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.

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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!



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.


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.




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


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


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!


Beads! April 2, 2008

Filed under: handspun,inspiration,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 7:32 pm

I’ve been itching to try something new with my spinning lately, and I think I’ve come up with just the thing – spinning yarn with beads! I’ve been dreaming up all kinds of gorgeous plied yarns with beads lately, so I got myself down to my local craft store and picked up some inexpensive beads to start experimenting with.

Pretty blue crystals.

Silver stars.

And just for fun, some funny multi-colored fish.

I just love these pictures! I think I’ve finally figured out the macro function on my camera.

The only beads I have plans for so far are the stars. Hopefully I’ll have a finished yarn to show in the next few days!

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!