Nomad Fibreworks

When life gives you a shedding dog…

You make yarn, obviously!

I’ve spent the last few months wondering why I’ve felt less that awesome at spinning lately and then seeing Morengo Wool spinning away at the Calgary Fibre Arts Fair in November, I realised why that was. I’ve lost my wonder.

I’ve been spinning colourful 2-ply yarns almost all year and it’s worn me down. I’ve spent my whole spinning time always trying new things but since February when I sold 17/20th of my stock and needed to get more yarn made quickly, I forgot to stop and try new things. So starting in late November I stopped being normal (relatively speaking) and just starting playing again. And it’s working!

Art Yarn, November 2015

Art Yarn, November 2015

And on top of that, I’ve gone back to my roots, so to speak. A friend has asked if I would help her spin up some fur from her late doggy. Which I am happy to do, pet yarn is wonderful. To shake the cobwebs off, I’ve decided to work on my own pet’s fur first.

Maxwell Butts is our “newest” dog. We picked him up from a rescue group in Alberta on Valentine’s Day 2015. He’s approximately 7 years old, a Husky/Shepherd/Akita mutt of the highest quality. We jokingly call him the rock muncher because his only bad point is his worn down teeth. He’s got a wonderful soft and fluffy husky coat which has been shed all over our house, yard, trucks, parent’s house, etc.

When he gets a good brushing, I always keep the best stuff in a bag for working with. So when I wanted to do something fun in my studio, I grabbed a few handfuls of Max’s fluff and blended it on my carder with some white Merino wool roving. So far, I’m loving how the yarn is spinning up and the overall beautiful, natural tweed/oatmeal look it has.

Maxwell Butts

Maxwell Butts

I have no doubt that if the yarn is too bland that I could easily get some lovely colour into it with hand dyeing or blending his fur with dyed roving, which I may try next.

So I finally feel like a creative person again, allowing myself to play more with texture instead of trying to decided how to spin the next roving… I love being an artist!

Long time, no blog…

Needless to say I’ve let my own blog fall to the side lately. Ooops!

I’ve been so busy with my duties in the Alberta Yarn Project, creating yarn & fibre, traveling to new shows, meeting new artists and all the while, finding myself a new day job! Thankfully I am now gainfully employed with a huge company which means, my Hubby and I can carpool to work and back, shortening our daily commutes and adding together time! Not to mention that it allows me more time in the evenings to create and be a meaningful team member!

Since moving almost a year ago, I haven’t stopped spinning and making deliciously bright carded batts. In fact, I’ve gone to making 1 ounce sections which I call Mini Batts. These came about as felters I’ve met just don’t need 4 ounces of fibre to work with in their art.

Merino Wool Mini Batts

Merino Wool Mini Batts

Needless to say they have been popular and an excellent way to try different carding techniques and colour combinations. I’ve found that the colour swatch cards from Pinterest have been especially helpful for inspiration.

Gradient Challenge Complete!

I don’t know that I’ve ever completed a yarn-making challenge by completing a full knit item. It was kind of exciting to see the process from bits of roving

 

Merino loveliness

 

All the way through to a 2-ply handspun artsy fartsy yarn

 

Sweeter than Candy

To the knit scarf, holding that beautiful gradient in seed stitch goodness

 

Textured, for my pleasure

And finally, just because I can, I put an edge on to finish it, a lovely silver-grey alpaca blend. For added Softness!

 

All done but winter can wait!

 

I used a crochet blanket stitch edge and then added bit of a chain edge too.

Gradient Challenge Update!

it feels like it’s taken forever already but here is a little progress on the Gradient yarn knitting I started a few weeks ago. Have a full time job has really hindered my knitting time. LOL! So far I am terribly happy with thesis scarf, in all honesty I don’t need ANOTHER rainbow scarf, but once I have a fun alpaca blend border on in, I think I’ll want to keep it. 

  

Thankfully my office has Shaw Open WiFi, so I can use my ample lunch break to keep posting to the blog and all my devices work well together so it’s easy get my multimedia together. 

Gradient Challenge

Last week I realised that oops! I forgot I signed up to do a Gradient Project on Ravelry through the Blue Mountain Handcrafts group. Our challenge is to take 3 colours of fibre and blend them down to make 6 colours. Something I haven’t, but with a lot of carding and patience, I made a rainbow!

Firstly I took Fuschia, Yellow and Tardis Blue and laid them out in the way I wanted them to be blended:

Gradient Project - Fibre Supply

Gradient Project – Fibre Supply

Next I carded the supply into 6 mini batts, or approx 30 grams each using the following formula: AA, AB, BB, BC, CC, CA (A = Fuschia, B = Yellow, C = Blue)

Fuschia, Yellow and Blue become a rainbow!

Fuschia, Yellow and Blue become a rainbow!

I split all the colours into two mini batts each so I could make a simple 2 ply yarn:

Mini batts ready to spin!

Mini batts ready to spin!

 

And finally I spun and plied the mini batts into a bulky, squishy yarn which I am currently knitting to show the colour changes.

Ready to knit!

Ready to knit!

My choice to split the mini batts and make two separate singles was to allow for even more colour blending where the two strands would not line up perfectly with each other and to allow for more yardage as n-plying yarn really does cut down on the yardage.

All in all, I could not be happier with this yarn and I look forward to making other colour blends in this fashion! Check back in a while to see the knit scarf!

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