Hi! I'm so excited!!! Along with signing up to go back to school to finish my degree, I've been REALLY busy.
I've been trying to find ways to keep myself in inexpensive or free fiber. I was commissioned to spin an Alpaca blanket for a lady. OH MY GOODNESS! It's a beautiful mahogany brown color, soft as butter, and it seems to be going on forever! The really great part is that once spun I get to keep 2/3 of the yarn.
spun Alpaca yarn
Another shepherd I'm talking to will send me an Angora Goat fleece (Mohair) in exchange for spinning for her. I've found a few non-traditional sources to find free wool as well. I found a petting zoo, and a farm-animal rescue, that normally throw away their wool come shearing time. I know there are issues sometimes with "quality" of wool and different breeds of sheep are used for different things. There are sheep raised for meat, sheep raised for wool, and then there are cross-over sheep used for both. Seeing as I'm just learning about all this stuff, I haven't had a chance to get into all the issues about wool, such as microns and crimp; but I figure that even if what I get isn't "next to the skin" soft, I can spin it, knit it into things like bags or flowers, and felt them. I'm finding this new craft of spinning all-consuming and I'm trying to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can. I also found a buffalo farm near us. The owner told me that once they start shedding I'm welcome to come collect as much fiber as I want.
In helping another fiber artists come up with an idea, I've found a way to create drop-spindles that should bring in a great profit on my Etsy site and at fiber fairs. I'm really excited to find an inexpensive way to give others this treasure I've found in spinning.
Prototype for my hand-made spindles
another view of the spindle
Included in all this dream reaching, I started reaching towards a dream of owning a shop... Dekalb Market, is opening late spring in Fulton Mall, Brooklyn, NY. They're having a contest to win one of their "shipping container" work spaces. I've submitted an entry, and if I win I'll get 6 months free rent and a lot of other super prizes. I think more importantly, my plan is to have it also be an education center as well as a shop. I'll have things in there like a community wall-loom, my spinning wheel, drop-spindles, and of course my various knitting projects (that I carry with me everywhere) to demonstrate some of these "forgotten" crafts. Even if I don't win the contest it's giving me a real concept of what I want to do with all these crafts, and a plan on how to turn this all into a trade. You can read more about this "green" market at: http://dekalbmarket.com/about/
I don't know exactly where this journet is taking me, but I'm sure excited about and enjoying the whole ride ((smiles))