The past week has been all about getting ready for Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival ! I haven’t had the time to make plying videos because I have been dyeing up a storm, putting the finishing touches on a new pattern, and developing the New Hue & Newhouse “Just add Knitter” Kits.
The truck is packed and I am heading out to set up for Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival! See you there.
Today is also a very special day….. Twenty Seven years ago today this is what I was doing!!!!
The fiber has been weighed, prepped, dyed, dried, and now at last it is time for Spinning, Spinning, Spinning!!!
Let’s start off with my absolute all time favorite picture of me spinning…… What could be better than Spinning, watching football, with a glass of homemade Mead, and a nice warm fire?!?!?!
This was my monthly shipment of 14 pounds of Crown Mountain Farms fiber. Remember way back when CMF first started selling their handspun Sock Hop Yarn? That was me spinning up about 60 skeins of the stuff every month. I did this for a few years along with creating singles for Tanglewood Fiber Creations, and spinning my own line of yarns. When I decided to focus on my own yarns and retired from CMF spinning it did give me a little ego boost when it took several spinners to replace me:)
Now days the picture of me spinning looks a little different. Treadling away 8-18 hours a day for years took it’s toll on my body. The tendons that connect my foot to ankle have so many tears and scars that even 5 minutes of treadling is impossible for me. Months in braces and other contraptions couldn’t get my legs back to treadling , I thought I was going to have to give up my favorite activity and walking……….
BUT this is me spinning now!
I now use Miss Mini for all my work. I tried several electric spinners, burned up lots of them, hated others, then at last I found Hansen Craft Mini Spinner ! I will do a complete review on the mini spinner in a future post, but for now go check them out!
To say that I Love Spinning is an understatement. From the first minute of my first lesson 18 + years ago I knew that this is what I was destined to do. The drive and need to spin has not diminished over the years, only grown stronger. Now I just need to work on making a living at it!
My next fiber show Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, is coming up soon. I am busy with the dye pots, and putting the final touches on the New Hue & Newhouse “Just Add Knitter” kits. I hope to have some pictures of the completed kits in the next posting when I chat about plying.
Hand painting spinning fiber is the second step in making my yarn, and that is what this post is going to be about. BUT first I just have to share with you what has been consuming me this past week, and has made this post a few days later than I planned:)
Now that I have that out of my system, back to the subject at hand!
Dyeing fiber can be done so many ways and every dyer has their favorite method. I’ve tried a few different methods and eventually settled down with my favorite combinations. First I always start by hand painting spinning fiber. This gives me my best chance at controlling the colors and their blending. Better control for me means more consistency when repeating colorways…..other say that I just have a control issue…lol.
Remember those fiber cinnamon rolls the last post? well here they are rolled out waiting to be hand painted. People have asked me many times why my packages of Bam Huey Spinning Fiber are of the unusual weight of 3 oz? Here is the answer….. The length of my dining room table with all the extensions can only hold the length of 3 oz. I love that table, and I am not getting rid of it, so 3oz packages of Bam Huey fiber it is!
Across from Dining/Dying room Table is my little dye studio. This is where I blend the colors, first in my mind, then with the dyes. I’ve enlarged this area, but it is such a mess right now I thought it better to share an older picture with you.
My inspiration for colorways comes from everything around me. I almost always have my camera with me to snap a picture of colors that catch my eye. Sky photos are my favorite to work with. It isn’t about the focus, but the colors. here is one of my favorites, how many layered shades of blue do you see!!!!
This one is destined to become a New Hue colorway!
Eventually I do get the dye onto the fiber
Last step is to wrap and roll up the fiber and steam away. After a few hours the fruits of my labor are hanging to dry.
I’ll leave the fiber to drying for now, and when I come back next time it will be time for SPINNING!!!! I will also give a little peak into what I am prepping up for Oregon Flock and Fiber.
I have dozens of ideas for blog subjects running around inside my head, and I was having a tough time deciding which one first……Finally the obvious answer surfaced to the top….START AT THE BEGINNING! So I will be starting at the beginning, with both my story and the process of making yarn.
The first step to making yarn is to grow the fiber. Living in city pretty much rules out raising sheep, but I did have 2 angora bunnies for a while. Let’s just say that not all bunnies are smart enough to be litter box trained…..and leave it at that…lol. In the beginning I did buy fleece, lots and lots of fleece! I did the washing then hand carded pound after pound of fleece until I bought my Duncan Drum Carder. It finally came to a point where I didn’t have the time to process the fiber and still have enough time to spin, so I made the decision to purchase my fiber ready to dye.
These days I bring home big bags of fiber any where from 10-22 pounds at a time. The first thing I have to do is weigh out the fiber and roll it into my famous Cinnamon Rolls. This is what the Dinning/Dyeing room table looks like on fiber delivery day
By the end of the work session there are full tubs and boxes of rolled fiber all over the house, tucked into any available nook or cranny.
It’s a few hours of work and a wonderful workout for the arms. I may be sore by the end of the day, but I know I will never have to worry about flabby arms waving in the wind!
I love to just look at the fiber…..rolled up so pretty, see what I mean?
The nicest part is having all the fiber ready to roll, that way when the inspiration for a new colorway erupts in my head I can get right to work painting fiber.
My love affair with fiber started with my first spinning lesson 18 years ago. Before I ever got the first few inches of twisted fiber onto the wheel my fingers were addicted to the wonderful feel of fluffy fiber. Many miles of yarn later I still love the feel of fiber flowing through my finger tips and rarely miss a day of spinning.
Next time around we will take a look at the dyeing process and what inspires my colorways.
Hello and welcome to my World! I am Cheryl Newhouse a somewhat obsessed spinner, who dyes fiber, helps make Carbon Fiber knitting needles, knits, and even puts in a few hours a week at our wholesale bakery. Through this blog I will be giving you a little peek into my life as a production spinner, the people who put up with me, and what new products are about to hit the The Web Store. There will be a knit/spin along started up soon at my Ravelry group, New Hue Handspuns Creations to celebrate the new blog and an anniversary or two that happens in September/October. More info on that in the very near future.