Thursday, January 31, 2008

spin a yarn

these are the skeins i spun in the pluckyfluff class last weekend! i'm very proud of them, because they show that i achieved my goal of breaking out of my spinning rut. basically i've been churning out the same stuff over and over. but now... spinning will never be the same again! above right was our first project: beehives, coils, loops and twisters...

...'mohairy', spinning with strips of fabric alternated with wool, and super slubs...

... felted nubbies, and spinning biddles and bobs into the yarn...

...and this one was the result of my 'crazy batt'.

also, i forgot to mention that lexi's new book is out! i can't wait to get my hands on a copy. i have her first book and it's great but the new one is supposed to have more detailed instructions and diagrams...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

pumpkin muffins

i don't seem to bake nearly enough these days, but recently i was inspired by angry chicken to make these pumpkin chocolate-chip (i added walnuts too) muffins and they are SOOOOO delicious! i individually wrapped most of them and put 'em in the freezer, so they're a perfect on-the-go snack when i'm teaching. i used to bake muffins all the time, generally requiring a 3-flavor minimum. a favorite that i recall was my coffee oat bran with raspberries and white chocolate chips. yum! i'll have to attempt to re-create those sometime soon...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

we plucked, we fluffed

do these faces look happy? we were all exhausted by this point, but only in the best possible way! thanks, lexi for an incredibly inspiring and energizing weekend of mad spinning fun!

here are about a million pics (editing is not a skill i possess) and i'll try my best to explain what's happening in each:

this is the 'sharing table', stocked by lexi and augmented by generous classmates. all kinds of treasures (doll parts, peacock feathers, paper flowers, tiny bananas) could be found here and spun into our yarns... on the right is pam (resident spinning teacher at Brooklyn General, where the workshop took place) and her beautiful wheel.

we learned how to make 'crazy batts' by repeatedly sandwiching five or more assorted fibers into the drum carder...

we learned how to spin our own homemade felted nublets (technical term) into our yarn...

mary made us all jealous with her brand-spankin' new country spinner. the size of the bobbin promptly inspired anne to name it jeff stryker, and jokes about mary's huge 'orifice' (technical term! swear!) ensued for the entire weekend...

lexi's demonstrations defied every rule of traditional spinning...

...she showed us how to incorporate bits and bobs of ribbon, lace, sequined fabric...

there was talk of spinning gertie into a yarn...

tiny vintage paper flowers were one of my favorite add-ins...

...but the fantastic needle-felted heart, mouse, and bear from FeltStudio UK were definitely the biggest crowd-pleasers!

i think we were all amazed by the yarn we produced!

if you feel awed and inspired, a new session of beginner spinning begins february 4 @ brooklyn general. you'll have to get your basics down before you can take one of lexi's workshops, but she had so much fun here in nyc, she's already planning her next trip! get yourself on the BG e-mail list to stay in the loop, or if you're not in the nyc area, keep an eye on lexi's blog.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

new date & time for patternmaking

we've added a new session of patternmaking at the Etsy Labs, as the weekday time slot didn't work for too many people. if you've been wanting to learn to make your own sewing patterns, here's your chance:

date: Fridays in February 2/1, 2/8, 2/15, & 2/22 (4 weekly classes)
time: 6:00-8:00 each class
location: Etsy Labs, 325 Gold Street 6th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

if you love to sew, but are frustrated by the patterns you find in stores, this is the class for you. here you will learn the basic principles of flat patternmaking, and start having fun designing the clothes you picture in your mind! you will draft patterns for a t-shirt and an A-line skirt based on your own measurements. then we will manipulate these patterns into other style variations. we will also cover how to 'rub off' a pattern from a pre-existing garment. basic sewing experience is helpful to benefit from this class.

students are required to bring the following materials to the class:

* a roll or pad of newsprint, drawing paper or patternmaking paper, at least 14" wide
* see-through 18" ruler
* tape measure
* pencil and sharpener (or mechanical pencil)
* eraser
* scissors (for paper)
* 1 yard of muslin or similar inexpensive woven fabric
* 1 and a 1/2 yds of t-shirt jersey or similar knit

class fee is $180.00.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

don't replace, repair!

in early december i was contacted by a woman who'd been given one of my hats last winter. she said that it was her favorite hat, but her dog had chewed a hole in it and she wondered if i could fix it...

i was thrilled to get such a request! in our disposable culture, too many people would have just tossed the hat in the trash; i am so proud that it was important enough to her to track me down and see what i could do. i told her i'd have to see it, and when i did, i was relieved that the hole wasn't too huge and the hat was made of a mix of yarns so it was fairly easy to find something that would blend in for the repair stitches.

i think my fix is pretty well camouflaged, don't you?