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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Blending Fibres

Hi Everyone
I've another fibre project to talk about today. This time I've chosen fibres from my stash to develop a few different coloured yarns for some colour work practice. I've a few ideas for some detailed colour work sweaters and cardigans so want to dip into the techniques with a smaller project. The little project will start with wrist warmers which, I think, may turn into more of a gauntlet item. I have a pair of gauntlet/wrist warmers which I find very useful for linking with one of my knitted poncho's  and like the idea of another pair. The gauntlets under the poncho  looks like I'm wearing a fabulous jumper and gives warmth on a cool day.
I do have a pattern inspired by a project from my local knit group. I'll share the details once I get going. The original pattern uses red, natural, light blue colours and I'm aiming to replace my blended colours for the red, I'll keep the natural shade and use dark blue for light blue. 
So far, I've got the blended yarn and the natural. I need to spin some more natural for dying dark blue - hopefully today. I especially love the blended rolags (top right).

             

My little photo story shows the progress of the yarn production from 3 different fibres, a British wool blend and a couple of coloured blended Tops. The images progress clockwise and I'm at the stage where my 2 ply needs a soak before it's ready to use.
I enjoyed making the yarn last night and will try and manage this little project alongside my other current knitting plans. The poncho from yesterday (read back for details) is a simple but very long stocking stitch knit and I need something to give my mind a challenge. Fingers crossed, I can cope !

I'll share the detail of the new knit tomorrow - hopefully I will have cast on.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

On my needles

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing a new project on my needles today. I started the knit at the end of last week and it's growing quite quickly. The pattern is called Simple Poncho and is a very simple knit.
I'm using some of my own spun and dyed yarn for this project. The original wool for my knit first appeared on the blog here and I had hoped it would be destined for a tunic knit. However, there was nowhere near enough yarn for that job and it was a little too lightweight. I would describe the yarn as light fingering.
The yarn has been sitting in my stash waiting for the right knit to come along and that's where I am now. The pattern for the Simple Ponch seems to be the right pattern. There is not enough yarn to complete the whole poncho so my plan is to spin more. The poncho is a very simple knit, as the name suggests. A long piece of stocking stitch - approximately 100 stitches wide (needles size 5mm), is knitted across the body and joined at either side of the neck. The poncho is finished with an i-cord edge at the neck and the bottom of the garment. 
The new yarn (to complete the knit) is to be a natural dyed Indigo yarn, dyed by a friend of mine. I will get the wool next week and start to spin as soon as possible. My idea is to use the Indigo blue to compliment the remaining part of the poncho stocking stitch and the i-cord edges.

                      

I may also develop more of the varieagated yarn in my photo story to give me more options for the stocking stitch. As the yarn is quite fine, the knitted material is draping beautifully and looks very pretty with all the colours giving a soft green/purple/blue mix. I think,by creating a substantial Indigo section, the poncho will wear well with denim. Previous spins with natural dyed Indigo have produced a particular, soft, Matt yarn which will be perfect.
I will give regular updates on my progress with this project so look out for news.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Yarn Necklace Workshop

Hi Everyone
We have very exciting Making Workshop today. This is the third and final workshop in a series of three sessions working towards making a yarn necklace 'from scratch'. Our first session was all about spinning and plying raw wool using a drop spindle. The second session concentrated on dying the prepared yarn with food colouring. Our third session will 'play' with the prepared yarn, designing a necklace. We will add beads and/or embroidery threads and possibly more yarn. We also have the opportunity to add extra fibres using dry felting techniques to embellish the ncklaces

                                 
                     

I've developed a range of sample necklaces which use a variety of the embellishments previously mentioned. My yarn has a boucle effect ie an over spun look. The resulting necklaces are using the boucle effect particularly and I didn't want to distract from the structure and colours of the yarn. I have used some small seed beads and limited amounts of embroidery thread but I like the simple look of the yarn. I will add to the design and develop some more detail to the necklaces but Im keen to retain the mainly wool necklace.
I'm looking forward to seeing what people come up with in the workshop. I'll take some photos to share.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Shibori

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing the results of a great experience over the weekend. A lovely friend arranged a couple of places on a Shibori dying session (for us) on Saturday. We have been talking about Shibori for quite some time and this session somehow appeared on our radar. For those of you that are not familiar with Shibori , Shibori is a Japanese manual resist dyeing technique, which produces patterns on fabric.
 Although, I had a reasonable idea about how to achieve the Shibori patterns, from watching YouTube videos, I had a great time learning and experimenting with the techniques. What a fabulous experience, I loved it. The process was demystified to a certain extent, however, as with all these things - there is much to learn. Ultimately, my plan is to organise a my own dye shed in my very small garden. We do have the actual shed but it needs a complete re design in terms of making it work as somewhere to dye material.
Our tutor (on Saturday) introduced many different techniques for making varied patterns using a natural Indigo bath. My favourite colour happens to be blue so I was very excited to see what I could achieve. I'd already decided that I would take along a piece of white cotton fabric which will eventually become part of a dress. During our session, we were presented with a range of everyday items which helped form patterns on the fabric. Things like wooden flat shapes, pegs, stones, string, cotton, rubber bands and more. The idea is to use these various items to tie and fold around the material to be dyed. The resist that is created by the tying process prevents the dye from seeping into the fabric and the patterns are created after dipping into the Indigo bath. It's quite magical.
Here is a quick look at the Shibori dyed fabric :

                  

                    

I have a pattern in mind for my dress and am wondering if I now need to dye the remaining fabric (currently white) blue ? I think, I do !
Will keep you informed of my progress and the plans for the 'dye shed'.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Finished Object

Hi Everyone
I'm so happy to be sharing my latest finished object ie the knitting item I've had on my needles for a very short time. It's been such a pleasure to knit this pattern. I shared my early progress here where I give the background to the Belsyde shawl pattern. I can't quite believe how quick this has knit up. I think, I'm quite a slow knitter but this shawl was so VERY quick to appear. I followed the stitch pattern (mostly) but used a range of colour blocks along the whole length. Look back to my previous link for images of the original colour scheme.

            

The colours (left side) look slightly odd in my photo story because of poor lighting - the right hand images are more of a true colour. As you can see, I'm in the process of blocking and it's looking lovely already. I'm hoping it will be ready to wear soon. I'll get some better photos when it's dry and draping around my shoulders.
The yarn is Dovestone DK in three colours -  BrassBand,Viking and Aire. I love the combination and the stitch patterns look subtle and interesting. This yarn features heavily in almost all my recent knitted garments. I have lots left so can see another item appearing, I just need to find the right pattern. My stash has more colours too, I'm thinking about some colour work. There are a number of options in my head already.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend.