Friday, June 15, 2007

Giving the wool a bath . . .

Yesterday was my first attempt at dyeing raw wool locks. I had bought a small half pound bag of Romney wool last weekend at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival. The packaging said that they had been cleaned so I proceeded with the dyeing. The Cushing dye seemed to take well, but the wool still felt very greasy, and I just didn't know what to do.

I had to call in reinforcements: my fellow FAST members! After carefully wording my question, I posted to our Yahoo group forum for help. I, having never dyed raw wool fibers before, didn't know what was going on. With the help and instruction of many of my fellow fiber artists, I realized that the wool had not been properly cleaned (scoured) before I had dyed it. Although the raw wool had the appearance of being clean (it was very bright and white), it had apparently not been washed using soap; therefore, the lanolin, or grease, had remained in the wool. Eeeek, now what do I do? I had already dyed the wool as it was - grease and all!

Well, my FAST teammates suggested a variety of solutions. All of them had the same principle that I was going to have to soak the wool in some warm soapy water to remove the grease and other dirty residues. Some of my fellow members warned that I would probably lose some color as the lanolin also absorbed it during the dyeing process and would get washed away, but I was okay with that. I just wanted to salvage my wool and be able to felt with it.

After gathering all of FAST's great info, I decided to wash (scour) the wool which is what I should have done before dyeing it in the first place. I tried to be very careful not to agitate the wool while it was soaking or being put in and out of the wash bath. I certainly didn't want it to prematurely felt. After all, I like to felt, but on my own terms and hopefully not by accident!

Well, I think that the dyed wool locks turned out very nicely. They did lose a little bit of color, but I still like their hues. For now, they are laying out to dry. In several day, when I know it is fully dry, I'll try to card some of the wool. Then I hope to felt it into something nice.

I just want to say thanks to the following FAST members for coming to my rescue with your many years of experience: illusionyarns, castleman, tisjewelart, knitspin, cherylavenue, spinningmoonfarm, wooldancer, thepaintedtiger, and camanomade
I apologize if I have left out anyone. Thanks again for your great advice!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

EtsyFAST: June's ACEO Challenge

This month my fellow FAST members and I are participating in a Challenge to create fiber art ACEO's. If you don't know what FAST is, it is the Fiber Arts Street Team on Etsy. An ACEO is an Art Card Editions and Originals, or miniature artists cards that can be for trade (ATC) or sale (ACEO).

For those who are fans of ACEO's or those who are new to the concept, please check out our fibery creations and see the diverse talents of FAST. Simply search Etsy for the "EtsyFAST" and "ACEO" to find our fiber art cards. You can also just check out the FAST website for several featured ACEO's.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Yummy Wool Roving from Bath, Maine

It is yet another post about a fiber excursion during my Maine vacation, but it is certainly worth your attention if you love yarns, wool, roving, or anything fiber. My husband and I drove to Bath, Maine, on an outing one day. We visited the Maine Maritime Museum which was well worth the time. I also wanted to stop by Halcyon Yarns, which I had thought was just a small, local shop.

We had almost given up on finding it when we spotted the small sign for it on our way out of town. It was in a building complex and didn't look like much from the outside with no real storefront that I could see, but it was quite a surprise on the inside! It had yarns, roving, and fiber supplies from floor to ceiling - and a very high ceiling I might add. There was everything a fiber lover could ever want or need. I wish that I was able to shop a little longer there. Although, I did manage to sign up for their mailing list, get a free catalog, and buy a few ounces of roving (as seen in the photo). If you are anywhere near Bath, Maine, and a fiber lover, it is worth a trip to visit this place, or visit their website and order a catalog.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Summer Sale - Week of 6/10 - 6/16

Don't miss out on this week's featured Summer Sale at my Etsy shop! It's bright. It's summery. Gotta love that orange! Therefore, any item with the color orange in it is being discounted this week by 20%. This includes jewelry, supplies, pins, etc. - anything with a little or a lotta orange in it!

Here's all the important info for you:

Any items with the color ORANGE in them are 20% OFF! Please put "Summer Sale - Orange" in the notes to seller at checkout and wait for an updated paypal invoice BEFORE paying.

NEW Yarn and Bead Kits!

It seems that I have a bit of insomnia tonight - okay, a lot of insomnia! Therefore, I've decided to be productive and go ahead with an announcement that I had planned for tomorrow's blog entry.

I'm introducing my new Yarn and Bead Kits which is very exciting for me. I've combined my hand felted wool beads with matching handspun wool yarn to form a spectacular new embellishment kit. Since I've started spinning yarn on my new drop spindle, I couldn't resist making some ma
tching sets of yarn and beads.

What crafty thing can you use this for? Well, I would suggest using it as embellishment or trim. It would be great for adding some decorative touches to a handmade purse, scarf, sweater, and the list goes on. The beads make great buttons, whether whole or cut in half. It is also nice for scrapbook lovers who want a touch of unique embellishment on their pages. The yarn and beads can be crafted into cards or jewelry too. They could even be used in paper making or book binding. Really, the skies the limit when it comes to crafting possibilities!

You can find several color schemes and combinations of these new Yarn and Bead Kits in my Etsy shop. I also have one available on Mintd. Here are some examples of what's currently available or will be available very soon.

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