Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Back to Blogging

No, I haven't forgot about you. I have sign in issues and will be switching to a new and easier blogging system later this week. If you want all the juicy updates we are very regularly up dating on Facebook with lots of projects and lots of pictures. https://www.facebook.com/silverwheelyarn

Finally acquired my maternal great-grandmother's sewing machine. I always like to say that we do almost everything with no electricity and now I'll be able to say that about my sewing too. I worked for a few hours to get it running again and now its the best sewing machine I have. Can't believe I didn't do this sooner.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Summer into Fall...

Hello Friends!

We’ve been super busy lately! We’ve been excessively making yarn, dyeing, spinning, weaving, teaching, and building. We can barely keep up to replace all that is flying out of here, and we have the Kentucky Guild of Artist and Craftsmen Fall Fair in just two weeks!

Here’s a little about what we’ve been doing-

On the Yarn front, we’ve developed a process of using our Greener Shades dye (of which we are a proud merchant of now) to dye cellulose fibers. The key to this is that most dyes are laden with heavy metals, which are harmful for us and the environment. Greener Shades is heavy metal free*, therefore safer for us and everything else. However, Greener Shades dye is for use on only protein fibers. That is, until we got ahold of it. We’re pretty sure we’ve perfected the process, and we’ve had more than consistent results. Look for a pamphlet to be available soon.

Also concerning yarn, we are now open for wholesale accounts for brick and mortar stores. Contact us for details! And if you need a large quantity our yarn, anyone can qualify for a bulk discount. Again, contact us for details! (Traci has been spinning some absolutely gorgeous yarn lately, so if you were considering ordering some, now’s the time!)

We’ve had a lot of classes lately too, and a higher demand of tailored classes suited towards the specific needs of an individual. While some institutions only give blanket instruction, we LOVE to work with people and help them along with their detailed interests! We have a ton of experience in nearly everything fiber arts, so if you want to learn just one thing, we’re there for you. We’ve got a lot of feedback of people telling us what a blessing we are because we actually teach technical ideals instead of creative ones. We believe that everyone is already creative, but the technical stuff is the vehicle to unleash all those creative juices. And apparently we a considerably cheaper than taking a class at a larger institution *cough* Penland *cough* Arrowmont *cough* John C. Campbell Folk school *cough*. Give us a call if you’re interested, we’re available nearly any time you are!

Through our brief hiatus, we’ve been building prototype fiber arts equipment. The one we’re most excited about is the Japanese braiding loom called a Takadai (see above). The Takadai can make complicated and wider braids than a Marudai (which we have our own prototype of too, but we’ll reveal it later). If you’re unfamiliar with kumihimo, let’s put it this way- A Marudai can usually comfortably utilize up to 16 bobbins. A Takadai can utilize up to 108 or more. Obviously this expands your options design and size wise, and expands its potential uses exponentially. Takadai’s are really hard to find too, so we will join the small ranks of Japanese fiber equipment producers.

Stay tuned, because in the near future we will offer a better version of the pictured prototype and you can purchase and use your own Silver Wheel Yarn made Takadai and other fibers equipment!

We’re going to get some pictures of the awesome weavings we’ve been making up soon too. We’ve been informed that we don’t have enough pictures for you guys, so we’re going to rectify that.

Talk to you soon!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

KY Sheep and Fiber Festival and some other plugs...

Hello All,

Well, we had a great time at the 1st Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival on May 14-15 in Lexington, KY. Thanks to everyone who came to our classes (C.J. taught Fundamentals of Dyeing and Traci taught Weaving for Beginners)- we had an excellent group for both classes, which made it super fun!

Also, at the same festival we met a lot of new Fiber Friends (Hello Again!) and met some people we've always wanted to meet. Otto and Joanne Strauch of Strauch Fiber Equipment Company were among those fine folks we've always wanted to run across and we finally got to tell them in person how much we love using their quality equipment. We own a lot of their work, and if your in the market for trusty, efficient, made in USA fiber processing equipment, we would heartily suggest making a purchase from Strauch or a Strauch dealer (Like The Woolery).

We ran across a lot of good fiber at the festival, but being rather particular fiberholics, most of the sheep fiber disinterested us. We did find that we're rather fond of Alpaca fiber. This is for several reasons- 1) It's not greasy 2) The good stuff doesn't stink 3)People seem to take better care of their Alpacas than people do of their sheep, thus they have way less vegetable matter included.

We ended up with several-several pounds of fiber from Blue Note Alpacas which Traci says- "Is some of the Best fiber I've ever used." The first batch is spinning up exceptionally well and we look forward to creating something exquisite with it.

We anticipate to update this blog every weekend now that we've moved into our new home in Somerset, KY, so expect more updates, equipment reviews, and technique tips in the future.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you! Stay Busy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Things have been crazy

Things have been absolutely crazy around here. Certainly a lot to be thankful for and plenty to be hopeful for. I'll start at the beginning.

Starting off. I want to welcome all the new fans from the Herald Leader to the website. A few weeks ago I wrote an essay about my values and was honored to have it published in today's newspaper. I'm kind of shy (which is a rare thing) since this whole thing is a little overwhelming for me. I'm not big on attention, but this was an important subject and it was easy to write since it was all from the heart. For all you un-local friends, you can find my essay here.

We have for a long time been thinking of finding our own house, one with a little land where we could call home for a long time. Well, we just may have found that place in Pulaski Co. We are smack-dab in the middle of the whole home buying nightmare and quickly approaching the dreaded appraisal. There isn't a whole lot of homes out there, which translates into not a whole lot of homes that have been sold to compare this one too. Thus, I'm scared to death, and will take any happy thoughts/prayers that anyone will pass my way. However, I do have faith that we will end up where we need to be when the time is right. I just have such lovely visions of fiber animals frolicking over rolling hills while we weave in our new studio. *sigh*

Last week we happily received our acceptance letter from the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. We are very honored, especially since we were accepted for both our weaving and my spinning. We look forward to all they have to offer us and we have to offer them.

Just a quick last note. We have our eye on loom number 4 right now. (I know! We're crazy! Looking at looms while we try to buy a house!) Can't believe how these things get me to voluntarily surrender my home, money, and time, but there all just so wonderful and 60" means I could start making actual bolts of hand woven material just like I've always wanted. EEEEEE! It makes me gitty!

Hang in there, friends, spring is coming. Be good and be careful.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NEW! Free Weaving Drafts

I would like to present our first free pattern, The Four Pettled Flour, just in time for those special holiday projects. This is a draft for a WAL (weave-a-long) for Weavalution, but I wanted to offer it to all our fans. It is a 4-shaft draft and is 36 picks which should be a fun challenge to most.

For the sample, we used a green cotton warp with a white cotton weft. Over the next week, I will be making a table runner with the pattern for the WAL with red and white weft and a doubled green warp. Just enough Christmas colors to make you puke. I might even top it off with silver bells!

The pattern was created by my very talented partner and husband, CJ Bloomer, to be used by anyone in any medium as long as it is not for profit. All we ask is that if you use it, include a link to the draft and make sure people know it was made by CJ Bloomer of Silver Wheel Yarn. Then leave a comment here so others can see your finish project and hear what you think.

Yes, we know the name is weird, my husband has a funny since of humor.