I believe I'm going to invest in a tester kit of Greener Shades Dyes. I want to see what kind of colour intensity I can get from them, and how they blend.

On the up side, they are available in several different base shades, and everything I've been reading about them says they are relatively easy to mix for a wide variety of different colours. They are heavy metal free (make your own Danzig joke, please), meaning there is no chrome involved, which according to their website makes them "non-hazardous". That's a pretty vague term, however, they also go on to state that the dyes meet the criteria developed by the Organic Trade Association and the Global Organic Textile Standard for Organic Fiber Processing and Handling.

On the down side, there are only 9 base dyes. That means a LOT of mixing to get back up to my standard array of about 35 different colours. They are also much more expensive than say, my Jacquard Acid Dyes.

If they are truly stunning in use, I will seriously consider making a gradual change to them, but they are going to have to wow me to outweigh both the drastic increase in price and the fiddly factor. I would find out about these after spending massive money on a full complement of dyes within the last 6 months.

(crossposted from the String Theory Fiber Arts blog.

WANT.

Feb. 25th, 2009 05:46 pm
I really, really, REALLY want a membership to the Grafton Fibers ColorWays Club. I was lucky enough that some of the first fiber I ever ordered was a set of Grafton batts, and when I went to Vermont the first time, Alex drove me to see their farm. While I was there, I got to design my own batts, and I love, love, LOVE them to pieces.

If you've got the money and like batts, you need some of Linda's. If you've got a LOT (though I should be quick to point out, the membership price is very reasonable and TOTALLY worth it) of money and like batts, you need to join!

Thus ends my unsolicited plug.

ETA: Also, despite the little voice in my head that says "You just saved over $800 on your car insurance!", I am remaining strong. Ish. I'm now going home to burrow into my Wall'O'Fiber and console myself.
Oh dear.

I went on a bit of a retail therapy jag today, and bought some amazing yarn from Laughing Rat Studio. Yesterday was the ephemera CDs from Lunagirl. I'm on an etsy kick, supporting other artists with the money I've made from my fiber.

There was also some superwash merino/tencel blend roving from Abby, and the Sargasso silk that I just couldn't resist. Abby dyes -crack-. Soon her fiber will have to come with a small spoon and a tourniquet. (Perhaps comparing something I dearly love drooling over to heroine isn't the most flattering thing I could do...but I shall ponder this another day.)
It rocks.

Laughing Rat Studio
LunaGirl
Franquenmont Fibers


Fresh dye jobs in merino, silk, and blue faced leicester!
Dyed another 3-ish pounds of fiber. This time I've got some BFL, merino, and silk. Look for updates to the store in the next couple of days.

On a related note, dear gods do my feet hurt.
Yesterday, someone on a knitting community I'm a part of posted about a bad experience at a LYS. She politely refrained from giving the name of the shop in her original post. Someone else jumped into the fray to talk about how annoying "crafters" are.

Now look, I'm not going to claim that there aren't some DAMN annoying crafters out there. Personality is one thing. People who walk into a store with the idea of selling their handspun (single skeins, no more than 60 yds a piece, I'm sure) are probably very annoying to the owners/etc. I will admit to feeling much the same way about the spinners I see pop up from time to time who go from "I just got my first drop spindle!" to "How much should I sell my 38 yards of merino rope for?" in the course of about two days. (No dig to novelty yarn spinners. I've seen some damn cool stuff out there.) You know nothing about your craft, nothing about spinning a balanced or -durable- yarn, and I'm sorry, you shouldn't be selling yarn that you don't know for SURE is usable. I feel the same way about dyed roving. I don't sell felted roving, and I make damn sure that everything I post for sale is something I know is a quality product, ready for use.

On the other hand, the snippy little holier-than-thou attitude about "crafters" gave me pause. Excuse me? You work in a fucking YARN STORE. Who did you think you were going to be dealing with, but crafters? This is exactly why I hated going into a particular LYS on the weekends, because the woman behind the register couldn't say a damn word to anyone without being condescending. It -is- possible to impart knowledge without looking down on someone. (I say, as I snark about someone...)

We are ALL crafters. If you are creating something with a use from raw materials, explain to me how you -aren't- a craftsperson. I stopped reading the blog of a woman who drew a distinction between her handspun and that of "crafters", because SHE was an ARTIST. Well, I paint with dye, and I put my heart and soul into the things I spin and card and dye, and at the end of the day what make it satisfying to me is that I've done something with my hands, I've created something that I feel is a good example of my craft.

I am damn proud to be a craftswoman.
And the winner is...[livejournal.com profile] flautenpupie_79!

Yesterday I purchased a bit overe 27.5 pounds of fiber. 13 lbs. of various solid dyed merino, 9 lbs. of undyed exotics, and the assorted bits of dyed top and yarn I bought for myself. Including some Fleece Artist top and Seacell!

Pictures of the stash will be forthcoming.

Mike, what would you have more use for, yarn, or spinning fuzz?



Hand painted roving and luxury batts. Free shipping on orders of $40 or more!
Sold something else, sold something else!  *bounce* 

Ahem.  Yes.  I am clearly a seasoned artist.  *cough* 

Big Damn Dye Day today.  I've done about 3 lbs of merino, and I've got 8 ounces of silk that I might pull out too.  I need to place an order for more exotics, but I've been holding off until next week because I saw that Little Barn is going to be at Maryland Sheep and Wool, and I can buy from them there without paying shipping.  I'm really hoping that I can find someone who is selling the larger containers of acid dye, because buying it by the half ounce isn't exactly economical when you're trying to use it every week. 

Back to work.  Pele is calling my name...


String Theory Fiber Arts has been updated with some luxury spinning batts.  As always, if you're an LJ friend and you see something you like, let me know and I'll give you free shipping. 
an_sceal: (Bemused)
I am about to buy 27 lbs. of merino top.  That's about enough roving to fill up a small Volkswagen.  I am, of course, having a distinct moment of doubt.  This is an -investment-, not just an overgrown stash.  This means I have to create colour combinations that make people drool.  That I have to make this work on a bigger scale than forcing my friends to look at my yarn and roving and make polite noises.  It's a bit daunting, but on the other hand, it's the only way I'll ever move forward with this weird little pipe dream of mine to make a living doing the things I love.  (I wish I could figure out the colourway for self confidence.)

At my feet?  2.5 lbs. of light fawn suri alpaca fleece.  And yes, I -am- washing some it before bed, why do you ask?  I love the faintly sweet, grassy smell of unwashed fleece, even if I'm probably inhaling poop. 

Anyway.  Spin, or write?  Spin, or write?  Such choices in life!  I suppose I should write, thus making [livejournal.com profile] marigot happy, and moving a little closer to that OTHER wacky dream. 

Why don't I have any dreams that don't hinge on me finding -talent- somewhere?
String Theory Banner

I've opened a shop on etsy!  I'm planning to add standard colourways as I go, and I already have a few in mind that I'll be uploading within the next few weeks.  I should be adding sock and worsted weight yarns soon, and my handspun will pop up from time to time, as well as the various other projects I have cooking on the side.  (I have given in to my yen to try altered books.  Sort of.  I still can't bring myself to actually use a -real- book, but I have some journals that are kind of fun.) 

Feedback is welcome, and requests are encouraged!  I appreciate any of you taking the time to look.
Suri alpaca, tussah silk, kid mohair, ranch dressing.

One of these things is not like the other...

Yeah.  I'll be avoiding my nice healthy snack of pea pods while I'm carding batts from now on.  Luckily, it was only a teensy little drop, and it landed on the plastic bag, not my fiber. 
Well, I had a productive day.  We went to the fabric store and I managed to resist buying some truly awesome brocade to make into a bag.  The we came home, and I spent the afternoon dyeing about 4 pounds of fiber- silk roving, tussah noil, Wensleydale wool, merino/mohair roving, and some some mohair roving. 

Now I'm just relaxing before bed, but since I don't have to be at work until 9:30 tomorrow morning, I'm in no real rush. 

Also, there is a fox barking outside my window.  This neighbourhood is so awesome.
Managed to create two batts that I am utterly in love with, fiddling around with the drum carder tonight.  Merino/silk/angelina, about a 90/8/2 blend I'd guess.  Part of me wants to spin them, part of me wants to toss them up on etsy, part of me wants to take them back to the carder and add more silk.  There will be pictures in natural light tomorrow, and then, a poll!  You decide!  It's like reality fiber programming! 

Figured out where I buggered up the cable repeats on the neckline of my sweater, ripped back, and reknit.  Everything is hunky dory with Wicked for the moment, and GODS I love this sweater.  I know, I'm still only about 2 inches into it, but the knitting is making me happy, and after this week, that's a good thing. 

Finished my story for [livejournal.com profile] axial_tilt on time, and I'm even relatively pleased with it.  I had some great help, and some really amazing encouragement, and I hope my recipient enjoys it. 

Tomorrow I want to buy a new hair clip (you seriously have no idea what an undertaking that is for someone with hair as long as mine), spin, and card some more.  Other than that, I have nothing terribly exciting on tap for the weekend, though I think I might also make it a goal to finish warping the floor loom this weekend.  Have I posted pictures of my fiber studio the craft room yet?  I should do that, too. 

Oooo.  And maybe if I feel up to it, I can actually bust out my new stovetop and do some dyeing. 

Hear that, Charles DeGallBladder?  None of your damn lip this weekend!
Part of what struck me about [livejournal.com profile] irenejericho's post yesterday was this:
And maybe as I've grown older, I've also come to understand the need for new beginnings--the need to put a final period on that last sentence and turn the page to start a new chapter. 

As she pointed out, you can do that at New Year's, or you could do it October 31st, or March 18th. Every single day is the start of another year, another cycle in some way.

Brighid has always been the face of the Goddess that I identified most strongly with. Some say she's a Maiden, fresh and devoted utterly to her craft with all the budding passion of a young woman. Others say she's the Mother, which I can see on the days that writing feels as impossible and painful as giving birth. She's fire and spirit, impetuous and daring to step out into the not-quite-Spring. For some of us, her laughter is enough to tempt us out, and we find ourselves following her footsteps as she leads us down the path to our own creativity. Those moments where we catch up to her are amazing, full of intense devotion to our art, rich words, bright colour, beautiful sounds. Even when she is out of sight though, there is something to be seen on the way, some hint of her voice to urge us on, some impression of her passing as we explore.

I always offer her chocolate on my altar.

Whatever your art is, I hope you have the luxury of taking a moment to embrace it. I hope you can take the time to indulge yourself with the feel of cloth or yarn becoming something else under your hands, or beads being woven into jewelry that will catch the light just so. That you can sing and dance and drive a little of the winter grey back from your hearth, or let words, unwritten or already set to ink, tempt you into exploring a new path.

My creative goals for the coming months:

-Continue working on the Marton and Janska story.
-Pick and answer a New Year's Resolution challenge.
-Learn to relax my spinning posture, and spin loftier yarns.
-Begin selling my handpainted yarns and fiber online.
-Learn to cable.
-Knit my first sweater.
-Sell a short story to someone.
-Take up my paintbrush again, with watercolours and acrylics.

Feel free to shares yours, if you'd like. Either way, have a happy Brighid's Day!

Addict?

Jan. 29th, 2006 01:13 pm
I might have just ordered a fleece from Australia.

Maybe. 

I can neither confirm nor deny reports of such a thing. 

But the Magic 8 Ball says "Chances Are Good". 
[livejournal.com profile] interminable took pictures while I was playing with my dye pots and roving this evening, and combined them into this nifty collage!  It's huge though, so beware.

She's Dyeing! )
This morning is the great "peacock" experiment with my dyes.  I've got three pots in the kitchen cooling right now, and from there I'll pick the colour that goes best with my beloved Twisted Sisters Petite Voodoo. 

We have:

1 part turquoise, 2 parts teal
Equal parts turquoise and teal
2 parts turquoise, 1 part teal

And three tiny skeins of merino/silk blend yarn stewing in the pots.  If I ever find my camera, I might post pictures of the skeins and the original Iris yarn and take a poll.

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