crafty stuff: everything else

Friday, 17. April 2009

more from the wooly side of life

Yesterday, I spent the day mostly spinning and practising new techniques. But I also tried dyeing wool rovings with easter egg colorings, these are food colorings used to color easter eggs around here. I was lucky to still get some at the shop, because easter was already over and I asked for remnants.

So here are the results:


I hung them to dry in the sun, but then remembered that this can be bad for the colors, and spread them out on a towel instead later.


Back to spinning. I tried to spin in the woolen long draw technique, which is the traditional way most people spin - and I had such trouble learning it! My yarn kept breaking because of too much twist or it kept just drifting apart because of too little twist, I couldn't get the twist past my left hand, which controls the yarn and the spindle, towards my right hand holding the fiber.
Then I finally found a Video by Spindlicity. I didn't want to watch it at first, because I don't use a spinning wheel, but I'm glad I did, because she shows the technique on both the wheel and a drop spindle. It's so worth watching!

Thanks to that video, I also learned to spin from the fold. The mistake I always had been making was to hold the folded fiber at a wrong angle, so that no new fiber would be drawn into the twisted yarn. I also learned that I need more speed on my spindle and how to pass the twist towards my right hand.

Now spinning is much more fun than it was already.

And here is a picture of all my yarns I spun so far:


Sunday, 29. March 2009

Squishies in the mail!

Yesterday I got a parcel from Endlosfaden with very special goodies inside:
A felted soap, leather scraps, a wool batt for spinning, and a felted nest, embellished with beads, feathers and seashells!


The little nest was perfect for a special stone of mine, the stone I called the "Egg stone". It's naturally round and was found in the clay layer under my floor when we rebuilt our house.


And I received a parcel from Esme with handspun yarn in it, and her smudge sticks she always uses in her home:


The white yarn is made of cat hair, it's very very soft:


I already spun up the wool Petra sent me.

Saturday, 28. March 2009

Handspun II

Again and again, I'm grateful for the quiet, peaceful space I have here. It's a place to relax and be creative, and to meet friends and talk, sitting on the floor, more or less, drinking tea.. I was spinning and I found a way to spin sitting on the floor.


Yesterday I plied a piece of the green yarn back on itself and knitted a very small swatch, just to make sure that I could live with the final result.


I'm quite satisfied with it!

Sunday, 22. March 2009


Last week I got a parcel from Esme, filled with her handspun wool. I'm planning to knit a wrap out of handspun wool, and she contributed to that. So I have to learn spinning. I went to the hardware store and bought a wooden toy wheel and a round stick of wood and then I sat down and put everything i needed on the floor:


The hole in the wheel became a little angled, so the spindle doesn't run very smooth, but it works.


There is a top whorl and a bottom whorl spindle.


And this is my first handspun yarn:


Friday, 20. March 2009

more knitting: lace shawl laminaria

Last week, I cast on for my newest knitting project. After being a knitter for about 4 months, why not make a lace shawl? A very friendly knitting expert and yarn store employee helped me to find the right needle: an Addi metal needle. The cord/needle joint is very smooth and the needle itself looks and feels good while knitting with it.
The pattern I really really wanted to do is Laminaria. It really looks harder than it is, now that I'm into the blossom chart part I really don't regret choosing this one.


As a beginning lace knitter, I put in lifelines into the knitting every 5 or 6 rows or so. Today was the first time I was glad I had them:


When I reached the end of the row, I saw I had one stitch less than I should have on my left needle. I checked the knitting and saw that I had the pattern lining up correctly, so I looked at the place where the stitch was missing and I found it, it had dropped off the needles and stopped on the lifeline.
And it was really easy to fix! :-)

Monday, 9. March 2009

sunny day = photo day: handmodel


These are the Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang. This is a pattern which is very very popular. On Ravelry, you can see more than 2000 projects made with this pattern.
I used all kinds of variegated yarns to break up the geometrical pattern into smaller colour bits and crumbs and I think it is a great effect created by changing yarn colour constantly.

I took some more pics. The weather was great today!



Tuesday, 3. March 2009

Manresa Legwarmers, 2nd try

After having completed my 1st pair of manresa legwarmers at the end of january, I started a second version with thicker yarn and a larger needle, because the first ones didn't fit me so well. They were kind of too tight. Today I finished the second pair!
I ran out of red yarn when I would have needed only 2 or 3 meters and knitted the rest with the black yarn. I’m only glad that it did suffice for knitting the fair isle parts.
The legwarmers are really really warm and thick because of the yarn weight, and it’s 100% wool, and this time they look ok on me! They look bulky but really okay. I didn’t block them yet.

manresa 2.2
It seems like I have compressed the photo too much. It did look better in Gimp!!

Sunday, 1. March 2009

And still more yarn..

...Yesterday, the sockyarn i received from the gift coupon of Dornröschen-Wolle arrived!
Now I really can knit lots and lots of socks and other things. I really want to try this lace shawl. Not now, but before this year ends.

gras paul weinundrot indischegewurze

While reading through forums on ravelry, it seems to me that the sockyarn-situation in the USA is similar to the patchwork-fabric-situation in germany. We import quilting fabrics and we pay twice as much for one yard than quilters in the U.S. would have to pay, and they are importing german sockyarn and pay much more money than we do. And I find sockyarn still expensive here. But 9 $ for 50g of Regia Sockyarn - that's much.

After a friend of mine suggested to use ixquick instead of google, because it's advertising to protect the internet users' privacy, I made it my browsers start page and I didn't miss google ever since.
Here's more about ixquicks privacy policy.

Friday, 27. February 2009

three months no smoking!

I stopped smoking on november 24, 2008, and now I really made it! Three months! I'm proud of myself!
Because I've been eyeing the handdyed sockwool in these many online shops here for weeks, I promised myself to reward myself with some gorgeous wool on day 90 of being a non-smoker.

A friend of mine bought me a gift-coupon at Dornröschen-Wolle. This is in exchange for a cape I sewed 3 years ago which I'm not wearing, because I received two woolen winter capes from my mother, and since they are heirlooms in my family, I gave mine away. I've got to have some priorities. :-)

Well, the gift coupon didn't arrive in time and I was frustrated, really frustrated! After weeks and weeks of longing for that wool finally THE DAY was there and Christine, the owner of Dornröschen-Wolle, stocked up her shop, and I couldn't order because I was still waiting for this gift coupon.
So I went to another online shop, Wollfactory and ordered some handdyed wool! It arrived feb 24th, 2009 - I had stopped smoking on Nov 24th, 2008!

Part 1 of the gorgeous wool!

I'm really knitting a lot since I started knitting three months ago. I have finished six or seven pairs of socks, one scarf, a pair of legwarmers and I have two pairs of socks, one pair of mitts, a hat, and another pair of legwarmers on the needles.

Araucania!! *lechz*

I've also completed some more midget sampler blocks, but today I seemed to be unable to take good photos (except for the wool in this post) - everything looks just grey and sad. Outside it's cold, raining, and the sky is dark grey all day.

What's my resumee after 3 months? I've had my last "crisis" after 5 weeks without smoking. It lasted about 4 days, when I constantly thought about smoking and even considered to smoke herbal tea instead - just for smoking anything without nicotine. I didn't smoke any of my tea blends, though. ;-)
Since that time, I really feel great, I hardly think of smoking once a week, and I had no craving at all. I feel like I've never smoked. Only better, because I'm proud of myself and can appreciate it that I don't have stinky full ashtrays surrounding me, all day.


I think I've gained a little bit weight, but maybe I'm just imagining it. I don't own a scale. So I can only judge from what i see in the mirror and from how my clothes fit. So far everything fits still well, but some things that were already too small for me, are now really too small for me. I think I like it more that way. After the stressful summer last year, I really looked a little haggard, not that I'm thin, but I did look unhealthy.
Anyway, I think that I need not fear to become fat after stopping to smoke. Maybe I gained some 6 pounds or so, but that's nothing and I don't know my "natural weight" without the cigarettes yet. I think there's a natural weight for every individual body, and not really a number on the scale that's right for all people of the same age and height.

I'd like to knit a lace shawl, but I don't know if I'm a shawl person - and I don't know if I could knit lace. I knit lace socks, but that's not like a lace shawl ;)

Tuesday, 17. February 2009

Walking in the snow

After it had snowed all night I woke up to a wonderful sunny day! Me and my man went out and I took photos of the trees, they look gorgeous with their snowy twigs.




Crazy as I am, I took my Vinnland-sock with me totmake a photo for my ravelry-projects-folder:

vinnland in the snow

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