Monday, November 20, 2006

Needle felt Gnomes

If you have been reading my blog for long, you will have worked out that I like to try out new ideas. One of these is needle felting. Since last Sept @ the Knitting & Stitching Exhibition in Harrogate I have been playing around with Needle felt and here are my latest two creations - Felted gnomes.

I love faeries, goblins & gnomes, so I had a go. They are made in sections then needle felted together. the Beard is fleece naturally that curly that has bee needled into place a tuft at a time to build it up - like Alice's hair.

I am so taken with this new obsession that I'm going to be running Workshops next year for the Spinners Guild & Knit-Wits.

Yarn to Dye for

I have been looking forward to this weeks Coventry Spinners weavers & Dyers workshop for most of the year. Toni took the workshop, which was to produce Self-patterning sock yarn, which has become very popular.

The idea was that each row of a sock takes approximately 1m of yarn, so a long skein could be dyed in 1m sections in a repeated pattern, this producing the pattern. Therefore most people wound 12m skeins, which was a scream to watch.

I did it a little different using a warping Board. The distance between the pegs across the board is approximately 50cm, so wrapping round gave 1m. What I did was todo 5 full wraps then move onto the next set of pegs, building up 3 sections, which I then dyed separately, using:-

Omega Dusty Punk – largest section
Omega Violet
Omega Indigo & left white sections

Each section was wrapped carefully in clingfilm and the whole lot put in a zip-top plastic bag, which was then steamed for 20 minutes. While I was rinsing the violet ‘bled’ onto the Indigo/white sections, turning the white a pale purple/pink – I quite liked this as I did not really want white as such. Toni said that if I had wanted white, then letting the skein dry out thoroughly after the steaming process it should prevent the bleeding.

Once I was rinsing I realized that balling up was going to be a nightmare as it was a tangled mess. Well it took hours to finally ball up all 100g, but the results I do think are worth it. I can’t wait to try it out on the pins…..

Lily's Stripped Poncho

Finished Lily's pink & purple poncho, but as you can see, there are no pictures. This is because the 'little Minx' will not wear it long enough for me to get one. After hours of crochet and an evening dedicated to the tassle fringe, she took one look at it and said that she did not like it!! How can a 2 1/2 year old come to that conculsion so quickly?

Its the right colour - she loves pink & purple.
Its the right design - she has another one in white & lemon

Well I don't know why she does not like it. We have tried not talking about it for a couple of days then getting it out again - the ungrateful little madam. Looks like I had better not start the next one for her.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Update on the spinning demo

The spinning Demo for the Rare Breeds was a wonderful success. there was quite a large turn out, complete with fleeces to demonstrate the sheep that they keep. I did a little off-the-cuff talk on how we prepare the flecce and spin it, as well as a display of some article we have made as a group.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Spinning prep

I'm doing a spinning demo for the Rare Breed's Association on Thurs, so I've been madly going round collecting up random skeins and bits that I've knitted/crocheted up. I am so glad that I made the freeform bag for the Spinners competition earlier this year as it does show off lots of different breeds of fleece - a real sampler of my first adventures in spinning. I've also carded some Jacob's to add to the stash that I've been building ready to make Dad a hat - its all blended bits of white & brown/black.

My wheel is out of commission atm.... after a little 'darling' decided that it was not working properly and so stamped on the peddle from the wrong side. The result was a split leather hinge strap. Aaron has fixed that for me and I picked up a mantanence kit from P&M Wools @ the Masham Fair, so I can replace the band and the Scotch tension.....but.... then I realised that it does actually need the wood treating, so its going to need a good rub down and oiling.

I think the drop spindle is looking appealing for the demo, besides it does demonstrate the ancient art.

More news after Thursday on how it went.

ohh - I've sneakily started a new project - a poncho for Lily out of the same colours I made her hat. It crocheted wonderful in 4-ply, so I must write the pattern and do the photos - it just needs tassles...anyhow more soon, I've just re-written the past 2 sentances twice to correct the spelling.. it must be getting late