Thursday, 22 August 2013

My Travel Fibre Basket of Wooly Happiness!

I just looked over whilst at work and noticed my travel fibre basket waiting ever so patiently for my next coffee break and I thought ... 


That's like wooly happiness in a bowl!

Hoping all your baskets of happiness are filled to the brim today, tomorrow and always!

xo nikki 

The Tortoise and the Hare ...

Finally finished spinning a much larger quantity on the Mayan Spinner. Perhaps, in retrospect, a little too much fibre as it got rather heavy and clumsy to spin near the end ... and became the tortoise that just wouldn't make it to the finish line for me.

Until today! Yay!

Though considering how many yarns I have accomplished lately on my spinning wheels while my little tortoise was hanging out in my fibre basket, the Fable may not have been too true for this race ;)

Looking forward to some lovely fall knitting though with my tortoise yarn thanks to the lovely gradiated colourway that Nikki Marshall dyed up for me to spin! 

Happy Fibre-ing Everyone!

xo nikki 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

My Gorgeous 1924 Vintage Singer

I just had to share the latest addition to my humble home with you all. I had been talking with my friend Kyla, not that long ago, and expressed to her that I was looking for a vintage treadle, or hand crank sewing machine so that I could teach the kids on a simpler and slower machine as they have both expressed interest in creating with my electric machine but which goes like a bat out of hell if you're not careful with her. 
Well, it wasn't but a week or so later and Kyla texted me that she had seen one at our local Thrift store! What are the odds? Yay Kyla!
I hustled down there as soon as I was off work and found this gorgeous little beauty!

Squealing with delight, I purchased her on the spot and brought her home. 
Then promptly broke the old, and original, leather drive band for her while I was trying her out.

Ok, I thought, I can fix this ... I can sew and it's made of leather so how hard can it be to jimmy-rig something?

For the record, old leather is really, really, really hard to sew through. But with a little ingenuity, a sturdy needle and a rather large rock, it can be done!

So banded together with some strong bamboo thread I got her all together and decided that perhaps I should make my first project something with simple, and probably straight lines in it.

I know! My little miss needed a roll wrap for her new pencil crayons so that we can keep them together, portable and hopefully safe from rolling off the table and breaking all the colour inside to smithereens!

Digging around in my stash I found a lovely print from Michael Miller which would work and an old courderoy shirt from the Mr. which I could cut up, finally finding some old ties that I had cut off a pretty cotton dress forever ago which would work for the ties. Cotton thread, check! Ok, with all my goodies in hand I set out to play with my new machine :)

After some fanagaling, and oh, that's how you change the tension and whoops, when you treadle like that it kind of goes backwards, (and much seam ripping!) I slowly began to get the hang of it. She sews effortlessly, beautifully (once I figured out the tension) and makes this lovely rhythmic soft clickety sound as she goes that becomes quite peaceful and soothing as you go along.

I was thoroughly enjoying my project and even though the lines didn't end up being all that straight in the end, my wee little recipient was still pleased as punch to have something to hold all her precious pencil crayons in and quite merrily began toting them around the house with her sketchbook.

Win-win :)

And all sewn without electricity, and with mostly upcycled items. That felt really good too!

Already looking forward to my next project on her, perhaps some sewn bookmarks with the kids? My amazing boy has already asked to try his hand at sewing something on her! Yay!

Thanks to whomever donated her to the Thrift store, and my dear friend Kyla for finding her for me - I can see we have many, many happy sewing years ahead together :)

xo nikki 

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Fibre Couture!

This beautiful hand dyed silk nuno felted scarf is being modeled by Anya and photographed by Desiree Marie.  It is dyed with brilliant reds, oranges and yellows.  The necklace is also felted in the same color scheme with glass beads.  More modeling shoot pictures to come. 

All the fibre couture, necklace, bracelet and scarf were designed and handmade by our own Nikki Marshall!
The photographer still has the pieces but once they have been returned to Nikki she will be posting them for sale on our Etsy account.

Hope everyone has a fabulous long weekend filled with some fibre fun!

PS (More to come about my amazing spin classes with Caroline Sommerfeld of in Kamloops!)

xo nikki 

Natural Dyeing with Barb Brown

Nikki and I were lucky enough to take a Natural Dyeing class with Barb Brown of last Sunday and we learned a whole bunch from her, had a hootin' good time and got to play with a generous amount of dyes and fibres! Below are some of the yarns (generously donated by Pollika yarns and Caroline Sommerfeld) and silk caps (from Barb) that we dyed.

We got to work with Madder (which is the red toned ones), Osage (which is the beautiful yellow), Lockwood, (the yummy purple) and to my squealing delight an Indigo Dye Vat! (which is the intense blue ones) 

The Indigo Dye Vat in action!
It was an amazing learning experience and Nikki and I are eager to try some more natural dyeing. We will be taking more pictures of the finished, and dry, wools and silks to show you all as well :)
Thanks again Barb!

xo nikki