Saturday, October 13, 2012

Swallow Tail Shawl

Quite a transformation. From solar dyed unknown wool not even weighing 100 g.

Being knitted up in one single strand. A first for me.
Using this free pattern;

Finished with yarn to spare.

Blocking at 132cm by 53 cm.

And gorgeous it is in the Pastels I called "Faded Dutch Flag"

Friday, October 5, 2012

A no fibre nor yarn project.

This project does not involve fibre nor yarn. But is very suitable to accompany a (fibery) gift. Especially if you have more then a few words to share or things to include.

I have made many of these cards and have been asked to share the 'instructions'.

Here I go;

Please note before you start read and look through all these instructions first.

You need;

2 pieces of stong thin cardboard; 12 cm square (for the covers)
2 pieces of decorative paper;; 16 cm square (for the covers)
3 pieces of coloured paper in one colour; 21cm square. This is a the size of a 'squared' sheet of A4 paper. (for the inside)
A piece of ribbon; 80-90 cm long.
A glue stick and a

Start by covering your cardboard cover pieces.

 Glue a piece of card board in the centre on the wrong side of each decorative piece of paper.

Fold and glue two opposite sides of the decorative paper around the cardboard;

Then envelope fold  and glue the other sides too.

Have a look at the right sides of these covers and decide which one looks visually the nicest to use as a top cover for the card.

Now  you'll need to fold the 3 pieces of coloured paper each the same way.
This is a bit tricky to explain, but if you look at the photos you'll be able to work it out.
(You can opt to make a trial of scrap paper first, so you won't waste it if it goes wrong)

Fold a triangle and open up.

 Fold in half and open up

Fold in half again, the other way and open up.

The folds on your paper will look like this now.

Shape this piece into (what I call) a 'frog head' by pushing the triangle folds in and leaving the square sides top and bottom.

Do this for each of the three pieces.

 Next you hook the pieces together, so you can glue them together.
The middle piece of paper is facing with its opening towards you, the other two pieces are facing with their opening away from you. (see above photo)
Hook the pieces together with the square sides touching. 
These square sides need to be glued together precisely. Taking care no glue extends over the folding lines. 

Folded out you can see the yellow two 'dots' indicating where the three pieces have been glued.

Folded up it will look like this; (sorry I initially forgot to take a photo of this stage and had to add one with different colour paper)

Next you lay your bottom cover in front of you, taking care you are happy with the decorative print direction.
The side closest to you will be the 'bottom' side of the card.

Glue your piece of ribbon central and horizontally across this piece of cover.

Glue the cards "inside" onto this cover.

Take note that the opening of the card will be at the bottom Right corner.

Glue the top cover onto the top of the cards "Inside".

Once dried you can tie the ribbon around.

You now have created a fold out card with enough space to be a letter too.

You can add small pictures, quotes, poems, recipes, notes or photos in the spaces available between the folds.

I think this is worth while sharing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Unknown white wool

A bargain found at the second hand shop. NZ$10.00 for 2.5 kgs of washed and carded white wool.
Gorgeously soft and fluffy.

I am spinning it up for a jersey, so that requires some skeins.
I am onto the 7th skein now. Still spinning.....

It is not too exciting a job all that white. So I am switching over to other projects to make it more fun as I go.
Its handy to have more then 1 wheel for that reason.

(Added to this post on 2/10/12;)

I have finished spinning this yarn.

It totals at;
I think for needles 5.5-6.5 mm

Quite some mountain of wool!

Will it stay white or shall I dye it?
Whos jersey is it going to become?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Old news.

 I found some photos of fibre I spun years ago! They hadn't made it into this Blog yet.
So here they are;

Lovely white romney wool, dyed with the cold pour method with yellow, blue and red. Yes, it is amazing what range of colours may appear when you do that!

Plied u[p it looked like this;

It was enough for a warm pair of socks for me and a Beanie for daughter Else.

Augustines vest

 A friend had baby nr 6 last week, a gorgeous little girl named Augustine.

Cause for a little gift surely!

Knitted up this vest with buttons on one side for ease of dressing. I used this pattern;

 Then added some booties using this pattern;

How Cute is that!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Finally socks!!!!

It was a long time coming.
But Kiki's socks are finally finished.
Now don't think it took me all this time to knit them, because that isn't the case.
I just got side tracked with doing other things and these socks waited patiently all through those other projects to be finished.

Just to refresh your mind; this is how they started off

and now

"Patient Purple Socks";

Knitted Two at the time and "Toe up" according to this pattern

And they are identical!!

WWSIP 2012

You may or may not have realised, but yesterday, Saturday 15th of September was "World Wide Spin in Public" day.

Its a yearly event that has been around for a while, so people say.
The aim is to educate the public on the craft of spinning, its history and its place in our community today. A demonstration of sorts.

Most people have never seen someone spinning before.
Sadly a lot of children do not even realise a sheep grows wool that can be processed into yarn for woolen garments.
Some have never seen a sheep, nor seen someone knitting before either. Even here in NZ where we have such a vast amount of sheep!
Times have changed.

Yet spinning, knitting, crochetting, weaving and felting are today surprisingly popular crafts and the fibre craft community is large and steadily growing. Just look at the Ravelry community of two thousand members world wide and think that must be the tip of the iceberg as by far not every fibre craft person is a member there, has a computer or technological fascilities like that to connect with the international community. 

I've recently started a Spinning group in our local town. We only count 5 members as its beginning stages yet.
World Wide Spin in Public day seemed a good opportunity to get some PR done and perhaps find some people interested in joining in with us.

Thus we set out with a small display and our wheels and plonked ourselves in the local public library for a couple of hours.

Unfortunately it was not all that busy that day, but we had a good time anyway.
Some children came and enthusiastically investigated what we were doing. A little girl said "look they are doing Sleeping Beauty!" But a lot of the adults were too shy to come up and have a good look or talk with us. Some did though and were very surprised to see this craft in action. Most of them had no idea about spinning.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A bit of diversion

Sometimes I need some diversion from the daily grind and routines.
It's busy on the farm right now, with calving season on the go. The weather is not the best, although here in the southern hemisphere we've just entered our spring season. The daffodils are up, trees are budding,but its cold, wet and windy most of the time, with the emphasis on wet.

When I need some cheering up, there's nothing like playing with colour and fibre.

I had a lot of white washed and carded fibre. Spun enough for a jersey over time but still had fibre left.

Then came a nice sunny weekend and I gave solar dying a go.

Basically this means, you add prepared fibre (soaked in water/ vinegar) to a large jar, add acid dye(s) and water/vinegar and leave the closed jar in the sun to heat up to set the dye.

Thats what I did. putting it together didn't take more then 15 min. And then the waiting began.

But the sun wasn't strong enough just yet to finish the job as the dye was still visible in the water surrounding the fibre. I finished it off by putting the jars in a pot with water to bring to the simmer for a while.

I can see that this method would be great to use over the summer. If you need bigger amounts of fibre, you can use buckets, plastic bags or 100 litre drums or what ever you have lying around.

It does require more patience then other methods probably, depending on the sun's strength.

Here are the results of my trial ; 4 lots of about 100g in very different tones;

 "Vibrant Orange" (I used red/orange/yellow acid dye)

"Purple Pleasure" (I used hot pink, violet and turqoise)

"Soft Daffodils in green" (I used sky blue and yellow dye)

And "Faded Dutch Flag" (I used red and blue dye, but not enough)

Quite a nicely layered and happy cake, I would say.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dartmoore fleece processed.

In January this year I joined a group in Auckland and with friends we spend a day dyeing wool according to the Dartmoore project.
You can read about that here;

It took all day and we ended up with 1white fleece of our sheep Anisha, transformed into 48 different dyelots of colours. As you can see below.

A third of that I took home and spun and plied....during the Ravelry Tour the fleece event.
This event saw spinners from all over the world 'compete' in a virtual way, by spinning each day during the Tour the France. Having a rest day during the bikers rest days and spinning something challenging during the challenge days too. Just for the fun of it. We shared our results and chatted  on the ravelry group. There were prizes and giveaways...I must say it was very motivating to get a lot of spinning done! 

I ended up with 4 skeins of beatiful yarn in very lovely colours, plied with a barberpole effect.

Then I picked a simple shawl pattern and knitted a shawl.

I did that during the Ravelympics.
You, guess....On ravelry again; different virtual events could be entered by members for all kind of projects to be done.
Again just for fun and amusement and lots of motivation just by sharing with others the progress made.
I entered the 'Shawl sailing' event. But I did not make it to the finish line in time. Althoug I knitted the bulk of it while watching the Olympics as often as possible. Which coincided with evening times here.

This is the result. I am very happy with how this turned out.

I am a slow knitter and each row counted 300 stitches............Also calving time started on the farm so that did not leave too much time for knitting.
But I did it and finished the shawl by simply knitting till I ran out of wool.
I realy wanted to keep all the colours of the Dartmoor dyed fleece together in one garment.
I am glad I did.