Thursday, October 30, 2008

Triangle Pendant

Triangle Pendant, originally uploaded by minstrel spinner.

I can't believe that it has been 3 whole months since I lasted posted! I have been very busy in the studio, knitting and beading. I haven't done any more on the bead embroidery purse, but I did make this necklace recently, and I am currently working on a series of earrings for my Etsy store.

I also finished three pair of knitted socks, a lace scarf and one sweater, all of which I will post very soon.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bead Embroidered Purse - Beginning stages

Bead Embroidered Purse, originally uploaded by minstrel spinner.

I had an incredible opportunity to study with one of my favorite bead artists - Sherry Serafini. Her bead embroidered jewelry and purses are so beautiful and to see them in person was such an honor.

Well, I took a 2 day workshop with her this past weekend at The Bead House in Bristol, RI, which is about a 15 minute drive from my house. The class was wonderful! We discussed everything from design, to bead selection, to the different stitches to create texture.

My embroidery is done on a base of Lacy's Stiff Stuff, on which I did a wash of green fabric paint, so that it was not stark white, if seen in between the beads. Once the embroidery is completed, I will stitch it to the front of a small purse. Right now, I am not sure if my purse will be functional or a work of art to be enjoyed in my living room.

I think I will take a sabbatical from spinning and knitting to complete my purse this week. Stay tuned for more on the progress of my purse.

By the way, have I mentioned how much I love greens and earth colors? LOL!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lace Ribbon Scarf

Lace Ribbon Scarf, originally uploaded by minstrel spinner.

I am now working on finishing some works in progress. This yarn was purchased from Blue Moon Fiber Arts - Socks That Rock Mediumweight. I did not like the original color, when I got it, so I over-dyed it using Lanaset Blue 483 from PRO Chemical & Dye. What a great transition! Once it is blocked, you will be able to see the lace pattern more distinctly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Wensleydale scarf is done!!!

Wensleydale Scarf, originally uploaded by minstrel spinner.

I finally finished my scarf!!! So often, I find myself getting caught up in the excitement of starting a new knitted project, to see how the yarn will look knitted up. Then very quickly I have a large stash of UFOs (unfinished objects) in the studio!

Well, I finally completed a project, from start to finish, without getting sidetracked on a new one. Granted, I was tempted, but I stayed strong. LOL!!! Now, my goal is to whittle away on the other UFOs, before I begin working with some of my new handspun.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Progress on my Wensleydale Scarf

I am excited to say that I am about 3/4's done knitting my scarf. I should have no problem finishing it tomorrow and then giving it a light blocking. With the humidity here, it will probably take a while to dry.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Handspun Yarns

Here are the two latest yarns that I spun. The first one is a Superwash Merino Wool and Alpaca blend that I purchased from All Spun Up. It was dyed on a grey heather blend and ended up with producing a beautiful, rich yarn.

This is the resulting yarn from the roving pictured above. I got 400 yards of fingering weight yarn. It should be just enough for me to make a small shawl/shoulderette. The superwash finish makes this yarn a perfect choice for a washable pair of socks, but I love this yarn so much, that I don't want it on my feet. I want it to be more visible.

I bought this custom wool blend from Copperpot Woolies. It is called Autumn Splendor. I love the combination of golden yellows and purples.

The handspun I got from this roving is probably some of the best I have ever done. I got 600 yarns of a light fingering weight yarn, just right for knitting lace. I found the perfect pattern to use with this yarn. It is a shawl with leaf shapes in it. Plus I found some beads that I will knit in, along the stem part of each leaf. So as soon as I finish the Wensleydale Scarf I recently posted, I am going to start knitting this shawl. Watch for pictures this weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Handspun Wensleydale

Here is some of my latest spinning. I had never tried Wensleydale wool before, so I ordered this handpainted top from Lisa Souza.

I was absolutely amazed at the transformation that took place as I spun it. There is very little evidence of blue in the yarn. However, the white definitely blended with the blue to make it a paler portion of the yarn. All in all, I absolutley love it!!!

Due to Wensleydale having a mohair-like quality to it, although not as skin soft as mohair, I chose the Misty Garden Scarf pattern from the book Scarf Style. It is knitting up very nicely. I found it difficult to capture the warmth of the yarn in the knitting below.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Spinning like crazy!

I have spent this whole past week, spinning on my Minstrel. It is fully broken in now and I love it so much! It is so easy to treadle and spin fingering and laceweight yarns.

Yesterday I finished a Superwash Merino/Alpaca blend, dyed in a grey roving with teal and rust browns. I ended up with 400 yards in the 4 ounce skein. Right now it is drying, which will probably take a while due to the cool, damp weather here in New England. I might just have enough yardage for a small shoulder shawl/scarf.

This morning I looked through my stash of fiber and started spinning a wool roving that is golden yellow and dusty purple. I am so pleased that I finally have the feel for a more laceweight yarn. I hope to get 2 ounces spun today and the 2 ounces tomorrow, plying done Monday night.
Pictures will follow once the yarns are dry.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hush Hush Handspun Hootenanny Questionnaire

1. How long have you been spinning? What skill level do you consider yourself? Since the early 80’s. Intermediate/advanced

2. What kinds of yarn do you create (singles/2-ply/3-ply/art yarn)? 2 ply

3. What do you spin with (spindle/wheel/both)? Kromski Minstrel

4. What are your favorite fibers to spin with? Anything you don't like?
Blue Faced Leicester, Merino. I don’t like Mohair.

5. Who are your favorite fiber sources (etsy or otherwise)?
All Spun Up, Fat Cat Knits, The Fiber Denn. Squoosh and Copperpot Woolies

6. What kind of fiber do you want to try? Cormo, CVM and Bamboo

7. Is there any techniques you would like to learn?
I constantly strive for the best lace weight yardage

8. Do you dye fiber? If not, would you like to learn?
Yes, I’ve been dyeing since the early 80’s

9. Do you have fiber prep tools (and like to use them) or would you prefer ready to spin fiber?
I prefer ready to spin fiber

10. What do you do with your handspun? What projects have you completed?
I knit lace and socks. I am half done with two pair of socks

11. Are you in need of any spinning gadgets (WPI Gauge, threading hook, etc)? Yes, I would like a Spinner's Control Card & Yarn Gauge

12. What colors "fall into your shopping basket"? Any colors you just can't stand? I love greens, purples, rusts, browns, teals and blues - rich, earthy colors. I do not like bright primary and pastel colors.

13. What is on your wheel/spindle right now? Some BFL I bought on Etsy

14. What other crafts/hobbies do you have? Felting and Seed Bead Jewelry

15. Other than crafts, what are you passionate about? Birdwatching, Hiking and Photography

16. Do you have an online wishlist? Yes, on Etsy and The Loopy Ewe

17. Is there anything that you collect? Bird nests

18. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What magazine subscriptions do you have?
There aren’t any books right now. I subscribe to Spin-Off

19. When is your birthday?
September 9th

20. What book or movie character do you most resemble in personality?
I have no idea on this one.

21. What is the climate like where you live around this time (need to know for careful shipments of anything meltable)? Hot and humid

22. Tell us one weird fact about yourself! I love Nascar.

favorite painting/picture(link):
Ansel Adams

Lindt chocolate

Food: Seafood

Drink: Mojito

Movie(s): The Wizard of Oz

TV Show(s): CSI, Law and Order, The Closer, Saving Grace, Without a Trace

Book(s): Anything fiber-related

Guilty Pleasure(s): Fiber and chocolate

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thistle Toe-up Sock

Thistle Toe-up Sock, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here is the beginning of my toe-up sock, using the handspun posted below. I am in love with how it is knitting up! Stay tuned for the finished sock in another day or two.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spinning yarn for socks

I purchased some Superwash Wool roving from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the Thistle colorway. My first 2 ounce skein of 2 ply yarn has 148 yards. So, I decided to use a toe-up sock pattern, due to not wanting to worry about running out of yarn.

Superwash Roving

Handpsun Yarn

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Blue Handspun - on wheel

Blue Handspun - on wheel, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here is my test sample of the blue dyed fleece. It's a little more difficult to spin than I expected, however a drum carder later on down the road will help in the preparation, versus using hand carders.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dyed Fleece

Dyed Fleece, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I dyed 35 grams of my fleece today with three colors of Lanaset dyes - teal, blue and purple. I am sooooo pleased with the results and am anxiously awaiting for it to dry so I can spin it this weekend. It will be a subtle, but rich two ply yarn.

East Friesland wool

East Friesland wool, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I washed my fleece using Orvus paste and what a diffrence, before and after, with the amount of lanolin that came out.

Today I am dyeing a small sample of it and will spin it this weekend, to see how well it spins in different weights.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

What a special day I had on Saturday. In my hometown , there was an annual open barn event at the old H.K. Davis farm, that my sister and I attended. This farm has sentimental memories of my great, great uncle, who used to own the land.

The picture below is the yearling ewe I chose from the group behind her, for the fleece that was being shorn by Kevin Ford. He shears by hand with no electricity.

This picture shows the fleece on the table being skirted to remove the dirty wool. Overall, my fleece was very clean and had little that had to be skirted.
My fleece weighs 5 pounds. I have plans this week to wash it with Orvus paste in preparation for dyeing and then spinning into yarn for a new Fall sweater. I think I am going to knit a shrug with the yarn, which I plan to dye a denim color. I will post the progress of this new and exciting project.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wool roving for felting

Wool roving for felting, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I had the urge to do some dyeing last weekend, so I worked on creating a palette of wool roving to do some felting with. I also dyed larger quantities of four different coordinating colors to use for the base . This wool roving came from R H Lindsay in Boston and is perfect for spinning or felting. It is a nice blend of wools with a springy loft, that would also be perfect for spinning a fine laceweight yarn.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Completed Bead Embroidered Cuff

Completed Cuff, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here is my cuff, mounted on the Ultrasuede covered brass cuff. I made a few changes in composition, from the earlier posts. The picot edging was the perfect way to finish off my cuff.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bead Embroidered Cuff update

This is what I got done yesterday on my cuff. I am very pleased with the results so far and hope to complete it on Friday.

Embroidered Cuff - part 2

Cuff - detail

Cuff - detail 2

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Embroidery - detail

Embroidery - detail, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here's .a detail of the beginning of my cuff

Bead Embroidered Cuff

Bead Embroidered Cuff, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

For a change of creativity from my knitting, I began this bead embroidered cuff in a one day workshop at my LBS. I really love working with beads in this manner. Come back to see the progess of my cuff.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mr. McGregor's Garden Socks

Mr. McGregor's Garden, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I've started a new pair of socks using a pattern designed by Susan Pandorf exclusively for the Woolen Rabbit. I love the color of the hand-dyed yarn from the Woolen Rabbit! It's perfect for this pair of socks that have a theme of rabbits.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I love over-dyeing!

I just had to share my attempts at salvaging a skein of yarn. The top photo is a skein of laceweight wool that I used to demonstrate painting skeins in a recent workshop. I attempted to break out of my comfort zone, but was not successful in my color combinations.

Here is that same skein, but over-dyed using Lanaset Blue 483. I love how it toned down all of the bright saturate colors, making it much richer. I can't wait to find a lace pattern so I can start knitting with this. I love the tramsformation!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Forest Canopy Shawl

I just deleted my original post of this shawl, due to being spammed twice. I have changed a few things about making comments on my blog. I hope that my regular readers will continue to stop by and let me know what you think about my studio work.

Here is my latest knitting project, which I am doing as a Knit Along (aka KAL) on Ravelry. I chose a different color for my shawl - a rich black with olive and raspberry, in the colorway called Grawk from Blue Moon Fiber Arts new Raven collection. I decided to add beads as I knit it. This is my first bead knitting, and not to be my last. LOL!!!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I'm today's featured artist on Etsy Style!!!

Deanna from Wyreworks has launched a brand new site, "Etsy Style!" which celebrates the creativity of Etsy artisans all over the world. She chose me as today's featured artist. I am so thrilled with this honor! In celebration of this, please visit Etsy Style! to see her March 6th post and Wyreworks to see Deanna's work.

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's A Wrap!!!

I finished my Feather and Fan Organic Wrap this weekend. I love how it turned out. It's just the right size - perfect for the office, too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Cat, Sadie

Sadie-2, originally uploaded by vickijensen.


What a little mischief my cat, Sadie, is! Usually she is sitting on my lap at every available moment. Tonight after dinner, she did not return to the living room, so I went into the kitchen and found her inside my photo hood. I had set it up earlier to take some digital images of a couple of new bracelets. However, someone really likes this new house. LOL!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Feather and Fan Wrap

Feather and Fan Wrap - 1, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I have become a very active member on Ravelry, an online comminity for knitters, spinners and crocheters. One of the groups I belong to is extra special to me. The group is made of members who love the work of Jane Thornley, from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has designed patterns for beautiful garments, which many of us are working on or have finished.

This picture is the start to my Feather and Fan Wrap, a pattern of Jane's. Not only have I learned new skills for knitting in a freeform approach, but these garments are a great way to use those single skeins of yarn that you can't live without and have been building up in your stash.

For those who would like to see more of Jane Thornley's work, please visit her web site -

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Please Vote!

Hi, Everyone!
The voting has begun for our February Etsy Beadweavers challenge, which has a theme of Spring Break. You can go here to vote -
My entry is titled Cancun Sunset and is #35.

You can also see more about my piece by visiting the link to my Etsy store -

Thanks for your support! Voting ends in 2 days.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Cancun Sunset - Freeform Netted Cuff

Cancun Sunset, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here's my completed Cancun Sunset freeform netted cuff. It is my entry for the February Etsy Beadweavers Challenge, which voting will begin in a day or two. I will post the details as they become available.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cancun Sunset-Beginning

Cancun Sunset-Beginning, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here is the beginning stage of my challenge piece. I am titling it "Cancun Sunset". I incorporated pearls as a metaphor for the ocean, a beaded Swarovski rivoli for the big glowing sun, setting along the horizon and luster seed beads to show the sparkling sunset on the ocean water.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Etsy Beadweavers Challenge - Spring Break

Spring Break, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

As promised, here is the picture I am using for inspiration to create my challenge entry for the January theme of "Spring Break". I am making another freeform netted cuff.

Green Patchwork Peyote Cuff

Green Patchwork Peyote Cuff, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

This is the last of my series of peyote stitch cuffs. It is made from Delica cylinder beads in opaque and metallic.

I now need to focus on my next challenge piece for the Etsy Beadweavers. The theme is Spring Break. Tommorow I will post the image I am using for inspiration to create a freeform netted cuff.

While I am beading, I am also longing to spin some gorgeous fiber I have in my stash. I wish I didn't have to work full time. LOL!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I want to thank all of you who supported my work and voted for my red freeform netted cuff. The voting has ended and I came in 8th out of 42 entries! I was so pleased to see the results.

Next month's challenge will have a theme of "Spring Break". I am designing the piece this weekend and will post my entry later this week. Don't forget to check back often!

Green Peyote Stitch Cuff

Green Cuff-1, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I decided to continue in this series of peyote stitch cuffs, making this one in my colors - greens.

I've been seeing a lot of beautiful bead embroidered cuffs and am eager to try one soon. Sherry Serafini is my favorite artist, when it comes to bead embroidery. She recently co-authored a book on the technique. I drool over the pieces in there. Plus, Sherry is coming to teach a workshop in my area this summer. I registered this week before it fills and can't wait for the opportunity to study with her.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Neutral Peyote Stitch Cuff

Neutral Peyote Stitch Cuff, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here is another in my peyote stitch cuff series, done in neutrals. It has a Swarovswki button for the closure. It is for sale on my Etsy site.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Green Freeform Netted Cuff

Green Freeform Netted Cuff, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here is a detail of my newest freeform netted cuff, in greens. I really love working in this style and am planning several more in this series.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blue Peyote Stitch Cuff

Here's my newest creation - a cuff that is done in peyote stitch, using Delicas beads, which are gradated in color from light blue to dark blue. The Delicas I chose range in a variety of surfaces, from matte to metallic. The closure consists of a Swarovski button and peyote stitch loop.
Blue Peyote Stitch Cuff, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Monday, January 07, 2008


Red Netted Cuff for the EBWC, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Hi, everyone!
I hope that you will take some time to vote for my Red Freeform Netted Cuff shown below at this site - Voting ends this weekend.

To see more of this piece, you can go to this link -

Thanks for you support! Vicki

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Red Freeform Netted Cuff

This is a freeform netted cuff that I created for the Etsy Beadweavers Challenge, with the theme of "red". The cuff is made from seed beads, Delica cylinder beads and Swarovski crystals. It will fit a wrist of about 7 1/2" to 7 3/4", depending upon how loose or tight you like to wear your bracelets. It averages 1 1/2" high. The closure is a beaded toggle, embellished with size 15 seed beads, with an embellished beaded loop.

Please visit the EBW Blog to vote for your favorite entry, after Jan. 5th, at: