It’s a really snowy day here in Vermont. At 7pm we had reached just about 20″ and its still coming down. We are in a blizzard warning with high winds and next to no visibility. Hoping we don’t loose power.
Today I sat down with my Singer 28, hand crank machine. I love this old thing. I decided pot holders would be a good project to test the machine. I recently got it and just finished cleaning, oiling and adjusting it. Pot holders are quick and easy to make. 2 layers of fabric, a layer of Insul-Bright and a layer of cotton batting. Quilt it all together, put a nice binding on the edges and you are done. Here’s a little collage of the project
Just for the sake of cuteness, here is a photo of my quality control inspector giving me a smootch goodnight
I had an amazing sale day on Monday. I sell a bit of yarn on and off line. I don’t get the opportunity to spin for myself often because I am always busy with my contracts. I average a few contracts a month throughout the year. I took 2 weeks for myself (see my recent posts) just to dye and spin.
I finished up several batches last week and guess what? I sold out of what I had in ONE transaction. I have never sold over 100$ worth of my handspun in one shot before.
That got me thinking of the sales I have missed out on because I couldn’t take credit cards or debit cards. Sure, I have PayPal for my online sales and the customer can pay with card or e-check…but what about at a Craft Fair or Farmers Market when the visitors don’t have cash on hand and don’t want the hassle of finding an atm and paying a fee?
I took the plunge and got a Square card reader for Smartphone or Tablet use. And yes, I also got tons of security for my devices. Then I realized I could also get a reader via my PayPal business account. I signed up and the reader is on it’s way. I’m not sure yet which is the easiest to use or which is best suited to my business. I’ll be posting about the pros and cons of each in the coming days. It will be interesting.
So, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I spent spinning and plying various fibres. Here they are hanging to dry
I can’t wait instill they are dry tomorrow. I’ll reweigh and measure…then list them for sale.
I have finished spinning my smaller amounts of prepped fibres. Now I’m going to start working through the dozens of pounds of alpaca fleece I have. It is washed but it needs skirting and sorting so I will be posting quite a bit over the next few weeks
I took a break after my last spinning contract. I have arthritis pretty bad in both hands. So I decided instead of taking on more contracts I should Do fibre inventory. I have over 20 lbs of huacaya alpaca fleece, 13 lbs cria, 17 lbs Suri alpaca. I had no idea I had 50+ pounds of un processed fibre. On top of that I have another 8 ponds that I processed and dyed.
I need to do a lot of work but my plan is to sell my finished yarns. I’m starting with my prepped stuff.
6Oz of my Suri roving, I call Peacock. Spun into 2. 3oz skeins, 3ply DK weight
Today I am spinning from a batt I blended on my board. This is hand dyed Merino blended with Firestar.
A couple of posts ago I mentioned a Suri spin I was doing. I completed the contract so here are a couple of photos
Here is a shot of the 3.5oz Navajo plyed sport weight yarn on my antique Click Reel. There is a date of 1800 and some illegible letters on the bottom. It is a big help.
Here is a skein. I love seeing a finished, perfectly balanced yarn. This Suri is real soft and has a wonderful luster. The owner has very special plans for this yarn. I am happy to have been part of her plans, even in this small way.
I was bored today so I decided to break out some dyes and fibre. I usually use Jacquard dyes but I didn’t have enough powders to do what I had in mind. I turned to my standby method… McCormick food coloring drops. This is the easiest way to dye that I know. Onto the tutorial!
YOU WILL NEED:
4-6Oz yarn or fibre, roving etc
ANYTHING USED FOR DYING SHOULD NEVER BE USED FOR FOOD!
WHAT TO DO:
Pre soak your fibre or yarn in water with a large glug of vinegar. The longer it soaks the better, but soak at least an hour.
Drain the water from the fibre. Squeeze out the excess. DO NOT WRING OR TWIST.
Boil some water for mixing your dyes. Fill crock pot with 5 cups of water and turn on low.
Start putting fibre/yarn into the crock pot. For mine I let the roving coil in the way it wanted. Expariment with how you put it in. You get different effects depending on number of colors used.
By now your water should be boiling. I used 2 colors. In your bowls/cups, mix 1 cup boiling water, 1 tsp vinegar and your dye. For mine I used 45 drops of blue and 50 drops red (25 drops=1/2 tsp).
Now the fun part…pour it into the crock. Since I used 2 colors, I gently poured onto one side then the other. Do not stir!! The colors will meet and blend as the water heats.
Put the lid on. Do not peek, stir or anything. Leave covered on low for 4-5 hours. Then you can peek to see if the water is clear. If so, turn off crock and let cool completely with lid on. I usually time it so I turn off crock when I go to bed so it cools overnight.
Once cool, remove from crock. Squeeze out excess water. Rinse carefully in room temp water.
Hang yarn or roving to dry. If you dyed loose fibre, lay out flat on a rack or towel to dry.
That’s it. Easy peasy. I’ll post the spun yarn later in the week