Autumn Shawl

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Two weeks ago, the lovely ladies from my knitting group and I, took a little road trip to Mont-Tricot in Sutton, QC. A beautiful yarn shop with a warm and inviting owner that I had met at the beginning of summer.

Money is tight, so I wasn’t going to buy anything, but there was a yarn there that caught my eye and I just couldn’t leave it behind. It was a 50/50 Merino wool and silk lace, hand dyed in Canada, sold by sweetgeorgia yarns. It is the “Autumn Flame” colourway which is not only perfect for the season but some of my favourite colours in deep oranges and burgundies. Not only that, but it was also the perfect length and weight for a project that I had been wanting to start. So I bought it and didn’t even have a hint of buyer’s remorse.

The pattern that I had found was a crocheted butterfly stitch “prayer shawl” on Ravelry. It is a free pattern that is worked top-down and with rows and rows of butterflies. Not only is it my first shawl, but it is also my first lace project, and it was a perfect pattern to start with.

For the border I decided right from the start that I was going to use brown. Before buying the yarn I had just ordered some brown Merino to spin and I knew that they would look great together. I think I was was right. Here is the brown that I spun up. 60g/300y of lace weight merino. It is not as soft as the merino/silk mix, but it is plenty soft and the border gives a great weight to the shawl letting it drape beautifully.

Handspun Brown Merino wool

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As for the border… it took me a long time to figure out what to do and a lot of searching. I finally found this pattern on Ravelry and was able to adapt it to the original shawl with a few changes. I love the way that it turned out!

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This may be my first shawl, but it will not be my last. I love the look and I love the warmth that is bring especially with the season changing and becoming colder. I was also working on this shawl at my grandmother’s house as I visited and helped my mom. So I will always see her in this piece when I wear it.

Isn’t it beautiful!

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By |September 7th, 2014|Crochet, Spinning|Comments Off on Autumn Shawl|

Needle Felted Giraffe

I get a lot of suggestions when people see my needle felting, and one animal that often comes up is a Giraffe.

I thought about it a lot, and an image kept on coming into mind and finally I had to get it out and I started. When I finished her head last weekend, I realized that she was going to be a lot larger than I originally thought, but I have wanted to make a larger piece, so I kept going.

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At first she was yellowish with brown spots and she looked a bit cartoonish and not what I was going for but she had a great body shape.

So I started really looking at images of giraffes even more and found the perfect colours for her in my stash. I covered her with white making the yellow become the core, changed her face, and then started to add her spots… So many spots…

The camera on my iMac is great for getting in action pics…

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I finally finished her this morning…

I did not start with a frame, but she does have a bit of wire in her to help her stand and be posed. She is just shy of 2 feet tall and weighs 9oz and is made of 100% Merino wool and is so soft. This is one of my favourite creations to date….

A ctually, I think she is my absolute favourite…


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More Spinning and a New Wheel….

I wanted to write this post 2 weeks ago… wow… so many things to do and it is hard to sit down and take the time to write.

My first spinning wheel didn’t stay in the house for long. I bought it on a friday and by Monday I felt the limitations and I also confirmed to myself that spinning was something that I wanted to do. That was part of the hesitation of buying my coveted wheel in the first place. With that hesitation gone, there was nothing left keeping me from buying the wheel I wanted. A wheel that I would not only be able to grow into but I may not grow out of soon and as a bonus, would be able to fold so that it would come with me when we head onto the bus.

This wheel is the Lendrum wheel.

Made in Ontario by Mr. Lendrum for the last 30 years, this wheel is loved by many. I ordered it from a distributor in Ontario on the Wednesday and on Friday, it arrived at my door. Exactly 1 week after I bought the Kiwi 2 (which is now sold and in someone elses home as their first wheel)

I got the Lendrum Complete Kit. It has a double treadle and came with the regular flyer, 4 bobbins, a Lazy Kate,  a fast flyer and a jumbo flyer and bobbin. It folds into half for easy transport and spins beautifully.

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Here it is all set up and ready to spin!

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My first thing that I spun on it was this purple…. 


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Which I then Navajo Plyed… not my favourite but it is all practice…

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I then made another attempt at this colourway which I love… I needed to make more because I wanted to then knit it up into something wearable.

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Isn’t it pretty?
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Then I made this pretty yarn using a orange merino and plying it with white merino…

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This is one of my favourites… it is 163 yards of DK weight (13 WPI) I call it “Creamsicle”

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It’s yarn!

Yesterday I decided to work on making a thinner single with that amazing northern Lights wool that I have. Once I had what I thought was enough (and ran out of what I had put aside for the purpose), I then decided on making a white single to ply with it.

I am so happy with the results!

Here it is on the bobbin. At this point it was a little more than half full.

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Here it is off the bobbin and onto the Niddy Noddy. If you don’t know what a niddy noddy is, it is a device used to make skeins and measure length…

So there it was… 88 yards (80 metres) of worsted weight yarn…. My first real usable yarn on my third day of spinning!

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Isn’t it pretty?

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This yarn and experience made me realize that this is not the wheel for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great wheel and easy to spin on, and has a lot of potential. but I can already feel its limitations down the road.

I had jumped on the chance to get it because it was not too expensive compared to the wheel that I really want, especially because I was having hesitations with a more expensive purchase not knowing if I would like spinning. But now that I know and I know what the other wheel could offer, I have decided to buy the other wheel and sell this one!

So I have a new wheel on the way! yay!

Anyone local (Near Montreal) want to buy a Like new Ashford Kiwi 2 for 300$?

By |March 18th, 2014|Spinning|2 Comments|

Spinning….

I have wanted to learn how to spin for a while now. I have looked at wheels and spindles and I love getting new fibre for needle felting and always wonder what it would look like if it was spun. I narrowed my choice down to one wheel and saved up for it. I was just nearing the amount but then last week a found a wheel that was being sold locally that had only been used a couple of hours at most. I jumped on the chance right away and picked it up last friday.

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It is not the wheel that I will ultimately want but it is a great starter wheel and I will be able to easily resell it once I want to upgrade which may be sooner rather than later.

With the extra money  I bought a bunch of new fibre and a blending board which will come in handy for both spinning and felting.

On Friday night I decided to use the longest staple length wool I had on hand which also happens to be the one that doesn’t felt very well and it a bit drab. But it got me started and I am pretty happy with the results.

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I was gone all day Saturday to give an EC workshop at Bummis and out for supper with some old friends but On Sunday morning I sat down at the wheel to try my hand at some soft Merino.  This is the blue I made….

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Then I made a brownish rust colour and decided to try plying for the first time… It is a bit chunky at some places and a bit thin at others but it is yarn!!

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Next I decided to go for the gold…. I actually bought this wool to spin. Not felt. It is a Louet Northern Lights in Popsicle colourway and I loved it the moment I saw it. I spun it and then did my first try at a Navajo ply… I am so happy at the way it turned out!
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My next goal is to get my yarn thinner.

I knew that I would enjoy spinning… I didn’t think I would enjoy it this much. I am already addicted!

By |March 17th, 2014|Spinning, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Spinning….|