sarahbird spins

(and does other stuff, too)

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.



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.


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.

DSCF4483 DSCF4659DSCF4574

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!



Books! February 22, 2009

Filed under: books,etsy — sarahbird @ 11:16 pm

I’m currently working my way through this huge pile of books:


This year, I’m trying to complete the “999 Challenge” from Library Thing. The challenge involves choosing 9 categories, then picking 9 books within each category and reading them all in 2009. That’s 81 books! My complete list can be found here, if you’re interested in looking.

Today I finished Howard’s End, which I was reading for my classics category. I really enjoyed it! I tried to read it a few years ago and just couldn’t get into it, but this time I really like it. I’m finding that happening more and more with classics lately, I had the exact same experience with Vanity Fair a few months ago.

In crafting news, I ordered a bunch of thread for plying with my handspuns.


I don’t know if you can tell how big those are from the photo, but they are huge! The two bigger spools each have 4600 yards of thread on them!!

I’ve also started making some new yarn tags that I’m really happy with. I got a really nice stamp with my shop information from JLMould a few weeks ago, and I’ve been looking for an eco-friendly way to use it. For these tags, I reused a cardboard cereal box. I cut the panels of the box apart and glued them together, with the coated (outside) sides of the box on the inside, so each side of the tag is a natural cardboard brown color. Then I just stamped each one and hole punched the corners, and they’re ready to go!



Busy Busy… October 1, 2008

Filed under: celebrations,etsy,handspun,knitting,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 10:58 pm
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I’ve been knitting like crazy the past two days! My yarn for the Hooded Baby Blanket arrived on Tuesday, and my cousin’s baby shower is this Sunday. So that gives me five days to knit a whole baby blanket! I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish – so far I’ve got about six inches done.

Here are the colors I picked out. Both blankets are going to be pink, one with green edging and one with white.


I’ve also been tossing around a few ideas for art yarns lately. I found some pretty fake flowers in the clearance aisle the other day, so I bought them and stripped the fabric flowers from the stems. I’m thinking about spinning them into a green yarn with little green felt or ribbon leaves.


And last but not least, here are a few new yarns I’ve listed in my Etsy shop over the past couple of days.

Nice Melons (because it’s got all the colors of melons in it – gosh, get your mind out of the gutter!)


Candy Girl (another bulky single ply)


Keen (this one is my favorite!)


Grapes of Math
(I know, it’s a dumb name. If you can think of a better one I’d love to hear it!)



Babies! September 22, 2008

Filed under: etsy,handspun,knitting,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 9:36 pm

I feel like everyone in my family is having babies lately! One of my cousins just adopted a baby last week (she named her Rebecca Aubrey – how sweet is that!) and another is due in November. I’m planning on making both of them the Hoodie Baby Blanket by the Thrifty Knitter.

baby blanket!

Seriously, could this be any freaking cuter??? I ordered some Lion Brand Cotton-Ease online – pink with green trim for one blanket, and pink with white trim for the other. I can’t wait for it to get here – I want to cast on now!

My goal is to list one new yarn on Etsy each day for the next month. I know I won’t do it every single day, but that’s what I’m aiming for. I did get one done today though – the deliciously refreshing Orangina.


Yummy. And it’s 120 yards!!! I love how much yardage I can get out of a 2-ply yarn with my wheel – it’s almost twice as long as what I could spin on my spindle! The wheel makes it sooo much easier to spin thin yarns (thin for me at least! worsted weight is about as thin as my yarns get!).

Oh, and make sure you check out my updated blogroll on the right side of my page! –> I’ve added a “Blogs I Read” section. These are some of the best spinning/fibery blogs out there! I don’t read many blogs, but I check the ones I do read every day, and I love these ones.

Hope your week is starting off wonderfully!


Long, long time ago, I can still remember… September 21, 2008

Filed under: etsy,handspun,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 6:59 pm

…when I used to actually post in this blog! I know that I’ve been gone for an unforgivable length of time. I’ve been busy with time consuming summer job combined with the responsibility of being recruitment chair for my sorority (might sound kind of stupid, but it was a huge thing for me and MAN did it eat up a lot of time). The past four months have just been swallowed up in one big blur, and I’ve completely neglected my blog and my Etsy shop. It’s a shame, really, since the past few months have actually been a pretty prolific time for me, spinning-wise. I’ve spent a lot of quality time with my still-relatively-new spinning wheel. I present this photo to you as evidence:


This poorly-lit picture represents most (but not all) of the yarn that I have in a giant pile waiting to be photographed and listed in my shop. I know I have a lot to catch up on, but I’m coming back with a vengeance!

To get started, here’s the first yarn from that pile that I’ve actually managed to take pictures of and list – Water Lily.


Pretty huh? It’s from a phase I had a while back where all I wanted to spin was chunky, lightly spun singles. This is actually one of the last yarns I spun on my drop spindle before I got my wheel – it’s kind of like the end of an era.


New Yarns! May 30, 2008

Filed under: etsy,handspun,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 6:40 pm

Here’s a taste of some of the things I’ve been working on since I last blogged. I have two close ups, since my camera has been really sucking lately and refusing to take good pictures when it’s not in micro mode.



This is more of that merino/viscose roving that I ordered from shpherder on Ebay a while back. I just ordered some more roving from her today, I’m so excited! Seriously, that stuff is gorgeous.



This was my first time experimenting with plying with beads! I really like the way it turned out, although for some reason I could NOT get a decent picture of it for the life of me! The wool’s a little rough, but I still think it’s a really fun yarn. I’m excited to spin more yarns with beads, especially those fish that I bought! I can’t figure out what color wool to spin them with. I love that I have a wheel with a delta orifice so I don’t have to worry that things are too big to spin into my yarn! Now I just need a jumbo hook for my wheel…

Have a great weekend!


Exciting News! March 25, 2008

Filed under: celebrations,etsy,handspun,inspiration,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 8:40 pm
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Wow, I’ve been away from this blog for quite a while! Now that spring break is over and some computer malfunctions have been resolved, I’m back. Don’t worry, I haven’t been neglecting all things fiber-y while I’ve been gone – in fact, I have super exciting news to share – I GOT A WHEEL!!!! Yep, it’s true, after a year and a half of spinning on a drop spindle, I finally have a spinning wheel, thanks to my parents giving me the best birthday present ever. I ended up with a Majacraft Suzie, after trying out pretty much every wheel at The Fold, a really nice little shop in Marengo, IL, that sells spinning wheels, fiber, yarn, and all kinds of fun stuff. I looove looove looove everything about this wheel – how pretty it looks, the smooth way it treadles, the delta orifice. But what I love most of all is how darn fast it is! The day I bought it, I broke it in while watching Casino Royale and spun a skein of yarn in about 2 hours that probably would have taken me 4 or 5 days on my drop spindle. And that was the first time I used it! Here’s a picture of the wheel – this isn’t mine (I haven’t taken a picture of it) but it looks exactly like this –
Gorgeous, right? The only sad thing is that it isn’t at school with me right now – I have a roommate and a little tiny room, and there just isn’t space. So I won’t have it again till May, which is very depressing – I just can’t wait!
Anyway, on to something happy. Here’s my latest yarn – Holiday Lights. I dyed it with all the colors of the lights on my Christmas tree.
Well, I’m off to spin more yarns! Have a good night!