I finished a few other things - first you have projects in progress everywhere - and all of a sudden there are cleared out corners that need to be filled again:))
this is the test knit of a "spinning bag" - pattern available (german and english) via ravelry. I had no problems with the pattern, there were a few minor alterations, but nothing major. I didn't use the given yarn but took some lambswool I dyed myself. normally I'd knit this yarn with needle size 3.5 to 4 mm, but I've used it in felting before and found that the texture is nicer, when knitted on larger needles to give room for shrinkage. I used 5 mm needles - and when the bag was finished it looked more the size of a sailor's rucksack:)) I have never been tighter with any yarn! to finish the i-cord around the opening I had to use the dark wool for the handle loops and cut off the leftover yarn from the cast-on! I had just enough left to sew in the end, not an inch to spare:) I also ran tight with the darker brown for handles, so instead I used a third colour, also naturally dyed. this one was done with tree lichen, a colour I dyed many years ago. it's unbelievable, but the smell of the lichen is still recognizable after so many years and 2 washing cycles at 60 C.!! which proves that natural dyes are quite wash proof! and gives the bag a nice "psychedelic"scent:))
this is a close-up of the handles - I used i-cords to sew around the handles - the original pattern used small rectangles. you can also see the i-cord along the opening.
this is the end result - after felting in the washing machine twice at 60 deg. C. with a few added towels, but without washing powder! it's always a risk to use this, when felting naturally dyed yarns, because very often the colour change dramatically! usually still nice, but not always so - I didn't want to run the risk of ending up with mustard/grey yarn colours:)) the light sandy brown was dyed with the flowers of NZ flax (2nd bath), the darker brown was dyed with cheap irish tea. and the handles with lichen... I enjoyed the knitting of Bea's pattern - thanks for letting me do the test knit!
I am thinking of using this pattern again - this time for a smaller bag. I'd use sock wool and instead of felting the end result I'd knit the whole thing in double knit. this would avoid the constant crossing of threads while knitting and give a stable lining, too. of course it would take more time, but still - I like the pattern a lot and think it's worth the work. alternatively I had the idea to make a "fibre bag" instead - similar basic pattern, but instead of spinning wheels I might make my own chart, with a lot of different fibre names plus maybe a handspindle here and there? we'll see.... probably not before christmas though!
after finishing the two letters I also had to keep working on my houses in x-stitch! the designer of the SAL, Renate, was kind enough to make a post office esp. for me, I just changed colours a bit and added a post box. the weird thing the subconscience can do: when I checked the post office recently - there was in fact a poster in the window with some strong orange around! I chose the colour in the window totally at random - or so I thought!! it's not an exact replica of our local post office, but it comes pretty close, even though Renate has never seen the real one....
I have a few more to go, right now I am working on the school. after this I have a fashion boutique to do and maybe also a kitchen supplies shop, depending on how much empty space I have left on the fabric. I did the zoo already - and when those houses are done I have to add "fillings", small charts that fill the spaces between the houses. I am still undecided about adding a small cottage such as ours.... but if I don't finish soon, I won't be able to take part in her christmas sal - which I definitely want to do.
it's a shame though - I checked my supplies for this and found fabric in different colours. but not enough christmas green and christmas red embroidery yarn - can you believe it, with all those boxes full of threads.... off to find an online shop for embroidery supplies....
I finished the batch of black alpaca/pink silk, I should have plenty of yarn for a shawl; haven't decided on a pattern yet, but it's very soft and silky and I am tempted to knit with it soon!
I also finally finished the blend I made for the spinning demo I did in july - which leaves the lendrum empty and ready to go for a bit of christmas spinning:)) the yarn on the left is a blend of lambswool, silk and some soy silk, all dyed naturally - plied with a commercial tussah silk. I like the soft muted colours, but they definitely won't be for me - I can't wear those autumnal shades or I look gravely ill....
to avoid an empty bobbin on my wheel I started with some logwood dyed lilac alpaca on the louet - I just have to decide which bigger project (apart from the green/yellow cuddly blanked...) I'll knit next!