Archive for September, 2011

Busy Busy!

Yesterday I spent most of the day hanging out with SCA people working on projects, it was lots of fun and I finished the rainbow cowl! Yay! I also got a couple very nice complements on the yarn I was using, which I spun myself, that made me feel really good. Here are a couple pictures of the finished cowl before blocking.

the cowl before blocking

it's a Mobius cowl, hence the twist

the cowl is rolled up in a towel drying into the shape I want it- hopefully!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cowl isn’t dry yet, but I’m hoping that the edges won’t curl up as badly once it’s blocked. I will post finished pictures, probably tomorrow, once it’s all dry.

After all that fun yesterday I really wanted to do more fiber stuff today, but I really didn’t feel like casting on the mittens that I have planned as my next knitting project, and was not in an embroidery mood. So I finally started spinning the beautiful fiber I got last Christmas in Arizona.

I don’t remember the exact blend, but it’s mostly, if not all, wool and I’m pretty sure at least some of it is merino. It’s wonderfully soft! I decided I want to spin it quite thin and then ply it, although I haven’t decided if I want to do 2- or 3-ply yet, we’ll have to see how the singles go first. Once I started spinning it I remembered why I tend to spin chunky yarn, spinning really thin, and keeping it even, is hard! I kept getting too thin and it would break, and it took me a while to get the draw tension and pedaling ratio right, and I’m used to it being pretty simple. This will be a good exercise though. And this stuff just looks and feels so light and airy it really needs to be thin so it can be made into a lacy shawl or shrug of some kind.

So here’s the little bit of yarn I have spun up already.

yarn on the wheel

I really like how the colors are coming out. In the roving you can see bits and pieces of darker blues and sort of purpley and a little bit that’s almost orange but it all kinda blends together into one shade which is still quite nice. I noticed pretty quickly as I started spinning it that the colors tended to separate out and almost stripe a bit, which I’m starting to like. I’m hoping that when I ply it I can get the colors in the different plies offset from each other so it gets a tweedy look, I find I tend to like that method of blending colors in my yarns. I only got as far as what is done in the picture though because I had to stop and get dinner (it’s really hard to concentrate on spinning when your stomach is growling!) and after dinner I’ve now decided I’m too sleepy and zoney to continue working on spinning that requires that much concentration. Hopefully my fiber working streak continues to tomorrow so I can get more done!

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Needle Felted feather

My friend Ramon naalbinds (it’s a very old fiber technique which is sometimes called one needle knitting but isn’t actually knitting, it’s cool stuff) and makes these neat hats that he then wet felts.

this isn't the exact hat, but it's close

They always seem to have a little point at the top (I don’t know if it’s on purpose but its neat) and he has one that he wears a lot and folds the brim up on the sides and kinda looks like a Robin Hood hat.He was mentioning at the fiber arts fest this past August that he thinks it needs a feather and I said, Ooooo I could totally needle felt one for it! So now I finally finished the feather.

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To make the feather I cut a thin strip of commercial felt, which I ended up folding in half both for size and sturdiness, which I used to make the central structure of the feather (I know there’s a technical name for that part of the feather but I’m not real worried bout it). Then I covered the commercial felt in the wool roving that was the color I wanted for the feather, so I could make it the right color and shape it so it’s more round. Making the actual feathery bits was a lot trickier cause I really had no plan for that. So, I stretched the wool roving out until it was very airy and loose and just tacked it to the center of the feather. I decided that wasn’t sturdy or thick enough alone so I added a couple more layers of that in spots and did some very tentative poking all over the feathery bits until it looked like the texture I wanted it. But what really made it look like a feather was cutting the edges to the right shape, I don’t think I could have just felted it into the shape I wanted, which is what I usually try to do, so I’m glad I thought to just trim it. And we have a feather! Now it’s just to unite it with the hat and see how it looks, sadly that may take a while cause the hat is in the Twin Cities, but I will post a picture when they’re together!

 

P.S. I’m trying out using the slideshow instead of the gallery for the pictures, let me know what you think!

First needle-felted project

My mom just sent me a picture of the first project I ever knitted, Tux the linux penguin, and cause I love him and he’s probably my favorite thing I have felted yet I have to post the picture!

Rainbow Cowl and picture set-up

Last night I cast on for a basic cowl out of yarn that I spun!

Not the best pictures but they give you an idea.

It’s the first, scratch that, second time I’ve ever knit with my own handspun yarn, and I’m excited! I don’t know how the project is going to turn out, I’ve never made a cowl of any sort before and I decided to make a Mobius strip cowl just to make things a bit more fun. I want the stockingette to be right side out (that means the side that looks like it has a bunch of V’s is the front, for non-knitters) but, well, stockingette has a tendency to curly up at the edges so now I’m thinking I maybe should have done a little shaping to make the middle slightly larger than the edges, because so far it’s curling so that it’s all wrong-side out. We’ll see, I’m not willing to tray and change things now cause I’d have to rip it all out and it’s just as much an experiment as an attempt to make something nice, and I’m not very far into it yet so things could change.

The yarn is behaving quite nicely though which makes me happy! It’s really quite even, especially compared to the other handspun stuff of mine that I worked with. There are definitely some bulkier spots, and some finer spots, and the yarn overall is quite bulky, but I wanted it bulky, and it works well for this use.

While taking those pictures, I realized I need a good set-up for taking pictures of my work. I’ve seen how-to’s online for simple and cheap camera set-ups for pictures of small things and I know I bookmarked them, guess I better go dig them up.

Andy’s Quilt

Andy’s quilt is now returned from the quilt show! And I got some good pictures of it too.

I made the quilt for his birthday cause he likes practical gifts and I’m a lot better at sentimental gifts so I figured a nice bed quilt was a good mid-point. The colored stripes are dots and dashes spelling out words using Morse Code. Each time the color changes it is a new letter, so if there are 3 dashes and 2 dots (just a random combination, it may not actually be in there) that are all right next to each other in the same fabric, they are all part of the same letter. The first word is his name and the last two words are amo te (an approximate translation of I love you into Latin which Andy did many years ago) and the rest are descriptors of him and things I love about him. They are as follows, in no particular order: silly, thoughtful, geeky, caring, handsome, brilliant, loving, kind, funny and helpful.

A beginning!

I am starting this blog as a way to motive myself to keep working on my fiber projects. I love working with fiber using any technique I can find, but when I don’t have a deadline or someone else to make things for it’s really easy for me to push fiber stuff to the bottom of my to-do list. So I am going to start posting about my projects, new ideas, and inspirations on this blog as a way to keep myself accountable for actually doing the things I love!

As to what to expect to see on here, I work in many fiber techniques including needle felting, knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning, embroidery, sprang and any other techniques I discover or feel like trying out. I will be posting links to cool fiber related websites and plan to post lots of pictures of work I’m doing and cool projects I find as well as things that inspire me which could be anything from other art pieces to landscape pictures to strange looking cracks in the sidewalk. If you have suggestions for website I should check out or techniques I should try I would love to hear them! Just leave a comment on this blog and I will check them out

Now, to make this first post more interesting since it’s just a lot of text, some pictures of things I have made!

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