Spinning yarns at Craftland December 08, 2008 14:59

Eling Chang runs the online shop Traveling Rhinos and is a busy maker of soft soft yarn and fiber as well as cute paper products like gift tags and cards. When she's not in the studio making all these things, she's usually on the road selling at shows all around the country! What kinds of products will we see from you at Craftland? Warm + fuzzy ones!  Plushy and woolly ornaments, felt brooches and rings, plus all sorts of spinning + felting kits and supplies for the crafty types.  Oh, and there might be some yarn.  Lots of color everywhere, 'cause here in the New England, winter is no joke. How do you make yarn?? Lately I've mostly been spinning on my new trusty + adorable spinning wheel, but I spun only on drop spindles until this past October.  You really don't need much equipment-wise to spin yarn!  Lots of schools teach spinning on spindles made of old CDs + wooden dowels! Over the last couple of years, I've gradually moved into getting my fiber earlier and earlier in the processing stage.  I started out with easy to spin, already dyed fibers, then I started dyeing processed fiber myself, and now I'm visiting sheep & wool festivals and buying unwashed, greasy fleeces.  I'm still not sure how I got to this point. How do you balance your crafty work with the worky-work? Now that I'm doing this full time, it's all about forcing myself to do the worky-work stuff instead of spending all my time playing with fiber.  Paperwork + filing + records + all that other fun stuff are a big part of why I left the world of desk jobs, so it's not easy for me.  I just keep trying to remind myself how grumpy catching up on that stuff all at once makes me.  I admit, it doesn't always work.  If anyone has any hints on how to make taxes more fun, please let me know. What does your workspace look like? I have a new-ish set up that makes me really happy!  At home, I have a small office for paperwork and computer stuff, a lovely sunroom with tons of windows and five plants I haven't killed off yet for sewing and assembling jewelry + accessories, and the living room is where I spin.  I can get through A LOT of Netflix while spinning!  I also have a separate space outside our apartment for all the messy stuff-- fiber washing + dyeing + drying + storing. What kind of tools and equipment do you use? Stove, oven, pots + pans, washing machine and other household type items for dyeing, respirator for powdered dyes, drum carder for prepping fibers and afore-mentioned beloved spinning wheel.  Hot water + hand soap for felting.  Every sort of needle, bead, and plier you can imagine for everything else, but I only have one felting needle because I tend to stab myself when needle-felting, and those things are sharp! Do you have any special projects coming up? I'm working on a whole line of mixed-media jewelry + accessories that I'm really excited about, because it helps me combine my obsession with fiber + color with my past life making jewelry.  Also have a couple of potentially really big + exciting projects that I am petrified to talk about because I'm afraid I'll jinx them. Where else can shoppers find your work? I pimped my stuff out at Bazaar Bizarre Boston on December 7th.  On the same day, my mom managed my table at stART at the Station in Worcester.  Western Massholes should stop by, she's super nice and will probably give you stuff for free.  I'll also be at BUST Craftacular in New York on December 14th.  And of course, the website:  www.travelingrhinos.com.