Eric Crouse

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since Mar 22, 2018
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Recent posts by Eric Crouse

I saw the greatest stash buster hat when I went to see Cirque Du Soleil the other night.  It was conical, and striped and ran half way down the performer's back with all kinds of different yarn.  I got to thinking how cool it would be to use my yarn remnants with something like that.
7 months ago
something that I started last year, and I'm going to pick the thread up again now,  If I have the money to spend on yarn and fiber, I have the money to "buy it back" from  myself.  Whatever I spend on it, when I finally get around to using it, goes into savings.   Same thing with spinning fiber.  I buy back the cost of that fiber.  If I happen to knit with handspun, I buy it back at $.15/yard.   Right now I have one spinning and one knitting project going.  If I were to "buy it back" that would be a little bit less than $70.00 back into savings.

7 months ago

I spend almost as much time finishing my yarn as I do spinning

.

What exactly do you mean by "Finishing Yarn"  I'm curious about this.  usually with my handspun, I soak it, and give it a couple of good whacks just to set the twist.
8 months ago
I love to spin yarn.  Drop spindle, wheel, you name it.  I have A LOT of handspun yarn and yes, I use it from time to time, and now I'm looking at selling some of it off.  I look on Etsy and see people selling handspun yarn and it seems like they are vastly underselling themselves for the work that goes into it.  I usually put a price of about $.15/yard on my handspun, which means that if I get a skein that is 400 yards out of a 4 oz. braid of roving, that comes out to about $60.00/ skein.  even if I drop it down to $.12/ yard, that's still $48/skein.


I'm not looking to make this my full time job, but a couple extra bucks at it would never be turned down!  what are some things that people have done for selling handspun?


8 months ago
There are 150,000 ways of washing wool.  Some like to use a Suint mix, which is where the fleece is left to sit in rainwater for a week and it begins to ferment.   Some people like to use Dawn Dishsoap. some like to use a product called Power Scour, and so forth and so on.  I will say that you should not use washing soda on a fleece as it will destroy the wool.  

Myself however, I like to take the fleece put it into a mesh laundry bag from Walmart,   rinse the fleece in hot water to knock of the loose dirt, then I do about 4-6 tablespoons of Borax and the same amount of shredded bar soap for every 1.5 lbs.  mix it thoroughly so everything is homogenized.  let it sit for about 20 minutes in hot water, and then gently squeeze everything out being careful not to agitate it so you don't felt it.  Fill the tub with hot water again and rinse, and then repeat until the water is clear.  After I let it sit for a couple of days to fully dry, I'm ready to start carding/ combing and spinning.




9 months ago
a friend of mine was getting rid of some fleeces, and I'm the only in my group that really takes the time to wash and process them.  She knows how to do the carding, spinning and such, but not the washing.  She was looking to let go of some of her fleeces and told me about it.  I wound up with 15 lbs, 8 ounces.   They are a number of years old but still in excellent shape. I guestimate that it's all worth about $200-$250 dollars easily.  My cost?  she wants me to was 1/2 lb of one of them for her and 1/4 of a nice large brown fleece weighing in at a whopping 6 lbs 14 ounces!    The best part is that she doesn't even want me to card/comb them.   she just wants it  washed. That seems to have been her hang up with not doing them.

On top of all of the other fleeces that I have to process, as well as the 20 lbs of alpaca, and all of the roving I have yet to do, I think I will not have to buy wool for a couple of decades at least!
9 months ago
I first taught myself how to spin on drop spindle about 8 years ago (My how my spinning has improved since then!), and since then I've acquired just a few spindles and several wheels.  I love my wheels, I can spin a great yarn on them... however my spindles are something that take me to my place of happy.  i'm able to spin as good or better on my spindles and I do production spinning on them.   I've been doing so much work on the wheels lately that I've been forgetting how much I enjoyed my spindles.  I've recently started to rediscover that love and remember how magical they truly are.   It's a damn good thing I've got plenty of stash to work with!
I just spent the afternoon in the kitchen canning some apple pie filling from some apples that I picked up at the farmers market this morning.  We also did a lot of cooking.  Yes, I could have filled up the dishwasher and ran it, but I realized it was just as quick for me to wash it by hand.  Yes, I did several loads today.  but there is now nothing in the sink, the dishdrain, or the dishwasher, and HEY! I got 12 pints of apple pie filling out of it.  
10 months ago
I came across this thread earlier today at work and found it rather fascinating.  Typically we do use a dishwasher, we like to cook, have parties etc.  which means that every now and again we use a lot of plates, silverware etc.   I (admittedly) hadn't done dishes in several days and they were piled up, and the dishwasher was almost full.  So I put what I could in the DW and started it.  I did the rest by hand, had dinner, cleared off the dried dishes from the dish drain, and then refilled it with a second load of dishes from dinner. I started the dishwasher about 6:00ish??? and here it is 7:45 and it is still going, meanwhile i've handwashed 2 loads of dishes and the kitchen is now clean.  we have a dual basin sink, so dirty dishes went in the soapy dishwater on one side, and placed in the other, then rinsed and put on the drying rack.  I think I may be doing dishes by hand more often.  

I also like two do living history at my local renaissance festival, where we have two wash buckets back stage for dishes.   guess what? there 2 buckets that we fill with cold water, we wash in one, rinse in the other and they get set out to dry.  The water gets tossed out the back into the woods and we are done.

I can largely see the advantages to both camps about this.

10 months ago
To the OP.... this is my first post on this site, and you have inspired me to try weaving with some singles that I've spun. I've also heard that it can't be done.  If my two ply handspun can stand up to weaving then why can't my singles?  after all, when you ply, you are taking some of the twist out of the singles, so they should be about as strong as a two ply.  expecially if you are worsted spinner.
10 months ago