Archive for the ‘Spinning’ Category

Happy 2009!

In Spinning on January 4, 2009 at 9:56 am

Wow, it’s 2009 already and as always, I just never know where all the time has gone in the past year.  Why is it that when you get older, time flies by faster?  I don’t get that phenomenon!  When I was younger, I spent a lot of time wishing I could be 20 or wishing I could be 25 or wishing I was out of my teens or wishing high school was over or wishing university was finished.  Now that I’ve made those milestones and am not wishing time would go by faster, is there some way to actually slow time down so it doesn’t go by so quickly?  Who knew that not paying attention to time would make it go that much faster?  Wish I had known that when I was 16 or 20…LOL

2008 has been a wonderful year full of colour and yarn and for all my customers who continue to support me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me this wonderful opportunity to bring colour and joy into your lives with each and every yarn or fibre that I dye.  2009 will be another year full of colour, fun and lots of fibre and I’m really looking forward to it.  January is starting off with a rather large project and once it’s over, I think it’s time for a contest again.  It’s been a long time since I had one of those and the new year is a great time to give away some yarn.  

I’m pleased to say that I started 2009 with finishing another handspun.  I really do love spinning and it’s been hard to find moments for doing it but the holidays was the perfect chance to grab a few moments on my wheel so I took advantage of it and learnt a couple of new spinning techniques.  This is my very first navajo 3-plied yarn!  It’s a bit thick and thin and uneven but I love it nonetheless!  I like how navajo plying makes a nice round 3 ply in the finished yarn.  It’s very cool.  Spinning from the fold was also fabulous to get a feel for and I plan on using it in my future spinning – I seemed to be spinning faster which is always good.

Hope your new year is turning out to be a good one!  There’s lots in store for Zen Yarn Garden this year so stay tuned for some of these things to come to fruition throughout the year.  Did you make any resolutions for the New Year or are you like me and don’t because they  just get broken in 5 minutes anyways?  LOL


Holidays are for Spinning…

In Spinning on December 30, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Yes!  I love the holidays for a bit of down time to actually spin a bit on my wheel!  I’ve been missing it and just relaxing a few days and sitting with my wheel was fabulous.  I managed to figure out how to spin from the fold this time around and I love spinning this way.  It helps to control the draft zone and the fibre pretty much spins itself with relative ease.  This roving I “stole” from one of my latest dyeing sessions and kept it for myself!  I rarely do that but every once in awhile, the fibre speaks to me and after hearing how others have enjoyed this blend (merino/nylon) I just had to try a bit myself.

Other than spinning, DH and I had a nice holiday just not doing too much of anything except resting.  Of course, the holidays always go by way too quickly!  Hope you had a wonderful holiday season!

I can’t believe it’s almost 2009 either.  Where does the time go?

It’s been a wonderful year of yarn adventures and learning how to spin and I am thankful for all my wonderful customers who let me dabble in colour on a regular basis!  

Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!

Knotions & SPIN ART Fibre Club

In Dyeing, Spinning on November 21, 2008 at 12:22 am

Have you seen the new issue of Knotions?  Probably you have!  It’s been up for a couple of days now and if you’re anything like me, I dive right on over on the first day it’s up!  Chalk full of wonderful patterns, this issue just happens to feature one of my handdyed yarns in a sock pattern designed by Kelly Porpiglia. Kelly’s a fabulous designer and in concert with her, we came up with a colourway called Foliage that would suit her Hanging Vines Socks.  Don’t you think the green suits the whole theme of her pattern?  We thought it did too!  Interested in knitting up the pattern in the same yarn as Kelly?  If you are, please click here to find the colourway Kelly used in her design.

In other news, we got our first snow fall a couple of days ago and it was probably close to over a foot in 24 hours!  Needless to say, my shoveling muscles got a nice workout that day!  Weather predictions are saying more snow squall warnings tonight and possibly just as much again tomorrow.  Wow, when winter arrives, it sure does so with a vengeance!  And here I thought we might be in for a mild winter…what was I thinking?!  This is Canada!  LOL

Are you a spinner?  The bug has totally hit for me and so much so I decided to open up my first SPIN ART Fibre/Fiber Club.  Quite literally a spin-off from my ART WALK Sock Yarn Club, this club will offer colourways inspired by art masterpieces.  If you’re interested in joining, we’d love to have you along!  Deadline to register is January 9, 2009 and the first shipment will be in February of 2009.  Click here to find more details and if you’d like to join the Rav group, please do so here.

Hope everyone’s doing well!  I can’t believe it’ll soon be Christmas and then onto a New Year.  Time goes by so quickly!  We have a few other surprises in the works too but I won’t be able to announce that until early Spring 2010…it’ll be worth the wait!

Another Handspun & Serenity Sock Yarn

In Dyeing, Spinning on September 18, 2008 at 9:42 am

Yay me!  I managed to spin yet another yarn and finish it!  This time I got 5.1 oz and about 240 yards…not bad eh?  This really is totally a lot of fun!  The lessons learnt on this one?  Add more twist when the yarn is thinner and add more twist when plying thinner singles together.  This one is slightly underspun but hey, I did it and I figured out yet something else about spinning.  Can you tell I’m like a little kid going to kindergarten and loving every new little thing I learn?  That’s how it feels!  Yay for learning new things and for a blog for Show & Tell time.

In shop news I’m really excited to bring a brand new base yarn into the store which I am fondly labeling as “Serenity Sock”.  Why?  Because this yarn is a combination of luxurious and strong which you don’t find in too many sock yarns!   How could it be both?  Simple!  It’s a lovely fingering weight blending of superwash merino, cashmere and nylon!  Yes, you heard it right…cashmere!  

I can’t begin to explain in words just how soft this yarn is…gorgeous!  And I dyed a few colourways in tertiary semi-solids.  What is tertiary you ask?  In order to achieve these colourways, it took at least 3 different dye colours and because of that, these are definitely one-of-a-kind colourways and quite possibly irreproducible.  

I decided on slight colour shift semi-solids so that all the focus can be on the yarn when you’re knitting with it.  This is a classy yarn and it deserved some classy colourways to match it!  


A New Addiction is Born!

In Spinning on September 12, 2008 at 9:13 am

How come nobody told me how much fun spinning is?  Okay, I know some of you did but why didn’t I listen?  LOL!  I love it and am having such a ball with it.  It’s the perfect “I’m waiting for my yarn to cook” or “I’m waiting for my yarn to dry” or well, you get the idea – insert anything in there where you’re waiting and you can fill it with spinning!  Of course I am also using it as a distraction – “I should be labeling yarn, nahhhh, I think I’ll spin instead” or “I should be …. (you fill in the blank because anything works), nahhhhhh, I’ll spin instead”!  I love it and I made another yarn…yay!  

I am learning well on the pencil roving and I swear it’s like crack for spinners – talk about a quick fix!  I like it for now for the no mess, no fuss approach of it – I can sit down and spin without worrying about prepping the roving.  I tried to spin and draft merino but forget it!  I hear it’s because the staple of the fibre is shorter so it tends to slip.  Okay, my brain isn’t ready for that quite yet!  I think I’ll stick to pencil roving for a bit longer.

It’s been a long time since I learnt something new and I’m having a ball with it, okay, maybe more like a spin with it!  Happy spinning!

I Made Yarn :)

In Spinning on August 29, 2008 at 7:12 pm

I can’t believe it!  I actually spun two bobbins of singles, plied them together and made what resembles yarn!  It’s pretty thick though and super bulky at 54 yards and 3.7 oz so I’m not sure it’s yarn – maybe it’s rope instead?  LOL!  

However, I am really pleased and the spinning bug has hit!  I took my first handspun to my local SnB on Thursday night and everyone told me how nice it was too so that made me feel good about it!  

Did I mention I handpainted the roving too?  It’s called Choco Cherry colourways and 100% superwash merino.  Yay me!

It’s a long weekend so guess what I’ll be doing?!  Yup, you guessed it!  Spinning!  

I am yanking my own handdyed roving off the shelf too…I’ll probably end up spinning it all up before anyone buys it!  Hopefully my next singles will be a little more thin and a little less uneven…wish me luck!

Isn’t she beautiful?

In Spinning on August 24, 2008 at 11:46 am

I spend so much time buying yarn for the business that I very rarely treat myself to anything so I thought it was time I changed that!  Isn’t she gorgeous?  

I sure do love the design of the Louet wheels…sturdy, easy to put together and the DT helps with the treadling a lot!  She’s a Julia model and since I think she does look like a Julia I am keeping that name for her!  

DH helped me put her together and it was super easy to do and Louet even included a screwdriver which I thought was totally cool – no searching for the tools you need in your DH’s toolbox!  

And another funny story about her – I was showing my DH how she spins and he looks at me and says “isn’t it spinning a bit fast for you to start?” and I said “huh?” and he said “adjust it to the higher groove and it should spin slower, don’t you want it to spin slower?” so I did and voila, it spins slower!  I hope this helps me with my overspinning.  It was very cute though…I said to him “see, this is why men should spin too – you guys think more mechanically than we do” and he rolled his eyes and did a “whatever”…LOL  

Anyways, she’s gorgeous and I love her and I hope to be spinning lovely yarns on her after some practice!  So tell me, do you spin too and just how obsessed will I be??

She’s Here & A Naming Contest!

In Contests, Spinning on June 29, 2007 at 9:31 am

She’s here, she’s really really here! Can you believe it? She’s so gorgeous too I have her sitting in my living room by the fireplace just soaking up the sunshine rays by the window. Now that I have her…what shall I name her? I feel a contest coming on!!!

I’ll give you until Monday, July 2nd at 9 p.m. EST to leave a comment with a name for her. Whichever name strikes my fancy the most will be the winner! One guess each please. If you’re the winner, you’ll receive a custom dyed skein of sock yarn in whatever colours you prefer!

Click the photo to see her bigger too – it’s worth it even if you aren’t entering the contest! Now I just need to learn how to spin 🙂

UPDATE: July 2, 2007 – CONTEST CLOSED NOW and a winner has been chosen! My spinning wheel will be BODHI because it feels the most zen to me and it means enlightenment. I hope to get many moments of enlightenment out of her while spinning yarn! Thanks Aija and believe me, it was tough – I also really liked Sunshine, Grace and Zena too. Thanks everyone for entering – I loved reading all the suggestions people had!

For the Spinners!

In Dyeing, Spinning on June 18, 2007 at 11:41 am

A little roving dyeing on the weekend and here’s some of the colours!

And on a related note, my parents are coming to visit this week and guess what? THEY ARE BRINGING MY SPINNING WHEEL!! Woohoo! I really can’t wait. My Dad bought it awhile ago but since we live so far away from each other, it’s hard to get it between the West coast and East coast but now that they are driving out to visit/vacation, they are bringing it! I might have to snag one of these rovings off the shelf to try out! Can’t wait.

Happy Monday everyone and the rovings are for sale in my Etsy store. If you want to see the larger photos of the rovings, please click on the collage photo and it’ll take you to my Flickr album where you’ll have to scroll to the bottom of the page for these latest additions.

Another Wheel? Already?!

In Spinning on January 25, 2006 at 2:38 pm

Tee hee…not quite! I opened up my birthday package from my Mom and found this cute little beauty in there too! It is teeny and stands about 4-5 inches tall at the most…she is sitting in my cabinet right now!

Trust a Mom to find something really cute for your birthday! Do my parents know me or what?? LOL

I can’t believe how much it looks like the wheel my Dad found me…too cute!

Thanks Ma and Pa…I’m feeling very “touched” today!! 🙂