Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A facebook summer giveaway

If you are on facebook, probably the best way to stay up to date with our doings is to become a fan of our facebook page, which you can find here. If you become a follower, you now have even the chance to win this pretty yarn:

It is called "Butterfly Meadow" and is a single yarn from a handcarded batt of green shades, yellow and pale blue merino, containing a helping thread with tiny pink glass beads, blue beads, iridescent yellow sequins and 5 butterfly-shaped buttons.

It measures 100 m / 110 yd, ca. 80g, 9 wpi and of course created in a smoke-free environment as all our yarns.

What you have to do to get into the drawing? Simply become a follower of our facebook site by pressing the "Like" thumbs up button. The yarn will be given to one of our new followers on August 8th at midnight CET+1h (central european summer time). You can get even a second lot for the drawing, if you answer to our poll, which you can find on the discussions site. The winner will receive the yarn shipped free and will be notified via facebook. If we hear not back and receive the shipping adress within 3 days, the price will be given to the next in line.
Good luck!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The ultimate Tour de Fleece 2010 report

The Tour the Fleece was a real challenge! I managed to spin almost every day, but more difficult was, to report the progress outside the ravelry group. So here comes - with a bit delay - a complete show & tell of the yarns I spun.
I already introduced you to "Spinning Onions to Gold" and "Don't cry, Argentina".

After that, I spun "Fireflies", which is a cute yarn from black, blue and dark green merino and some wensleydale fiber, plied with a thin thread holding bright green seed beads and neon green sequins. Afterwards, I thought it would be so cool, if the glass beads were actually glowing in the dark. A long search later, I found a supplier of bright green glowing glass beads and ordered them. They should arrive soon and then I can make a firefly yarn which actually glows in the dark.

The "Moonlit Garden" yarn took 3 days to finish, but I like it best of my yarns this year. It is a single yarn from a merino batt of black, dark and bright blues, containing many many things, like blossoms and flowers of different kind, some sections have blue sparkling eyelash yarn, and different beads, pearls and sequins.

The last worldcup yarn is the one for the United States (though I might still spin one inspired by Paul, the octopus), consisting of blue, white and red merino, spun to broad blue stripes, interspersed with thinner red and white stripes. It is plyed with a dark blue and a blue glittering thread, holding silver sequin stars in the blue parts.

A while ago, I met the shepherd of the university's flock of sheep, who allowed me to take some of his fleece. I only took around 100 g to start with and spun a two ply yarn from the unwashed fiber. It turned out to be not that good an idea, because it was quite greasy and held lots of straw particles. From now on, I will give it a thorough wash before I process it. The result is quite interesting, though. As far as I understood, his sheep are crossbreeds from mainly local species and the fiber was quite frizzy and elastic. It is a bit rough, though. It borderlines the comfortable bare-to-skin-wearableness and I am thinking to make a carpet from that and other raw fibers, maybe with some color accents. But then I would have to spin much much more of it first.

I had a short intermezzo with a soot sprite (those of you who know Hayao Miyazaki's animes "Spririted Away" and "My neighbor Totoro" are probably familiar with them) under heavy usage of black eyelash yarn, containing little pompons thereof and eyes made from white sequins and black seed beads.

Next was a merino single yarn in greys, blues, whites and a hint of green and brown, including pieces of Tibetan prayer flags. I always liked them and got the idea for that yarn a while ago. It resembles the landscape of himalayan mountains, and combines it with the cheerful colors of the flags, in the traditional order of colors.

I always liked that Android operating systems are named after deserts, so I spun a chocolate eclair yarn from merino and alpaca, plyed with a golden thread, and a cupcake yarn, from brown merino, some alpaca and pink and violet merinos, plyed with a pink thread, containing plastic flower beads and seed beads which look like sugar beads. The gingerbread, froyo and doughnut soon to follow.

And last, but certainly not least, I had another go on a fabric stripe polkadot yarn. This time from different colors, the usual blue, but in combination with red fabric I bought in Osaka (Japan is great for fabric shopping, too bad I discovered that fabric shop street in Tokyo almost too late), and white fabric with bright green dots from Vienna. I also added white seed beads. The fiber is merino in shades of red, blue and green.

That's all, folks! I am glad that it is over and that I did not bad, especially in catching one of the daily prices, but I also can't wait for the next TdF!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tour de Fleece - I won something!

Yes, I know, I am a bit behind in reporting about my spinning for the Tour de Fleece. I promise to write an update soon. But today, something really great happened. I was drawn as one of the two daily winners by the random number generator! Yippiee! Now I may choose one of the many prices which were donated by a bunch of real great fiber artists. In fact, I found several very good shops for gorgeous spinning fiber, so I thought I might do a little feature on my three favourites. I still have to decide, where I will get a price, but I also might do some fiber-shopping at the other ones.

First, there is wildhare fiber studio. Here you can not only get handpainted fibers of different quality and sheep breed and handcarded batts, but also a lot of other nice things like knit kits, wpi gauges, spinning equipment, some art yarn ingredients like angelina and firestar and handspun yarns. I like her "Irish Eyes" handpainted BFL wool top, and I totally fell in love with this superwash wool top "Autumn"

Then there is "Into the whirled" who sells mostly very nice handpainted tops from BFL, Falkland and Merino and she also donated one of her BFL batts in stunning colors and color combinations which make me just drool. I totally adore her gradient color batts, like this one:

And finally, I stumbled upon "Kelpie Fibers" who sells handdyed commercial yarns, mostly socks, and a big variety of dyed spinning fiber. She chooses very cool names for her color variegations, like "Shadowlord", "Oceanic Flight 815", "Alien Encounter" and I really like her "Oathbreaker" merino roving:

I could continue indulging in all the pretty handpainted fiber one can find out there, but I stop now and probably will have a swim in the lake before I am off to the open air cinema. I so much are in mood of doing some dyeing myself, and I hope I can find the time soon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tini's attempt to actually try to succeed

Well as you might have noticed from the title my head is a bit, well how to put it correctly...full. Yeah, I guess that's the most neutral expression that does not include multiple warning concerning hard language and partial nudity (see, what I mean??) at the beginning of this post.

Anyway last year during the Tour de Fleece I was without any equipment, spending the first three months in London. A year later, I have the equipment and I am willing to try to spin next to a 60 h week (14 h tomorrow alone...) a yarn a day. Good luck to myself. The first day has been successfull so far (Well done, me, well done).

Anyway I stop moaning now and will continue to spin and be merry and happy. My cute little yarns are drying as we speak (or write and read respectively rather (is that a correct sentence?)) and am waiting to make your days. They made mine already :-).

Here the first Tour de Fleece success:

Hope you like it as much as I do. It is my Holland support for the final.

See you and enjoy your weekend!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Semi-Finalists and Eliminatists

Right on time for today's semi-finals I present "Uruguay", which is a white-and-blue single thread yarn with golden multifaceted sequins and small golden sun confetti spun-in.
I also finally could finish "Southern Africa", a cheerful 2ply from black, red, white, green, yellow and blue extrafine merino fiber. Though they already left the game, it is only fair to honour the host who did a really good job.
And of course we had to spin at least one German yarn, this one is quite bulky, features a black, red and yellw section, plyed with a golden thread who holds little beads. It is already reserved, though. But we are quite sure that we will spin another one, especially if Germany wins the tournament as we hope. :)

For the Tour de Fleece I also spun a worldcuppy yarn yesterday: "Don't cry, Argentina". It looks suspiciously similar to Uruguay, but I used a shade of blue which is a bit more pale and I spun broader stripes, and plyed it in the end with a golden thread and another one who holds some golden suns.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tour de Fleece 2010 - Day 1

Two days ago, the Tour de France started. That does not neccessarily interest me much, if it was not also for the Tour de Fleece. I participated at this annual ravelry-wide spin-along event with big excitement last year and was really productive, you can find some pictures of last year on our facebook page. So I was looking forward to this year's to boost my spinning and help me un-stash a bit (to allow myself to go fiber-shopping afterwards of course).
The "Breakaway" is naturally my key skill and I am supporting Team Tardis and might do something fairy-tale relevant. We also have a wildcard team for our art yarn community (gooooo, Team Spinnkult!). But I don't inted to only spin art yarns, but also some unprocessed raw sheep wool and who knows what. I started with pure tussah silk, which I had dyed with onion skins a while ago. I really really love it! If it was more my color scheme, I totally would keep it. But I can't figure myself much with this bright golden/coppery yellow, so this beauty will go to the shop soon.

I also realized that silk is not the best thing to spin when you are sweaty because of a murderous heat wave (for me, that is everything above 30 degrees C), because all the fine fibers will stick to your skin. And it was quite a bunch of silk I spun, the yarn had more than 200 m in the end as a 2ply.
I might not be able to report every day's progress as it is also quite much work to spin, take pictures, upload them and link them and report about the tdf in ravelry, but I will show all the finished skeins I spun sooner or later. And I planned to make at least one skein per day.