Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tour de Fleece 2016

Every July during the Tour de France, Ravelry hosts another type of spinning event - the Tour de Fleece. We are challenged to spin everyday of the race, and this seems to be when I get the bulk of my spinning done for the year.

Here is what I spun this year -

I spun 1.3kg (almost 3lbs) of fibre into about 3.6km (2.25miles) of yarn!

More details can be found on my Ravelry page (here).

Here are lots of pictures showing fibre-to-yarn of all that I spun (with links to the Ravelry pages if you want more information about the yarn, and more pictures!) -

I dyed some silk, merino wool, angleline (sparkly stuff) and silk noils,

using a blending board, blended it to create these rolags,

and spun 330yds, 91g of fingering/sport weight yarn (Silk and Merino Blend).

I dyed a gradient of merino,

and spun it into 450 yds, 107g of fingering weight yarn (Rainbow Gradient).

More merino that I dyed,

and spun into two different yarns - one with short colour repeats and the other half with long colour repeats. This is a singles yarn that is fingering weight - over 500yds and 100g (Brights! Merino).

This next project was spun using the only commercially dyed fibre - the red at the top of the photo, I dyed the other half of the fibre (it was originally a gold colour), both merino,

and using a drum carder created a blend, that I dizzed (pulled the fibre through a hole on the button),

into the blend ready for spinning,

and spun into this yarn - 1,086m, and 458g of yarn (Drum Carded Merino).

This next one is a North Country Cheviot and Suffolk wool (from an eco friendly farm in Ontario),

that I dyed (some was left natural),

and blended on the drum carder (dizzed it too ready for spinning),

creating this art yarn - 70yds, 61g of worsted weight yarn (NCC&S Blend).


Some silk and merino,

that I spun,

and then dyed. 68g, 250yds of fingering weight yarn (Silk and Merino).

I tried a new fibre - Finn wool, that I dyed,

and spun into a DK weight yarn, 105g, 194yds (First Finn).

This is some natural dark merino that I dyed black,

to become 350 yds, 106g of fingering weight yarn (Dyed Black #2).

Some polwarth wool, silk, and silk noils that I dyed,

and blended into rolags on a blending board,

and spun into 525yds, 109g of light fingering weight yarn (Silk and Polwarth Blend).

I finished off the Tour de Fleece with a sample of hemp that I was given,

it was lovely to spin and made a little skein of 57 yds, 9g (Natural Hemp).

Most of these were spun with specific projects in mind, so now I need to decided what to knit first.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Finished Sweater

I finished knitting a sweater -

With wool that I spun -

From fibre that I dyed -

The wool is 100% Merino, and I designed the sweater pattern. More information and photos can be found on the sweater project page on Ravelry. I am really pleased with how the sweater turned out - it is very soft and a nice weight. Hopefully it will be quite a while before I need to wear a wool sweater though.

Grasses in the garden heavy with water after the rain.
 Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Apple Core Quilt & Summer Garden Photos

My Mother and I recently finished a charity lap quilt -

It is an Apple Core quilt that I cut out with the GO!, my Mother pieced it, I quilted it and added the binding, and she stitched the binding down on the back.
The quilt is about 50"x60" - with a layout of 11x13 Apple Cores. The fabric is Ticklish by Me & My Sisters Designs for Moda. I bought a fat quarter pack and 1m for bias binding - we have made one lap quilt and 2 baby quilts.

I used a bright flannel for the backing. The batting is Hobbs Premium Wool batting (so it will shrink a bit when washed, and get nice and soft). The free motion quilting was done with Bottom Line thread (in the top and bottom). I chose a simple meander because I love stitching it, and it is all such a busy quilt needs.

I chose an odd numbered layout this time so all the corners would match when folded  (my Apple Core quilt has an even numbered layout and it bothers me that the edges don't line up).

Because it is summer time here are some garden photos!

the front flower bed
one side
the back 
the new part we did this summer
the back flower bed and herb garden
the vegetable garden - more flowers this year
the other side

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Crazy Quilting Pillows

Last post I mentioned that I had spun flax for a little project, and this is it. 
A few weeks ago I was asked to make a pillow for a Singing Bowl. Once I looked up what a Singing Bowl was, I knew what I would make.

The little pillow was part of a retirement gift for the Librarian I have been volunteering for for the past 7 years, so I was thrilled to be asked to make something.
I wanted it to be very natural and 'earthy', so I used neutral colours of linen, cotton and silk fabric for the crazy quilting. I spun the flax for the linen tassels

The pillow is about 6" square (this bowl is about the same size as the singing bowl, which is copper and silver in colour).

For the embroidery I used silk, rayon, and cotton threads, as well as some of my hand spun yarn. There are tiny seed beads and a few garnet chips for embellishment.
The pillow is stuffed with plastic pellets (it is like a bean bag, so the bowl can sink into it).

The final pillow wasn't the first crazy quilting square I made, this one is-

My family and I thought that it was too busy and wouldn't work for a singing bowl.

Crazy Quilting is one of my favourite things to make (and the one craft I have been doing the longest, I made my first piece when I was 13, and I just turned 50!).
I did take pictures as I made the first square, and this is how it came together-

Basic Crazy Quilting (CQ) is about sewing pieces of fabric around an irregularly shaped centre piece, in a log-cabin style way, on a larger piece of foundation cloth (plain cotton fabric in this case)
I like straight lines for CQ, so if a seam is going to be too long I will sew two pieces together, and then add it to the block.

I like to match the seam with an other seam - this intersection then becomes a great place to add buttons to hide it.

Here the piece is the right size. I drew a square,

then stitched around it with a row of straight stitching and a row of zig-zag stitching.

the finished CQ square ready for embellishment
Then trimmed the whole thing. I like to keep the foundation fabric large, so I have somewhere to hold for the embroidery, and if I need to use a hoop for any embroidery.

My favourite piece of quilting I have made is a wall hanging with a square of crazy quilting (shown here), so with this extra square I decided to make something similar.

I bordered the square with raw silk, and had more fun free motion quilting. I chose feathers radiating from the square.

And 'organic straight lines' as a background. To keep the lines kind of parallel I laid down a few strips of masking tape as a guide. The quilting was done with 100Wt Invisafil thread. I used one layer of cotton batting with a full layer of wool batting on top - the feathers came out nice an puffy.

I purposely kept everything a bit skewed, so that I wouldn't have to worry about having to match anything when finishing the square.

I made a pillow with this square - it is about 16".

I finished the cushion like a regular quilt, with binding (a bit wider than normal because there is an extra piece of fabric for the backing), the backing has some buttons for closing.

I also finished a pair of socks this week. This is with hand dyed yarn I bought in Montreal.

As if there wasn't enough pictures in this post! These next photos are for my Mom, who I thought I had died because I didn't phone her this week, because I was busy working outside -

My youngest son and I have been renovating in the back of the yard (taking out more grass and adding a little patio around the fire pit). Hopefully we will be finished this weekend.

Some other garden pictures -

 Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!