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.