Friday, 8 October 2010

time for textiles

it's official - autumn is here! a sure sign is that the leaves of my ornamental acer turn a deep red! this is not a sad time for me, I love autumn - and esp. the fact, that time in the garden decreases and time for my textiles increases....
it seems I am in a finishing mood - I am nearly done with the "dress sweater" (a long sleeveless vest in a simple lace pattern) - and also with the scribble lace shawl, which I started ages ago, when I didn't know what else to do with my first coil yarn - which was thin and quite evenly "spun" (should really be called plied?).
I used a thin 2ply mulberry silk (handdyed) for the fine base yarn and added only single rows of the coil yarn. I started with coil yarn plus some beads for the bottom (and will have enough to finish the same on the other end) to add a bit of weight to the scarf. the main picture shows a right mess of squiggles - but once the scarf is stretched a bit the rows become more visible. it's narrow, but feels very soft and silky - which is fine for me as I don't need very bulky warm stuff around my neck, even in winter. this will definitely be a keeper for myself!
this is the rest of the coil yarn I spun a few days ago for the "blue" project. it's much chunkier than the one for the scribble lace and only the core yarn is tussah silk (because it's so smooth), the wrap is a lambswool singles. don't know what to do with it yet - I might add a few rows to some knitting project - or maybe keep it to use it for weaving? the skein looks big, but there isn't a lot of yardage on it - most of the singles yardage is lost through wrapping it around the core. definitely more an accent yarn than something for a larger project! I like the "jeansy" colour though!
this is the "chiengora" - the light marbled grey is from the AKITA breed - extremely short fibres to spin. the brown and black is from our own two dogs and the fibres are a good bit longer and softer in the end result! the akita felt extremely soft when I spun it - but now in a navajo ply it's not quite so soft anymore. I am going to try the fibres in a 2ply before I work with it, but I thought the fibres might shed less if I spun it up tighter. not much good though if the yarn turns scratchy instead! on the other hand - DH doesn't mind the sweaters slightly scratchy - and the dog wool wasn't for me anyway:)) the dogs were very interested in the yarn at first - but after washing they weren't keen on sniffing anymore - which means to me that the wool would be safe to wear - without having all the dogs in the village follow the wearer around:))
at this time of the year I tend to develop a bad habit - I fall for magazines in the shop! well, ok, I do buy some knitting mags on a regular basis, but not usually embroidery magazines! with christmas coming closer the mags offer free bits to make cards though - my biggest trap, I have to admit. I have plenty of patterns, yarns, fabrics, blank cards - but every year I increase my stash with those freebies instead of using up some of it! yesterday I came home from the weekly shopping trip with this batch - plus the magazine it came with, of course. simple and quick designs, I just have to add the fabric - and the time to make them. which seems to be the biggest stumbling block! I remember the years, where I made all the christmas cards by hand. about 25-30! all different, no fun in making several in the same pattern! then I started to dye, to spin and to weave.... and suddenly I didn't manage to make more than maybe 4 or 5! and every year I look for simple patterns, that are quick to make - but somehow the number of finished cards doesn't seem to increase by much. well, it's still some time to go to change this weird pattern - I'll show results - but only if I manage to better my results:))

ps. the donkey above grazes down in the bog, together with 3 other adults and 4 baby donkeys. he (she:?) seems to be the "whinger" of the group - he keeps braying, when he sees people, when he doesn't see people, during the day, in the middle of the night, no reason not to?:)) even when they all broke out a few days ago and went for a trip up our road (and back down again, when a car passed on the main road) - he was the only one to bray! I admit it's not much fun to stand in a field all day every day (with growing hooves, because their owner doesn't look after them very well) - but why is it always him to make the racket?


Delighted Hands said...

Wow, excellent skeins of yarn-I think the blue would be a great accent in weaving! The Akita yarn looks lovely, make a sweater by all means, just use some hair conditioner in the rinse to make it softer and smells lovely! Very nice post! (Our neighbor has had all kinds of animals but I begged him not to get a donkey for just that talkative reason-I lived near one before and never want to repeat that racket!)

Woolly Bits said...

Cindy - the worst about that donkey is that he loves to bray at around 2 in the morning:(( during the day it's not so bad, but at night I always wake up, thinking we're having an air raid or something:(( thanks for the conditioner tip - as long as the girls in the neighbourhood don't start following DH, because he smells so nice:))