Thursday, December 17, 2009


Scrap of bushes this time!
After pruning all round these last dry crisp days. I found the cuttings from that common garden work-horse shrub, Spirea, long and bendy forming the woody basis of a wreath quite easily. I didn't set out to do this but it just seems to transpire, especially since I'd ripped out the dead stems from crocosmia and these make great binders wrapped round the bent wood. (Wonder could I spin them?). The Bay tree had got way too big for it's boots - a harsh frost would burn it's top peeping over a sheltering conifer - so that got incorporated as did an ewe branch and several clippings from variagated Euonymus.
The result:

Of course, Oisin had to get in on the act!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Scraps hat

Last year's November was frozen feet month, this year's December was frozen head month so when I saw "Tahoe Hat" by Jill Smith-Mott in Winter 2009, and seeing all the little balls of my dyed hand spun all over the place, I thought I'd combine some of them to toast my head. The mag.'s hat is one of those dinner-plate shaped ones which I find a bit tricky to get a to fit snugly so I went for the dome shape instead.
scarp hat10
Oisin Investigates!

scarp hat6
As worn by a jar of wolly bits.

scarp hat9
I'm quite well disposed to this as it was roasting while out at night in the recent frost.

Alpa=Silk scarf

Taking some of the alpaca-silk blended and spinning a thin single then 2-ply it then cable-ply the 2-plyd strands together gave a soft medium weight yarn. It doesn't come over as a cabled yarn - i.e. with that twisted cable look and feel - it's too soft for that I suppose. But it gave it enough bulk to do Stormy Rectangle Scarf, a free pattern from Classic Elite Yarns , to make a scarf for my son. It looked like a simple pattern - just series of knit or purl stitched arranged in groups to make the basket-weave type pattern but for some reason, I defeated me several times. Don't know why that is - it just kept "wrong footing" me in some way so I have to write down every row I was on despite the nice little chart as well as worded instructions in the pattern.
It's a ltlle bit - scratchy os too harsh a word, but it's less silky than I thought it would be but it's tolerable and very soft and nice to stroke. It must be very warm.
Alpaca silk scarf6
Alpaca silk scarf8
Alpaca silk scarf4
Hope Mark likes it .

Knit ted complete

KnitTed has eyes - acquired at out KnitTea knitting group Wednesday last. Just couldn't stand the yarn in his red and white scarf - too synthethicy - I've become a yarn snob! - but he has a new hand spun one.
Has to be stored up high as red dog has designs on him.
knit Ted0001

Monday, December 7, 2009

Shibori sample

After reading an account of how to place threads during weaving so as to leave patterns on the cloth after dyeing, I thought I had a good use for all that cotton thread I bought in Lidyls over a year ago - just because it was a bargain.
The account is in an old "the Wheel" magazine (issue 18 2006) and it seemed attractive to make suptle patterns on fabric woven using the rigid heddle loom (Ashford Knitteers Loom). It also offered a chance to try using an additional stick to make additional sheds while having just one heddle.
Doubts crept in when I read that mercerized cotton had improved dye absorbency over non-mercerized - so before even planning to spin for an large project, it seemed like a good idea to try it on a small sample of woven handspun wool.
Here is the crumpled little sausage with the in-woven threads drawn tight to make a crumpled sausage and KoolAid lemonLime added. Well - there is no sign of the thread taking up any of the dye though the cloth has slurped up 2 sachets immediately.


Rinsing in the sink - no change
A peek inside the now dry cloth - yes! there is some sign of a pattern!
Another peek ...
Carefully take out the threads - a simple little patter there all right.
What a difference a steam iron makes!
This seems worth doing all right - but will require spin, spin, spin, weave, weave... and fairly boring stuff until the color comes into it.
Will I have the patience? Time will tell I suppose

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Eyeless KnitTed

Wove some material using handspun - the golden dyed Galway fleece for warp and the brown alpaca from Waterford for weft.
For some reason I thought it would be impossible to cut it into a shape and sew it on a sewing machine. This proved to be dead wrong as it was pretty easy to handle when I cut out a rough teddy shape and sewed it up. It didn't catch on the machines moving "feet". stuffed this teddo with some of the waste fleece left form carding many moons ago. I thought I had a lot, but boy! - it takes more stuffing than I thought to fil out a smallish bear!
It turned into a knitting job 'though - using bits of handspun, to dress him. He, aka KnitTed, is almost done but still has no eyes. Hoping to get good ones form Roseanne Wednesday next - then he can see.