Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Nearly a year without an update

Nearly a year I've been 'away', and still there are people visiting this page. I'm sorry! And thank you for your loyalty. I'm going to try to be better at posting, and the spring weather will hopefully help with that.

The move to the new house went well and I have access to both a craft room and a wood shop now, which is great fun. Probably I have been having so much fun with them that I've been neglecting the blog! My Etsy shop is still active but I've let many of the handspun and dyed fiber items expire as they have been there a while - I am considering using them to make knitted items or spinning the fiber instead.

I am starting to use the woodshop to make fiber-related items. A few months ago I made some maple plying templates which you can use with a spinning wheel to aid in plying:

You can also use it as a fiber diz:

I've been using it to ply for months and it's been a great help in preventing singles snarls and improving tension consistency.

On the horizon is the 2011 Black Sheep Gathering festival here in Eugene, Oregon. I'm looking forward to taking some workshops, and hopefully NOT going nuts buying fiber. But of course I am very likely to bring a few new fleeces home...

Monday, 19 April 2010

Construction Zone

We have moved! Yesterday I did a bit of painting in my new craft room and started putting together the flat-pack desk. Today I have a lot more assembly left to finish and then I can start to put things away. The first thing I will be doing, once I find my scale and my fiber is unpacked, is making some batts on my new drum carder!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Slow and Steady Progress

In about two weeks we move from the temporary apartment to the new house. What does that mean for you?

* New yarns! I will have the time and space to being spinning again. Exciting!

* New dyed fibers - once I get some suitable containers!

* New batts! Yes, I will be able to properly branch out into offering batts! I'm getting myself a Duncan carder which should be a lot of fun. Batts will be listed on my Etsy shop!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

I'm back!

At long last, I have my wheel and shop stock again! Sheepshape Spinning is back up and running, and I hope to be making new yarn very soon. Click on the Etsy shop pictures on the right to go there, or click here. I've also decided to make more Pocket Sheep as soon as possible as they are very popular. Now I just need to find the right size needles...and which box is that yarn in...

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Still waiting...!

Well, the shipping is taking longer than we'd expected - it's just landed at customs today. Maybe we'll have it by next week...? I miss my spinning wheel!

Sheepshape Spinning will be returning just as soon as we get our belongings back. Right now the shop is in Vacation Mode, so you can sign up to be notified when it's back!

In April we are moving to our new house, and I will be able to re-establish my dyeing activities and begin producing new fiber braids and batts. I am also planning on expanding to wooden spinning supplies later this year, as the new house will have a wood shop! Please feel free to suggest items that you'd like to see!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Still in a state of limbo...

Just writing to let you all know that I'm still around, but all of my craft gear is still on a boat somewhere in the Atlantic. The expected retrieval date is January 18th.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Thank you, loyal readers!

Hi everybody,

I'm so sorry that it's been over a month without an update, and I want to thank everyone who has continued to visit this blog. Our international move is progressing on schedule, but a side effect of the move is severely curtailed crafting time. My spinning wheel has been packed away since August and I won't have it back till at least January; my sewing machine and dyeing equipment have been sold (since it's electrical it won't work in America) and the only thing I've got left - when I have a few minutes spare - is knitting. And blocking!

So here are some projects that you may not have seen. If you are on Ravelry you can see more details about any of them from my Project Page.

First up is my first-ever shawl, which I decided to make when I spun some lovely and soft grey Gotland fibre last year. It's taken forever to do - I kept adding more yarn to it! I finished it off back in May but never blocked it until this weekend. Here's the best picture I could manage without standing on a chair for height - all the chairs are packed already...

It's funny, I've never been a shawl person, but I've enjoyed wearing this today very much. It was cozy, if slightly chilly as I was using body heat to get rid of the last of the blocking moisture!

My next most recent project is the Elizabeth Zimmerman Adult Surprise Jacket. I found this an excellent pattern for using up medium lengths of handspun - I had lots of 100-200 yard skeins but nothing big enough for a whole jacket on its own. Here's a photo from when it was nearly done being knit:

Since then I have lengthened the sleeves and finished off the edges. I blocked it and the sleeves were too long, but they seem to have resettled to a reasonable length. More worrying, though, is that the collar is huge. It's far too big to wear comfortably. I need to sort it out but I have decided to wait until after I have moved and consult the experts at my (new) local knitting group for advice.

The other project that I have finished recently is one that was featured here not too long ago. It's my Sheep-to-Shoulder top made from wool that I brought back from Ireland and processed by myself every step of the way. I sewed it together, which was quite a learning experience and required a couple of restarts, and I am very pleased with the result. I might reblock it at some point to make it a little longer in the body but it works as it is; I'm just used to wearing longer tops.

I love it. It's very warm and smells delightfully sheepy. My husband is getting used to 'sheepy', fortunately.

Now for a bit of news about my Etsy shops, Elizabeth's UK Craft Shop and Sheepshape Spinning. The first one has been put into vacation mode for now. I will need a new name for it once I'm not in the UK anymore! I'm happy to take suggestions, and if your suggestion is the one that I choose I will give you a $10 gift certificate to anything in either shop. The second shop is still open for now, but all of the yarn and fibre will be suspended in late November, no later than the 29th of November, because it's got to go on the boat to America! I will try to keep most of the stuffed animals available for December in case you want to do any last-minute gift shopping, but I will probably need to shut everything for a few days in mid-December while I'm flying to the states and getting settled in our new place. All part of the adventure!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Moving update

Hello everyone!

Be advised that Sheepshape Spinning will be shutting down a few days before Christmas, in order to facilitate my move to America! I expect to be able to reopen at the start of February. While my shop is down it'll be in vacation mode and you can sign up to have Etsy notify you of when it is open again.

When it reopens my new location will be Eugene, Oregon! That will mean cheaper shipping for you US-based buyers. As a nod to my wonderful UK customers I will be offering subsidised UK shipping on my items - we Brits must stick together, after all.

Be sure to get your holiday shopping done before it's too late! Closer to the time I will be able to give an exact date of closing - it'll be one day before the shipping company arrives to put everything on the boat... It will be a while before I can start making new items again so if something you like gets sold before you get to it, I won't be able to make another like it for a long time...

Monday, 7 September 2009

Congratulations Maureen M!

The Phat Fiber giveaway has finished - congratulations, Maureen M! Please get in touch with me so I can activate your gift certificate - I can’t contact you through the blog because your Blogspot profile is private.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Progress on the (seemingly) never-ending jumper

The never-ending jumper is nearing completion!

For those who haven't been following the saga, I brought some fleece back from Ireland in summer 2008. I lugged it home, dyed it, carded it, spun it, chose a pattern, knitted it, and discovered it didn't fit! So now I am attempting my first blocking session. It's pinned out on a beach towel in the living room:

I am hopeful that it will fit better after the blocking. First, though, I have to learn a better way of seam sewing - my first attempt was rather...rubbish.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Giveaway at Phat Fiber!

Sheepshape Spinning is taking part in a giveaway! One lucky commenter will receive a project bag and a $10 Sheepshape Gift certificate. To enter go to the Phat Fiber blog today and leave a comment!

(For a chance to double your winnings, check out my Etsy Shop Announcement!)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

New Ravelry Group!

Are you a member of Ravelry? If not I highly recommend it.

If you are, you might want to check out my new Sheepshape Spinning Group there! It'll be a great place to talk about your projects and yarns, ask questions, make custom order requests and also find special coupon codes. In fact, there's a $10 off code there now!