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The wool on the left is what I have picked through, the wool on the left is straight off the sheep. It looks cleaner than it is i this picture. There is actually a lot of dirt and grease and mossy stuff and I love it.

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After carding I practiced spinning with a bottom whorl drop spindle. Different from my top whorl that I’m used to, but it’s always fun to learn a new tool.

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Lots of the wool after being picked through and carded, they are like little clouds waiting to be made into yarn, which is then waiting to be made into a hat.

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I’m mostly done picking, but I have about a bag more of wool to card by Wednesday You see, I’m taking a spinning class at the Rose Tree Fiber shop and we are starting on the wheel this week! So I have to have all my fiber prepped.

In other news I bought a drafting table today. I was going to just go for a cutting table or something at joann’s or hobby lobby and they were all so shaking and badly made and expensive. I found one online on ebay that is super nice, angles, has a drawer, pencil holders, and was within my budget. I should have it in my hot little hands in 3-7 business days.

While at Hobby Lobby and Joann’s this morning though I became very disheartened at the selection of drafting tables and the crabby sales people and the obnoxious music that I almost used my 40% off coupon to buy and knitting machine.

You see I’ve had this project in the works since the summer and it involves knitting. A lot of knitting. So much knitting that a knitting machine is required. And I’ve been working on it lately and editing audio for it and so when I saw “THE ULTIMATE KNITTING MACHINE” sitting there I almost gave in. But now. That can wait. For now. At least until after this spinning class is over. Haha. I did however spend a huge chunk of time watching YouTube videos on it and reading about it and then I turned it into a big ol’ post over on Craft Leftovers. It’s all set to go and will publish itself in the morning. So make sure to check it out.

In other news, I’m going to start an Iowa chapter of the Sewing Rebellion here in Ames or possibly Des Moines. I’m looking for spaces to do it in, possibly empty retail spaces, or independently run spaces, but I’ve got the okay from Frau Fiber herself to start things up here after the new year and hope to start hammering out the details. Lot’s of free workshops, patterns, and sewing troubleshooting will be going on. It will be fun. I think that, instead of presenting myself as Frau Fiber, I’m going to create my own persona, something french, Madame something. Frau Fibers cousine française. Any ideas?

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On the weaving front: I’ve cleaned out my reed as much as possible and am hoping that after finishing picking through raw wool tonight I will have some time to start dressing the loom. And because I want that time badly, I’m going to end this here and get going again on that wool.

Have a good night!
Kristin

ps – do any of you know of any artist run spaces in the midwest that are open to newbie artists who just have their bfa? (aka don’t have a bias against  people with just bfa’s no mfa required to apply) Just asking.

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.

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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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