Carding Wool

This week I sat down to watch my DVD on Carding Wool. The DVD has four professional individuals with many years of experience between all of them carding fiber. While watching the DVD I spent some time working on my carding skills. Trying the different ways these four individuals performed their carding routines. I finally tried doing rolling the rollags of the carders as was demonstrated in the DVD with some success. Practice is going to be the main objective here. It is still easier for me to just roll it off the carder with both hands.

In August 2014 I also volunteered and participated in the Sheep to Shawl demonstration at the Ohio State Fair in the sheep barn. This was to be my first time carding in public before many spectators who also came to watch the sheep shearing contest in the same ring. It was a little intimidating at first; however, once everyone who was spinning, weaving, winding bobbins, and carding got going everything lightened up. Thanks to Kathleen, one of our guild members, for helping me learn to be a better carder. There was a lot of spinning, weaving, and shearing going on that day and everyone had a lot of fun. Even the individuals that stopped by for the shearing competition and spinning/weaving demonstration seemed to have a lot of fun watching and learning the process of from Sheep to Shawl. Sure it is a lot of work; but it is also a lot of fun to do something you love doing and learning at the same time.

Now I need to get going and get the eight sheep fleeces that are scoured (washed) carded and spun into some wonderful yarn to make some wonderful knit and woven items.

Carding Wool

Thistleberry Quilt Top

Well, I finally finished the Thistleberry Quilt Top Kit that I purchased from Joannn’s Etc. over the weekend while watching college football. It turned out extremely nice and the ladies that I quilt with really liked how it turned out. Now to get it sandwiched and quilted and put on the bed. Thanks to my friend Angie for taking the pictue for me because the top is so large for one person to hold and take a picture of all at the same time.

Thistleberry Quilt

While working on this quilt top and taking breaks, I managed to finish cutting out the pieces for a window pane wallhanging that we are working on in class. I will post pictures as I start assembling this wallhanging.

Hope everyone has a great week.

Happy crafting.


Gearhart Circular Sock Knitting Machine

Last year at the Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs, Ohio I saw a friend of mine, Toya of VonStrohm Woolen Mill & Fiber Arts Studio/Von Strohm Quilting and Fiber Studio, was actively using her circular sock knitting machine in her vendor area. It was really cool looking not to mention the great looking socks that she was making on this machine.

I was able to find not one but two Gearhart Circular Knitting Machines online and purchased both. Did I mention that they were both made of cast iron from back in the day!! Woohoo. Well, I traded one machine for a Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom and a Ribber to go on my Studio Knitting Machine. More to come on those items later. With a lot of guidance and encouragement from Toya, I have the second machine restored and ready to use. It is so exciting to have one of these historical machines up and ready to make some socks. From what I understand, these machines were used back around WWI and/or WWII to make socks for our military men fighting over in Europe to keep their feet warm. It is so exciting to have one of these machines restored and ready to use to create some gorgeous socks. Keep watching as I continue my journey on learning to make socks on this Gearhart Circular Sock Knitting Machine.

Cast Iron Gearhart Sock Knitting Machine

Spinning Wheels Part II

My two other spinning wheels include the Lendrum Original (Double Treadle) and the Blue Bonnet Honey Bee (Double Treadle). I initially started out with the Honey Bee.

Blue Bonnet Honey Bee (Double Treadle)

Then a friend from our local spinning and weaver’s guild was telling me about her Lendrum Original and how much she liked spinning on it. Next thing I know there was a Lendrum at my house.

Lendrum Original (Double Treadle)

Then came my ultimate favorite my Aunt Caroline’s Ashford Traditional spinning wheel.

Aunt Caroline's Ashford Traditional (Single Treadle)

Spinning Wheels

Well I now have three spinning wheels. My most prized one is the Ashford Traditional which belonged to my fabulous, funny, and always loving Aunt Caroline. While we were talking about it last year, she mentioned that it had a piece broken on it. I had said it wouldn’t be too hard to get it back up and running. Unfortunately Aunt Caroline passed away earlier this year. After talking with my cousins, Kathleen and Dean, I was able to get the spinning wheel. It has been fixed, spit shined, and works wonderfully. I have been using it more than my other two wheels. My Aunt Caroline would be so tickled to see the fiber that I have been spinning and so glad to see the wheel up and running. Come to think of it, her favorite color was Red. So the hunt will be on to find the special Red fiber to spin on this wheel to make something special in her honor.

Aunt Caroline's Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel

Labyrinth Quilt Top

Labyrinth Quilt

Finally finished my Labyrinth Quilt Top at the Sewing Social with several of my quilting friends this past Sunday. I am planning on having the top, batting, and backing sandwiched and ready to quilt for the Thursday night class. It was a really quick top to make. Made mostly of half square triangles and solid pieces. Everyone in the group just loved the colors in the quilt. The colors match perfectly with the owls in the border print.

Our group usually meets twice a month at our local Joann’s to work on various projects we have going. Everyone it seems to be trying to finish up quilt tops, sandwiching our quilts together, and/or quilting our quilts. Sometimes we have other various projects that each of us is trying to finish. We have great fun catching up on our busy lives, projects we are working on, how grandkids of our beloved quilting instructor (Bonnie) are doing, and munching on veggie trays and other great edibles that are brought in for the couple hours we are there.

Wilton Cake Decorating Course 3

Since last Fall (2013) I have been working toward completing the four Wilton Courses offered through our local Joann’s Etc. store. Classes 1 and 4 were completed last Fall before the holidays. Classes 2 and 3 were completed since January of 2014. My last class, Course 3, was completed last night. The cake has eight Calla Lillies on top of a Fondant covered yellow cake torted with a cherry pie filling in between the two 8-inch cakes. The blue decorative trim on the bottom is made out of a blue fondant and gum paste combination. I really liked making the Calla Lillies over the weekend. My husband sure likes me bringing a cake home for him to eat after class and has always liked how the cake looks in the end. Now to practice a lot more with the various flowers and decorations that I have learned over the last several months. Several of the techniques seemed to look harder than they were actually to do thanks to our wonderful instructor Cindy. Woohoo!!

Looking back at getting the Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 Certificate for my Mary Jane’s Farmgirl Sisterhood Beginner’s Cake Decorating Badge has turned into learning so much more about cake decorating than I ever thought would or could be learned in several months. Since taking the courses, I have made a dozen cupcakes for two of my nieces. One neice received decorated cupcakes with flowers on top for her birthday that falls in December and her sister’s cupcakes were decorated Scarlet and Gray and with Anthony Thomas Buckeyes on top for her graduation from OSU in December 2013. Can’t wait to see what I come up with on ideas for a cake to give my mom on Mother’s Day. The fun is just beginning!!

Have a great and creative day.