16 июля 2010 г.

First handspun

В прошлую субботу я ходила на 2 часовое занятие по прядению шерсти. Прясть я училась на веретене, не русском (по стилю) а с крючком сверху - очень удобно. До этого я где то неделю мучила ютюб по поводу прядения и не могла понять почему у меня пряжа распадается. Оказывается на ютюбе не рассказали что надо делать с пряжей после прядения - и в этом все дело. А ее надо просто помыть и высушить =))) А еще мне понравился класс из за того что у меня была возможность попрясть разные волокна - я спряла мериносика, корридейл, яка, шетланд и даже шелковый платочек. Просто супер. Моя наставница дала мне домой шерсти попробовать и среди нее был кусок нестиранной шерсти прям с овцы, весь такой жирный в ланолине, так его кот украл у меня и так я его и не нашла. А еще я купила 2 веретена =)

Last Saturday I've been to a spinning class where I've learned to spin on a drop spindle. It was quite fun and I learned some little tricks that I was not able to learn from YouTube video tutorials. At the end of the session my instructor gave me a little bag with miscellaneous fiber samples so I could try them out and I 've spun them. Here they are:
That left hank is yak plied with merino - very soft with quite a natural look about it color wise. Love it.
Beside it is a sample of Aurelia Topknot which is a mix of three tops - Merino, Corriedale and Halfbred. It spins up quite nicely and great for a beginner to feel the difference between those three tops. I am pretty much able to tell now which is which, although they are not marked colorwise. Next little beauty used to be a single hand painted silk hankie. Lovely! So vibrant, so strong and has a such a gorgeous sheen - I think I am gonna use it to crochet some piece of jewelry.
Next is a little yak skein - the same one I plied with merino to make the first hank.
And on your right is 2-ply Shetland, which is the what I've been spinning in class. It's a bit rough for my taste, but it is one of the easiest spins and great training fibre.
There was another little piece of rainbow colored pencil roving which I have already spun and turned into freeform lariat. (will show it sometime after) and yet another piece of unwashed fleece, cat liked a lot and stole it from me (still can't find it)

I also got two top whorl drop spindles made by Louet. They are priced very nicely for beginners.I do realize they are not pieces of art you can see in spindle isle of the yarn shops, but are quite good for beginners and are very simple. I did not find them polished enough however, so I polished them a bit more with a 4-step nail file block (I thought it is quite a cheap but effective way).

Now the are perfectly fine for my taste!

13 июля 2010 г.

Recycling Challenge

Обожаю переделывать вещи - новое из старого. Недавно вступила в группу на равелри посвященную ресайклу пряжи. Специально пошла в секонд-хенд в поисках какого нибудь объекта для переделки и нашла мохеровый свитер, очень красивый, но какого то линялого цвета. Распустила его, покрасила пищквыми красителями пряжу и связала вот такой шарфик с добавлением бусинок

I love recycling and upcycling! I was looking for ever more recycling challenges and inspiration on Ravelry and found a group called UnRavelers that is dedicated to recycling yarn from used sweaters, blankets and other products. I have already tried recycling fulled woolen sweaters and thought I should try to save some yarn from no longer wanted sweaters too.
I loved the process! It's time consuming, but I do find the effort quite worthy and there is such a handmade "aura" about the the product!
So I picked up a sweater which almost lost it's color and beauty in my local charity thrift store. It was made of 80% mohair yarn. I unraveled it (oh, and it was a pain to do it! Mohair is definitely not a fiber I would recommend unravelling to a beginner, made a hank, hand dyed it using Kool-Aid (what a fun process!), hand washed with mild handmade soap and dried. There I had my new very cool yarn which looked completely renewed and rejuvenated and smelled like a fresh grape vine (thanks to Kool-Aid). So I decided to add some sparkle (by adding handpicked random glass, crystal and plastic beads) and make it into a freeform scarf.

 This scarf is now available for purchase in my ETSY stop.  

2 июля 2010 г.

Baby legwarmers and hat set

А вот что я еще на днях связала - шапульку и гетрики на новорожденного из мягкого мериносика

Here is another of my recent creations: baby legwarmers and hat made for my coming baby boy Danil. I am not really sure about the size, I will only be able to comment on it when he is born. I love legwarmers on kids - it's a super awesome and versatile accessory. It's one of very few projects to make for a baby that will not be outgrown in less time you spent to make it. It can be used as leg or arm warmers and later on can be transformed into fingerless gloves. I tried to make this project to be newborn size (or 3-6 months) but my 2 year old daughter gave them a try as arm warmers one cool evening. So go ahead, make some!

 Here is the description - if you want to make this:

Customize amount of stitches and rows to fit your needed size.

Start at the top of each leg warmer. Make a strip 10 stitches wide (11 sts foundation chain) in half-double crochet in back loops only. You can measure the leg in cm where you want your top to be (below or above the knee) and figure out amount of rows needed. I made 24 rows. When you’re done your required length (diameter of the leg) join your last row with the foundation chain using any method you prefer (I did this through back loops using slip knots). You should now have a very stretchy upper part (can I call it cuff? - don’t know, pardon my English). I planned switching yarn and I also have trouble every time I making paired things, so I made both cuffs at once to make sure they are same.

Middle part - join yarn with your cuff and single crochet in rounds. To make both leg warmers absolutely identical and perfect write down how many stitches you’ve got in your first round and in what rows you make your decreases and how many of them. I am not patient enough to make those notes, so I pretty much eye ball it. And of course I had to frog it several times and start over at some point.

The bottom cuff I wanted to make exactly like the top one, but narrower of course, but after my daughter gave them a try (she put them on as arm warmers) I realized that it was probably not necessary and since I wanted to use different yarn for top and bottom I changed my yarn and worked three more rounds in half double crochet. Voila! Great 1-day and less than 1 skein (for newborn size) project.

Now about the yarn:
I used Colinette Jitterbug yarn for this project. Although I quite like the feel and rich color of this yarn, I am not impressed with it. For the price this yarn is sold I got around 10-15 knots and 3 major colorway changes within half of the skein. Dark blue parts have problems with friction felting (not so much noticeable in lighter JAY colorway) and already look old and warn although they are new.

The hat is made with leftover of the same yarn to complement legwarmers. As always no real pattern used, therefore I am not sure about sizing, I might have to frog and remake it because my baby is due in July, and probably won’t need a woolen hat for several months. I have just a tiny bit of yarn left. We’ll see.

Back to the hat. As I had a bit of that lighter Jay color I made the stretchy hat part of it. Chain 11, and work 10 sts per row front and back half-double crochet in back loops only, until desired length is reached (measure headband), than join your last row with the initial chain and start crocheting in rounds around the headband. I did not join rounds with a slip stitch, but worked in a spiral. For me it’s a nicer way - you wont have noticeable joints.
I actually quite like how the hat turned out, stretchy when required, customizable to your baby’s head and I hope it to be comfortable.

Kool Aid summer play

В первый раз я опробовала красить красить шерсть. Для этого я использовала пищевые красители (у нас - в виде напитков кул-эйд без сахара, а России - краски для пасхальных яиц) с добавлением уксуса и тепловой обработки. Таким образом можно красить шелк и шерсть.
Результаты мне очень понравились в плане яркости - буду продолжать эксперименты.

Kool Aid drinks are made for summer time plays, but do you really want to drink it? I certainly don't. I found a great use for these small but powerfull packs - they are now bringing more color to my wool yarn stash. Here are what my experiments turned into so far:

Everything was colored in my crock pot, which turned out to be quite small for the job, so the bottom part of the hank stayed white and I have to move the yarn to color it evenly. I don't mind white spots however, they look nice to me. Now I need to find a perfect project to use these candies.

Красила все в своем кроке, это такая медленно-варка, за неимением лучшего слова. Места там оказалось немного и нижний слой плохо прокрасился, так как верхний красочку очень быстро впитал.

Шерсть пойдет на шерстяный подгузники (напопники) для мелкого Даньки =)