marketplace in mind.

And as always… THANK YOU for supporting handmade!

The Making of a Minion

After scoring some “Awesome Mama” points with my Sweet Pea because I made us Minion hats to wear to go see Despicable Me 2, it was decided that he needed a Minion doll as well. I had found a wonderful pattern online, but I didn’t think it would work out. It had detachable arms, goggles and a body. While that may work in some instances, I didn’t think it would work for my Sweet Pea with all the nighttime snuggling he’d be getting (the last thing I want would be to have a middle-of-the-night freak out because he couldn’t find Stuart’s arm!). So I decided I’d give it a shot and see where it took me.


The body


One foot


Two Feet


Before stuffing


Almost there…


Here’s Stuart the Minion!

Needless to say, my Sweet Pea was more than thrilled! I LOVE how he genuinely appreciates the items I make for him. Stuart has barely left his side since I finished him on Sunday. Dare I say, I think he’s even replaced Little Mickey *GASP* 🙂