Monday, September 26, 2005

Felting Frenzy

I've been shamelessly ignoring my spinning wheel the past 10 days and giving in to my other sordid passion- felting. Trying to finish up several projects I started and have made some progess. The tentacle basket ( or as my frind has dubbed it: the Tim Burton basket) is done, mostly.... I have a friend making some funky glass beads that I'm considering working into the sides. The pockets on the sides of the basket are freeform knitted and then needle felted on.

Resumed work on my two felted wall hangings and have one funky flatfish nearly finished. Not too sure what to think of my latest explorations in felt.... a little on the wacky side. I'll have to redeem myself with something a little more serious, but not right now.. heh heh...I've already started work on another felt basket- this time I'm trying my hand at a sea anenome!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Spinning the Unexpected

For fun, I posted a challenge to my spinning list on yahoogroups. I asked them to name 5 funky/unusual things that you could ply- or at least TRY to ply- into yarn. I'm getting some intresting answers...

Shredded Silk Kimonos & Silk Cocoons
Cotton Balls plied into chocolate brown (think hot cocolate with marshmallows)
Shredded Money
Christmas Tree Tinsel
Fishing Flies (without hooks- with if you are in to peircings)
Produce Netting and Shredded Plastic Bags
Cassette Tape (which works great for weaving as well- the cassette acts as the shuttle)
Little Fuzzy Chenille Chicks & Easter Grass
Fishnet Stockings & Old Lace
Halloween Decor Spiderweb with Plastic Spiders

I'll add to this list as more suggestions are made- feel free to comment and add your own!

Hot off the Bobbin

Here's the newest yarn creation. Its a blend of burgundy, chocolate brown, pale pink, sky blue and toffee brown roving plied with pink eyelash, toffee sequins and sky blue puffs of wool. I haven't set the twist on this yet and still have half a jumbo bobbin left to ply. I got 93 yards on this skein.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Behind the Wheel

High Tide

This yarn was created by spinning alternating colors of woodsmoke & spruce from Harrisville Designs (their fleece is great for felting too). Plying with turquoise viscose thread (Susi- you can get it from WEBS) I incorporated dyed mohair locks in the woodsmoke sections and Skacel's novelty eyelash Posh in the spruce green to simulate kelp. I made sure to knot up some kelpy clumps to add here and there, and slipped in a few sterling silver fish buttons and a single pewter nautilus shell button.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Rookery

Here's another peek at my shop The Rookery. I still need to take a photo of the yarn shelf- lots of little cubbies full of bliss! The shop has really started to fill out since I opened last December. Seems like every penny I make goes right back into the store and to paying down my debts. Looking forward to having a little help this fall/winter with Saturdays though, as I run the shop myself and have two kids that are with me at the shop all day. Since I can't afford to pay an employee right now, I have run the idea of "Will Work for Yarn" by local knitters and now have someone lined up to start in October. I'm discovering that it is quite a challenge making a business work in a small island community. My client base is very limited... but who said I was in it for the money? Passion... now there's a payoff!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Seven Stitch Skinny

Half-way through knitting this seven stitch skinny scarf, I discovered I was working up an eight stitch error... Had to rip... A delicate task due to the sequins plied into it. Definately worth the patience though. This is my favorite yarn to date.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Handspun Revolution

Lexi's book has arrived! I ordered a few copies from her to carry in my shop and devoured it over coffee this afternoon. I like that she kept it simple- all too often you get lost in all the mumble jumble looking for that little tid-bit of information. I also really appreciate the fact that its hardcover and compact and very cool!

Woven Harmony

This was such an unexpected and wonderful surprise... to be approached by our local Arts Council to host renowned weaver Rebecca Bluestone last March. Both she and her husband traveled to Alaska to perform "Woven Harmony", a presentation that combined his classical guitar performance with her tapestry weaving.

Rebecca presented a slideshow presentation at my shop and spoke to local fiber artists about her work. It was an inspiring look at her tapestries, her studio and her life as an artist. It was a HUGE honor. If it wasn't for the flyer I saved, and her business card pinned to my board, I'd still be pinchng myself!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Felting Fetish

Felting is definately one of my favorite mediums for artistic expression. I created this peice, "Otter in the Water" last April for our annual Whale Festival art show. It later sold in May to a private party. It was a little hard to part with- harder than I originally thought it would be.

The real reward came about 2 weeks later... someone from the aquisitions committe of our local historical society came in looking to buy it for the museum. I was floored, and flattered... and a little bummed that it had already sold.

They said they would be keeping an eye out for future peices by me, but I don't think they will be too intrested the work I'm doing at the minute. It's a bit abstract, but very fun! I'm finishing up a tentacle basket at the moment, and have backgrounds finished for two more wall hangings that will feature whimisical renderings of flat fish. I have lots of ideas for more realistic renderings of Alaskan wildlife, so will have to keep sketching ideas into my book until I have the time and inspiration to manifest them.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Autumn Leaves

Autumn is creeping over the threshold of summer with rich, firey hues. Inspired by the season, I spun this wool yarn plied with woolfelt leaves, orange viscose thread, red eyelash yarn & sparkly fun fur in fall colors.

Hand-Dyed Knitting Needles

Another innovation in knitting tools! I use a similar method to batik, where layers of wax and dye are used to create multi-colored designs. It's tedious work, but the results are spectacular. I'm trying to get a website up and running to sell my needles and my funky handspun yarn. I dye crochet hooks and circular needles too.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Greetings from Alaska!

Hello from Kodiak Island, and welcome to Spinning on the Edge! This is my first blog. I finally have a little place, all my own, where I can rant, rave, share my fiber addictions and post pictures of my current fiber creations!

I am, first and foremost, a spinner- but I do dabble in felting, weaving, knitting and dying. I own my own fiber "shoppe" called The Rookery- the name derived from my love of ravens- which opened last December during the winter solstice. Here is one corner of my shop- you can see my floor loom in the foreground. I must have taken my spinning wheel home when this photo was taken, as it usually sits in that empty space in the bottom right corner. I'll have to take more photos of the shop...