Friday, 27 March 2015

Blossom Batts, Pottery and knitting ties

This had been a very constructive week for me so far, not to mention very busy! 
I was featured on the Susan B Anderson blog recently which led to lots of orders in my Etsy shop from her readers- which was totally unexpected but very very exciting! So I have been working over in my Spin City studio creating batts and fibres for all of my lovely new customers. 
Yesterday afternoon I was creating a few blossom batts for an order, and they looked so gorgeous and sweet I posted a picture on Instagram. 
They really do look like blossoms! I've been overjoyed watching the dainty flowers unfurl along my road recently- I always plan to do a watercolour of the plum tree nearby but I never find the time. At least I get to think about the blossom trees while making this gorgeous batt! 
I have also been busy as a spring bee knitting ties for my friends wedding! 

They are a very creative couple and asked me to make 18 (!!) knitted ties for all of the groomsmen. Of course- I said HELL YES.
It gave me a chance to get back on my old 10 guage industrial knitting machine that I used during my knitwear degree. She is beautiful- made in the 40s, she is solid metal and has rows of shining needle teeth, 20 needles (or stitches in hand knitting terms) per inch. That's a lot of needles!
I wanted to make them look really professional- and seeing as I had so many to make, these machines are such a dream to use I sped my way along! 
Each tie was over 800 rows long? And I think it probably took me over a solid working week to make them all if I add up all the hours. 
I knitted it in a semi rib pattern for stability, and made a rainbow of pastels to fit in with their theme. I am so proud of them, and I can't wait to see them on the groomsmen! 
For the last update about my week, it was the final day of term of my pottery class! Noooooo! (Cries) 
I have enjoyed it so much, having two hours put aside on a Thursday to get my hands messy and concentrate on something other than daily life is blissfull, and addictive! 
I made these pots on the wheel last night, and I am very pleased with them. Conquering the wheel is something I want to master next term.
I hope your week has been busy!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Make It Monday! Weave a Scarf with Handspun Yarn!

It's Make It Monday again! I have been pretty obsessed with weaving for a long time now. I love the way threads interlock against eachother and colours blend in a woven fabric- not to mention how delightfully smooshable a hand woven fabric is. 

You don't need a fancy loom to weave on! In fact, building one yourself means you can weave with any yarn you like -  which is great for crazy thick and thin art yarns, or a particularly fluffy or gently twisted handspun. 

Take an old picture frame, some nails and your built up aggression from the working week and hammer a weaving loom together by placing the nails evenly along the top and bottom of your frame.  Take your gorgeous handspun yarns up and down your loom creating a warp, then WEAVE!! 
Weave your thread over and under your warp yarns (called your weft thread) , and gently beat them into a smooth line using your hands or a kitchen fork. 

SO. RELAXING. AHHHH... just feel the stress melting away. :-) 

Rigid heddle looms are also wonderful for handspun yarns - and they have the added benefit of helping to open a "shed" between your warp. (I always laugh at the crazy words used for textile machinery and contraptions! A 'shed' is where your alternating warp threads move to create a gap, leaving you room to place your weft thread through easily. )

The sky is the limit! Weave a scarf! Weave leggins! Weave a wall hanging! Weave a dress! Weave a bag! Weave Weave Weave.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Make It Monday! Handspun Leg Warmers

Handspun Legwarmers, Picture credit: Instagram
I like to post pictures of inspirational things to make with, or ideas for handspun yarn. This week- Handspun legwarmers!

Spin up a quick and dirty bulky yarn, using as much glitter and rainbows as you like -  these babies are for YOU! Who cares if it is thick and thin, or too outrageously chunky for your Mother's knitting needles? We are looking for WARM and HAPPY yarn!

Measure around the widest part of your calf, and make a note. Knit or crochet a rectangle - as long as you want -  which should be slightly skinnier than your measurement, to take into account the natural stretch of knitted fabrics. Add a rib if you want at the bottom -  then cast off and sew into a tube.

Congratulations! You now own crazy beautiful happy legwarmers to wear while watching the latest episode of Better Call Saul while spinning more yarn for your next project. :-)