Monday, February 16, 2009

Did She Say SIDEWAYS?????

So if you haven't read or heard about the Yarn Harlot's post and have no idea what I'm talking about ... go here first. Then come back and see me. :)

So I've always fed my fiber into the drum carder tip first. In thinking back, I'm not exactly sure why but I do know I've thought about feeding it in sideways. It's just that when I thought about it I was sure it would make a big tangled mess. Oh boy how wrong was I!?!?!? A sideways fed batt is a beautifully wonderful thing indeed. It's so lofty and squishy and yummy!

See anything different about these two batts? The longer skinnier batt was created with the fiber being sent into the drum carder tip first. The shorter loftier looking batt was created with the fiber sent in sideways. Both batts are the same amount of the same fiber. They were both carded by the same person (that's me) on the exact same drum carder. Interesting, no? It makes total sense if you think about it though. I could get all scientific here (and don't think I haven't thought about it) with diagrams and all but I'll spare you that for now. I can tell you that I have spun both types of batts and I am amazed at how much more pleasant the sideways batt is to spin. It makes a very lofty woolen type yarn. Look for more on this in the shop.

One more thing to note here, this applies more to people (like myself) that card already processed fiber. I tend to use roving/top/sliver because it is easy for me to deal with handling and dyeing it. I've spun some batts from fiber artists that start with raw fleece and their batts tend to resemble my sideways fed batts due to the nature of the fiber being processed commercially versus being processed by hand. Also, feeding processed fiber sideways is essentially creating a woolen preparation, meaning the fibers are not all lined up parallel to each other. Those of you that prefer to spin top (fibers are lined up parallel) over a batt or true roving may not like this preparation as much. Either way, it's definitely something to try out so you know which way you prefer.

I'm creating listings that contain one 1-1/8 ounce batt of each type. It's not a big amount of fiber, just more of an experiment you can try out without making much of an investment. If you are interested in this experiment and want a certain type, color or amount of fiber ... please email me ( and I'll let you know what I have available.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More Friends of Rocket Yarn

Jane's Shop: Princess Froglips

Jane is super crafty and very talented. She makes the cutest little bags all from recycled thrift store and yard sale fabric and zippers. She also dyes spinning fiber and is a fabulous spinner herself. I love the fabric and the colors she uses in her craft projects. Go check out her shop and I'm sure you'll find something you like!

Lorien's Shop: Silverleaf Designs

Lorien is actually the person who inspired me to learn to knit several years ago. I met her, along with Dana, at The Birth Center of Gainesville. She is a great fabric artist and has an Etsy shop where she sells the best little hand knit cottons dish sponges. These make great gifts for those people you don't know what to buy for because they already have everthing. She offers free gift wrapping with all orders and has received great feedback from all of her customers.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Item Updates & Shipping

Sock Batts

I've had some snafus with some of the fiber I have so I've been spending a lot of time in the R&D phase of things. I want to make sure my customers are happy with what they purchase from me. My merino/nylon blend is turning out great so I finally got a batch of those sock batts up in the shop. They are 80% superwash merino and 20% nylon. The weight came out a little lower than planned so the price reflects this. I have more to list sometime this week (maybe even tonight) that turned out really great.

Handspun Yarn

I've decided to offer some of my handspun yarn in the shop. Most of this yarn has been spun from fiber I dyed myself. I've spent a lot of time on this yarn and the price reflects this. I can promise you will not be dissappointed in any of my handspun yarn. I am very picky about what I've decided is worth enough to list. I went through all 20+ skeins of handspun and found four that are truly worthy of the Rocket Spun tag. :)

Shipping Changes

Due to economic changes I've made the decision to start offering international shipping on Rocket Yarn purchases.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Friends of Rocket Yarn

A couple of my friends (and fellow fiber artists) started Etsy shops recently so I thought I would share them with you. They are both amazingly talented fiber artists and you should snag up some of their great yarn and fiber before it gets away. :)

Dana's Shop: Goble Warming
Dana is an amazing spinner. We met back at the Birth Center of Gainesville in 2004 when I was pregnant with my first child and she had just given birth to her first child. We were obviously meant to cross paths as we both found our way to knitting as well and ended up at the same knitting group. Then about a year ago we took our first spinning class together. I'm still amazed every time I see her yarn. She can out spin me by a long shot. Amazing consistency in her spinning and I love her color choices.

Tessa's Shop: Fluffalicious
Tessa is a very talented artist and a great spinner as well. She sells art yarn and spinning fiber as well as other knitting related goodies. She teaches knitting and yarn dyeing classes at Hanks Yarn & Fiber in Gainesville. She also has an etsy shop How to Use Art where she sells screenprinted clothing, bags, prints and more. You can read more about her art education and experience here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Look What Katrina Made ...

... out of Rocket Roving. It's a Mother Earth Shawl and it is absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for letting me share the photos! You can see her Flickr stream here and her Etsy shop here: Fresh from the Needles.