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Archive for January, 2009

All of the dyed tops (I think they are called tops – real spinners correct me if I’m wrong) are now dried and safely packed away in my closet. Ieven learnt to braid them like a professional ;)

Gorgeous Girl has been difficult (to say the least) this week and it took me until Friday to actually find a moment to take pictures.

We started with greens.

and tried two kinds of green. The we added purple to the bowl. I wrapped the big coil of purple and white into a ball and let the dye penetrate, then because it wasn’t going all the way to the middle I wound some off to expose new parts of the ball to the dye. I was really pleased with this one. It turned out exactly as I pirctured it in my head. Now to see if it will spin up the same way :)  I’m hoping to spin this lace weight and make a shawl out of it.

After the green, but before adding the purple dye we put some yarn into the pot to soak up any excess dye in the water (we didn’t change water between colours).

These were also used to soak up the extra dye after the purple as well. I was surprised at how well they turned out. I’m calling them my happy accidents.

Lastly we took a very big ball of fleece and put it in the purple pot (with the green fleece above) when the dye was exhausted, we poured red directly onto the ball and squished it down, then we added bright blue (to get a different shade of purple). Unwinding bits of the ball helped to spread the colours.

I don’t have a spinnng plan for this yet, so it’s going to marinate in the stash.

Then, so that no dye would go to waste we threw some more fleece into the pot to soak up any last dye. The red and the blue took up at different rates and we ended up with this.

Another happy accident.

I have to work this weekend. But hopefully next weekend will see me over the dye pot once again. I think I might be addicted…

Since so many of you commented that you would like to see a picture of the quilt in progress. I present for your viewing pleasure Fish Quilt: Row 6.

Because this is done with tricky pieces and templates and the pattern doesn’t label the pieces beyond the colours of the fish, I’ve been laying it out on the floor to make sure that I’m sewing the right bits together. I’m so glad I did, because in this row it seems that one of the blue pieces has been omitted from the cutting instructions. I’m going to sew from the top and the bottom and then try to work out how wide I need to cut to make it fit.

The Scarves for Africa Project is coming along well. We have ten (!!!) from Karol-Ann, and at least one from Rebecca so far. I’m still working on mine, I’m slow because it’s my in the car knitting. If you are knitting a scarf (or three) can you leave me a comment on where you are up to and I’ll do a shout-out post.

We want to start distributing them by June or July at the latest.

I’ve plied the red yarn that was on the spinning wheel. It’s a little overplied, but it looks like yarn. Pictures when it’s dry and reskeined. If Gorgeous Girl settles down for the night I might just get to start some of  my own hand-dyed fleece…

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Yesterday I got together with Z and we began the process of dyeing the 10 kgs (22 pounds) of white combed fleece that we had ordered. It was my first dyeing experience and I had an absolute tonne of fun.

Z owned a yarn store for many years and specialised in hand-dyed yarns, so I really was priviliged to learn from a master.

We started off with the biggest bowl I’ve ever seen. Here’s the bowl half way through:

In the bowl are two balls of fleece that I was dyeing while wrapped in the ball. One turned out a beautiful purple and white with a range of shades of purple. The other we over-dyed again scarlet and blue and is just awesome. Also in the pot is a green being over-dyed.

We had a lovely sunny day for drying the fleece.

While I was there I took some pictures of Z’s latest WIP to show you. She is recreating her yarn store in miniature – on 12th scale. But that deserves a post all of its own.

I had to dash off before the fleece was dry as Gorgeous Man was helping out with a stand for the SABCA at Kirstenbosch Gardens in the afternoon. So I don’t have the fleece here to show you pictures of the entire batch.

I think all-up we ended up dyeing a kilo and a half. So a whole lot more dyeing and other colourways to try.

Just across from the butterfly display at the gardens were people promoting the reptile version of the butterfly project.

Gorgeous Girl was most taken with the Burmese python.

I’ve also added another row to the fish quilt, but won’t inflict row by row pictures on you.

Right now Gorgeous Girl is sleeping, so I’m going to try and sneak in my 10 minutes of spinning for the day and some knitting.

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I didn’t intend to be away from my blog for so long. Gorgeous Man and I have spent the last few weeks getting our work visas renewed.

I try to keep my blog a happy place so I will just say that I have told Gorgeous Man that he must have a job in a new country before our work visas are due for renewal in 2012 as I NEVER want to go through that process again. The term drowning in red tape is an understatement.

On to happier things. This little jersey arrived at it’s destination, so I can show it now.

Detail of the buttons and button band.

The ladybird pants do fit Gorgeous Girl – though they are a little big in the waist (but they don’t fall down, so it’s all good). The nice thing is that they go perfectly with the top I made here. Here she is at the butterfly farm, before she spilled her lunch all over her shirt.

The spinning continues. Here are the first attempts a a Navajo ply

There is also a large skein of grey.

I watched a YouTube video and then gave it a go. I’m happy with how it turned out. It’s a bit tightly plied in a few areas, but I love the technique and will be doing more.

This red merino is what is currently on the wheel.

This is my third batch of yarn. I even managed to dig out a US dime for scale.

After much consideration I’ve decided that Juno Regina is going to the frog pond.

I love the yarn, and I love the pattern, but together they just aren’t doing it for me.

I am going to be dyeing some fleece on Sunday next week, and have plans to dye a purple going from light to dark with some white as well (I can see the roving in my head) and use that for Juno.

I have two patterns that I’m going to try out the silk with today if I get time.

I did get the new quilt cut and the first few rows sewn.

The colour is a bit washed out in this picture, but you get the general idea. This is a fish quilt and the pattern comes from one of the Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazines I bought last year. I love that magazine!

The scarf for my Scarves for Africa project is coming along nicely. It lives in the car and I do a few rows every time we go somewhere. I had lots of knitting time in the last few week driving the hour there and the hour back from the Department of Home Affairs where we did battle for our visas.

Well, I think that sums up the last few weeks, now I’m off to see what you have all been up to!

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I hope everyone had a Happy New Year’s Day.

I don’t have any resolutions for 2009 other than to move more and to spend some time being creative every day.

I Thought I’d show you some new things today, what with it being a new year and all.

Gorgeous Girl has a new pair of pants. I hope they fit…

She’s asleep right now, so I can’t try them on her. I picked up the fabric and the pattern at Joanne’s on my trip to San Francisco last year.

I had my first attempt at plying. Here is my very first yarn spun on a spindle.

Behold, yarn barf.

This is the second spindle spun. I can see improvement…

This was spun in the grease.

Here is my first ever wheel spun. The brown is Jacob and the white is mohair.

There are parts of this that I’m quite proud of :)

I also made 3 new scrapbook pages yesterday. I find I sticking bits of paper on a page while Gorgeous Girl is awake, much easier than spinning (little hands like to touch the wheel and stop the spindle) and knitting (where I have to count the pattern).

I sorted fabric for a new quilt yesterday as well. It’s kind of complicated, there’s templates and labels and stuff has to be sorted into bags for separate rows. To be honest I’m kind of intimidated and have been avoiding cutting. Today is the day though! It’s going to be a truly international quilt. There’s fabric in it from my trip to the USA, Gorgeous Man’s trip to Canada, and scraps from friends in Finland, and two friends in the UK, as well as South African Fabric.

We are taking Gorgeous Girl to visit a butterfly farm/zoo today. Hopefully she’ll enjoy it and there’ll be some good photo opportunities.

Ok, off to put rotary cutter to fabric -wish me luck.

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