Tuesday, September 15, 2015

a little bit of everything

So a little free time this morning, the youngest is to her playgroup, and the eldest is in school. I could start on ironing or cleaning, but somehow that feels as a waste of those 2 hours... so i better write a new blog to show you what i've been up to.

Last week was filled with all sorts of things, on tuesday there was a big fabric market overhere. And i have a wonderfull old chair, my mom got from a beautifull hotel. I found an older picture online of a bedroom in the hotel with  chairs like mine! I love this style chairs, and they are really comfy!

Once before i changed the fabric on the chair, but our cat decided it was the perfect place for his claws.... so on the fabric market there was a man selling last years collection for 10 euro's per meter.
I preferred a flower design, but that wasn't for sale. So i finally choose something else with a little help from my youngest. And it took a little time and mussle power...

but now the chair looks great again... untill i will find the most beautifull floral fabric.. and yes we do need to tell the cat he can't put his claws in it again. But luckely i have 2 little volunteers who are very keen on telling hem NO!!

I also did some spinning. A little while ago i got an order in with nunoco, a beautifull etsy shop filled with batts and blends in amazing colors!!
They also sell harmony packs, color themed, filled with tops, silk noil, silks, blends, firestar. Perfect for playing with blendingboards or carders.

I orderd a harmony pack in the colorway mizzle. It contains soft purples, grey, magenta, and also a linen blend.

the right one on the picture, the left one is a rockpool colorway merino pack.

So one night i spend with my blendingboard making rolags. And after that started spinning. I used the spindles my dad made me.


I tried to spin a bit thicker, not really worked out..

So i ended up with a big plying ball, i don't enjoy plying on spindles at all, so i got my spinningwheel.

After plying i decided it was still to thin for what i wanted so i started knitting with 2 strands.... what i was knitting? Well somehow i managed to wash both of my handspun hats in the washingmachine, they probably played hide and seek in the dirty laundery, or they were helped by a little 3 year old?
Anyway i got 2 warm winter hats which probably will fitt one of the dolls in this house....
So i'm knitting a new hat :) very warm and soft and long enough to cover my ears :)

And i really like, but i'm not sure which side i like best....

So goes for the cardigan i'm knitting, i'm always more of the stockinette knitside, but this time i think i like the inside better...


Yesterday the girls and i were enjoying some crafty time with polymer clay, the eldest made beads and the youngest made some ''dolls''. I however made some new spindles. Just simple ones made of a short double pointed knitting needle and a piece of clay. They spin very well!

 So last night i started on a batt from nunoco. A so called batt dropping, i really like those. You never know what you're going to get, they are made from leftover bits and pieces. And suprises in the mail are always great fun! I really like this one, black wool fiber mixed with soysilk and silk noils!

coming weeks i'm going to make 2 packages, in about 2,5 weeks the annual meet of the dutch spinners group is taking place. It's actually a whole weekend, but i'm only going on saturday. A wonderfull day filled with fiber, spinningwheels, workshops, a market and offcourse lots of spinningfriends!

And with a little group we're doing a fiberswap. You make a package with 4x25 (or 5x20 grams) samples of different fibers and you'll recieve a similar package of someone else. Great fun to try new fibers, and new colorways. A bit like phat fiber but in a free version.

So now i'm going to drink a cup of tea... hopeing you'll have a wonderfull day!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

1 down 1 to go

So here i'm sitting down after a busy day, the girls are watching Narnia, the oldest is a bit tired due to a cold. So after a busy day at school time to relax....
i made an ovendish made with leftover vegetables, so no cooking for me tonight!

And it gives me a moment to type a blog.

I finished one mitten! I really like it, i made a few more repeats in de leaf pattern, i have enough yarn, and i like long mittens! It actually has been a bit colder here, and i'm refusing to put the heat on early september, but i was tempted to wear my one mitten as armwarmer. But that would've looked a bit silly..


It's actually quite hard to make a picture of yourself wearing armwarmers... ;) you have to hold your arm in strange positions :)
I love the yarn, it has lots of subtle colors in browns reds and oranges. It's handyed by a fellow raveler!

The pattern is well written and easy to follow. However it doesn't have a chart, it's a written pattern.

And now i have to start the second one, hopefully i won't be bothered by the second mitten syndrome...

On facebook i joined  a group that sells yarns and such. Most of the times i'm not tempted to buy anythin, but then i saw an add for these


It looked interesting, definitely handspun. The seller could only tell it was acryllic. It costed 7 euros.
I took a chance and bought it.  It was almost 1000 grams shiny handspun and handdyed acryllic.  Not something i've seen very often.
Ihave to admit i'm a bit of a yarnsnob, not a big fan of acryllic. But this looked so great and a love the colors!

I decided to dye some drops Fabel white in similar colors. Very simple, cold water and vinegar in my dyepot, adding greens and blues and heat for a while and voila!


And combine two threads while knitting, one wool and one acryllic. I do look the look of this!

once again i decided to knit a topdown cardigan. I'm not much of a pattern knitter... and last few atempts were to big! And i am a big girl (ha but i'm shrinking due to the healty flow i'm in) but not that big. So now i'm trying to knit it a bit smaller!

It's going to be a bit rustic, but i do like the look off it!!


So you'll know what i'll be knitting this week!

Monday, August 31, 2015

dyeing wool with reed flowers

A little while ago i was reading a topic in a natural dyeing group on ravelry. Someone from Sweden or Finland (if i remember correctly) showed a picture with 3 skeins, all dyed naturally. There was a  beautifull green one. She said she dyed it with reed flowers.   There aren't much ways to get green with plants, or you''ll need indigo or woad and overdye a yellow.

Common reed has red ''flowers''

So a few days later my girls and i took a walk, and while i cut off loads of reed flowers, the girls had an amazing time catching lots of small frogs and toads in the grass beside the pond.
They had more then 20!!!

At home i got my dyeing pan and put in the flowers... boiled them for a while.

The dyebad turned a dark reddish purple... a bit like red wine :)
after cooling it,  i added alum and roving and heated it again.  Actually the next day i put the flowers, fiber and alum all at once in the pan. Brought it to boil, and that worked just as good! Yep i'm actually a very lazy natural dyer ;)

I played a bit afterwards. Putting some pieces of fiber into a rusty nails in water afterbath, and other pieces in a ammonium afterbath. The last mentioned turned the fiber bright green!!!

The hardest part of it all was getting the greens show up right in de pictures... almost impossible!! 

So i had to play a bit with a photo edit app to show the greens as i see them.

offcourse i started spinning as soon as they were dry!


Allready have plans to knit a top with these yarns. But first i have a lot more spinning to do!

 great bowl isn't it! I found it during our summerholiday, the town we stayed had a shop where people could rent a table and sell stuff they made or didn't need anymore. So much fun, from fresh baked bread and jams to clothes and toys, books...  on the last day i found this wooden bowl. I'm not sure what kind of wood it is, but i loved the spalted pattern. Spalting in wood is discoloration made by fungi.

All this little skeins of handspun just scream to be to be knittend, but i really want to spin everything before a start knitting.

This reminds me of a moment on a big knitting event a few years ago, there was a booth that sold packages with different skeins of naturally dyed yarn. i LOVED them!!
 But back then i thought they were very expensive.... little did i know back then. But i never could have imagned dyeing such skeins myself one day :)

Enjoy your day!!