Kantele and a Sound Journey

Kantele and a Sound Journey

Charlie has been working on a new project. He built a Kantele for me. What is a Kantele? It is a 10 string Finnish Zither. A stringed instrument that can be plucked or strummed and many times is used as an accompaniment for singing. This is the first of several instruments he is building for me. A harp, monochord, and native american flutes are all in the come soon.

I have always wanted a harp and love the idea of stringed intruments. I have never played a harp before so had no idea if I woud find it difficult or natural.

Kantele

I was both pleasantly surprised and greatly pleased to find that I have a natural affinity for this instrument. It excites me with the possibilities of the new instruments to come and how I can use them in sound healing.

It is such a pretty instrument and Charlie did a wonderful job building it. The sound is light and airy with a pleasing pure tone. I can see stringed instruments becoming a large part of the relaxing Sound Healing sessions.

details Kantele

I use several instruments for a sound journey session. A large portion of most sessions use singing bowls. I have three types of singing bowls. A 2 octave set of crystal singing bowls, a hand hammered Himalayan metal bowl set, and several Zen Vibrapoint metal bowls used for targeted vibration work. All the bowls can be used on the body except the ones made from crystal. I also use several types of drums, handpans, stringed instruments, and a gong. I hope to add a smaller harp and monochord soon.

Sound Journey

I am currently scheduling for single person session and 2 person couple sessions. A single person session is 50-60 minutes and is specific for that person’s current needs. We discuss what is bothering them and what they would like to try to target for that day. A couples session is 60-70 minutes and is a bit more of a group focus. A couples session is defined as two people. It can be a couple in a relationship, 2 best friends, parent and child, 2 siblings, grandparent and child, or 2 strangers. It is wonderful for a special anniversary or date night as well as a friend night out event.

Single person session (50-60 min) is $60.00.

Couple Two person session (60-70 min) is $100.00.

For booking and scheduling an appointment you can reach me in several ways.

On Instagram, send a DM to @alba.ranch. On Facebook, send a message to Alba Ranch or to Melisa Morrison. Email direct to albaranch@gmail.com. Once the initial session has been set up, clients have a cell phone number for text and calls.

What are you waiting for? Book now to start to relax and re balance from all the stresses of life.

Crystal Singing Bowls

Ocean Wave Textured Yarn Shawl AR1WP0001WEA

Ocean Wave Textured Yarn Shawl AR1WP0001WEA

Ocean Waves Textured Shawl off the loom and finished. Handwoven from hand dyed handspun Textured yarn. Most of the Textured yarn is Lockspun from Leicester and Teeswater longwool locks.

Ocean Wave Shawl 1

This is me back weaving again after a long vacation from most of my looms. This my first one just off the loom. I thought I was going to hate the colors at first when I started to weave, but it is growing on me. I did try an experiment with 2 rows of nothing but locks to see if it will look great. I think it added some pizazz!

Close up texture Ocean Waves Shawl

Still working on some of the last of a Border Leicester x Gotland lamb fleece, with some Teeswater and Leicester Longwool locks I have dyed up and ready to spin. All the weft is my handspun and hand dyed textured yarns. The two I used the most of in this weaving are Seabreeze Textured Yarn and Summer Forest Textured Yarn. The warp is some of my own homegrown merino and mohair left from my time out in Colorado. All the yarn that is not turquoise is lock spun from same locks in the 2 rows and plyed with a lace weight Angora rabbit yarn.

Drying outside after washing

It was going to be either a shawl or a bag for my new 20 inch ocean drum. I could not make up my mind which until it was off the loom and depends on how it acts after being washed, fulled and dried. It took two days to wash, soak, dry and decide. I think it is a shawl.

Oceans Wave Shawl is now listed in the shop for sale. This is very unique Textured weaving that will not last long. There is only one. Shop link in the menu top. Direct link is HERE! The shawl is in the Wearables section. Hurry!

Now I have to warp up the loom and weave another because I really do need that bag for my new Ocean Drum.

Art Yarn Testing on new Spinning Wheels and Flyers

Art Yarn Testing on new Spinning Wheels and Flyers

I am testing out a Majacraft Aura, an Art Yarn Flyer for my Louet S70, and a new flyer for my original Ashford Country Spinner.  I am trying to decide which way I want to go for my Art Yarn Spinning.


First I was spinning art yarn on the Majacraft Aura with a regular head and the bamboo bobbins that are standard on the Aura.  I tried to spin two styles of yarn.  First I spun a lockspun bulky art yarn.  And second, I spun laceweight yarn in a backwards long draw.

Textured yarn on Aura Bobbin


I have to say I was not pleased with either style of spinning.  I felt that there is just not enough take up and draw in on an Aura when I spin at high speed ratios for a bulky textured yarn.  If I were to spin slowly at a low ratio, it would might be just fine.  I can already do that on my Ashford Country Spinner so no gain there.  


It is a double drive hybrid set up.  But the take up still feels like scotch tension and seems to still suffer from drag and inertia as the bobbin fills.  The constant fiddeling with adjusting the brake as the bobbin filled up was beyond annoying and another fail for my tastes. And trying to spin laceweight in a backwards longdraw on the Aura, THAT was not happening.  Epic fail on that one. End of story.


Second I used my Louet S70 ST using Louet Art Yarn flyer. I was spinning locks and tails in a bulky to super bulky art yarn and also trying for laceweight in a backward long draw. Same two styles that I tried on the Aura.

Textured yarn on Louet Art Yarn Flyer


Art yarn flyer plus lockspinning on a Louet brings out my happy smiles. It was fabulous and worked like a charm. Don’t get me wrong though, I still think the flyer is ugly compared to my beautiful. Oak S70.


Next I tried using fast speed of 10.5 ratio on 3 speed bobbin to spin laceweight in a backwards long draw. It was so smooth and easy.  No fuss and no musd.  Just sit down and spin.  Just how I like my wheels to be. Rather versatlie wheel with simple to work tension and braking. 


Third I plyed bulky lockspun textured singles with my Ashford Country Spinner. I used a new flyer that was sliding rings vs hooks for the first time. So much better for plying large anounts of lockspun textured yarn than fighting those tails on the hooks.  This is getting a yes from me as well.

Plyed Textured yarn on Ashford Country Spinner Bobbin


I did not even attempt a laceweight in a backwards long draw on the Ashford Country Spinner.  I have spun fine singles on the Country Spinner before but it required a lot of holding the yarn back to build up twist with its low ratios.  That is impossible to do with a backward long draw as the take up is too strong on this wheel naturally.  I had too many tests to do this weekend with my borrowed equipment to waste time on a test I knew was an epic fail to start with. The Country Spinner’s super power is art yarn and bulky yarns. It does poorly at high twist fine yarns.

All the test Textured yarns drying on the rack


Altogether after spinning on all three wheels, I am very happy with  the Louet S70 the most.  Happy is probably an understatement, I have found my wheel for most everything.

All my happy yarns waiting to be used
Rolags, Blending Boards and Textured Yarn Spinning

Rolags, Blending Boards and Textured Yarn Spinning

I made a new colorway on my blending board of my Rolag Hybrid. I am calling it Silver Gray Sparkles.

Silver Gray Sparkles is a smooth sparkling rolag batt. No locks or chunky bits….just tons of sparkle and various smooth fibers. My Rolag is a hybrid of a layered batt and rolag.

Silver Gray Sparkle Rolag

I layer my fibers on my blending board without packing them down into the blending board teeth. I use the dowels to roll up the rolag without drafting through the inner fibers. I only draft at the end of the roll to secure the rolag closed. It is best spun from the end in 2-4 inch rolled up sections pulled off the roll while still rolled up. Picture taking a BIG piece of a jelly roll cake…but still rolled up. I have found sections larger than that a bit much to handle in my hand. If temperatures or humidity is high, there is a risk of felting that is possible while holding a large rolag for a longer period of time.

On the blending board

I let the rolag sit for a while trying to decide if I wanted to spin, felt or sell them. I decided to spin these all up this week into 2 large skeins. Each skein is a 2 ply and spiral plyed. Each skein has one of the plys as this silver gray sparkle rolag hybrid. It is a blend of numerous fibers such as Merino, Black Dyed Tussah Silk, Gotland, Masham, and White Firestar.

Each of the 2 yarns is one ply of the above rolag with the other ply being different in each skein. The lighter color skein was plyed with a 2 ply fine silk thread and done as an extreme spiral yarn. The darker skein was plyed with a handspun bamboo ply. Both skeins are a textured yarn with that homespun feel.

Dark skein
Light skein

I am a bit stunned how intensely different the two skeins look and feel. The darker skein with the bamboo ply is very heavy weight wise. And with so much bamboo in it, it took forever to dry! I have been staring at them for a while now trying to decide how to use them.

I need help. What do you think?

I really think I want to weave a wider scarf on my 16 inch rigid heddle loom. But past that I am stuck.

I think if I use one skein for weft and one for warp that the difference between the skeins will be lost.

So do I warp up with :

1. A white warp and weave strips?

2. A white warp and weave 2 separate scarves?

3. A white warp and weave 2 scarves alternating both skeins and afterwards seam 2 scarves together and make a shawl?

4. A white warp and weave 2 scarves with just one skein in each. So have a light and dark scarves than seam those into a shawl??

5. A dark warp and than where the heck do I go?

6. Just keep staring at them and weave nothing?

See why I need help?? Comment below your thoughts.