Monday, 24 December 2007

Hello from the Yukon...

Hello all! Just dropping a note from the Yukon to say hello and Merry Christmas! Sorry I didn't have a chance to post the final photos from the inkle weaving workshop before I left so I'll have to do it promply when I arrive back after the holidays!

It's Christmas eve and there are mountains of shortbread, ginger snaps, and butter tarts everywhere!

My father built me four basic inkle looms out of maple and walnut, and is currently keeping occupied by building me a Cendrel replica! I will post phots of these soon, maybe even beofre we have left the Yukon!

Hope everyone has a marvelous holiday season filled with YUM!
Hearts off the charts,

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Breakfast in Bed...


Okay I know this is a blog for the things that I am up to, but I just had to show these off. This is a Christmas present from my very cool friend Alicia! She brought it over yesterday! It is soooo SUPAHCHEESE! <3 <3

It was funny cause I pulled out one of the pieces of bacon first and had no idea what it was until I pulled the egg out! hahaha! Thanks Alicia! You rule! And that6nks for letting me post and show it off too!

As for me, I haven't got any new pics uploaded yet. I like to wait until I have a few then upload cause my dial up takes for ever. I am off to make more toques and get some inkle weaving accomplished!

Cheers n Beers,

Thursday, 29 November 2007

It was well worth the tassel...


Here is the finished toque I made as a gift for the lady who was so generous with her angora bunny fluff. I hand spun the wool (see the entry below). The band around the ears is 100% angora, while the darker stuff is an angora/alpaca blend. I notice that when I knit up the angora it looks darker than when it is loose (tassel), but it still looks pretty.

See how fluffy the angora is! And you can really tell int he picture below the difference in value between the tassel and the knit.

Time well spent! :)

And today i spent the morning sifting through the bag of Airo's blanket (his best grade fibre). Next I'll put it all through the drum carder. I would like to spin up a bit of chunky wool to make some more toques for Christmas!

Ciao for now!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

It toque me no time at all...

The yarn on the left, I spun 100% Angora and the yarn on the right is blended 70% black alpaca, 30% angora. Both are two ply. The black alpaca is from a bag full of fibre that was given to me because it was too heavily vegetated to send to the coop. It has been quite the ordeal removing the crud, but the fluff itself is so fine for a black that I just can't help but try to salvage a little bit. When blended and spun up the wool is a pretty charcoal color to match the greys of the bunny fluff.

Not here are a couple shots of what I have been up to this morning. Once again I am just knitting a simple K1 P1 toque but it's just so simple and easy to do and it is always such a comfort for me to make simple things. Way better than comfort food. :)

See how fluffy the angora is? I put a band of it to cover the ears because I have read that Angora is something like7 times warmer than regular wool.

And that's what the last few days have been filled with. good grief I need to get cracking with my spinning wheel because I am going to want to spin so MUCH fibre and the drop spindle is just TOO SLOW. Not till after Christmas JacQueline. Priorities.


Thursday, 22 November 2007

I've got me a box of happy!

What is in this box?
packages are in this box...what are in the packages?

FIBRE!...but what kind of Fibre???

... ... ... ...BUNNY!
Look at how fine it is, and it's like silk to the touch! I am so excited!

Just so beautiful!

All this was a gift from one super awesome person who had angora rabbits at one point and this was sitting around in storage not being used. She said if I wanted it all I could take it all! *HAPPY DANCE*! awesome is she? How excited am I right now? Lets just say I haven't stopped hugging it since I brought it home except to get a bit of sleep. I have already looked up tons of info online about how to prep and spin angora and plan to spend my afternoon blending a bit of angora with some of Airo's fleece (he's my favorite Alpaca). I will promise to post images of what I get up to in this dept.

Anyways, I can't stand it any longer. I have to go play with fluffy fibre now!

Hearts of the charts!

Welcome to the warp zone...

Three cheers! I did in fact remember to take my camera with me to last night's inkle weaving workshop! Here are a few action shots!

Alicia is using the card weaving technique we taught ourselves a month or so prior to the workshop in combination with the inkle loom, and has a bunch of 12 card patterns drafted so she can make shoe laces!

It seems like the majority of the folks in the workshop would like to try and make a guitar strap , and there have been a few other project ideas, like Christmas tree garlands, baggage tags, and curtain ties so hopefully by the end we'll have some pictures of finished projects to show off!

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Alpaca toques and a linen book cover...

Okay so here are the toques I knit from the alpaca fluff I spun (chunky) while I was in Calgary. Just basic K1 P1 rib, nothing fancy. The buttery yellow color was from a batch of dandelion dye that I made mid summer. I liked these because they were quick, and simple to both spin and knit. Plus they are oh sooooo soft!

And the following two images or of a book cover I have been working on in my spare time. The cover itself is straight single crochet linen and the borders are done with some midnight blue chenille my mom salvaged from a mistreated sweater. There is a bit of inkle up the spine that extends from the cover as a bookmark. I still have to do a little embellishment on the front cover and add some sort of clasp, but I am happy with how it is coming along and hope to try out a few book covers made completely with inkle strips.

there is the inkle spine and bookmark:

Alright so I am going to try very VERY hard not to forget my camera when I go in to the workshop tomorrow night, so hopefully I'll have a post up in the next week chalk full of action shots!
Cheers n beers everyone!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

drop spindle blues

I love my drop spindle. I love the process and at this point am far more comfortable with it than with a spinning wheel. Unfortunately this means that I spin and spin and spin for hours only to end up with 150 yards of two ply. :(

It is a very beautiful two ply. I tried for something finer and with more twist than my past attempts and definitely succeeded, but the finer it is the longer to spin it so I had my heart set on finding out just how far that shopping bag of fleece would take me. Apparently it wasn't a lot of fibre and all I got was 300 yards of total singles, plied together 150 yards of rose-grey alpaca yarn for my mom. Unfortunately we discovered that even with a knitted lace scarf, that amount of yarn doesn't get very far! :( She'll probably have to find something pretty to put with it or else wait until I have some more fleece spun up.
Anyways, Here is a photo of the scarf and yarn:

I have some images of the inkle loom that Justin and I put together 10 of for the workshop. These needed to be inexpensive so we made them out of soft wood. Also we had little time to spare for the building of them so they aren't shiny perfect models but I have woven several strips on them and they work like a charm, at least for the duration of the workshop, until people see if they want to pursue the craft further. Then they can think about building out of hard wood or ordering a good one.
yes I look like a total goof here (too many hours of sanding), but you see the loom is pretty nice. :)

Hmmm...what else can I include in today's entry. Well I managed to forget my digital camera last night when I went to my workshop so I'll have to save those action shots for next week.

Here are a few pictures of the inkles I made using some rainbow variegated crochet cotton (hideous for any other purpose as far as I am concerned):

Tomorrow I'll unload all my photos of the new alpaca pen and share them here, as well as take a few pictures of my fluffy hand-spun alpaca toques that I made while I was in Calgary, sitting in my old haunt Central Blends catching up on all that missed LATTE. :P

Okay that's it for now
Hearts off the Charts!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Return of the Vacationator

Hello everyone! I'm back from my trip to Calgary and ready to make three or four posts!
I have some preparations to do for my workshop this evening but as of tomorrow morning I am free to post post post!
I have a few photos of the simple ribbed toques I knit up out of my first hand spun, and some pictures of the scarf my mom was making out of some pretty rose-grey alpaca fibre I salvaged from a bag that was supposed to be felting quality stuff. I am so glad I took the time to sort through it all! Also have images of all the crochet cotton my mom and I dyed while she was here for a visit, and of course some action shots from my inkle weaving workshop!
Promise I will begin posting tomorrow!

Friday, 19 October 2007

the perfect cake?

hello all!

It's been a hectic month so far and i haven't had much time to sit and make entries. I shouldn't even be here now as I still have so much to do before the workshop starts and my parents come. I just had to post this cake. Okay I know this is SOOOO not a fibre entry. Heck I doubt it's even got much fiber in it.

It's not actually a real cake yet because I haven't baked it into existence. This is going to be fantastic superyum. I am baking it FROM SCRATCH with LOVE for someone special I will refrain from naming at this juncture...though if she pops in to read this she'll probably figure it out! Hopefully she'll be too busy and it will be a great surprise.

Okay! That's all for now! off to strike some more items from my list,
Hearts off the charts,

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Strapped for time...

So sorry I haven't made a post in awhile. Crazy month! My parents are coming to visit from the Yukon and I need to get my house in some semblance of order, and have been frantically prepping for my Beginner's inkle weaving workshop at the end of the month. I want to have plenty of samples (as in completed projects so people get ideas for how to use their inkles) and, of course, detailed handouts to take home with them on threading, pattern drafting, and also a couple assembly ideas fro guitar straps, since the majority of people taking the class are interested in that project. Has anyone got a suggestion where I might find bulk hardware at LEAST 2.5 inches wide? I need to be able to order it online.

...or perhaps suggestions on alternate assembly? I seem to be having a block, likely because I've been so busy with the logistics of the workshop itself. We are building ten inkle looms this Wednesday, for use in the class and it's been troubleshooting the whole way. Once again a fairly steep learning curve for me. I am realizing all the things I never got taught in college!

I really want this workshop to be a comprehensive and enjoyable one for the participants. I guess I'll just have to do my best and explain to everyone that this is only my second workshop, and the first fibre related one. :) I definitely want to start building a reputation as being a good instructor, so that in the future when I build my big studio, and start advertising workshops people won't hesitate to sign up!

Okay I must sign off for now and get to work!
Hearts off the charts!

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Creative inklings...

Hello all! Just wanted to make a quick picture post of the latest project. Friends will recall a ways back when I was experimenting with my inkle loom and made a few REALLY wide bands. These were less dense than the thinner bands and I decided to use the rainbow one for a handbag, and line it with some hand dyed cotton to keep the purse strong. This is an image of the wide band. Initially it was a sampler of a few different basic pattern concepts. I really like all the bright colors :)
So now I am making a tablet woven strap using the orange cotton I dyed the other day:
Now I know I know...Tablet weaving makes such lovely patterns why am I weaving vertical stripes? Lately I have just been satisfying my cravings for color blending. I haven't got any other excuses!

And since I apparently have hours and hours of free time to spend creating drafts of finished products in my Paint shop. Truthfully I have been avoiding housework by spending inordinate amounts of time at my computer "drafting". Anyways here is what my finished tote should resemble in the end:
Okay! There we go! And actual weaving entry of sorts! I was beginning to think I shouldn't have signed up with weave ring! Proof I actually make stuff sometimes :P

Hearts off the Charts!

Monday, 24 September 2007

Dye another day.

Voila! Three oranges and two blues! This is crochet cotton I dyed a few days ago and will be using to make a guitar strap with my inkle loom. I will be bringing the pattern for the strap, along a bunch of other examples of neat things to make with inkles, to my first workshop on Oct 24!

Coming soon...GREEN!

Hearts off the charts...

PS: Mom if you want to see the fair trade totes I purchased click here!

My first yarn!

Alright! Five hundred feet of hand prepped, hand-spun alpaca fluff. Be gentle folks I am still learning! Overall I am happy with the turn out and I learned a great deal. These were done using my new Leclerc drop spindle. Alas I am still having a nightmare of a time figuring out my wheel. The fawn colored stuff is off Airo, and the white in the tweed was from the lady I bought the alpacas from. She included it in the deal which was so very nice of her! :) These photos almost seem blurry but really that's just the soft fluffy fibre. Another picture of my pretty new 2-ply. When I was plying the tweed I realized that the singles hadn't been spun as much as they should have been so they plied together in very long twists. Its been such a steep learning curve! It's still pretty and can be used for something for sure...I know for next time!
One last detail:

YEAH soft fluffy yarns! Now I have to spend some quality time with my wheel and see if I can't get into a rhythm.

Cheers n beers!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Regarding a Hearts on Fibre website.

Hello to anyone who is cruising my blog! Welcome!

I am just starting out selling crafty bits like knit and crochet toques etc and people have been contacting me wondering about a website. Unfortunately at this point I don't have a site up and running but it is definitely in the works. In the meantime all I have is my Hearts on Fibre blog and business e-mail:

I try and post images of any completed work in here as often as possible. Until I get a proper website up and running I will see about setting up at photobucket so that at least my images are available online. Please don't hesitate to e-mail me with any questions regarding my current products.

Hearts off the Charts!

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

A Fluffy Addition! Chantal. A Hembra after my own heart, she's a little tubby around the midsection, but over all super pretty and makes a LOT of fibre annually. 13 lbs they said. Her fibre is very soft and crimpy.
This is her tail. It is super fluffy. :)

And this is Chantal saying hello to one of the crias (baby pacas). Apparently she likes to play auntie to all the little'ns.And since I am on the alpaca pics, I posted a few of the Macho that bred Honey this past summer. His name is Choco. This first pic shows his coloring:

And here's choco's profile.
This is one of honey's surviving crias. Honey doesn't make enough milk, and thus some of her past crias haven't made it, so I have to bottle feed next summer, but I am okay with that. :) I'll be watching like a hawk and doing everything I can to ensure the little one survives. Anyways I wanted to put up a picture so everyone has an idea of the pretty babies she makes. This one is a year or two old. All the massive fluff around the eyes is a sign of a good fibre animal.

As for the "goaterrific" entry, I wish I had taken pictures of that silly billy to post here but alas! So I will just say that he won me over in an instant and spent the afternoon following me around chewing on my purse tassels. It was awesome!

I recently went to visit a flock of Merinos as well as the aforementioned Dorsets and Border Leichesters. We are seriously considering purchasing three pregnant Merino ewes, for a grand total of 9 sheep once they are all born. But this is still in the works so i will post later when I have some fantastic photos to share.

So anyone who pops in here is likely wondering about the products. Probably curious as to when I'll start making entries about the things I am making! Sorry guys, believe it or not I have been very busy making stuff, and plan to post a few entries with product soon!

Coming up: I would Dye for you!

Cheers n beers!