Monday, August 31, 2009

Yak Top!

I thought I was done for the day and then I got a big box on my front porch. I just couldn't resist listing this exotic fiber right away! This is 100% combed Yak Top! Believe it or not, this fiber is in such demand that it often winds up on backorder. Two months ago I order a combination merino/yak and I'm still waiting on that fiber!

So what's all the Yak buzz about? Well, I'm no expert, but I think fiber lovers just crave trying out new things. Spinners and felters alike, if you put something soft and furry in front of us, we'll make something out of it!

Yak top is surprisingly soft and has a nice rich color to it. I also have to admit I took a quick sniff to see if there might be an unpleasant yaky smell and I'm happy to report, it isn't so. It does have a shorter staple length (about 2") so if you are used to working with longer fibers, you may want to card it with something else. It is one of the more expensive rovings out there. I've broken it down to .5oz lots so people can buy a sample size. It is fun to try new things!

Soy Silk ~ Golden Ochre & Maroon

Hello all. I guess this will be my last post of August 2009. I just listed these two vibrant shades of Soy Silk in my Shops at Wind Rose. Maroon and Golden Ochre look pretty together, don't they? Click on their name links to see their listings at Etsy and on the picture to see all of my Soy Silk at Artfire. Remeber, if you are ever looking for larger quantities, Wind Rose on ArtFire is shop to visit. ArtFire doesn't charge me by item, so I tend to put the bulk of my inventory in that shop and send them over to Wind Rose on Etsy as I need them. Have a great week!

Merino Roving ~ Wild Raspberry & Burnt Orange

Burnt Orange and Wild Raspberry are back in stock. I love these colors together. They were actually this inspiration for one of my favorite skeins of yarn.

"Shimmering Sunset". This is 110 yards of 2ply yarn comparable to a worsted weight. This yarn is 50% wool in gorgeous autumn colors and 50% nylon Icicle top in sparkling dark fuchsia and burnt orange. This handspun yarn has the warm glow of a spectacular sunset and is vibrant enough to add life and movement to your fall projects!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Merino Roving ~ Two New Colors!

I liked these colors so much when I was dyeing the Firestar (post below), that I had to dye some Merino too! On the left is Red Violet and on the right is Maroon. Each comes with a matching sample of sparkling Firestar. Click on the word links to head over to Wind Rose on Etsy and the pictures to go to my ArtFire shop. Thanks!

Sparkling Firestar ~ Three New Colors!

Here they are! Three new sparkling colors of Firestar have just made their way into both of my shops! These three are all in the same family, but each has their own distinctive hue. One the left is Red Violet. I have always loved this color so I don't know why I haven't dyed it before. In the middle is Maroon. This new color sparked the other two. As it so often happens here at Wind Rose Fiber Studio, a customer request sent me into the dye kitchen in search of a certain shade. This maroon color will soon be used to add sparkle to some felted dark poinsettias. Finally, on the right is Cabernet. This color is right in between the other two and has a nice softness about it perhaps like a good glass of wine. So check them out by clicking on the word link to go to Wind Rose on Etsy and the photos to go to Wind Rose on ArtFire. The Red Violet and Maroon will become permanent members to my inventory. I'm not sure about the Cabernet yet. I guess it depends on how well liked it becomes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Top Whorl Drop Spindle Kit ~ I finally did it!

If you follow this blog at all, you were probably wondering when I was ever going to finish my Drop Spindle Kit. I finally did it! You can now find everything you need to start spinning in one convenient kit.

What took me so long? Well, I really wanted this kit to be great. I took a long time writing the directions so that a beginner would be able to do everything from identify the parts of a drop spindle to making their very first skeins of yarn. I spent time drawing diagrams and making sure not to leave out any crucial tidbit.

Then I posted those directions here to get any public feedback. What better way to edit and I did receive some helpful advice. Thank you! I also sent an entire kit to a friend of mine to take on a test spin. This process is still ongoing, but any questions she may have will result in updates to my finished product.

I also needed time to dye fiber for this kit. I'm not just throwing any old ecru wool in there. I mean sure, I'm throwing in an ounce of plain merino to practice on, but I'm also including beautiful, hand pulled roving. As I see it, it's just so much more fun to learn if you get to practice with something unique and pretty. This first kit comes with a blend of greens, earth tones and natural wool. The fibers are soft Merino, Soy Silk and I've included lots of Firestar for sparkle. You gotta have sparkle!

I've got two of these kits in stock, one at Wind Rose Fiber Studio on Etsy and in my ArtFire Shop. I'll leave you today with a few more pictures:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tussah Silk ~ Three Colors!

I dyed a little Tussah Silk yesterday so I thought I'd share the colors I currently have in stock. Left to right they are: Crimson Pink, Yellow Ochre and Burnt Orange. Click on the name links to see their Wind Rose at Etsy listings or on the picture to head over to Wind Rose on ArtFire.

15 of my Favorite Things!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cherry Firestar ~ It looks sweet enough to eat!

Firestar is good sparkly fun. I've gotten to the point where I couldn't imagine this fiber life without it. I'm a sucker for glitz and I have to talk myself out of adding it to everything I do. LOL!

This color is particularly sweet. This Cherry Firestar always makes me think of Nerds candy. Is is just me?

If you are new to Firestar:
It's a sparkling nylon fiber, created like roving with a generous (around 4") staple length. It can be spun on its own for a shimmering skein of yarn that would be stunning for warm weather garments. More commonly, it is used to add sparkle to projects. A little Firestar can go a long way. Simply tease loose the fibers and introduce them sparingly to your roving as you spin. The end result will be a skein of yarn full of lustrous shine. Firestar blends incredibly well with other fibers and will even needle felt!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Merino/Silk ~ In one of my Favortie Colors!

If you love water colors, than you will probably like this roving as much as I do. I call this color Mermaid. It is a lightly variegated blend of Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green. It reminds me of tropical waters.

Perhaps it is my love of myth that compelled me to name this shade Mermaid. The first time I dyed it, I just looked at it for a moment and thought to myself, "What does this color remind me of?" The first answer that popped into my head was "Mermaid Tails!" Yes, I feel certain that if I were to run into a mermaid or a merman for that matter, his or her tail would be just this color!

Soy Silk ~ 4 Colors

These four vibrant shades of Soy Silk can now be found in both of my shops. Click on the name links to visit Wind Rose on Etsy and on the pictures to go to Wind Rose on Artfire. For larger quantities, ArtFire is the place to go. They allow me unlimited listings for one set price so it is more affordable for me to put the bulk of my inventory there.

Bright Chartreuse ~ Bright Sapphire Sky ~ Bottle Green ~ Bright Yellow

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Soy Silk Roving ~ Natural, White or Both!

I love soy silk. I've been working closely with with it for a little over a year now. I immediately fell in love with its soft luster, but it took a little longer for me to get used to working with this unique plant fiber. It behaves very differently during the dye process and requires more attention than some of its wooly friends.

When I first added soy silk to my inventory, I worked only with the white. Then, on a whim, I ordered some of the natural. I mean why work with a bleached product if you don't have to? I ended up shifting entirely to the natural, honey colored soy.

I felt good about this decision until I tried to dye colors like silver and light blue. The undertones of the honey just wouldn't allow me to make these colors truly cool as they are intended to be. So now I've decided to work with both. The fact is, the white just works better for certain shades. Of course this gives me even more fiber to organize in my little studio. To help me keep things straight, I am naming all of the colors that start out with white soy silk Bright; Bright Yellow, Bright Silver and so on. Not only will the colors come out brighter when they start out with the white roving, but the word Bright will help me delineate between the two rovings.

I just got in 10 lbs of soy silk, 5 lbs in the white and 5 lbs in the natural. I'll be dyeing a pound a day until both Wind Rose Etsy and Wind Rose ArtFire are well stocked. If there are any colors you would really like to see, let me know and I'll add them to my cue!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mottled Roving ~ Custom Orders

This is a kind of "What I've been up to" post. For some reason, almost every customer who has come to Wind Rose over the last couple weeks, has had a custom request. I don't mind custom orders from time to time, but it is difficult when they all seem to come at once. My issue is time and not having quite enough.

I thought I'd share one of the more interesting custom requests with you. I had a customer who is weaving a tapestry and wanted mottled colors. She spins her own yarn as she weaves, designing the yarn as a painter blends colors on a palette. She used Crayola crayon colors as a universal reference, and my job was to dye mottled roving is the appropriate hues.

I have to admit that this took me out of my dyeing comfort zone. I've spent so much time perfecting my dyeing to create even shades. I've come to think of mottled colors as my mess ups. I've always enjoyed the occasional mistake roving, because as a spinner, variegated fibers are fun. It seemed funny to me that when asked to intentionally "mess up", I was nervous. Could I mess up just the right way? I had to think about this.

In the end I went with my own take on a spiral dyeing technique and the results were just what my customer was hoping for. I was relieved although part of me was hoping she wouldn't like the green. I wanted it! I might just have to mottle some more!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Baskets! Baskets! Baskets!

Sailing along on the listing voyage... not my best Today I placed all of my crocheted baskets in Wind Rose Fiber Studio at ArtFire.

I call these the Perfect Project Basket because they are just the right size for two or three balls of yarn and a crochet hook or a pair on knitting needles.

This is one of my own designs. I like it because I think the baskets look very finished the way the stitching is done around the top. Another feature that they offer is strength. You can pick these up by the handles and carry them around anywhere you go. The handles are worked right into the design so there is no worry of them falling off. Also, they are made using 7 strands of yarn so these baskets are super strong and can stand up to some major use.

The baskets are soft and pliable, but they easily return back to their shape after being toted around. Offering them in different colors, means you can pick one that matches your decor and have it look cute sitting in your living or family room, wherever you like to have your projects handy.

Click on the pictures to go to that basket's listing. :D

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Loopy Jingle Bell Scarf

I must have been feeling jolly when I designed this Jingle Bell Scarf. Crocheted in an open weave, each end of this scarf has interlocking loops. Two of the loops on each side have been adorned with jingle bells. This scarf definitely makes a statement when you walk into a room. :D The yarn used is an easy care acrylic in variegated hues of blue, purple and green, but the dominant color is blue. It measures 2.5" wide and a generous 90" long from tassel to tassel.

Sparkling Black Spiral Scarf

I promise I won't be posting scarves forever. It's just that when I list something in one of my shops, I like to share it with you too.

This Spiral Crocheted Scarf is full of fun. It's a blend of merino and a short black eyelash yarn that is full of silver glitz. It's just as sparkly as it can be! It measures five feet long and the circumference is just short of two inches. These look so cute loosely tied around the neck with a sporty jacket!

Silver Bells Trellis Scarf

This pretty little scarf is crocheted from a terryspun yarn in my own trellis design. The colors are so earthy and natural looking and the yarn feels so soft next to your skin. For a fun little bit of interest, small silver bells have been sewn onto each end. The bells are on both sides of the scarf so you don't have to worry about a right side and a wrong side. The bells are small and produce just a light sound. People won't start looking for Santa's sleigh when you walk into a room. The bells add that bit of silver sparkle that will make this scarf stand out! It measures 4" wide and 74" long.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Purple Chenille Eyelash Scarf

This striking Purple Eyelash Scarf almost looks like a boa wrapped around my cowboy hat. I combined a long eyelash yarn (1" lashes) with a soft chenille and crocheted them in a trellis stitch of my own design. I love this open weave for eyelash yarns because it shows off all of their wonderful texture without being too heavy. This scarf is a more narrow 3 inches and 72 inches long. It's fun and funky without being overwhelming.

Pastel Flowers Scarf

Ok, you're probably starting to sense a theme here. That's right. I'm listing all of my scarves. Many of these scarves have been in my studio for some time now waiting for me to get around to listing them. I'm glad to finally be getting around to it.

Being modeled by my son's stuffed dolphin is this lovely Pastel Flowers Scarf. I crocheted a downy soft, thick and thin yarn into a continuous chain of pastel flowers. Each end has a loopy 8 inch tassel. The scarf is 3" wide and 54" long and with the tassels it's a nice even 70 inches in all. This is so sweet, soft and girly!

Teddy Bear Scarf

This fluffy scarf is as cuddly as a teddy bear. Made from hand painted novelty yarn and an imitation fur, this Teddy Bear Scarf is loaded with texture and personality. It measures 5 inches wide and 64 inches long. It has been crocheted in my own trellis design. This is an open weave that really shows off the fiber and keeps the scarf from being too warm.

Purple Deco Flower Scarf

If any of my crochet students happen to be reading this post, they will recognize this scarf because I designed it for them! Now it's looking for a home and can be purchased from Wind Rose Fiber Studio. This Purple Deco Flower Scarf is fun and youthful but generous enough in width and length for the young at heart adult. You can click on the link to see more pictures and details. :D

Long Striped Scarf

Now that I'm in Arizona, a cowboy hat seems like a good way to display a scarf. The theme of this scarf is long and narrow. It's just 2.5" wide and a whopping 100" long. That's just over 8 whole feet of scarf. With the colors of blue, purple, wine, light blue and black, this scarf will match almost anything. You can wrap this soft terrispun scarf around your neck a few times on a cold winter day, or wear it loose and casual.

I just listed my Long Striped Scarf in my shop at ArtFire. I have so many handmade things in my studio that are just waiting to be next in line. It's hard for me to find the time to do all of the things I need and want to do, but over the next few weeks, I'm going to try to get my ArtFire shop fully stocked. Eventually it will be the home of all of my handspun yarn and my handmade accessories. My plan is to just have two stores. Wind Rose at Etsy will be exclusively fiber and Wind Rose at ArtFire will house fibers and all the rest. My Wind Rose Art Yarn and Wind Rose Boutique will both feed into the ArtFire shop. I think this will make things easier for me to manage. It's just going to take some time to get there.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Landscapes Dyes 10g Individual Sizes

As a dyer, I've been enjoying Landscapes dyes for years. Now I'm offering them to you in handy 10g Individual Sizes. Landscapes dyes come in an impressive range of 66 colors inspired by the diverse Australian Landscape. You can find them in My Shop at Esty or in My ArtFire Store.

10 grams of Landscapes Dye is enough for approximately 3oz of wool, silk or nylon. The amount will vary depending on the intensity of color you wish to achieve. This individual size is just perfect for any artist or crafter who likes to dye their own fiber. The small size makes it more affordable to sample many different colors and they are easy to use and store.

Your Landscapes Dye will come in a recloseable plastic bag and with a comprehensive set of instructions by the manufacturer. These instructions include methods for Stove Top Dyeing, Spiral Dyeing and even Microwave Dyeing! If you are dyeing wool, all you need is the dye and warm water. No other ingredients are necessary. For silks, a small amount of white vinegar helps to facilitate the process.

Landscapes Dyes are a wonderful way to get comfortable dyeing your own fiber. Enjoy the many wonderful colors or experiment with mixing your own!

The Colors:

Wattle, Mustard, Citrus, Desert Pea, Grevillea, Wild Raspberry
Galah, Cylamin, Clematis, Marine, Sky, Opal
Ice, Kingfisher, Fern, Tanbark, Chamomile, Sandstone
Rust, Kangaroo Paw, Salmon Gum, Plum, Bloodwood, Sarsparilla
Mountain Blue, Night, Sage, Tarragon, Moss, Wallaby
Quarry, Currawong, Sulphur Yellow, Azalea, Flax, Fuchsia

Dingo, Malee, Dusk, Red Ochre, Granite, Burnt Umber
Lichen, Mist, Cloud Ears, Heath, Sun Orchid, Wombat
Shell, Saltmarsh, Tasman, Kelp, Coral, Pacific
Maize, Rye, Clay, Wheat, Alfalfa, Sugar Cane
Barossa, Waratah, Broome, Pilbara, Daintree, Apollo Bay

Click on the pictures to see a larger view of the colors and names. Please note that the color chart is a guide as computer screens can alter the appearance of a shade.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Boho Braided Belts

If you are a fiber lover like me, you don't like to waste an inch of a pretty novelty yarn or a piece of ribbon. My Boho Braided Belts are one of the ways I use every bit of my fiber. A skein of yarn might not have enough yardage to make into a hat or sweater, but it can be a Boho Braided Belt!

I started making these a few years ago and they're a lot of fun. I make sure to mix in plenty of texture and always a bit of ribbon. The long 16" fringe looks so cute hanging down the side of a pair of jeans. It definitely adds a little personality to t-shirt day. :D The one's I have in stock right now have a 40" braid and can be fastened at any point with the snap hook end of the belt. Wear it high or wear it low; over a tunic top, anything goes!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

More Mohair Locks ~ So many pretty colors!

Hi! I've been busy dyeing even more Mohair Locks. Two new batches today: Autumn colors on the left and Vibrant Wine, Green and Blue on the right. They're available in both shops. Click the word links to head over to my Etsy shop and the pictures to visit my ArtFire Store. :D

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Carbonized Bamboo Roving ~ Back in stock!

Just a quick note to let you know that I have Carbonized Bamboo back in stock at both Wind Rose (Etsy) and Wind Rose (ArtFire).

As stated by Louet: "Bamboo carbon fiber, called Black Gold or Black Diamond by those in the industry, is resistant to ultra violet rays and possesses anti-odor properties. It also adjusts well to both humidity and dryness."