Badfaerie (Nancie McCraw) grew up in Camp Verde, AZ. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my grandmother quilting, my cat hiding in my aunt’s bag of spinning fiber (best camoflauge ever!) and paying “fort” in that same aunt’s loom. I had no idea how large of an influence these activities would be in my life.
I learned to knit and crochet from my great-grandmother in grade school and sewing and tailoring from my mother. I hated all of it, but the wiser ladies in my family insisted I acquire a basic proficiency in these skills, stating: If you can sew and knit, you will always be able to cloth your children and it can be a good extra income.
It wasn’t until my early 20’s when grown and a new mother, I turned back to the fiber arts that surrounded my childhood. I took a job managing a fabric store and taught classes in sewing techniques and quilting. I started to develop an obsession with taking up spinning and weaving. It was like a siren’s call.
A few years (and states) later, I acquired my first spinning wheel and truly jumped down the rabbit hole. In my quest for making great yarn, I ended up making a lot of mediocre yarn. I didn’t have the space or money for the loom I dreamed of, so I started knitting the fruits of my wheel.
Soon, knitting became a passion and focus of it’s own. With a background in sewing and pattern making, including production garment making and medieval costuming, knitting offered new and intriguing ways to sculpt garments. Before long I phased out of sewing and started taking pattern development and production knitting work. In fall of 2004, accessories I knit (and developed the pattern for) graced a runway at New York Fashion Week in my client’s collection.
Spinning had taken a back seat to knitting, but never left my heart and I never stopped yearning to weave my yarns. A few years ago I sold and donated all my commercial yarns and made a vow to spin what I knit. I went from a huge yarn stash with barely enough spinning fiber to make a hat, to pounds and pound of spinning fiber of all varieties, preparations, and colors. Though I occasionally do give in and purchase some commercial knitting yarns (I purchase more weaving yarns, not sure I’m ready to spin warp yet), I do spin most of personal knitting.
About 3 years ago I finally got a loom of my own. It was a small Dorothy loom and it set my weaving imagination a blaze. I’ve bought, sold and traded a few times since and currently have A Meco with stand and a 4 harness Structo Artcraft. Though I’m still a novice, I’ve been enjoying learning the everything weaving.
I knit samples for a few different yarn shops and take custom orders for knitting. I have several original patterns in development/pre-release stage. I have a few knitted pieces for sale at local shops and will be posting them online as well. My patterns, when released, will be available online and in local yarn shops, and maybe Ravelry.
I spin… everything. I’m obsessing on spinning cotton on a charkha at this moment, but still find nothing more soothing that a nice merino sliding though my fingers. My hand spun yarns are available by custom order, from a few local yarn shops, and online. Check the shop links for current stock.
I offer hand painted tops for spinning and felting. I am getting ready to release hand painted cotton slivers for the cotton obsessed in all of us. My spinning fibers are available by custom order, in local shops or online. Check the shop links for current stock.
I weave. My weaving is not yet for sale. I can’t seem to stop experimenting long enough to produce yet. Weaving for me was 20 years in the waiting so I’m going to take my time and enjoy every moment of it. Stay tunes for updates when I start offering hand wovens for sale.