Monday, May 09, 2011

10 Pounds of "Holly Berry"

Yes, it's true. I've had a bit of fun this spring dyeing up a large batch of Merino top in "Holly Berry" for a good customer. I set it up on the dining room table to make the room look festive. Ok, maybe it's not the correct season, but I love the combination of red and green.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Sample Box Sweater

The Sample Box is one of the most popular items in my shop and I am constantly amazed at the creativity of what people make from them.

Linda of Sunset Fibers has made this delightful sweater using pigtails from a BFL Sample Box.

Here is her description of how she made this sweater:

"I took all the colorways, stripped them lengthwise by 4 and rolled them up into balls, threw them in a basket, added a few of my own colorways and tossed them like popcorn. I spun them randomly end to end then 2-plyed from the inside and outside of a ball. I did a side to side sweater striping it out with a next-to-the-skin soft romney fleece that I bought a few years ago. The result was exactly what I hoped for. I have enough for slippers too!!! Woo Hoo."

Thanks, Linda, for sharing your lovely creation. You may visit her website at

Pigtails from a Sample Box

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Busy sewing a Prom dress--more dyeing scheduled for next week

It's been a very busy week here at Greenwood Fiberworks. My daughter was asked to Prom and she wanted a unique dress. She and I picked out some lovely brown and teal tapestry fabric as we planned the design.

Looking at the pattern, the dress seemed very straight forward. I thought I had a good handle on everything until I realized there were two layers of lining, boning, and netting. Ugh!

After a while the dress with over 16 yards of fabric became quite heavy and cumbersome to work on. Adding to my distress, the bodice fit perfectly until I put in the linings and somehow it shrunk 1.5 inches.

I am pleased to report that the dress was finished with a whole 20 minutes to spare and that my daughter loved it!

So, if my shop seemed a bit neglected this past week, please know that I've been fibering with fabric and a sewing machine this week. It will be great to get back to dyeing on Monday. Stay tuned . . .

Back view

I think she likes it!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Felted Birds

Lovebirds made from the Vintage colorway

The calender says spring is here, but in Utah we are still getting snow. The only thing that convinces me that spring is really on its way is the chirping of the birds in the morning. What a lovely sound!

Kirsten of Honeysuckle Kiss created these cute birds from my merino and bfl rovings. They just make me smile! She sells her felted designs on etsy, too.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lovely Enchanted Yarn

SheepingBeauty creates lovely handspun yarn. I was delighted to see pictures of my Enchanted colorway spun so expertly. Here's the eye candy! You may visit her etsy shop at

Friday, April 08, 2011

Super Coils!
Made with Heathered Cyndi's Suitcase
combed top

Alas, I was determined to achieve the distinction of spinning a full bobbin of "balanced" super coil yarn. This was the elusive novelty yarn I've been coveting for some time now. I could make a super coil yarn--it really isn't all that difficult--however, my skeins always turned out overspun and full of active twist. After playing around with some different techniques, I finally created a balanced super coil yarn. I'm so proud! I think I'll display it in the living room for all to see.

First, I started by spinning a firmly twisted single on my Schacht Matchless wheel. I used a 4 ounce braid of one of my new colorways, Cyndi's Suitcase, in a heathered BFL. I spun it into a thick and thin somewhat sport-weight yarn.

For the core I chose some ecru crochet thread. It really does not take much core to super coil 4 ounces of wool. It is surprising how many yards of wrapping yarn one needs to spin in order to get just a few yards of super coil yarn. Anyhow, I wound off a little ball of the crochet thread containing about 30 yards. I attached it and the wool to the leader on my Lendrum Bulky flyer setting it on the largest whorl. Treading very slowly, I held the wool singles at about a 60 degree angle to the core and allowed the wool yarn to spiral around the core. After 3 or 4 treadles I would push the spiral yarn up towards the orifice to completely encase the core.

During this process, twist builds up in the core yarn. To counterbalance the built up twist I did a couple things with the core thread. First, I placed a piece of tape on the small ball of thread so it would dangle freely from the spinning wheel and not hit the floor. Every time I would push up the spiraling wool yarn, I would gently let go of my grip on the core and allow the hanging ball of thread to freely spin and release the extra built up twist. After performing several "push up" procedures, the hanging ball of core thread would need to be unwound to give more length. I simply removed the piece of tape from the ball, unwound a few feet of thread, and replaced my tape. This was a bit cumbersome, but soon a rhythm developed. In the future I think I will try winding the core thread on a small bobbin used for knitting intarsia. I welcome any suggestions here!

When the yarn was completed I noticed that it was still not perfectly balanced. There was quite a bit of live twist. I decided to run the yarn quickly through my Lendrum wheel to remove the excess twist. This only took a few minutes and VOILA! perfectly balanced Super Coil Yarn!

I ended up with about 26 yards of fabulous art yarn. Move over flower arrangements and coffee table books, this yarn gets center stage on the living room table!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

TRIBE--a New Colorway

It's always fun to have a dye day where I can be creative and make up a new colorway. Sometimes this only happens every few months or so, and then sometimes I get in a creative mood and make up several at once. This has been a great week with several new colorways including "Hot Lips", "Shades of Denim", and especially "Tribe".

I have a feeling that Tribe will be a new favorite. I love how all the colors came together so well. It was dyed in dark charcoal, teal, sky blue, brown, and olive green. The combination is quite manly. It also has quite a modern look to it, too. Here's the pics!

The first batch of Tribe right after dyeing

A braid of BFL wool in Tribe

Saturday, March 05, 2011

"Shades" a New Line of Colorways

I'm currently working on a new line of rovings called "Shades." These rovings are dyed in different shades of one color, exploring that color from dark to light. The idea behind this colorway is that it would be great to ply with one of the other "normal" colorways. For instance, the "Shades of Magenta" colorway would look great plied with "Crocus." These new Shades also spin up nicely by themselves. Here's the 4 colorways already made up in Shades.

The names of these colorways are "Shades of Turquoise", "Shades of Violet", "Shades of Burgundy", and "Shades of Magenta". These are pictures in my Heathered BFL Wool, but Shades will also be made up in all the standard fibers. There will be many more Shades of colors to come. I'll post when I have new colors ready. My teenage daughters have gone gaga over the "Shades of Turquoise". My 17-year-old has requested that I make her some arm warmers out of this colorway. Here is a picture of "Shades of Turquoise" all spun up and ready to knit. Aren't I a good mom?