Learning how to knit socks

By Karla

garn

Please let me skip the apologies for not writing. At the moment my life has no structure whatsoever, so I pop up like a happy gypsy here and there.

Very quick before I jump into other ramblings and my experience at Maker Fair-Bizarre Bazaar in San Francisco. The yarn at our left was handspun by me yesterday night around midnight. After a long period (as usual) of non-spinning.. the sparkle has come back to momma and here it is.. Merino, angelina, silk and firestar. Isn’t pretty? Well, at least very colorful ;)

Ohh it was spun in a funky Frankenstein wheel. A vintage ‘electric’ with a Lendrum jumbo head.. Crazy huh? I will show it at a later time hehe

Anyway…. My plan for yarn world domination is not going so well… but I am certainly having fun in the process. I started dyeing tonal yarn for an event and it was so much fun to get to see and dye all kinds of yummy colors. The fair? well, it was a ball but sales-wise: wah-wah! Luckily I was able to recover what I invested up to certain extent.. such is life.

 

 

 

Would I go back? gosh, I do not know. I would say no, but maybe I could say yes.

The booth/space:

BizarreBazaarSF

It was a great event called Maker Faire; I was at the Bizarre Bazaar San Francisco area. There was so much to see!

photo 4 (2)
(Tapegamy: Origamy with masking tape – clever huh?!)

The main pavilion had all the Tech stuff. Maker faire is mostly about technology, robotics and any science related schtuff. Pretty cool! I regret not having more time to check out all the activities and demo booths going on. But all and all was good, so good that inspired me more into taking a closer look to Electronics and robotics. It was just fascinating!

Any-hooo since I came back with loads of yarns.. I posted many at my Etsy store. Some need to be re-skeined as they were taken in their wild state. Like this:

photo 4
This is the ‘Crystal Sea’ yarn.. it is 100% silk with crystal bicone beads. Impressive, right?

I am so motivated (despite the sales failure), to start knitting seriously. I am so serious about the topic, that I am even taking some Craftsy classes. The one I am currently taking is how to knit socks ‘toe up’.

craftsysock

What I am loving is that I can ‘download’ the class into my iPad Craftsy app and watch the videos offline – remember I have no internet at home? yes.. I cannot believe it myself either.

Well, here are two pictures of the different toes I’ve done: Mocassin and short row (2nd is a son of a gun…but made it work after the 3rd attempt)

mocassinshortrow

 

To be honest, I skipped many topics in the class.. so the short-row toe is coming up a little big bigger than needed haha! It is ok… It is for the sake of education’ ;)

Here is my little brat fight me over some yarn lol

finn

Well, that is it for now as I need to pack some orders. But I will come back with some handspun info soon ;)

Have a fabulous night!

xo,
K

Follow your path. Taking the dyed road..

By Karla

I am so absolutely obsessed with dyeing. It is this passion that I cannot control. I can easily go to bed after midnight dyeing. If you were to visit me at my house from 8pm-1am, you would find me between yarns, wool, pots, dyes, notes, crockpots, and more. It is something I cannot help.. At times, I feel guilty that I neglect my carder and spinning wheel (hackle, blending board and more), just because I spend so much time dyeing.

Most of the time, you will not get to see what I dye.. in fact, I dye for pleasure, for the thrill of knowledge and discovery. I cannot help it. I have this appetite for knowledge about dyeing that I just cannot put aside. While I drive (my morning commute is almost 1+ hour) I think of different ways to dye, then others about tones, hues, shades. During the day I explore Pinterest, Google, blogs and anything with color. I don’t only draw inspiration from nature. I do too from fashion, other crafts and textures, and just about anything that may have a hint of color. I store pictures in different accounts, that at this point I don’t even go back ha-ha! Too much to see, to think of going back to old stuff!

Every day is a visual adventure; everything we see is a new experience to the eye. My mission is to translate those experiences and capture them in the form of dyed fiber. Like I said, there is so much more to fiber arts than just dyeing, but oh gosh! my calling is to dye. I will happily be a pilgrim in the journey of the search for color beauty. I will give you color, you let go and let it talk to your senses :)

When someone asks me how I do this and that, I just cannot explain. I do have my processes, but those come directly from my color explorations, it is like a path I have walked. Everyone has to walk their own path, take their own course. I always suggest to experiment! Try different dyes, mediums, all and everything! Feel the thrill! No one should take that away from you.

*To answer a message just received today after redacting this blog post.. Dyes: Easter egg, Jacquard, Koolaid, Country Classics, RitDye, Prochem and so many more! Google is your bff for supplies. Try them all and find the ones you like best ;)

Images by SpinningMermaid

Spinning Mermaid dyeing station

I have not taken a single dyeing class, and for that I am very happy. I have learnt to travel through many ounces of colors in a way that I could have only done it on my own. I cannot say I have not wandered or even deviate from the original dyeing idea. In fact, I think I have had 50/50 success as failures. But it is alright, it is the process of growth. That is the only way I have only seen progress, by doing color”.

Some times I worry about me dyeing only and not advancing in other fiber areas.. but, I cannot do it all even if I wanted to. I am letting my self go, my preferences, listening to my inner me and follow what I enjoy the most. And for now, this is it… Follow your rainbow road…

Happy Thursday!

Karla

Dye another day

By Karla

The weekend came and left, thankfully I got to do a lot. I worked on projects I had in my ‘to-do’ list despite my migraine.

If you follow my Facebook page, you have noticed that I have been in a ‘finding certain colors’ quest. I work on my own formulas, I do not ask for others’ nor use any formulas on any books. I love LOVE getting my own colors from scratch. Where would be the fun if I did not get to mix my colors? The whole experience is just something out of this world. Look at my eclipse of colors!

EclipseofDyes-SpinningMermaid
For me, the hours fly when I am dyeing. I run from the kitchen, to the dyeing tables, then to the washing room looking like a headless chicken. But ooohh! so little know those who watch me doing so. I have a plan, I always have a plan in mind… now, whether the plan sticks or the outcome is what I seek for..that is a different story. Very often my husband hears me mumble “I failed!”. In fact, I fail VERY often. But when it comes to color, I am always determined.

This past Saturday and Sunday engaged in a dyeing Crusade. I worked on ‘berry’ colors. I was looking for 3 particular colors. The canvas? 100% mulberry silk threaded with metallic strands. I dyed 15 different yarns to find three colors! All colors were beautiful and intense, but weren’t ‘the ones’. I kept saying ‘no, this is not right!’, my husband was just watching me while I struggled to get what I wanted. He did encourage me: ‘keep trying’, and so I did. Plus, with the skeins as they were dyed.. there was no waste. There is never fiber waste in any dye job anyway!

BerrySkeins-SpinningMermaid
Luckily I am not OCD, so I did go to bed at midnight on Saturday and woke up late on Sunday. Anyway, those are my dyeing adventures of the weekend. Now onto different adventures.. I did spin!

The story of my ‘new’ refurbished wheel.. A friend of mine purchased this wheel from me, but after UPS not delivering from some time, it was returned to me BROKEN! We talked and she was cool, we came up into an agreement (she is always so nice to me). To make the story short, the wheel stayed with me. Since it came back, the idea was to restore. The treadle was broken and one of the main body wood parts was damaged. It took a few’ dollars to replace them, but the wheel is now functioning. New band, new parts, changing the flyer, sanding the wheel.. that was a lot of work and time I have put into this week for the last two weeks. I sanded the wheel last week in a weekday.. and good Lord! I woke up at midnight with an intense pain from elbow to the tip of my fingers. I had to take diclofenac to ease the pain. It sucked big time, but you know what? it was worth it as now I have a wheel!

Well, and since I have a wheel now, I have been spinning too (of course…). In fact, I plan to spin more. I want to explore of those techniques I don’t usually spin. I am not a thin-spinner, nor navaho spinner and many others. The goal for this year is to explore and explore more. To keep track of the outcome -which I don’t promise it will always be great-, I have created a new page here called “Yarn of Day”. If you click at the bar above you will be taken to the page where it will show my Flickr Gallery. So far I have spun very few yarns, but the goal is to finish 150 yarns by the end of the year.

Yarns2014

 

Do you have any goals this year? I hope you do! First you have to dream, then turn it into a goal so you have directionality and things materialize ;)

My best wishes to you and Happy Spinning!

Karla

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