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This past week has been absolutely nuts. Take a wedding that Jason is in and add it to trying to get clm out the door and then a nice dash of no car and a few cups of migraines just about every day for at least half the day! Honestly though, it was great! You know why? Because I made it! I made and got everything together and sent out and taken care of. And on top of that, I stuck with my Monday/Wednesday/Friday Schedule (almost anyway) Monday’s post was on Tuesday, but other than that it worked out well. I just posted my interview with Charlotte and accompanied by a give away for roving. I’m feeing better more ofter and getting more on top of things.

Here is a picture of Jason and I at the wedding. I couldn’t not get a shot of us when he was looking so fancy.

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I rearranged my studio last night and cleaned and organized a ton. I’ve spent just about every hour of every day in the studio (except when I went out for a pint on Tuesday night with Jason and two of his friends). It’s been really good though and I really loved it. I love keeping busy and I love working on all these projects. Sure this week was mostly Craft Leftovers Monthly, but now it’s time to switch gears. I’m going to prepare Kro Postal for submission to Poppy Talk Handmade (deadline is coming up very very soon, just two days! Yikes!) and refashioning Green Prairie Fibers a bit. Guess what I did last week?

Preparing to Dye

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This is just a sampling of the colorways. The yarn on the left is my first tries at spinning on a drop spindle. I soaked and dried it. The yarn on the bottom is a vintage wool. The woman who gave me her loom, gave me this yarn as well. It was 8 oz of undyed domestic wool. I think I’ll keep that and weave my first piece with it once I get my loom set up. Then above are the different color ways I tried out. It had been awhile since I dyed, and I never took good notes when I did before, so I’m experimenting with different techniques and color combinations right now. This time I’m taking really good notes!

I’m working on updating and changing around and adding new things to Green Prairie Fibers. It will be all set to go by August 1st. I purchased a small ad for it on Ravelry and thought I should put my best foot forward.

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It’s for the month of August, so August 1st seemed like a good deadline to get things whipped into shape.

I have another awesome August surprise, but I have to stay mum about it until it is manifested, but because of that I’m also going to clean up this blog. It’s been awhile since I’ve changed the banner or colors or anything actually since I moved it over to wordpress. It’s time for some summer cleaning here too.

We have dinner plans tonight and I still have a lot to get done. I just wanted to check in and let you know what has been going on. Make sure to check out the give away. Or if you want to just send me a note (I love getting mail) my new parcel box address is:

Kro Studio
217 Welch Ave. #101
Ames, IA 50014

Hope to hear from you in writing soon! And I’ll be back with more pictures and news sometime this weekend.

++ Kristin Roach ++

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I’m yelling at myself to relax, that’s what the title was saying. More a message to me than you, unless you are running around and need someone to yell at you to relax, then I say to you too “RELAX!”

I just sent off my application for an artist residency program. It was so hard to make the commitment to apply. To drop that package in the mail was a complete struggle. All the doubt and worry, the what if I don’t get in type crap. Well, I dropped it in the mail anyway, so off it goes. I’m applying to this residency in Omaha, NE. It would be ideal for many reasons. Mainly amazing facilities, a stipend, a wonderful community, and I can’t deny it; it was easier to apply knowing I would only be 2 hours away from Jason instead of say in New Mexico or something.

Going back a week, because this week has been to crazy to post during, some amazing things happened. Mainly, I learned to spin on a drop spindle AND got my hot little hands on a FREE 10 harness, 56″ wide loom! Okay, so it only has 4 of the 10, but it can hold up to 10, so I can make them or acquire it somehow.

Check it.

Yarn:
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Loom!:
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As you can see, it barely fits into my van. It was such a crazy set of random events. I’m going to say it’s all that good karma I’ve been saving up my whole life 🙂

I was at the spinning class with my two friends, Jess and Mary, at Esther’s Place in Big Rock, IL last saturday. They were checking out and the woman who was checking them out says “does anyone weave? does anyone need a loom?” and I was like “yes! yes!!!!!” and she said “well I just got off the phone with a woman who wants to donate her loom to someone who will appreciate it.” I was like “I will appreciate it! I’ve been looking for looms lately.” and she gave me the lady’s info. And I called her as soon as I got home. And set up a “let’s see if it will fit in my van” trip. Oh, which, normally I don’t have the van, and Jason isn’t normally in town either. So we went and picked it up. I still can’t believe that the only thing that she wanted from me was to know that I would use it and that if I ever stopped, to not resell it, but give it to someone who needs it. How wonderfully generous.

I don’t have enough time to mess with it here over the next three months, so I’m going to move it straight to Ames during spring break. It will be my first major project when I move there in May. I can’t wait. I’m going to refinish all the wood and then strip and oil all the rusty metal on the reeds and harnesses. Actually, the harnesses are in pretty good shape, mainly it’s the reeds and some water damage around the base. Oh plus lots of spider eggs (another good reason to keep it in the sub zero in my van and not in my studio). I’m pretty much going to take it apart, give some love to each piece, and put it back together. Another reason I can’t wait to graduate and move.

There is also a slight chance I will have an office in Ames…. I will have an out of the house office! (maybe) All of my stuff for shipping as well as finished products will go there. Possibly it will be my fibers studio to where I would keep all of my pattern writing materials (sans dyeing which is really messy). I would also teach classes there! I’m actually all set to teach my first one on one class for dyeing 101 this Thursday! I’m going to teach this woman I know about the different types of dyes, the properties of fibers (cellulose and protein), dyeing for the two types of fiber, then a simple batik handkerchief.
Once I’m in Ames I want to teach classes for weaving, dyeing, knitting and crochet, and maybe some other fun stuff like drawing, painting, and print making. Oddly enough, I would love to teach kids’ drawing classes. I guess not so oddly, I remember my parents paying the neighbor kid, who was only 16 at the time, to give me art lessons. I loved it so much. He pretty much taught me what he was learning in high school classes. When I went to high school I was disappointed that it wasn’t any more advanced than what I had learned when I was 8 years old. I think kids, especially those who have a keen interest in art, can understand a lot more than adults give them credit for. I would also like to teach anyone else for that matter. I love teaching when I get to set the parameters and not have to file a crap load of paper work just to get some stupid colored pencils. Oh or it consuming your life so much that you can’t actually get in the studio for yourself. That’s another story though.

I’m really hoping that between free lance writing (I’m assembling a list and starting to contact a variety of magazines about how to submit work and when deadlines are), shop sales, sales in galleries and handmade markets, and classes I will be able to keep working at home. I’m going to start looking for something part time, just to guarantee some money for rent and food and bills. Just something that will pay the bills, but not stress me out. A job I can leave at my job so I can focus on My job of art and craft. It’s going to be amazingly easy to graduate. I feel really ready.

Which that leads me to the next point of order. I sold out of yarn for dyeing, so I put some more sock yarn up, more of the yak fleece will be on order soon, and I’m going to add some new yarns for dyeing as well as some more hand dyed sock yarn from the last dye session tomorrow morning. So be on the look out for that in the shop.

Next week I’m also going to add some new kits to the Craft Leftovers shop. Finally, I know. It’s just so crazy around here.

I feel so proud of myself that I already have the pattern finished and ready to go for tomorrow morning. I do need to update the archive on craft leftovers. Hmmm. On the to do list, promise.

I do have crit on Monday, so lots of weaving on Sunday for sure. I’m taking it easy tonight. I’m beat. Lots of potato chips, thin mints, and tea, what a combo! I am experimenting with polymer clay after this. I’ll take pictures and post them soon.

And that’s it for now. With the mention of polymer clay I’m going to go, well, play with polymer clay.

Have a good night!

++ Kristin Roach ++

ps – I signed up on delightful blogs, hooray! You can see my little profile here and rate it and leave comments and such.

aloo market bag

Aloo Market Bag, I finallllly finished it after so many months. I am going to finish writing the pattern soon (hopefully) and it will be $1 in the gpf shop and free with purchase of aloo yarn (i’m adding it back into the shop soon).

wrap around shawl

The start of Jason’s mom’s wrap around shawl. I’m going to start working on it again soon.

Everything Veggie Chille

This is the everything veggie chili I made yesterday, so delicious! I’m eating some right now.

I’ve added most of my projects to my project page on Ravelry. You can see my organizing work here.

I also did a whole lot of organizing on flickr too, and added a ton of new pictures. You can see all the collections here.

Oh I also added more yarn to the shop today. I’m having a really hard time not keeping it for myself. I love the bulky and the new sock yarn so much, oh and the worsted… can I just hoard it all? 😛 No! You need to buy it so I can buy more craft stuff, oh and pay bills and buy groceries.

Well for one, flickr is working well again.

And another thing, I finally finished adding all my yarn to Ravelry for Green Prairie Fibers and I’m offically now a yarnie!

Check that out here. I’m so proud of this. Basically, for those of you on Ravelry, it will make it a lot easier to add gpf yarn to your stash! All for you folks! It also made me finally decide on some names for some of the yarns.

I decided on:
Ancient Trees = bulky merino
Prairie Trees = Worsted merino
Super Prairie Trees = worsted superwash merino
Easy Feet = sock yarn, superwash/nylon, 480 yards
Prairie Grasses = fingering weight, superwash, 280 yards
Cotton Twist = cotton/merino 2 ply, bulky
Prairie Naturals Tweed = tweed naturally dyed yarn, fingering
Prairie Naturals Semi-solid = naturally dyed yarn, semi solid, fingering

I still have two more types of yarn that I haven’t dyed yet. A merino fingering weight (not superwash, nice for lace I would think), and a bulky domestic wool that would be good for felted projects.

I also did get some of my yarn in the shop and I’m starting to offer yarn for dyeing, so if you want to give it a try, you can. I’m starting off with some of my favorite sock yarn. It’s soft and plush and wonderful.

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I haven’t made it into the studio yet, but I’m going to wait until 7pm when I can park in front of the building, it is so cold!

I did make some really good dinner, a nice vegitarian chili. It was so delicious! And, because I was being a thinker this time, I wrote down what I put in it, how much, how and when I put it in, and took a picture. Amazing!

Here are the pictures I wanted to show earlier that have now been buried under 3 flickr pages worth of yarn:

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And here is my disaster of a fibers studio before cleaning it:

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And this is the still life I set up to practice different painting techniques on:

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I’ll post updated pictures from the studio tomorrow!

See you all on the flip side!

++ Kristin Roach ++

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I took these pictures Monday night and last Wednesday. You can see more of the others here.

Class was canceled today and with good reason. They have been holding off for quite a long time calling off school and with the forcast of 14 inches of snow and wind gusts, they finally did…. and then it didn’t snow much at all! Awesome! There were near white out conditions though, so it wasn’t like it was sunny and 70 or anything.

I texted my friend Jess first thing in the morning and was like “no school, esther’s place?” and she was like “hell yeah, let me take a shower first” so she did and then we did and it was so nice.

The owner’s mom offered us hot chocolate and sat us down with needle felting stuff and we felted away the afternoon, then bought roving for felting, I signed up for the drop spindle class, and bought a weaving hand book. They have all sorts of amazing things. If you live within a 6 hour + drive, sign up for a weekend retreat, because it is also a bed and breakfast!

I’ll take my camera next time and shoot some photos and let you all know how the class goes and write up a proper review.

I spent the rest of my afternoon fixing my sewing machine… and i feel so ridiculous, i just needed to change out the needle because I bent it on a straight pin (i almost always pull them out before stitching over them, but this one was missed some how and of course it bent it out of wack). I actually took off the casing to see if it was misaligned and then I pouted for a few hours and let it sit for a super long time thinking it would fix itself and just needed a long rest, maybe a night’s sleep… I don’t think it was the machine that needed that, it was me! I sat back down at it late tonight and was like “maybe the needle” duh! Then lots of cleaning and laundry.

Tomorrow I’m going to venture out into the cold tundra to the store and pick up:
1. hair brush – i dropped mine in the toilet… gross
2. yoga pants – i finally made it to the rec center with my friend for yoga and realized i need some proper clothing to flex around in so i don’t show off my back side (plumber issues) or my front side (shirt sliding up way to high on those forward dog pose deals (just my stomach, no flashing)… every muscle in my body still hurts… so good!
3. cup of yogurt, dehygerated milk, and some glass jars because I’m going to make some yogurt! I just need a small thing of yogurt so I can have the proper bacteria stuff. Anyone know a good recipe? I’m compiling a list and im going to try out a few.

I’m also, after wanting to for 2 weeks now, dye yarn! second thing in the morning (i’m going to do dishes first so i have some room for yarn).

I’ll have more wip pictures for you soon. I took some last night in the studio, but haven’t transfered them yet.

Have a good night!
++ Kristin Roach ++

Upcoming Events:

  • Green Prairie Fibers Shop Update 09/29/08
  • Craft Leftovers Shop Update 09/23/08

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