29 October 2011

Pattern: Puka

Here it finally is - the pattern for Puka, my shape shifting cowl:

Me wearing one combination:

Puka Cowl

Group shot:

Puka Cowl

Life and knitting: Craft Fairs

Craft Fairs...I love them and I loathe them :-)
But mainly I love them!

Yesterday saw me venturing out to the Dutch Craft Fair held in Rotterdam, accompanied by my good friend and fellow knit-spinner Shaby.
Another woman who is not afraid of texture and colours.

Here she is, exchanging knitting secrets with a wonderful gentleman!

Sharing secrets

You should see his socks!


And this is my loot:

The loot

So, what do we have, from the bottom row up:

Part of a 1kg undyed hank of yarn, courtesy of Bart Francis. I'm contemplating how to dye this. Probably I will not kettle-dye, but paint it. And this one's mine!

5 packs of Sari Silk Fibers, three packs Polylux Fibers in Metallic and one pack each of Polylux Fibers in very colourful and Mulberry Silk in natural. I'm looking forward to card and spin this

And the top row consists of three balls of Grignasco Loden, courtesy of Astrid's Dutch Obsession. I really have to visit her shop in Zwolle!

There were barely any art yarn, roving or spinning related stalls. I loved that I could get some yarns that are usually hard to get hold off (Koigu - which I didn't get...yet), but only very little buttons, one booth with roving and cones, none with batts (other than the Landelijke Spingroep, who lured me into their wide open arms.

So - I think I will have to go there next year with my own produce and set up a stall. I don't know how yet, but it's a goal and I love the idea.

I also ordered some wonderful buttons - aren't they gorgeous?


The yarn in the picture is a 90's acrylic abomination unto Nuggan plied with some handspun BFL Humbug.
They look good together and will make a nice scarf or cowl. Especially in combination with the buttons.

And I still have a lot more yarn and a pattern to photograph! But I'm going to start with more coffee and some breakfast, what do you think?

23 October 2011

Crochet: Yes, I do that, too

The weather has been amazing the last couple of days!
Dry, sunny and with a certain chill in the air.
The days get noticably shorter and it's still dark when we get up. And it's twilight when we get home.

But nature is amazing right now! Acorns everywhere, chestnuts and mushrooms. Not of the edible kind, at least not as far as I can tell, but simply due to the moisture under the trees.

I still try to wear my sandals or Birkenstocks and get dew on my toes. I love dew on my toes!

Earlier today the view outside my living room window inspired me.
I had this handspun yarn around for a while and now I knew what I wanted to make:

Pumpkin Patch and headbands

So mundane, yet so wonderful. And useful. For me not right now, this still takes a while (oops, I think I gave away my secret now), so these will hit the shop.
Pumpkin Patch (that's the yarn) is already listed.
Four more creations are currently being washed and will hang to dry in the shimmery autumn evening.

So - yes, I crochet, too. I usually forget about the older brother of knitting, but I used to love crochet. Hats, tops, scarves...and now headbands.
There will be more :-)
Because I have some amazing buttons coming my way! I show you when they arrive!

And now lunch is calling! Later, my lovelies!

17 October 2011

Knitting: Pattern for Through the heather published

My first pattern for sale!

I had lots of fun figuring this one out, I've worn it out myself already and I love it!
It's easy, it's quick and makes a cozy and warm cowl!
Made out of super bulky yarn - commercial or your fabulous handspun!
Cables of a different kind!
Thick needles!

Through the heather

Through the heather

16 October 2011

Dyeing: Pickled Sheep, Part 2

Remember my first Pickled Sheep experiment?

I wasn't too happy with two of the skeins and had decided to give them another bath in onion skins.
Well, they are currently well under way, but this is what they look now:

When I started:

Natural Dyeing Experiment, Part 2

Just now, about three hours later:

Natural Dyeing Experiment, Part 2

My Mom had seen the previous pictures and liked them very much - I think I might have found my Christmas present for her :-)

Some more dyeing for the shop is currently going on, with one yarn only for the winter season. Something very special! But so beautiful - and it takes dye like a dream!

Things are cooking in my kitchen

Wool-silk-nylon-silver blend, kettle-dyed.
Looks amazing!

And of course - a Doctor Who inspired dye bath:

Dyeing is the only answer

Many more to come!

01 October 2011

Dyeing: the onion skin experiment - aka Pickled Sheep

So, the last couple of months I had collected onion skins.
Red and yellow.
Mine and the ones left in the crates in the supermarket.

Yesterday I set the experiment up:
3 hanks of woll-silk-bamboo sock yarn
mixed onion skins
water and vinegar
one large pot

One hank I untwisted and left ot loose, no strings attached.
One hand I left twisted
One hank I untwisted and tied with white cotton.

Then I soaked them in water and vinegar and went for my usual swimming session.
When I returned I changed the water, put the onion skins in, brought it to a simmer, threw the hanks in and left it alone for about an hour.

dyeing with onion skins

Came back, looked in amazement at the colour that had developped, turned the stove off and left it standing overnight.

dyeing with onion skins

Just now I took the hanks out of their bath, rinsed them and hung them to dry.

The loose skein:

dyeing with onion skins

The twisted skein:

dyeing with onion skins

dyeing with onion skins

The inside remained natural coloured, I might overdye it with just yellow onion skin to get a different effect. Too much white left for my taste.

The tie-dye skein:

dyeing with onion skins

dyeing with onion skins

dyeing with onion skins

Like this better than the twisted skein, though next time I will not double the length over and tie, but tie in the round.

A really interesting experiment! The three skeins are now hanging to dry, afterwards I will give them a gentle wash and work with them. Well, one will hit the shop, one will get another round in the dye bath and the tie-dye is going to be used to re-knit a pattern I want to publish soon - the shawlette you can see in one of my earlier posts.

And that all happened before coffee or breakfast!