Category: Crafts

Fiber Friday: Fair Isle Fun!

My local yarn shop (or LYS) has started a year-long knit-a-long (or KAL!) for a very awesome project.  It’s called My Favorite Things, and you can find the pattern by following this link here to Ravelry.

The project is an infinity style scarf, worked with Fair Isle.  The concept is to do each section, or pattern, as one of your favorite things!  I’ve been working on this off and on for a few weeks now, and I’ve just been having a great time with it!

For my first section, I had to do Zelda!

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And then for my second section, foxes!

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My third section is pretty unicorns!

unicornI’m currently plucking away on my fourth section, but you guys will either have to follow me on Ravelry, or wait and see what it is in a further update. 🙂

 

 

The Joys of a Die-Cut Machine

This week I received a Silhouette Cameo, so I’ve been playing around, learning how to use the software, and printing stickers!  My first few attempts went rather poorly (and I wasted a lot of paper 🙁 ), thanks to a wonky blade that came with my Cameo.  Thankfully, I got a bundle deal that included an extra blade.  Popped that in, and it worked perfectly!

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So yeah… those of you who are ordering these Silhouette machines… definitely pick up an extra blade!  You never know if you’ll have the same issue I did or not!  Not to mention, it’s a great idea to have an extra blade on hand anyway.  Paper will dull blades, though the question is how quickly!

weatherstickersI’ve been working on my first set that will be for sale. 😀  This is a weather icon set, with 6 different designs – cloudy, partly cloudy, rain, snow, sunny, and thunder storms!  I’m just waiting to receive my planner so I can size them appropriately to fit the box below the day of the week in the family version of the planner.  Since they’re size to fit there, they will be quite small, so there should be a good few on the sheet!  My sheets are a little smaller than half of a regular piece of paper.  Unfortunately, I use some due to the way the Silhouette cuts, and where it will cut.  You see all of that cross-hatched area at the top?  It wont cut that at all.  I’ll also be trimming off the registration marks on the top and bottom, so I have nice looking pages. 🙂

The software was a little odd at first, but after watching a few YouTube videos I quickly got the hang of it.  It’s really pretty easy once you figure out what you need to do.  All-in-all, I’m having a lot of fun with this machine and working on stickers, and can’t wait to get my planner so I can work on even more designs!

 

Printrbot Metal Plus Unboxing and First Prints

My Printrbot Metal Plus 3D printer came yesterday, woo! Well, I suppose I’ll get on with the photos!

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It’s a pretty beastly thing with a 10″ square print area. So far I’m working through expected first-time-user issues with it, but hopefully I’ll get it all straightened out soon!

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Initial test print went well… Once I remembered to mark in the software that I have the heated bed (oops).

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First real attempts… Not so much. I’m thinking it’s yanking from where I had my filament spool placed. I’ve moved it and currently have another print going. Here’s hoping!


All views expressed here are solely my own opinion.  I was not compensated in any way for this review, and have not received any benefit from writing this review.

Nunoco Unbirthday Smorg: Unboxing

Today I received my Unbirthday Smog from Nunoco!  This particular box featured about 450g of fiber, in several mini batts, tops, etc.  Expect a review sometime later, after I’ve   actually had a chance to play with the fibers.  This is my first purchase from Nunoco, and it’s looking good so far!

Anywho… On to the goods!

 

20140618_173157I loved the packaging!  Very Wonderland, indeed!

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20140618_173626My Bug jumped into the box and thought it was for her!

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Just the cutest little batts ever!

The only downside that I see so far, is that the photos posted by the vendor show much more vivid colors than what the items actually are.  Don’t get me wrong — they’re all still very pretty, but no where near as ZOMG BRIGHT as what the stock photos show them to be.  For my actual review post, I’ll get them outside in the daylight to get some good photos that show the color… and use a real camera instead of my cellphone. 😉

Fiber Train Festival 2014

For the past 3 years I have gone to our little local fiber festival — Fiber Train.  Apparently, it has only been going on for that long, which I had no idea about.  I thought it started the year before I went!  Anywho, I digress.

Fiber Train, every year I have gone, has been on the small side.  The first year I went, I didn’t spin, and only walked away with stitch markers.  The second year, I walked away with a fleece… which I still haven’t done anything with (oops?).  This year, however, I spent around $200, and could have easily spent more!

The festival still wasn’t very big, but it was bigger than last year.  I am hopeful as the years go on, it will continue to grow, and that we will draw more vendors.  Though, I spent the bulk of my money at Greenwood Fiberworks.  Carolyn is just a treat to talk to, she is very sweet, and a very happy person.  I wish I would have been able to sit with her longer!  You can see her in the photo below spinning on her Hansen miniSpinner!  Love her two-tone!

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I purchased a total of four braids from her.  I got two Peacock, one in the camel silk (I can’t wait to spin this!) and one in 100% silk.  I’ve never spun silk before, so it should be interesting!  I also purchased two Sherwood Forest in the 50/50 merino/silk base.

That camel/silk, let me tell you… I want to make a bed of it, it is so soft and luxurious!  It’s like a cloud!  If I wasn’t trying to not spend all of the money in the world, I’d of bought many more braids of it.  It is just divine.  Let’s hope it spins up easily for me!

Also, from Carolyn’s booth, I purchased the cutest little drop spindle.  It’s by Greensleeves, and it’s called a teacup!  It’s spotted tamarind and walnut, and spins a treat.  I think this is my favorite spindle now.  I also grabbed a couple of pigtails (half-ounceish sample braids) to play around with.

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I also purchased an adorable little alpaca at the festival, that’s made from real alpaca.  It’s super soft, and good for petting on.  And cute!

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I attended the festival on Sunday morning, so not everything was quite going yet.  Peter the rainbow sheep was not present, even though I was told he would be there starting when the festival opened.  I was a big disappointed about that.  The blacksmith that always attends wasn’t quite going yet, but it was still interesting to watch him set up!  And one of the booths hadn’t been set up at all by the time I left (about 11:30), so I’m not sure what the deal was there.

All-in-all, it’s a pretty good little fest.  Especially considering that you have to drive like 6+ hours to get to any of the others in the area.  It was lovely just to loiter and talk to some of the vendors, and other folks.  Fiber people are always so nice, sweet, and helpful!

HansenCrafts miniSpinner Review – Part 2: The Wheel

I’ve had my miniSpinner (mS for short!) for several months now, and I’ve gotten to use it some in that time (I’ll fully admit that I don’t spin anywhere near as much as I should), and I have to say, it is a completely wonderful little device!

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I definitely spin better with it — I’m getting a bit thinner in my singles, which is what I want, and I am much more consistent. It’s also a complete treat to use — I don’t have to treadle, and with the Woolee Winder, I don’t have to fuss with hooks or sliders or anything like that.  I can just lean back, and draft away!


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I use my mS in “deadman mode”, where the pedal functions as an on/off switch.  This takes some time to get used to, but I think I prefer it this way.  It is an adjustment to get used to not having a variable speed, or having direct control over speed — you just have a knob to adjust it.  You turn it on, and it whirs up, and spins away.

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The mS has allowed me to get more spinning done that what I would have, otherwise.  I can set it up on a hard book or a lap desk in bed and use it, since it’s such a small little thing, and I don’t have to sit it on the floor, or even sit mostly upright to use it.  And since I don’t have to pay attention to hooks/sliders, I can watch TV and spin much easier, which also allows me to get more done.

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I also love the huge bobbins that came with the Woolee Winder.  They could easily fit 8oz.  The Woolee Winder was a little expensive, and the bobbins are a little expensive, but totally worth it!

All-in-all, it’s a FANTASTIC little wheel.  If anyone out there is considering one, and you don’t think you will have aversions to using electric, or not being able to treadle, get it!  You wont regret it!  Had I known these existed before I purchased my Ladybug, I would not have purchased it and bought the mS instead!

And for any folks looking for a lazy kate to pair with their Woolee Winder, I purchased an Ogle Kate.  It’s small, compact, and will fit easily into any bag that will hold the miniSpinner.

As far as batteries go… If you plan to do any travel, or take it to guilds or spin ins, they are totally worth it too!  I even use mine at home instead of using the power cable, since it allows me to easily move things around, and keeps me from tripping over the cable, or the dogs/cats from getting caught it in it, etc.  You know how critters can be!  I have an Ankler Astro Pro 2.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to leave a comment and ask.  I’ll be happy to answer them as best I can.

Part 1 of this review can be found here.


All views expressed here are solely my own opinion.  I was not compensated in any way for this review, and have not received any benefit from writing this review.

HansenCrafts miniSpinner Review – Part 1: Customer Service

After some deliberation on my part, and some convincing of the hubby, he decided to buy me a HansenCrafts miniSpinner <3!  For those who don’t know, a miniSpinner is a small, electric spinning wheel.  My hope is that spinning with this will be much easier on my back, and allow me to actually spin for periods of time, rather than just small bits here and there, which only discourages me.  Makes me feel like I don’t get anything done.

Anywho, I placed my order on Sunday, December 29th, and still have yet to receive it.  Part of that is due to the post office sending it to Denver for some stupid reason, and it getting lost in limbo, and turning up in Salt Lake today instead of being delivered as it was supposed to be, but part of that is due to issues with my order.

I ordered the miniSpinner in cherry, partly because it was noted at the time on the website that the maple Woolee Winder was out of stock, and partly because I’m not fond of that light of a wood.  The next woods up from the cherry were quite a price increase, and I’d rather of gotten some accessories as well.

I also ordered 3 extra bobbins, the orifice reducers, and the lubrication that they sell and recommend for the miniSpinner.  I wasn’t quite sure what it was, or where I could find it here, so I figured I would go ahead and grab it since it was only a couple of bucks, and it is better to be safe than sorry.

A couple days pass, and I still haven’t received a shipping notice.  On the website, they have the following statement:

We always ship as soon as we possibly can, and most orders ship within a few days.  We try to carry a reasonable inventory, though some premium wood models may be unavailable from time to time.

Given that cherry is not one of their premium woods, and there was no notice about it being out of stock, I figured I was good!  However, I find on Ravelry after asking how long orders typically take to ship out, that the cherry is also out of stock.  The following was posted by HansenCrafts in their group, on the following Tuesday.

If it’s a weekday, most orders go out the same day. We’re currently awaiting a shipment of WooLee Winders so are a few days behind on maple and cherry, but those should ship later this week.

At that time, I replied and noted that I ordered on Sunday, thanked them for the response, but received no further reply, so I went ahead and emailed on Wednesday to get a shipping ETA.  Through correspondence I was told that they had ran out of the cherry Woolee Winders on Friday, and that they were expecting them either Thursday or Friday, and that my order would be going out then.

Now, I must pause here to say that this was a pretty disappointing reply.  Customer service, especially when dealing with expensive orders (It was around $1200 total, here), is pretty key, and I feel that when you’re dealing with amounts like that, customers deserve to be notified if there is a delay in their order, especially when you know in advance of the order that an item is out of stock and thus will delay the order.  That’s reasonable, isn’t it?

After waiting a couple of more days, and not hearing anything else, I decided to email again on Saturday, January 4th, and ask if my order made it out.  I received a reply from Kevin that said he had been out, and would forward it on to the girl who does the packaging to check on for me.

I waited another couple of days, and heard nothing. I sent a follow up email on January 6th, Monday, to let them know that I was still waiting to hear about it, and received a response later that day stating that she was sorry, and that they had run out of bodies for the miniSpinner, and that mine was the first in line to get done and go out.  She also noted that it seemed they weren’t as prepared as what they thought for the holidays, and that they would “try to do better next time.”  Not being sure how to respond to that, I didn’t, and waited for the next day and replied, saying as much, and asking again when my order would go out.  No sooner did I reply, that we got a shipping confirmation.

Huge disappointment.  I’m very confused as to why I was not contacted by them, and had to ask again, when my miniSpinner would be going out, especially after being told previously that it was already supposed to have gone out.  I am not confident at all that they would have bothered to contact me, had I not contacted them.

It might be just me, but I don’t find it unreasonable to expect a certain level of service when you’re spending a large amount of money.  Especially from a small company.  To recap, order placed on December 29th, order shipped January 7th. Six business days.  Total wait time will be one day shy of two weeks, assuming that it is delivered tomorrow.

Part 2 of this review will follow once I actually receive my miniSpinner, and have had some time to play with it!


All views expressed here are solely my own opinion.  I was not compensated in any way for this review, and have not received any benefit from writing this review.

Oddity

So, I spun up 1.5oz of some pretty and awesome fiber to start on the Oddity mitts.  I came out with 80yd, though it fluffed out a lot when I washed it.  I’d say it is probably DK weight or so, but I haven’t checked it.

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Here is what the fiber looked like!  Though, my camera ate the color.  It really isn’t neon green like it looks in the first few pictures.  The last couple show the true colors the best!  And now for some in-process shots!

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The first little bit.

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40 WPI!

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The first full bobbin.

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What it looked like pre-wash!

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Post-wash!  It really did fluff a lot!

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And the start of my mitts.  Unfortunately I had to frog the row after this because I suck and can’t read charts to save my life!