sarahbird spins

(and does other stuff, too)

Supersize Me! May 6, 2009

Filed under: books,dyeing — sarahbird @ 3:14 pm

I have been buying some GIANT supplies lately! I was running out of Jacquard acid dyes, so I ordered some more from dharmatrading.com, and this time I decided to get a bigger size. When they came I was so surprised – the jars are practically the size of my head! They are enormous.

For comparison, here’s a picture of one of my tiny little old jars next to the mega-sized new jars.

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I also bought a HUGE spool of crochet thread the other day. I don’t know if you can tell how big it is from this picture, but it is gargantuan – it’s over a mile and a half of thread! That’s enough for a LOT of corespun yarns.

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Classes just ended for the semester, and I have a few days before finals, so I’ve had lots of free time lately, which has been really nice. I’ve been spending a lot of it reading, and I’m right in the middle of a really interesting book right now – Bonk by Mary Roach. The subtitle is “The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex”, which pretty much sums up what it’s about. It’s all about different experiments and research that scientists have done throughout the centuries to try to understand all different aspects of sex. It’s also got tons of strange sex facts – definitely interesting, although some of them are not for the squeamish! But overall it’s a really fascinating book, and it’s not dry or overly scientific at all. I definitely recommend that you check it out!

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As the weather gets warmer… April 26, 2009

Filed under: dyeing,etsy,handspun,knitting,roving,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 9:35 pm

…I’m more in the mood to work with wool! How strange is that?

I’ve been doing a ton of dyeing lately. It’s finally warm enough that I can dye my wool outside, then bake it in the oven to set and hang it out on the back porch. I love dyeing when it’s nice enough out to do it outside – no worrying about dye spills!

Here are some recent dye jobs. I am totally obsessed with the yellow and gray! That’s my new favorite color combo.

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I’ve also started knitting with some of my handspun. It’s kind of weird that I’ve never done this before, but ever since I started spinning I very rarely knit! I’m working on turning this yarn into a pair of handwarmers.

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As far as yarn goes, I’ve been spinning tons of soft, bulky singles lately. These yarns are some of my favorites because the colors always come out gorgeous, the spin up super fast, and since I can price them lower, they tend to sell faster too.

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I also spun up a really cool yarn the other day, called Fireworks. It’s super unique and I love it! I spun a single out of black superwash mill end merino wool while holding two of the metallic rainbow threads I bought a few weeks ago. The bright colors really stand out against the black, and one of the threads formed random loops that stick out of the yarn and really look like fireworks!

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Back! February 16, 2009

Filed under: celebrations,dyeing,food,roving — sarahbird @ 5:40 pm
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It’s true, I’m back! I’ve actually been doing a lot lately, both fiber-related and otherwise, but I’ve been too busy to post about any of it! Don’t worry though, because I’m back now, and hopefully I’m here to stay!

I dyed some of the most gorgeous roving ever the other day. Here’s a picture I took of it, even though it looks much much better in real life. The colors are just so rich and deep – gold, royal purple, and navy. I’m planning to start spinning it up tonight – I can’t wait!

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I also bought some roasting pans from Target to use for dyeing roving. They were $11 each, but in the long run they are going to be so much cheaper (and more eco-friendly!) than using disposable aluminum pans. Plus, for some reason I find them really cute!

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This weekend I celebrated Valentine’s Day, which is one of my very favorite holidays. One of my pet peeves is when people claim that they don’t like Valentine’s Day because it’s a “Hallmark Holiday”. Sure, it commercialized and a little bit silly. But it’s fun, and a perfect day to celebrate love in all of its forms.

As a Valentine’s Day treat for my boyfriend, I whipped up a batch of these White Chocolate Oreo Balls, otherwise known as the easiest and most delicious dessert ever! Here’s the exterior view, which is not particularly impressive:

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And the interior view. Mmmmm:

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Here’s the super-simple recipe:

White Chocolate Oreo Balls

Ingredients:
1 package of Oreo cookies, crushed
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
2 bags of white chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Mix Oreos and cream cheese.
2. Form mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter, chill.
3. Melt white chocolate.
4. Roll Oreo/cream cheese balls in white chocolate.
5. Place finished balls on waxed paper, chill.
6. Eat! Yum.

 

New Roving, yum! September 25, 2008

Filed under: dyeing,roving,yarn — sarahbird @ 11:06 am
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Tuesday was a dyeing day! It was much needed – I was down to my last 4 oz of dyed roving. I dyed another pound, half superwash merino mill ends and half just regular mill ends. I’m trying to get into a good fiber schedule, and I feel like Tuesday and Thursday will be good dyeing days because I can easily dye a pound or so in the morning before my 1:30 class.

Here are my two favorites, both in superwash merino –

Blue and brown, one of my favorite color combinations.

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You might not be able to tell from this picture, but this one came out GORGEOUS when it was dry. It’s sort of a mix of reddish-pink, olive green, and steely blue. I LOVE it!

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I’ve recently switched to using jacquard acid dyes, after using Wilton’s forever, and I think it’s forcing me to be a lot more creative with my color choices. I only have red, blue, yellow, brown, and black, so if I want purple, or orange, or turquoise, or whatever, I have to mix it myself. I almost never get the color I’m aiming for, which is perfect – unexpected colors are so much more fun!

It made me smile to see that on Tuesday morning someone was searching my blog for information on “dyeing roving in oven”. I think it’s cool that some stranger out there on the internet was reading my blog for information on dyeing roving at the exact same time that I was actually doing it! People find my blog by searching for the weirdest phrases sometimes – someone stumbled across my site while searching for “Marie Antionette’s lips” yesterday – I bet they were disappointed!

The other exciting news from this week is that my roommate adopted a cat! He’s super adorable, very friendly and loves attention – he’ll in front of you and meow until you let him sit on your lap and snuggle! His name is Edgar Allan Paw, which as far as I’m concerned is the best name for a cat ever.

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What a cutie!

 

Coming out of a Rut June 8, 2008

Filed under: dyeing,handspun,roving,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 2:57 pm

I’ve really been stuck in a fiber rut the past few months. Being at school, with no spinning wheel and no place to dye fiber really cut off my creativity and lessened my desire to spin. But now that I’ve moved into my own house, where I have my spinning wheel and I can dye whenever I want, I feel so much more creative and productive. I currently have six (!) freshly-spun yarns hanging outside to dry. I feel like this summer is going to be very experimental and productive, fiber-wise, so with that in mind I’ve assembled a list of some of my fiber-y goals for summer.

*Try solar dyeing
*Spin candy-striped yarn (two different colored rovings drafted together to produce a striped single)
*Dye yarn after spinning.
*Knit with my handspun (I’ve actually never done this – weird, I know)
*Unravel thrifted sweaters, dye yarn.
*Use concentrated dye paste spread onto roving with a paintbrush to produce very dark colors.
*Dye with Kool-Aid
*Learn to dye a good brown color.
*Spin more yarns with bead.
*Spin bamboo.
*Start a yarn series – I’m thinking maybe zodiac.
*Dye roving in the oven.
*Splatter paint roving – just to see how it turns out.
*Spin corespun yarn.

Think I’ve got enough?

I got started on my list a few days ago by dyeing yarn in the oven, following this tutorial from Hello Yarn. I picked up all the supplies (except wool and dye) at the dollar store that morning for about $7, and in less than three hours I had dyed over a pound of wool in 5 different colorways! I don’t know how long it takes most people to dye roving, but that was super fast for me. I like this method of dyeing sooo much better than my old method, where I would wrap the roving in saran wrap and steam it on the stove. It’s quicker to apply the dye, you can just stick it in the oven and forget about it, and it doesn’t involve any waste – no using up (and throwing out!) half a roll of saran wrap every time I want to dye.

Here’s a few of the rovings I dyed, still in the pan right after they came out of the stove.

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And all of the finished rovings (and a random skein of yarn) hanging out to dry in the hot June sunshine.

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Hope you’re all enjoying the start of summer as much as I am!

 

A post with lots of pretty pictures January 8, 2008

Filed under: dyeing,handspun,inspiration,roving,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 2:10 pm

I have a few new things to show off today. First of all, my latest handspun. It’s a two-ply in shades of blue, and it’s 100% merino, which is soooo ridiculously soft. Seriously, I think I’m obsessed with the merino. I’m calling this one Glacier.

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To dye the roving for this yarn, I mixed up a bunch of different tones of blue to get a really variegated spectrum of the one color. I really like how it came out, and I want to try it again with other colors.

When I was home over Christmas, I dyed some really nice superwash merino-viscose roving from Shpherder on eBay. Check her out, seriously – her roving is sooo nice, and it’s inexpensive. Plus, it’s all mill-end!

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This one was inspired by the colors of the lights on our Christmas tree, but now it reminds me more of a parrot.

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I was going for white with a little bit of pale pink and the tiniest tinge of yellow, like a cherry blossom. Didn’t turn out exactly how I pictured it but I still like it.

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I looove this one. Hot pink, purple and orange.

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday! I’ll be studying for my Eastern Religions test tomorrow and spinning up more merino!

 

color stripes December 1, 2007

Filed under: dyeing,inspiration — sarahbird @ 10:21 pm
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I happened to stumble across the most gorgeous blog today…Kris’s Color Stripes. She’s an artist who takes photographs and then isolates the colors in them. I could stare at it forever….soooo much inspiration for dyeing!

chairs
chaircolors

onion
onioncolors