Thursday, February 18, 2010

Corespinning Ribbons and Threads

Many people ask me, how did I learn to spin so well. Truthfully, I've been lucky and unfortunate enough to not have classes available to me, either because I can't afford them or they are within a reasonable distance. Unfortunate, obviously, because there was no one to show me the baby steps when it comes to spinning. Lucky, because I have not been influenced by the way someone spins. I am purely self taught, and have evolved my own way to spinning.

So, when it came to core-spinning, I loved the idea of wrapping fiber around something to give it a unique look that you can't do with traditional drawing. For me, I get more bang for my buck because I can use less fiber to get a lot of yardage.

I recently received a swap package from a friend on Ravelry with big pieces of tinsel in it. Tinsel like what comes off the 1970's Christmas tree. I've spun ribbon and smaller Angelina into fiber before, so it wasn't anything new. I soon realized that the way I spin it in is different than the techniques I've seen others use.

My method in the most simplest words is
1. insert
2. cover
3. flip
4. wrap
5. cover

Better yet, here's a video of how it works.



A larger video can be found on my YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/DawningDreams.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fergus the French Angora Rabbit Love


I've had Fergus for several months now. Initially, he was very stand-offish. That is until he got sick. Here's the drama of the day that I had posted on an Angora group:
My bun, which I’ve only had two months, won’t let me pick him up and acts just like yours. Being a SAHM, I get pet him everyday, and comb him often. Yesterday at lunch, I noticed he wasn’t looking as perky. I changed his bedding so I could see if he was pooing and such. I took away the pellets and gave him hay.

After a couple of hours with him not improving I realized it wasn’t my imagination and he wasn’t feeling good. So, I wrestled him out of the cage, put him in a laundry basket, and carefully cut off all his fur. Put him back in the cage with a half a banana and some pineapple infused water.

By 5 o’clock, I was worried. He hadn’t eaten or pooed. He looked miserable. I don’t have a rabbit doctor anywhere near me. Unfortunately I had to go teach a Beginner Drop Spindle class at 6:30pm, so I had my husband on Bunny Watch until I got be.

I returned home at 9pm, and he still looked the same. So, after reading up some more, I syringe fed him some of the squashed banana and water, then massaged his belly through the cage door. His stomach was making very large gurgle noises, which told me he might be having GI stasis. After a half an hour, I let him be to rest. Then, I returned an hour later to do it again. Around 11pm, he suddenly sat up, started grooming himself, and pooed a bit, then drank a healthy dose of water.

Today, he is acting normal! I was so scared that he was going to die like I’ve read in other people’s experiences. I think the belly massage really helped him. He actually seemed to enjoy it and relaxed when I was working on him.

Since that day, he hasn't minded me petting him or brushing him. Unfortunately, he still won't allow me to pick him up. I've just come to the conclusion that he is very scared of being handled in that way. Nothing I've done wrong, it's just the way he is. As you can see though, he absolutely loves being petted on the noggin. Just look at that blissful face. . .


Okay, now onto the reason I actually am writing. I want another bun (bunny for non-owners). Seriously, I love Fergus, but I want a pet that I can sit a spin with. Fergus would probably run away hopping mad if I tried spinning on my wheel with him in my lap. I've been in contact with someone I admire and trust that is breeding her Angoras, so hopefully before that year is out, I'll have another addition to my fiber family.

So, in the meantime, I'll snuggle Fergus, as much as he'll let me, and hoard his fiber for myself.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spinner's Lap Cloths


My friend Carissa and I have been working together on many projects lately. Being in a small town away from any major city, materials don't come easy and having someone to chat about ideas with can be even fewer. Luckily I found a friend and fellow crafter in Carissa. When we are looking for opinions of ideas and projects we can discuss without being negative or disheartening.

One project that we have worked on as a pair, is the spinner's lap cloth. I told her my idea a while ago, and since she was really getting into sewing, she went home and made a mock-up. After many samples and discussions, we finally settled on a creation we both love and can make without breaking the budget. Believe me, with fabrics costing above $10, it's easy to make a simple pattern cost $50 just because of the materials. Keep in mind, though, that doesn't include time to photograph, upload, and package each item either.

So, now we have our cloths, she with her favorite fabrics and me with mine. I tend to lean towards most whimsical, while Carissa's are more traditional.

Check out more in either of our shops at:
DawningDreams.etsy.com
OR
DawningDreamsYarns.com

Carissa's site:
Loksi Company
LoksiCo.etsy.com