Friday, July 12, 2013

Visit Blarney Yarn at the Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair

So much wool, so little time!

Summer is my favorite time for working on small projects.  I especially enjoy knitting shawls and scarves for fall and winter, spinning yarn for winter projects, and processing any fleeces that I purchased earlier in the year.

In addition to all of these activities, this summer I have been happily dyeing new yarns and rovings for the Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair on July 20-21.  We will have a large variety of fibery items in our booth, including: drop spindle kits, knitting kits, handpainted yarns and spinning fibers, and patterns for knitting and crochet.  Stop by and see us in booth 91!

We have many new colorways in Whirl, our superwash Merino wool fingering weight yarn.

Twistle is our brand new worsted weight fine wool yarn.  This yarn is perfect for quick projects, such as scarves or wrist warmers.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New colorways

In anticipation of the summer Renegade Craft Fair in Los Angeles on July 20 and 21, I have been dyeing many new yarn and roving colorways for my booth.  My previous color wheel experiments have certainly influenced these new colors, and I can't wait to start spinning and swatching.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Lori of Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio and I spent the day handpainting rovings in her studio.  It was such a fun and creative day, and I have many lovely rovings to show for it.

I have also been dyeing a new fine wool singles worsted-weight yarn, which takes the color beautifully and is quite soft.  Colors 91711 in Claremont, California is stocking this yarn, and I will have some brand new colorways at Renegade Craft Fair next month.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Experiments with Dye

I have been telling myself for several years now that I should dye the color wheel, and I am delighted to report that I have done just that.  And what fun it was!  My intention was to combine my set of primary colors to create all of the secondary colors possible.  Below are the lovely primary colors shown on chopsticks.

Once I was finished I had over 100 blended colors on BFL roving.  I cut up the rovings to make small samples of each individual color.  I have since organized these colors swatches into color wheel order and assembled them in a notebook for future reference.  

The most difficult part of the entire project was waiting for the rovings to dry.  I am looking forward to spinning up these test rovings and plying them together to create a variety of lovely handspun yarns.  I am thinking that I will use these handspun yarns to weave a color gamp.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spinning Up a Storm

I've spent a good deal of time over the past few weeks spinning yarn with my delightful Hansen miniSpinner.  I purchased this little wheel just over a year ago, and I am thrilled to finally have enough time to use it regularly.

As I'm sure many handspinners do, I have quite a long queue of rovings to spin.  My recent efforts have focused on a few different colorways of Bluefaced Leicester/Silk and Polwarth/Silk blends.  I almost never ply the same colorway on itself, and I continue to be amazed by the depth of color that results from plying two colorways together.

I have some new colorways in the works, and I can hardly wait to see how they spin up together.  Also, I am going to be dyeing some merino/yak/silk combed top in the coming days.  This is one of my favorite blends because it takes the dye with much intensity.  And who wouldn't love playing with such luxurious fibers?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Upcoming Shows

This is a busy week for Blarney Yarn! On Thursday, December 6, I will be at Knit Culture Studio for the Holiday Yarn and Craft Show. Thursday night is the kick-off for the weekend-long event.

On Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9 you can find me at booth 30 at the Renegade Craft Fair in Los Angeles. The fair is open from 10 to 5 both days.

I will be debuting my new super wash merino wool yarn called Whirl, as well as a new shawlette pattern at these events. I couldn't be more excited!

Please stop by if you are in the Los Angeles Area this week!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dyeing and Designing

I spent the second half of the summer working on knitting projects and dyeing yarn. I have a couple of lovely new yarns this fall. The first is a high-twist, light fingering weight superwash Corriedale yarn called Moxie. It takes dye beautifully, and is a great yarn for lace knitting or crochet.

My second new yarn is a medium-twist, fingering weight superwash Merino yarn called Whirl. It is soft and a bit lofty, making it appropriate for a variety of knitting projects from socks to lace. And best of all, Whirl was spun by a mill in the USA! Here is a teaser photo of a shawlette pattern that I am designing with Whirl.

Both of my new yarns will be available at Knit Culture Studio during the West Third Street Annual Holiday Party in Los Angeles.

Stay turned for updates on my winter show schedule.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Getting Ready for Renegade Craft Fair

Since returning from Black Sheep Gathering, I have been spending much of my time washing fiber. I shared two fleeces with friends this year. One was a chocolate brown merino and the other was a chocolate brown shetland lamb. Both are very soft and wonderful to spin. As I was reorganizing my fiber stash to accommodate the new fleeces, I came across some alpaca that my grandparents found for me at their county fair a few years ago. One is a cinnamon brown and one is white (pictured below). They both cleaned up very nicely - some grass, but no sand - and they feel like butter. Now that all of my fibers are washed and ready to go, I can't wait to start spinning.
I have also been experimenting with a variety of shibori dyeing techniques on silk scarfs. What I have been enjoying the most is how "unscripted" the process is. I only have to think about what resist technique to use and then randomly grab some colors that work together. Silk takes the dye so much more delicately than wool, which has allowed the use of much more intense colors without over-intense results.
Renegade Craft Fair Los Angeles is right around the corner (July 28 and 29). In preparation, I have been building Summer- and Fall-themed drop spindle kits that include 1 oz each of three different colorways in bluefaced leicester wool, along with a 2 inch (1.1 oz) Schacht Hi-Lo Spindle. I enjoy matching up different colorways and thinking about how the colors would look plied together. In addition to the drop spindle kits, I will have knitting kits, knitting and crochet patterns, handwoven/knitted/crocheted items, shibori scarfs, handpainted spinning fibers and yarn, and more. Please stop by booth 182 and say hello if you are in the area.