Last April I finally started a Fiber Club, something I had been wanting to do for years. They had been all the rage for quite some time – sock clubs, yarn clubs, swaps — anything that allowed someone to pay for a box to appear on their porch each month. But how could I make it work with the way I work? No recipes, no plans. No two things the same. It didn’t seem to be the way these clubs worked. Dyers send an “exclusive colorway” to their subscribers. I don’t even have colorways! After discussing with a fellow fiber artist (that I respect and trust), it seemed that a surprise batt club would be the best route. Blammo!
The first group was a bit of an experiment. I’ve worked out details through the course of the year, figuring out better ways to make it function. I’m pleased to say that I’ve settled on something that seems to make sense?? Ha! I suppose I’ll never stop doubting myself about these things.
You may have noticed things here weren’t quite right for a week or two. We are back up, but all my posts from the month of June were obliterated! Sigh. I suppose it’s not too much of a heartbreak, since I only wrote about five entries. Sadly all my wit and humor is gone for good, but the photos are still available, so here is a little recap of the month:
The family went on a fishing trip on Lake Erie. I hadn’t been in a boat for many years and it didn’t entirely agree with me. We did catch quite a few fish, so at least it wasn’t totally pointless.
We helped run a Medieval Festival at the Christ Episcopal Church in Warren, OH. Rich and I stayed on site all weekend in our spectacular pavilion.
To get ready for Woolfest I spent several days with my new drumcarder, a heap of multicolored fibers, and a marathon of superhero movies.
The new batts came out really great – thicker and more evenly carded.
Rich and I went to Woolfest at the end of the month. It was really fun and I wore one of my new dresses. Summer of dresses is happening!
We walked around the beautiful Farmpark before the show started on Saturday and took a few pictures including this one of Rich in the arbor tunnel.
The mess of last week has turned into 5o fresh new batts! I’ve got a wider range of colors in this batch in addition to funky fibers like angora, silk noils, and mohair.
Also, I reworked the packaging for the new year. The ribbons and tags were just too much hassle. Cut out the tag, round the corners, punch two holes, cut ribbon, thread ribbon, tie ribbon around batt. Then you’ve got all those loops to get fingers stuck in — ugh! Time for something a little quicker and cleaner! I ended up going back to wrap labels, just like the yarn and fiber. I prefer to think of it as consistency rather than monotony.
Other people are making things with my fibers too!
Check out Jamie’s Chunky Yet Funky Mittens & Hat. She bought several Fantasy Batts at Indie Knit & Spin, created a fun yarn and then knitted this wonderful set. The hat is a great example of what to do when you may not have quite enough yarn for an entire project. She used the remaining handspun yarn for the brim, but found another complimentary yarn for the body. Great job and thank you for sharing! Read all about her project on her blog.
P.S. This is the FIRST project I have seen made with the Fantasy Batts!
For some reason I feel obligated to mention the obvious: today is Election Day. I am so glad that the ads will finally shut up! And whatever happens, we just have to move forward. I live in Ohio, which is a big deal apparently. We live in a smallish town, so I am not expecting outrageous lines, but I may bring a knitting project just in case. In the end it feels somewhat futile, as Husband and I will cancel each other out with our votes.
Once I get that taken care of this morning, I fully intend to spend the day MAKING BATTS. Back in June I spent two days just cranking through my stash of odds and ends. When I brought the batts to Woolfest I didn’t think anyone would be too interested, but over the past few months, they’ve sold! Also, I pulled out a few to do another sample skein (since someone bought the first one right away). Now I just have a handful left, so I want to work on a new batch for IKS.
This event has also given me clarity on my lack of organization. As I was making my list of things to do for Indie Knit & Spin, each item just ended up in a non-chronological jumble. And every morning I look at my list (or don’t) and still waste a great deal of time trying to decide what to do. I need more structure if I am to get more done. I’ve been working from home since February and it’s been fun, but with the year coming to an end, it’s a good time to reevaluate and restructure.
While at Target yesterday I picked up a few things to help me get things in order. I got a few of those wall mount file boxes for “things to deal with” and “things to file” or something. I have file boxes, but I apparently I need an interim spot for those items since I do not file them right away. The most exciting thing was this dry-erase calendar. Now I can get more exact with planning each task and keeping on track for an upcoming event. I’ll have to move a few things around to make a place to hang this up, but it’s going to be awesome! Because I say so.
Since I still have a heap of batts sitting on my dining room table, it’s been hard to resist spinning them. I started with a batt that consisted primarily of brown Romney locks, a bit of bright red Wensleydale top, some sparkles, and some unknown wool locks. I settled on using my smallest top whorl spindle and spun the yarn “fine” (which for me isn’t super fine). It’s probably contradictory to what batts are all about, but I don’t spin interesting art yarn anyway. The fiber was enjoyable to spin and the yarn came out satisfactory. Nothing too wildly exciting, but unusual compared to spinning from top.
Later I grabbed a few random batts and spun them into a chunky yarn using my wheel. I tried to pick out the most boring of the bunch (so they wouldn’t end up on my sale table) and it shows. The yarn is a bit awkward looking, but I enjoyed creating it.
Also, I’ve decided my batts are not “art batts”, rather I am calling them “fantasy batts”. They aren’t quite as wild as art batts, but with the sparkle and the colors, I kept thinking about fairies. However, “fairy batts” just make me think of bats you hit fairies with, so I didn’t want to put that image in anyone’s head. Allow these delightful batts to bring a little bit of fantasy to your spinning!