“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:

_________________________________________________________________________

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
__________________________________________________________________________

“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 Seven Yarn

Fibery Goodness Module Seven Yarn

As promised, here is my Module Seven Yarn photos.  I spun these several weeks ago and just managed to get some photos taken this week.  Also of note, is that I spun Module Six in the morning and Module Seven in the evening.  Two totally different and unique yarns which required two widely different styles of spinning and plying techniques.  Make sure you see Mod 6 yarns as well.

Mod 7-7

 

Mod 7-2

I used the same 15.5 Micron Merino commercially prepared combed top in white.  I spun one ply a bit finer than usual with a bit more twist and evenness than usual.  I spun the other ply with throwing it at the wheel.  I spun slubs, thin bits, thick bits….anything I could to make the texture wild and crazy.  I plyed the thick slubby wild single spirally around the thin even tightly controlled one to get a lovely slub flame spiral yarn.  This is super soft and a very comforting sort of yarn but still has strength due to the tight controlled spun single.

Mod 7-6

This completes the spinning portion of my course with seven stunning yarns all created from the same 15.5 micron Merino commercial prepared combed top in white.

My focus in this course was creating the seven yarns using the same prep and wool in the same white color while creating 7 obviously unique and different textured yarns due to the ply structure and spinning technique only.  It was a challenge that I set for myself and I think I achieved it.

 

Mod 7-3

Now for the preparation that will be Module 8 and constructing a final project that will use some of all seven yarns in the final item.  Stay tuned because I have a fantastic final project planned.  It will involve circular weaving, rigid heddle weaving, wet felting, free form crochet and a lot of creativity.

 

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?

 

 

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 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

Pastel Dreams

Pastel Dreams is finally done.  It is an 8 ft triangle shawl handwoven on a triangle loom.  The fiber is hand painted Boucle yarn.

Pastel Dreams

35% baby alpaca, 30% merino, 30% bamboo and 5% nylon binder to get those lovely loops.  It has taken me many months to weave this as I would leave it for weeks and then come back and do more.  The fringe I did focus on but still took several days to do that alone.

Working on such a big piece was interesting but made life difficult in the little cabin.  I can not remember the amount of times I have stubbed my toes, rammed my shins, caught my hair on the loom, snagged my clothing on it, and smacked my head.

Apparently I did not totally hate it as I am starting another one right away!!  I wound the hand spun yarn from the skeins into balls in preparation last night.  So this next one will be from the mystery yarn I hand spun a few months ago.  Maybe by the time I finish it, I will have figured out what to call it instead of Mystery Yarn.

Pastel Dreams on loom.

I made goat cheese today again.  Decided to try a different flavour and went for Dill and Black Pepper.  This batch did not make much as I ate almost all of it so there is only a small bit left.  hmmmm…….off to milk the goaties for more cheesemaking.