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Friday, January 1, 2016

Blanket Blues

First post of the year and I'll start with something I made last year, my one and only handmade Christmas present, a lap blanket for my parents. 


Warp: natural Merino 4 ply from DEA Yarns, dyed rather unevenly by me.  This is a lovely soft yarn.
 Weft:   Alternating rows of  Merino 4 ply yarn (same as warp) and handspun, "Ocean''  pure Corriedale Wool from Anna Gratton Ltd

 Pattern: Monk's Belt from "Handweaver's Pattern Book" by Anne Dixon, p98.
  
 I underestimated how much of the merino 4 ply yarn I would need for the weft and twice had to dye some more.  It was getting a bit desperate as I used up all my navy dye in the first batch and had to mix up something close from my remaining dyes. Blue dyes are definitely on my shopping list once the holiday break is over.  

I was a bit worried that this was a crazy present to give in summer, especially when we have had some really hot and sticky days but my Mum feels the cold a lot now (a chemo side-effect) and she used it while we were staying so I guess it wasn't so crazy after all.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Paua yarn

No, not yarn made from paua, though that would be rather awesome.  Just that the colours of this yarn remind me of paua shells.  I dyed carded wool of an unknown breed and then spun and plied it on itself. I still have a large bag of this wool so will be further dyeing experiments.






Saturday, November 21, 2015

Arty Yarn

From this
 

 to this

to this


My first attempt at arty yarn, lots of things to do differently next time and I might even look at some instructions instead of guessing how to do things. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dyeing experiments

 The Spinners and Weavers group I belong to had a retreat last weekend at Awhitu.  The weather was beautiful, and Saturday was perfect for dyeing. I had a few bags of fibre that other people had given away that I decided to dye in the hope that I will now do something with the results. Everything was dyed using Ashford wool dyes and the microwave method where you paint the dye on and wrap in gladwrap for steaming.  You can find a tutorial on this page.

First up is what we decided is probably mohair, it is very hairy whatever it is 
and has a slight sheen to it. It is the fibre equivalent to having a Welsh Springer Spaniel in the house as it just keeps on shedding.

 Then some carded wool fibre of unknown breed.  


And finally some mohair locks, they're still a bit wet in these photos so the colour is deeper than when they dried.



I'm spinning the locks above with some red merino.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stop shouting, love. Stop making a fuss, it's too late.

I bought a secondhand 4-shaft loom, assembled it and then let it sit in the lounge been taking up room and collecting dust for a month. Finally I decided that I had better do something with it so I whipped out  the copy of the book "The Four-shaft Loom" by Anne Field  and followed the instructions in there for a first project, the result of which you can see below.


Of course there were a few mishaps along the way, mainly due to me not reading all the words before starting but  I got there in the end and learnt quite a bit which is after all the point of practise. My navy wool was slightly thinner than the cream and I beat too hard for most of this project so the twill weaves didn't come out properly.  Then I continued with the same warp and tried out a couple of other yarns for the weft.  About a quarter of the way into using the grey I finally realised that I was beating too hard and after that the twill weave patterns looked a lot better.  The cream and red yarns shrunk more than the grey when I washed  the finished piece which is why it narrows.


I haven't forgotten about my rigid heddle loom though, here's a laptop case and bag I made using a piece I wove on that.  The bluey purple colour is actually a dark purple and I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.  Now I have to decide what to do next, better start something before I forget everything I've managed to learn so far.