Welcome to the blog of Fibrefanatic Designs. For those of you who have a love of texture and colour in relation to fibre, we have something in common. This blog is a journal of my passion for Art yarns and also the bits of my world that add to the mix. Thanks for popping by.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Follow up!

When I worked in the corporate world (sounds so phoney doesn't it), one of the biggest things we found out regarding any facet of business is that many fail to follow up.  They would spend all their time, money and person power, on doing a marketing campaign or inviting people to an event, have great products etc and then for the want of a phone call or letter lost at least 60% effectiveness of the campaign.

I said I would get out my needles and so I have.  Here is the follow up!

Firstly, I am not a knitter, but I don't mind admitting that.  However when it comes to creative yarns that's not a disadvantage really, because I am not hung up on stitch design, the yarn will do it for me.  The other side of the coin is that whilst I know what I want to do with my yarn, working out size has been a challenge.  I have fallen in love with swatches, yes the impatient part of me has learnt the benefit of a small square versus pulling out large quantities of knitting.

Finally, having found a needle size I liked, I had to choose how to knit it up.  I wanted the beehives to sit on the surface of the cowl (that's what I am making) so this is what I am doing.  I cast on stitches and started with a knit row then whenever I came to a beehive I would knit up to the start of it (using up all the fine yarn right to the last stitch possible before the beehive starts) and then I would slip however many stitches it takes to get past the length of the beehive.  With this yarn it was either 2 or 3 (sometimes 4).  Slipping more stitches rather than less, meant that the beehive would sit firmly against the surface of the knitting.  This method does tighten up the knitting and with this in mind I did cast on a few extra stitches at the beginning to compensate.

This is what I have achieved so far and I am really looking forward to the rest.  I will keep you posted!

Really wanted the Beehives on the surface of the knitting, not chopped in half amongst the stitches

Here you can see I slipped 4 stitches to get past this big beehive!  I wanted it to slit flat against the surface and not sag.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Yes, it's been a while.

I could go into all the details about why I haven't blogged, and yet I have had time to post on face book.  Short chats were the order of the day for quite a while, it's a bit representative of the pace of the world really, but that's a bit too deep.  True though, and now that there has been a shift in my world - time versus work, versus family = a re-prioritising, with a generous dollop of encouragement from my darling husband and Mandie from ewegivemetheknits.com I am able to spend more time.....doing what?

Sharing, sharing my love of spinning, textured yet functional yarns, and the creations, that is, the  finished garments that appear as a result of all this activity.  It's natural for me to work with them, but I realised that there are many people who like the look of them but don't know how to work with them.

So many people knit, crochet and work with fibre in the Textile Art field, but when it comes to Art Yarns they don't know what to do with them.  They are more than eye candy!

I want the talented knitters and crocheters to realise that they can use Art Yarns like you use an ingredient in cooking.  Sometimes the addition of a fresh, well prepared thoughtfully added ingredient can make all the difference to a dish ( you get it, I am meaning garment).  Then again the same Art yarn (dropped the ingredient thing) with the appropriate construction method can create a garment all on its own, a statement piece that will draw comments every time you wear it.

It's not just here in Australia that we textured spinners find ourselves in this conundrum. It's happening all over the world where Art Yarns are being created, there is movement afoot to emphasise the creation of stable and functional Art Yarns.  However on the other hand there is a void, a lack, a black hole relating to what to create out of them.

There's work to do, and I am putting my fingers in front of the wheel and picking up my knitting needles, crochet hook etc (it's the etc that I worry about) and going on a creative journey.  An Art Yarn Exhibition of my own.

Here is the beginning and I am starting with the beehive coil yarn.

A full bobbin on the Aura from Majacraft , Merino Wool coiled back on a Linen yarn.  Nice and strong and it adds to the functionality.

Straight off the bobbin, reasonably balanced, but will be more balanced once the twist is redistributed with a hot soak.

This is what a hot soak and a spin can do = balanced yarn.

Lovely to dry yarns hanging freely and not stretched.  This means that when the garment is washed later on the yarn will behave and remain just as it was when you first knitted it.
I have 200 grams and 152 Metres of yarn, now to get out my needles and create something functional!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Just the right weather for a scarf!

My good friend Jess from SofTrope and I ventured out to the Rose Street Market today for our first market there.  The weather was fresh to say the least but just what we needed for people to think of warm scarves and knitting in front of the fire.

We were joined in our knitting pursuits, by stall holder neighbour called Steve, who was also working with needles.  I was concerned by the fact that they were metal, and suggested that wooden or resin needles would be kinder to his hands.  "I'm a rock climber" was his succinct reply.  Happy knitting Steve!

Just the weather for a Tailspun Scarf!
SofTrope and Fibrefanatic Designs will be at Rose Street again on June 19th, say hello if you are in the area!

Fibrefanatic at Rose Street

Jess of SofTrope

Steve our knitting rock climber and sparky!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's all happening!

You know how they say that there is no rest for the wicked?  Well all I can say is that I must have had a very 'wicked' previous life - :)  Am I complaining, not at all, as my busy lifestyle is all fibre related and I am loving it!!

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I took my Mum for a drive to Healesville to see some wonderful sheep and Mohair goats owned by Annette!  Boy are these animals looked after!  They all sleep undercover at night and never get stressed. It shows however, in the wonderful fleece that they produce and how soft and sound it is.  Needless to say Mum and I traveled home with a few fleeces in our boot and back seat. I drew the line at Mum's lap, even though she would have been willing, bless her!  I was rewarded with a lovely lunch at the RACV club where we 'played ladies' and then a lovely drive home with the smell of fleece wafting through the car!

The start of the school holidays saw me put my yarns on sale at the indoor market at Apollo Bay and this coincided with the Music Festival held there also.  The weather was challenging to say the least, but it didn't put off the dedicated music lover.  The Market went for two weeks and included the Easter holidays and Anzac day holidays.  Local artists displayed their work and visitors enquiries, questions and purchases were enthusiastically catered for by Beth who had organised the whole event.  It was a fantastic opportunity for me and I was very happy with my sales.

In between all this I helped out the Guild at a North Carlton Community Market which was raising money for the Japanese disaster.  It was a lovely day and the organisers did a wonderful job at providing so much entertainment for the public.  Dorothy and I were very lucky to be serenaded by two wonderful Japanese entertainers!  Who could have asked for more, sun, spinning and music!

Time for a rest........no way it's time to get out those fleeces I bought in Healesville and to spin some more yarn!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pluckyfluff in Melbourne

I got to spend last weekend spinning in the company of some wonderful spinners!  I attended an Art Yarn workshop run by Lexi Boeger who's book started me off on this whole journey of Art Yarn spinning.

Like minded spinners attended this two day workshop, and together we experimented with the techniques shown to us by Lexi.  Lexi's approach is from the artistic perspective, and it really inspired me to consider a new approach with my colour choices.

The spinners who attended are going to start an Art Yarn Spinning Group here in Melbourne, so I am really chuffed about that. It is so good to get together with like minded people, it makes you feel part of something and gives you support when you're having a fibre challenge.

Well, off to the Victorian Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild today, so that I can check out their new shop front premises!  I am really looking forward to it and will post about it later.

Lexi of Pluckyfluff fame

Fibre fibre everywhere!

Spin and chat

Yarns galore

Navajo ply a really thick and thin single. 

This method is called Mohairy - I need to work on it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Great Day at the Yarra Glen Artisans Market

What could be better than to spin in the open air with other wonderful Artists to talk to and have a constant stream of people looking and buying your work.  Well, that was the type of day I had at the Yarra Glen Artisans Market at Alowyn Gardens, it was a beautiful setting and the weather was perfect!
'Hand' knitting by Gayanne and beautiful felted flowers.

See the white chair, well the spinner who usually sits there is taking the picture!
Beautiful felting by Zephlyn

The beautiful gardens before everyone arrived.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Getting ready for Yarra Glen

Busy day today getting all my yarns and scarves ready for the Yarra Glen Artisans Market at the Yarra Glen Art Show.

Matches the gold fish!
Apart from labelling all my yarns etc I had to cover the prefect body hanging up in my work room in Linen.  Up until now she has just been an uninspiring plastic and when I draped a scarf around it didn't look very 'arty'.  So in an effort to make her look a bit more 'organic' I cut up pieces of Linen and got out the trusted PVA glue.  I was pleased with the result.

My basket of goodies ready to be received by the orgnisers
One of my latest scarves was inspired by several fibre artists in the states - Natalie from Namaste Farm being one of them and some fringe scarves I did last winter that went very well.  Whilst the fibre they used was Wensleydale I used Mohair and the result was rather yummy.  I dyed the fringe in graduated shades of brown, amber and orange.

Tonight I tidied up my work room, how does it get so messy, but at least I feel like my creative mind is a bit more organised. I will be having a fibre friend coming to stay soon so I feel like my room is ready for a visitors!