Monday, 23 November 2015

colourful crochet

I've made a bunch more crochet squares for my stitch library. Every time I think I've run out of different colours of wool I manage to dig out a couple more balls from my yarn basket.

A couple of these were made from the wool I received in my recent Fibreshare package. It was lovely to make use of them so quickly! 

Of these ones I think the embossed circles is the most interesting (and surprisingly easy to crochet too!) although the colour I used for the crossbill stitch also make that one a firm favourite.

I actually spread all my squares out on the floor on Saturday and I think I do have enough for a medium sized blanket. I'm tempted to go large and try out some more stitches though. 

We'll see!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

shopping list sketches

I've decided it's time to revive my shopping list hunt.

I found this list Ben made in our recycling box this morning and realised how long it has been since I've done any drawing. I thought this might make a nice weekly drawing challenge to try and keep up over the coming months.

To get me started I drew the very minuscule butternut squash that has been winding it's way across our patio. We planted it a bit late so unfortunately it's never going to reach it's full potential. I love the way squashes grow though.

Tangles of tendrils.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

a new pal

This is Mary, our new housemate.

Isn't she sweet? We adopted her from the RSPCA two weeks ago and she seems to be settling in well.

I decided to make her a little welcome present in the form of a knitted worm...

A french knitted worm.

It's funny how quickly I forget how to do french knitting and have to look it up on youtube each time for a refresher. It was so quick to make once I got going though.

And Mary seems to like it...

We woke the other morning to find that she had carried it up to bed in the night.
Sweet little one.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

shibori sample needle cases

I have a lot of Shibori samples in my fabric pile since the recent workshop I attended at Sussex Prairie Garden and I've been really keen to start using them.

I wanted to start with small scale projects, as sewing isn't always my forte, so I decided to make some sewing needle cases. A handy make for me as I'm always using track of my yarn darning needles.

I decided to go for patchwork approach and picked out some of my Shibori samples as well as some other favourite fabric pieces (you may recognise them from the cushion cover I made recently).

When it came to the sewing I mixed together some different fabrics and layouts for each case. I didn't really have a plan in mind, and instead just sort of made it up as I went along. You may be able to tell!

To hold the needles/pins I sewed some felt into the insides of the cases, and I also found some gold elastic in my sewing box which I used for the button fastenings.

They turned out well I think. It's a good thing that I wasn't going for a consistent look and feel because they all ended up slightly different sizes. I think that's ok though, especially as I was going for a Japanese Boro sort of approach.

Here they all are...

Not too shabby (I hope).

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

adventures in dyeing yarn

Last month I signed up to the latest FibreShare yarn swap. As part of my swap package I decided to try my hand at dyeing some yarn. 

It's something I've been wanting to try for a while and I thought it would be nice to include something handmade and unique for my swap partner, along with the other fibre goodies.

I've shared a little about the process I followed below if you are interested. 

I thought I'd start on a small scale so I picked picked two 50g balls of eco cotton yarn, one in a pale blue and one in a pale lilac. My aim was to try some ombre effects with the dye and I didn't want a pure white base colour to begin with.

I separated out each 50g ball into two (very approximate) 25g skeins and tied each skein in various places so that it wouldn't get too tangled whilst dyeing.

Next was the fun part! I chose a sunny October saturday and set up a couple of buckets of dye in the garden. The dye colours I chose were emerald green and burlesque red, although as you can see they ended up more like blue and purple.

I dip-dyed segments of the yarn for different lengths of time to try and achieve some different colour effects and I dyed a couple of the skeins in both dye baths to create some colour gradients.

Once I was happy with them I rinsed the dye out in cold water and then hand-washed the cotton with some detergent, just to wash out any colour that wasn't fixed. Then I hung them on the line to catch the end of the day's sunshine (which unfortunately didn't last very long so I had to bring them in and dry them inside overnight).

Once they were dry I wound them up into small hanks, which did involve getting in a bit of a tangle, but they ended up nice and neat in the end.

Here are the finished results... 

I'm really happy with how they all turned out, and love the fact that they're all different. I sent a couple of them out to my FibreShare partner and kept a couple for myself. 

I can't wait to see how they look when they're knitted. Shame they're all quite small, but it'll make a good reference point for future attempts. It would be so nice to knit a cardigan out of my own hand-dyed yarn.

Next I want to try dyeing with natural materials. 
We've already started collecting up our onion skins!