Hygge Collection What is Hygge?

Hygge Collection What is Hygge?

Hygge Collection is nearly finished. Are you ready? Want to see a few? Part is live in the shop already. So….. what is Hygge?

A light in the woods…my backyard

Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. There is no direct translation in English, but hug and cozy are a start in the correct direction.

Sitting by our French Doors, having a moment with my Sassy. My Hygge!

Pronounced “hoo-guh,” this Danish expression is an attitude towards life that emphasizes finding joy in everyday moments. Rather than drudge through the winter, hygge is about celebrating coziness, warmth and family, as well as practicing mindfulness.

All snuggly and cozy. Scarf is in the shop.

I have always tried to have this sort of mindset being I usually have lived in locations with rather inclement weather. Born in Michigan, as a child I was mostly bundled up and outside building snow forts, burrowing tunnels through the snow. In the summer, I built my forts out of blankets and climbed up the trees and to the roof of our buildings.

Wrap up. Hygge Collection.

As an adult while living in Scotland and later in a cabin in the Colorado mountains, I snuggeled down into sweaters, layers of clothes, blankets and scarves. I loved a bowl of popcorn while all wrapped up in a blanket, or a mug of hot cocoa with extra marshmellows please! Puppy dogs all around and snuggeled with me….pure Hygge.

Wrap yourself in some Hygge.

Apparently, I have been living Hygge all of my life….before I even knew what it was. Older now, I try to make a point to Hygge. As adults, sometimes we forget to live in the moment. Breathe, relax, take pleasure in every day simple, appreciate, to be grateful…. To Hygge. This is what the Hygge Collection means to me and what I felt while creating it.

“Antique Traditions” in the Journey to Golden Fleece Museum Show

“Antique Traditions” in the Journey to Golden Fleece Museum Show

I was one of the students two years ago in the very first Journey to the Golden Fleece Course.  Our final project was supposed to be completed around Christmas 2014.  I was up to date with my Module 1-7 yarns but stalled a bit in my Module 8 final project.  There was a second graduation at the later date of March 2015.

“Antique Traditions” – Final Project Part 2

Unfortunately, in Feb 2015, I had an accident on the ranch that involved about 40-50 pounds of snow, ice, wood, and my face and head that left me with a broken nose and head injury.  Believe me when I tell you that really stalled my final project. I am healing albeit slower than I like because as my husband says I was at the back of the queue when patience was passed out.  I generally tell him that is not true….I wasn’t even in the room when the patience was passed out!!!

I let Suzy and Arlene know that photos were on the way a few weeks prior when I got close to completion.  I had sort of given up the idea of my piece being considered for the museum showing, my ability to travel to the show, or even if Charlie would be available to be onshore at the ranch.  Imagine my surprise a few days later when I received an email from Arlene and Suzy that included the following information:

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The Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania will be showing a collection of Journey to the Golden Fleece pieces from October 2, 2015 to November 22, 2015.

The collection being shown will contain approximately twenty pieces.  The museum has asked that we submit the pieces from the following artists for their final selection to be included:
Simone Broersma
Susan Bruck
Pam Crichton
Elysa Darling
Clare Des Bruyeres
Cari Jarman
Sandy Lyons
Jan Massie
Joelle McCarthy
Clare Chapman
Randi Winters
Arlene Thayer
Suzy Brown
Virginia Schlomiti
Silja Devine
Emma Nicholson
Esther Rodgers
Debra Lambert
Melissa Yoder Ricks
Melisa Morrison
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“Antique Traditions” – Final Project Part One

 

My final project is in two parts.  Mod 1-6 is in Part One with Mod 7 being Part Two.  It is a mixed fiber medium piece.  All the yarn is hand spun during the course.  You can see all the Mod 1-7 yarns HERE.  Various parts are woven on a rigid heddle loom, woven on a circular loom, wet felted, dry needle felted, free form crochet, woven felt, and the backing was sewn on my vintage 1954 Singer 99K hand crank sewing machine.  I don’t really know how to sew so that was a fun experiment starting on such a large piece.  Most of it was pieced together with hand sewing or free form crochet.  Part One piece is approximately 5′ x 5′.

1954 Singer 99K Hand Crank Sewing Machine

I set myself the challenge to spin traditional yarns with architectural plies, to keep it all white, and to use the same fiber with the same prep through out the entire course.  All the yarn is spun from 15.5 micron merino in a commercial combed top preparation.  The only added bits are some white natural fresh water pearls strung on a white silk thread and Mod 6 yarn which includes garnet seed beads strung on a white silk thread.   There is some white silk hankies used in the felted parts but not in the spinning of the seven yarns.  I am excited to be included and very happy that I am going to be able to go to the exhibit.

 

Fibery Goodness Module Five Yarn

Fibery Goodness Module Five Yarn

I have finished Module Five yarn, set the twist, photographed it and wove a circle weaving with it.  This module was supposed to focus on mastery.  Specifically mastering a spinning technique spun previously, showing several variations in small yardage skeins.  I did not find the module enjoyable because I personally hate doing small yardages, samples and other assorted test your technique stuff that many people do.  I personally find it annoying and a waste of time as I tend to want to just get on with a project and spin or weave.

Mod 5 yarn close up

Since I have been focusing a lot on Spiral techniques in this course, I decided to spin 4 variations of a spiral yarn.  In order to really show off the technique, I still followed my previous outline which was using the same commercial prepared combed top preparation of 15.5 Micron Merino wool in white.

All the photos have the basic spiral, extreme spiral, beaded spiral and super coil core spun style spiral in that order from left to right.

Module 5 yarn

 

I spun a basic spiral, a extreme spiral holding one ply with tighter tension to create more spiraling, a beaded spiral with a silk thread and freshwater pearls, and a super coil almost core spun version of a spiral.

Module 5 yarn

 

 

 

 

 

I accidentally did the super coil core spun sort in a different module but this time wanted to do it on purpose and see if I could over come the original design problem of so much twist that the yarn was coarse feeling and darker in color.  When I spun this super coil core spun sort of version this time, I did keep the softness and loftiness of the merino fiber as well as the white color and I just loved it.

I am finding that with each module I have a large amount of yarn spun up that I don’t use in the final project weaving.  I think that I will be weaving some circular and square wall hangings as I have had requests for more baby room wall art, as well as some scarves and maybe shawls.  You will find those on my shop on Etsy.com so keep an eye out for Alba Ranch’s shop and some new projects.

Fibery Goodness Module Three Yarn

Fibery Goodness Module Three Yarn

Mod 3 yarn. Hmmmm… What can I say? I was on a roll and spun up mod 2 and rolled right into Mod 3. Module 2 was about Trials and Tribulations but I swear Mod 3 should have been the trials and tribulations!!

Mod 3 Yarn Attempt 1 and 2

I was going for a gimp spiral yarn as on page 118 of the Spinners book of yarn designs by Sarah Anderson. Did I succeed? You tell me.

 

Same commercial prep combed top 15.5 micron merino. Pure white. Yarn on left is first attempt. Yarn on right second attempt.

 

I spun a super fine single. More fine than I have ever done in my life. Probably not terribly even and too much twist as I wasn’t even in the ballpark of comfort zone!! Spun a bobbin of single that was supposed to be twice as thick probably was more like 3-4 times. Had way too much twist in it. Bobbin wasn’t taking up properly. Thought it might be OK when I plied.

Mod 3 Yarn Attempt 1 and 2

Tried plying on my new CS2. Didn’t go well. Came off bobbin like a rubber band hung around the door knob and snapping back in your face!! That’s the left yarn. It seems like a cross between a super coil and a core spun and an angry rubber band. And it feel like I spun it out of a Brillo pad. Looks cool. Not even close to what I was going for.

 

Attempt 2: When my big single bobbin ran out, my thin single bobbin was still half there so went and spun up a new thick single with very little twist in it but again probably a whole lot more than just half bigger than thin one. Tried to keep it even. I plied on my CS2 again. Got half way through the 2 bobbins when I realized I was plying to the right the same way both singles had been spun. Crap!!! Cut the yarn and wound off bobbin back onto my left hand until I got to beginning. Had a lot there and being over energized it was tight as well as unruly. Thought if I just started it back at beginning and doubled plyed to left it would untwist the wrong bit and re twist it up right. It did. Sort of. Tangled it in knots. Had yarn everywhere. Had hubby waiting on me to do something but me not able to put ti down as it was a tangled mess on my left hand when trying to re ply and untangle with both hands at same time. I obviously didn’t think this one through!!! Eventually got it sorted. Than joined on with the last half of bobbins, join didn’t take the best so will have to be careful of that bit when I weave with it but got it going.

Mod 3 Yarn Attempt 1 and 2 Close Up

 

It is easy enough to do when you do it right from the start!!! I believe it is a nice soft relatively even medium weight spiral, but is it a gimp spiral???

 

I do love my second version even if it is not a gimp spiral yarn and may have a new best favorite yarn. Thoughts??

Fibery Goodness Module One Yarn

Fibery Goodness Module One Yarn

I got my Fibery Goodness Module One Yarn done quite a while ago but never managed to post it or photos up here.  I used a 15.5 micron combed top of white merino.  I have it for sale in the shop in 2, 4, 8 and 16 ounce lots.  I included a link above directly to the 8 ounce listing.  It was a pure dream to spin and I have not allowed myself to spin it until this course.

Mod 1 Yarn with twist set

 

I enjoyed it so much that I decided to spin all the modules using the same combed prepared top and see how it goes doing 7 different yarns with the same fiber and prep.  I am going out of my comfort zone on this particular course to spin with direction and precision and learn new techniques rather than spin my easy go to yarns.

 

 

Mod 1 Yarn with twist NOT set

Having said all that, the first module’s task was to spin your “go to yarn,” so I did.  For me that “go to yarn” is a 2 ply that has some thick and thin qualities but is mostly balanced.  I pre draft the combed top into manageable lengths and widths by separating the combed top.  I spin it in a short forward draw on my Majacraft Little Gem 1.  I don’t ply too heavily with my Country Spinner 2 and still managed to give it some woolen characteristics instead of it being a straight worsted yarn.  The prep is worsted and supposedly short forward draw is a worsted spinning technique but my yarn always comes out semi woolen.  I have no idea how I do it but there you go.

The resulting yarn is very soft, squishy and a joy to touch.  I think that I will be weaving a scarf, hat and maybe shawl for myself out of these module yarns as I no longer have anything that is pure white.  Everything I made from white fiber in the past has sold in the shop.

Journey for the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Certificate

Journey for the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Certificate

I just signed up to take a new course.  Journey for the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Certificate.  I haven’t done any recent schooling as with the move and all been way to busy.  This course will take about 10 months to finish and will be focused on Fiber and Weaving and everything fuzzy and fun.

Majacraft Course Loom

I will get a cool new loom designed by Majacraft specially for this course and a neat coloring book as well as the 8 different Modules.

Images of the Journey Coloring Book

 

I am excited as I haven’t done anything like this for a while.  I am also worried that it might be one to many To Do things, but at least it will be an enjoyable To Do thing.

 

We get our first module on November 15th and will have 6 weeks to complete each module.  It will involve spinning and weaving and probably other fiber art things as well as reflection and thinking.  Are you going to expand your creativity and take this course?

 

 

Michigan Update

Update on our move to Michigan.  We have been overwhelmed with getting things done, unpacking, getting the property secure for the goats and llamas.  Several of our plans have changed such as our building project will have to be postponed until next year as that entire budget will now be shot on taking down trees.  We have numerous old poplar, white birch and scotch pine that are dying, dropping and falling and need to be cleared to ensure the safety of the buildings.

Gazebo

I had a tree fall on the lean to a few weeks ago.  Thankfully it did not crush the lean to as that is where the VW bus is housed and Charlie would have been crushed had his bus been crushed.

To date we have had about 30 trees taken down.  The house is secure for now and the trees that were tangled in our power lines are now down as well.  Since we won’t be doing our building projects until next year, we didn’t really have a location to unpack our last semi to.  We ended up buying a 53 ft long white semi trailer to park in the drive and unpack our things to.  Wow is that looking very redneck.  I did not want to do this and told Charlie is it only temporary as it is NOT staying and had an expiration date.  It was the most economical way to store the last load as the storage fees that we were paying would have been half the building fund for next year.  It is logical.  I know that.  I do NOT have to like it.

The trees around the semi that were dangerous are already down as well. More trees will be coming down in another month or so.

Raised bed with blueberries

Charlie has the front gates up and has started on the fencing.  He is starting on the hay barn tomorrow as we need a place for storing hay that is more than just 40 bales.

We have also done a fair amount of gardening and planted about 20 trees, 25+ bushes and various other loads of plants.  Our garden is coming along and we are slowly fixing many small things that need doing.

I have finally unpacked the fiber store mostly and am getting ready to so some spinning and some dyeing in the next week or so.  Stay tuned for photos of fiber fun.

Pretty Flowers

In the mean time, you can enjoy some of the photos that I took out in the garden and gazebo area today.  Isn’t it looking marvelous?

 

Artful Women’s Exhibition with Zonta in Canon City, CO

The international organization, Zonta, has an annual fund raiser.  This fundraiser is for their scholarship fun and local and international service projects.  It is called the Artful Women’s Exhibition.  An Art Show that has 3 categories.  Drawing/Painting, Photography, 3D and Fiber.  I have 3 pieces that will be in the Fiber category.

Pastels

We will be having one or two fiber artists from Ft Collins, Colorado judging the 3D and Fiber category.  I believe this is the first Art Show that I have entered any Fiber Entries that will be judged by actual Fiber Artists.  Most times, the judges are NOT fiber Artists so I have never been able to understand how they could JUDGE Fiber.  I am looking forward to this.

The opening night is October 5, 2012 from 5:30-7:30pm.  The show will also be open October 6 and 7, 13 and 14th, and the 20th.  It will be at the old Sunflower Bank Building at 531 Main Street, Canon City, Colorado.  Admission is $5.00.

I plan on getting to know more about the Zonta Organization and the local chapter.  Their mission statement is:  To empower women to improve their status through education, economic stability, health and wellness, to serve our community through local and international projects and through contributions, and to further the mission of Zonta International.

Bits and Bobs

This is a good thing and I hope to find out more about them.

The 3 pieces that I am entering will show hand spinning, hand painting and dyeing, spinning from carded art batts, spinning from locks, crochet, weaving on a rigid heddle loom and free form crochet.

Beehive Art Yarn Shawl

My three entries are Pastels, Bits and Bobs, and Beehive Art Yarn Shawl.

Pastels is an 8 ft triangle shawl.  It was woven in continuous warp method on an 8 ft triangle loom from yarn that I hand painted.

Bits and Bobs was hand spun from art batts, rovings, and various other bits and bobs of fiber received over the years.  It has alpaca, merino, wool, angora rabbit, angelina for sparkle and glitz, and other assorted fibers that I have no clue about as they came in art batts.  I hand wove panels on my rigid heddle loom and free form constructed this jacket.  I also wove a bag that I later felted for extra durability and wove a panel to be used as a wrap skirt to complete the outfit.  This outfit has not been exhibited in Fremont County.  It was my entry into the Art Prize Competition in Grand Rapids, Mi in 2011.

Beehive Art Yarn Shawl was spun from locks and hand painted in vibrant colors.  The yarn is extreme chunky and bulky.  I used a crochet hook that is much bigger than my thumb and free form crocheted this into a unique OOAK shawl.  Ribbon was added for a nice touch and to close the front of the shawl.

I am looking forward to this exhibition and hope to see you there.  Come Look for me 🙂

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Update:  “Bits and Bobs” won Third Place in the 3D and Fiber Category at the Artful Women’s Exhibition.  The judge particularly liked the different textures, colors, and seeing the “hand” of the artist in the weave and spinning.