Yesterday I moved into my new space! Here is the before:
4.5 feet of blankness
I have started renting a small space in the Loft at Shepherd’s Choice in Anoka, MN. A bunch of fiber people have taken over the loft and filled it with fibery fun.
Socks and yarn
My back wall is pegboard, so I hung a bunch of my alpaca socks and some yarn. As I get new yarn dyed, more will be added.
My whole space
I’ve also got some wrist warmers, a basket of alpaca roving and one of my sweater dryers. The sweater dryer is for sale but does double duty as a little table to show off a bowl of cat toys. I’ll also be putting in some hours working at the shop. I’ll post my hours on my facebook page – if you would like to see something specific or have me bring in an order for you, please contact me. Let’s save driving and shipping costs! There are lots of wonderous goodies in the Loft.
Wheels and braids
Mary of Spinning Magic has a lovely collections of wheels and other spinning goodies for sale. She is also available most days to give priviate spinning lessons. There is lots of sheepy wool ready for spinning, too.
Lots of stuff to check out
From felting to bags to lots of fun, fibery things to discover, you’re sure to find something to delight you in the Loft at Shepherd’s Choice. I hope you make plans to check it out soon. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.
For a change, today I did a little sewing on my sewing machine. I still have (and use) the sewing machine I bought when I was 15 years old. I distinctly remember that it cost $357. The MOST I had ever spent on a single purchase in my life to that point! I don’t sew much these days. But after a few false starts, I was on my way.
I had one of these completed a while ago. Today, I finished two more sweater dryers.
Handy sweater dryers
I created the design for this a while back and had the pvc pipe and elbows purchased and cut to put 2 more together. I found the netting and made the drying surface – little casings on each end for the pipes to slide through. Then some fabric to make the bags that you see on top of each dryer. When not in use, just pull the legs from the plastic elbows, fold the legs up, and put it all in the bag. It stores neatly under the bed or stands in the corner of the closet. They are small enough to fit in the bathtub if you have dripping pantyhose (or alpaca fiber) to dry. They are large enough to spread a sweater on if you fold the arms over the chest. I’ve used one for many years. It seems indestructible. I dry socks and felted mittens, sweaters and hats, lots of fiber and yarn. Only $15.
Just wanted to show you the mittens that are drying on my drying rack.
On the drying rack
I just finished felting four pair of mittens. They are still wet, but will be dry and ready for Farm Tour. I’m really happy with the way the felting process mutes the colors and blends everything together.
Sewing the seams on mittens take way longer than knitting them on my knitting machine. But I got them all sewn up by Wednesday night.
And I learned a few things!
#1 If Doritos are required to maintain energy while sewing seams, have no fear of the dreaded Doritos-fingers. Felting will remove any crumbs.
#2 If an Asian beetle flies into the mitten seam at the exact time I’m pulling the yarn through for a stitch, gets its legs stuck in the yarn and makes that nasty stinky smell, have no fear! Felting will remove that smell.
Thursday morning, into the wash machine they went.
Bucket of wet mittens
To felt things, I put them in pillowcases, tie the pillowcase shut and toss them in my washing machine with the lowest setting of water with the hottest water. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes to felt. Again I learned something!
#1 The more items per pillow case, the faster they felt! I put 2 pair of mittens in each of 2 pillowcases and the 5th pair in another pillow case alone. The pillowcases with 4 mittens thrashing around felted faster than the pair that was all alone. So, check the pillowcase with the most items first!
#2 It is okay to put things of different colors in the same pillowcase. I had always put each pair of mittens into separate pillowcases when felting so the fibers that come loose wouldn’t get on the mittens of another color. While the loose fibers did get on the mittens, they didn’t felt in as I had feared.
On the drying rack
After a spin in the wash machine, 5 pair of lovely felted mittens are drying on my drying rack. (I make these too!) Saturday they will be on display at my last craft show. $25 / pair. Stop by and do some shopping.
I want to show off my newest item for sale in my Etsy shop.
what is it?
This is my sweater dryer. I created them a few years ago and made a few then. I decided to make more and see if they sell on Etsy.
It’s big enough to hold a sweater….
Or several pair of socks. It is also great for drying alpaca fiber or sheep wool!
It comes apart and re-assembles quickly. PVC pipe and elbows are a breeze to work with.
ready to store
All the pieces fit in the nifty fabric bag for storage. I got to use the big power miter saw, a drill, and my sewing machine. How much fun can a girl stand?