Thank You!

It’s the early dawn of Thanksgiving on the west coast, and I’m quietly having coffee and reflecting on all abundance of things I have to be thankful for in my life. I’m so grateful for my family, the fact that my mom is still with us despite her battle with two kinds of cancer. We’re all gathered at a house on the beach, and I just feel overwhelmed with gratitude–and it doesn’t take a holiday for me to feel like that, but that does give me a reason to write about it.

But, I am also so grateful for all of you who read this blog. You are all around the world, from the US, to Canada, to Saudi Arabia, to Africa, to the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand…it’s crazy awesome!! You encourage and motivate me. I learn from you when I read your blogs. This spirit of companionship connected through art has changed me this year. You’ve given me the courage to start my etsy shop AND make it not-for-profit, which is a dream I had years ago–to celebrate art and use that passion to give back. It’s crazy, I know, but it’s GOOD crazy, and you are all a part of it.

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You are people who see handspun yarn like this with (pearly beads) and think of possibilities. Who stop by to comment on color or technique and give me ideas as to what to make with it. You inspire me with your own pictures/stories and how you spin, knit, or weave your life moments into your art.

So, thank you. From the depths of my creative heart, I appreciate you all! May your sunsets be as amazing as this one…Spin on!

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Oliver, spinning, weaving…so much going on!

So…my blogging has been a little slow because of this sweet distraction.

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Can you blame me? Oh. My. Gosh. Meet Oliver, my new little sidekick. He’s 5, a rescue, and a mix of Shitzu and Maltese. He’s like a cuddly teddy bear. I confess I have missed a few spinning evenings because he’s brand new to us and I couldn’t stop holding him!
Stay tuned for more Ollie stories… But for now, back to spinning, knitting and weaving!

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Fall colors…and a cabled yarn.
If I had to choose my favorite type of art yarn to spin, it would be yarn with beads in it. I’m fascinated with the combination of yarn colors and textures with various beads..and the possibilities are endless! This yarn is a 4 played cable, which was tons of fun, but I worked beads in like this:

20131118-184252.jpg It’s a pretty simple technique and I love having the beads spun directly onto the yarn. I’ll write up the pattern soon–it’s a very simple cowl that makes a sweet neck warmer–and with the beads, who needs a necklace?
My other big project was a shawl I wove for my mom..she requested one large enough to wrap around while sitting on the sofa watching a movie or reading, but not a bulky as a blanket. I think she’ll enjoy it! I do love weaving..it’s such a different stride from spinning and knitting. I just have to get over the whole warping thing..not my favorite part! But still..a fun project! Spin on!!

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Stress and creativity

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Car spinning. Road trip to Portland. Much needed break. (P.S. Hubs is driving)

So, I am curious. When I am stressed, especially with work stuff, I tend to go into a mega creative zone. Other that long walks or running, my creative outlet is very much my stress therapy.

I some senses, it’s thinking time. In others, it’s a chance to have control when other areas feel a little out of control.

But here’s the thing. Not only is it therapeutic, but I truly enjoy it. I get into a really happy place and my creativity goes on hyperdrive. Yesterday I took a day off work, carder some art batts and spun my heart out! Here’s a look 7.5 ounces of fiber in different stages:

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The batt in the middle is the 5th one I carded yesterday, all at about 1.5 ounces each. Here’s the recipe: BFL, recycled gold thread from a thrift store sweater, silk, merino, and alpaca from a local farm.

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So how about you..does stress hinder or help your creative process?

Spin on!

“Bouclé” you say?

A few weeks ago Saran Anderson’s book A Spinner’s Book of Yarn Design arrived, and I have been pretty glued to it ever since. Her descriptions work well for the way I think, and I have successfully spun some beautiful beehives on nicely balanced singles and my latest obsession, thick wool bouclé. I have not yet spun bouclé with mohair (can’t wait to get super loopy with it), but I am pretty pleased with my attempts with a thick wool single so far.

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The top photo is from her book to show how it should look and the bottom two are my first attempts..I’m getting there, don’t you think? If anyone has suggestions for opening the loops more, I would love it!!

And the book…awesome. Tons of info, instructions, and ideas. Probably my fav spinning book so far.

Spin on!