Monday, December 3, 2012

Handspun Christmas Wreath and Trees

There are monthly challenges on Craftster.org, and this month the challenge was 'Just Thread It!'  You could use any kind of thread and any methods you wanted.  I've been wanting to try out Jacey Boggs Tornado yarn method in Spin Art for a while, and this was the perfect excuse to do it!  I took a white pencil roving and 3 different crochet threads (one green, one variegated white/green/red, and one white with silver sparkle, but that sparkle doesn't show up in the picture) and went at it.  It wasn't as 'plodding' as she said it would be.  However I did find that if I worked with shorter chunks of the roving and joined them more often I could let out some of the extra twist that was accumulated before joining.  And it's not quite as densely tornado as the one in her book, but I think it's a great try!  I'll be doing this again in many colors, and hope to not run out of crochet cotton! Here it is on the bobbin.  I forgot to take a skein picture, and can't find the left overs to take a picture of what it looks laid out.

Tornado Handspun on the Bobbin

I took the yarn and wrapped and wrapped a 14'' foam wreath form, and when that was done I added the bobbles with some straight pins and hot glue for security.  I did the same with the foam tree forms as well.

Handspun wreath Handspun trees

I do believe they are going to look lovely together some where.  I was at a Christmas Bazaar on Saturday and got a lot of positive feed back on these, and someone who wanted to think about taking it home, and she knows where to find me if she decides she definitely does want them.

Handspun wreath

Making these makes me excited for Christmas, I'm almost swelling with excitement this year and I'm not sure why!

~Kara

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

More Plank Weaving Fun!

I love woven fabrics, but that little free loom I scored would never be able to handle the yarn I've been weaving lately.  At least as long as it's the warp yarn.  I've just pulled this beauty off the plank loom today and I love it soooo much.  The yarn is one I'd done a while ago, which is 100% bamboo.  So this thing is so super duper soft.  And it flows and drapes so nicely. 
Bamboo statement scarf

Bamboo statement scarf

Bamboo statement scarf

And one  more, because I love the on the loom picture.  You can really see the whole scarf here.

Bamboo statement scarf, on the 'loom'

It was a quick weave, and fun to boot...  Now, do I keep it for me, or sell it at the Christmas Bazaar on Saturday?

~Kara

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Just keep knitting

I'm currently working on a Blanket for seriously cold people for my sister. There will be 5 colors in total. It's taking forever and a day. So my mantra right now is just keep knitting. Maybe it'll be done by Christmas. Or maybe even sooner. I can hope anyway. Each row is taking 10+ minutes. So my conclusion is that blankets take to long!

~Kara

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Free loom? Yes please!

 I was asked "Do you want a 'Weaving Thing'?  They are just going to throw it out anyway."  I wondered, was it a triangle loom?  A tapestry loom?  A board with nails in it?  Or a proper full sized floor loom?  A table loom?  There are just so many 'Weaving Things' that I couldn't be sure.
I honestly didn't know what to expect,  but I said yes anyway.  And then I was presented with this:
Free loom? Yes please!
I've not set it up, or tried it out yet.  It's some filthy.  My hands were black after trying to open it up.  And it needs oil.  I couldn't get it to stand.  But it's definitely a table loom.  1 reed, 2 shafts, and it appears to have all the pieces, but I wont be sure until I get it standing.

But how sweet is that?  I'll get scarves off it, once I get it going.  Now I need to borrow Mom's books!

~Kara

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Color Blending Fun!

One of the Level 2 Master Spinners assignments is to blend all the colours on the colour wheel from the three primary colors.  These are my results:
Just the yarns.  Color theory assignment
Just the yarns.  Reds all the way through to the purples.
In progress color theory assignment
Part way to being finished.  Note that crochet hook.  It's 1.5mm.  So this stuff is t h i n.


(Almost) finished color theory assignment.
And the final piece.  I think I'll be leaving the yarn ends out.  I kind of like the way you can see them, as the whole point of this class is the yarn, not so much the crocheting or knitting of it.


And yes, the lighting is terrible.  And no, none of these pictures give the true colours.  Hopefully there will be sun tomorrow, and I'll be able to get much better pictures of these gorgeous yarns.

~Kara








Monday, October 8, 2012

Thankful, 2012

Today is the day we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada.  While we aren't doing the turkey and stuffing and cranberries etc. today (honestly, we did it yesterday!),  I still have things to be thankful for.


I'm thankful for my ability to make beautiful yarn.
I'm thankful for my health.
I'm thankful for my newest endeavour with Steeped Tea.
I'm thankful for this house we bought because it's all there was available in this town at the time.  It's now our home, where many memories are being made and will continue to be made.
I'm thankful for the dirty dishes, piles of laundry, toys strewn across every inch of the floor, and the general chaos that this home is in every day, because it means I'm surrounded by love, and we have so much more then a lot of people in this world.
I'm thankful for my family.  My lovely children who simultaneously drive me nuts and bring me untold joy.  My wonderful husband, who is a plumber, and as I type this is gone to get his drain snake, because the afore-mentioned children have flushed something down a toilet, and now the main line is plugged.  I'm also thankful that he is a kind, caring, and patient man who works hard and 'brings home the bacon'.  In other words 'money for fibre' (among other things of course ;) )
I'm thankful for my extended family - Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, and Grandparents (of which I'm lucky to still have all 4 of.).  And even my In-Laws.  I'm thankful for them too.


I am thankful.  I am blessed.  What are you thankful for today?

~Kara

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Scrap Happy Scarf

I used to sew A LOT.  And therefore have a ridiculous amount of scraps that are long and thin.  They are the right size to quilt with, truly.  But why let perfectly good fabric be turned into a blanket?  Especially when you can spin it.
This is part of the pile I started with:
Scraps for yarn

I spun it up on a core of pencil roving
Scraps Yarn

And then knitted it straight off the bobbin into this lovely scrap happy scarf!  It's a drop stitch scarf, with one row of single dropped stitches, and a row of double dropped stitches.
Scraps Scarf, length shot.

Scraps Scarf

It's actually quite comfy and warm, despite some of the more coarse fabrics I did put in there, including the stuff you cover ironing boards with!  It's a little wacky, but so very fun!  I entered it in the Craftster RRR challenge, and voting takes place until the 20th!  Have a look at the other fabulous entries, and give the one you think deserves to win a vote if you are a member!  ( And if you so happen to think my scarf does, well then all the better for me :D)

~Kara

Monday, September 10, 2012

She didn't die after all!

So I kind of fell off the blogosphere for a while there, didn't I?  But I promise you I was enjoying life to it's fullest.  I spent a week (A Whole WEEK!)  unplugged, at a fly in fishing camp with my husband, sister, brother-in-law and a few of their friends.  It was an amazing adventure.  7 beautiful sunsets, something like this:
the most perfect sunset

I did, of course, take along my spinning wheel.  And didn't quite fill a bobbin.  But really, I was adventuring!
Merciboo Top, spun up, just one bobbin.

Speaking of adventuring, we went for a walk on the island and came across this odd lichen.  At first I thought "Can I spin it!!?!?"  I turned to my husband who said " I don't think you can spin it."  Before I even said it out loud.  Turns out you can't, but it makes great fire starter.
Fluff on trees

After that amazingly relaxing quiet time away from pretty much everything, I was back to Real Life full force for a whole week, and had little to no time to do much of anything before I left again, this time, children in tow, to my Parents place!  It's approximately 8 hours one way, so we stayed until we had to leave, because of the start of the school year.
Gorgeous Southern Saskatchewan

I pretty much made my Mom buy a loom in June this year, and she still hadn't warped it up (in her defence, she needed to buy somethings, and the LYS there was closed for most of July)  So while I was there,  I helped her out, making the warp, pulling the threads through the loom, and getting started weaving!  It took us the better part of a week, because there were so many other things we needed to do while there.  But we did it!
Getting the loom warped up from the back, warped up and ready to go
Weaving with my Mom, Action shot 1 Weaving with my Mom, Action shot 2
Results of weaving with my Mom

She has since finished this off, and I bought her a bunch of cotton to keep practicing with.  She says she'll try to make dish cloths with it.  I can't wait to see more of her work!  She really seemed to enjoy it!

And of course, I couldn't pass up collecting bales with my Dad.  I took this shot while out in the field.
Collecting Bales

We finally made our way home, with just 14 hours to spare before the first day of school for my oldest boy.   And I truly haven't stopped "doing" since we got home.  I've gotten a good start on the actual practical work part of my level 2 homework.  And managed to get a good start on the re-arranging of my crafting studio.  And started the rearranging of the whole basement, so we can frame a room in for the oldest kid.  And did most of the refinishing of a dresser.  And And And!  A lot of things, anyway.  I will, of course, share all the wonderful things I've been up to in these past 2 weeks, but not now.  I will save it for later!

~Kara

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ravellenic games completed!



I did it!  I made a pair of socks, and spun a whole fleece!  And I did it all in less then two weeks. Booyah.

First, too many pictures of socks.

My first pair of socks, again
The pair.

The left sock
If you look closely enough, you can see an error where I picked up the provisional cast on wrong.  This is the left sock.  Named so, because there is also a ridge of purling where I accidentally knit a row I should have purled over the top of the toe.  The bind off on this one is almost to tight. But it helps to hold it up, so it's okay.

The right sock
The right sock.  That little hole there is one of the two imperfections in this sock.  The other being that the bind off is to loose, and therefore wonky and prone to slippage. 

My first pair of socks!

Top view!  You can see the left sock's toe ridge. 

Second, one whole Jacob yearling fleece worth of super bulky, Navajo plied yarn.

One whole Jacob yearling fleece, Navajo plied
 It's squishy, bulky, and quite a mess.  It wasn't an exercise in perfection, but an exercise in creating.  It's sheepy, and that's the point!

~Kara

Monday, August 6, 2012

Get by with a little help from our Friends

Okay, my friends.  One of my favorite little farms to buy from, Natchwoolie, is experiencing a really bad drought, and the well has run dry!  They've been bringing in water every couple of days, using it for the animals and them selves. The cost of getting rural water hook up is high, but there's no way for them to save, given that they spend up to 150$ on fuel and water purchase per week.  So she's set up a fundraiser, which you can find here.  I've given a little bit, 10$.  If you could even donate 5$, it would be wonderfully apreciated.  Please at least have a look, and see if you can help out a wonderful farm full of wonderful animals, and wonderful people!

~Kara

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Spun to Done

I joined the 'Geezer' Swap on Craftster.org.  And by Geezer, we mean you have to be over 30 to join... Because being 30 automatically makes you a geezer?  Ha!  I find it funny, but cute, and was all to excited to be 30 this year.  Just so I could join a Geezer swap.   This is what I made for my partner.

I started straight from fibre, carding up these two batts. 


Beautiful batt, no.2

Beautiful batt, no.1

And then I spun it up into this yarn.  The two batts were spun single, and then plied together.

Colorful spun

And finally I made them into Fingerless mittens!  She had requested a pair of fingerless mittens, and these aren't exactly like the ones she'd linked too, but I hope she likes them, none the less.

Simple fingerless mittens

It feels nice to finally be able to show these off! There was a lot of effort into them, and I was quite pleased with the end product.

~Kara

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ravellenic games update

If you've been following my tweeting, you'll already know just how awesome I'm doing in my Ravellenic personal challenges.  But because there are a lot of folks out there, not on Twitter, I'll show you my amazing progress here too.

I'm pretty impressed that I've been able to start a sock from the toe up, but it took me 4 HOURS to do one toe... which is insane.

My first sock. More sock!


And I've gotten just a bit more of the foot done too... I kind of wonder if I'm actually going to get both of them done by the 12th.  I'll try, but that's the best I can do.  And if I do get them done, well then all the better!


I've also gotten into spinning my Jacob fleece that I was going to spin for the Tour de Fleece (along with the crazy lace weight, which also didn't happen... stoopid injury which is now healed enough that I can do some things! yay!)  This project is nearly done.  At least the spinning part anyway.  One jumbo bobbin of chain plied, lanolin in, Jacob yearling yarn.  I hope I have enough for a decent sized scarf!

One bobbin full of Jacob yarn

And that's pretty much it, and it's only Wednesday!  I sure wish I was this productive all the time.  Imagine the things I could do, if I just did all the things!  Who needs sleep anyway?

~Kara

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Preppin' for the Ravellenic Games!

Well, I guess the Ravellenic games start tomorrow at 4 to coincide with the opening games of the Olympic games!   I'm excited, and have big plans.  First, I want to knit my first ever pair of socks! I found this Toe Up Sock Pattern Generator via Ravelry, and am going to swatch for my pattern tonight. The only thing is I needed to put this pertty skein of yarn from Ancient Arts into ball form.

Sock yarn from ancient arts fibre.com

There was one little problem though... I don't have a ball winder, or a swift for that matter.  And to top it off I couldn't find my beat stick.  I mean my Notespinne.  So I grabbed a knitting needle and a willing soul and created something that worked quite nicely.


I call this video: Necessity is the Mother of Invention.  Or Child Labour is Great.  Or My 7 year old rocks.  Or... Well, yeah. You get the idea.  He was actually having fun doing this with me!  I no longer have to enlist my husband, who admittedly does it willingly, but imagine!  I could get 2-3 skeins wound in a day if I had two helpers! 

I've also got this lurvely Jacob yearling ewe fleece that I plan to spin, and hopefully knit up during the games... We'll see how it goes... 

One little lambs worth of wool

Once the games are over, it's all homework all the time time... Because I will not repeat last year!  Will not!

Let the count down begin!

~Kara

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Happy blogiversary to me!

It's been 1 whole year since I started this lovely little blog.  It's been really fun!  But every time I look at it I can't help but think it could be laid out better, look fresher, be just a little more modern, be easier to read and easier to find the important information (like how to follow, the about me info, my tweets, etc.).   So I've done an update.  You've probably already noticed (if you follow) and even if you are new here, I hope you dig it!  Maybe this year I'll even venture into pages, and do up some tutorials.  You know, 'The best laid plans of mice and men....".  We'll see what this year throws at me!  It'll be a fun year, still filled with homework woes, and lots of procrastination spinning.  And I'll share all I can with you!

Here's to one great year, and to many more to come!  *Raises coffee mug* Cheers!

~Kara

Friday, July 20, 2012

Craft Camp 2012

Something came over me a while back and I decided to see if there was any interest in a Craft camp for kids this summer.  Well, there was!  And so, I ran one.  This is the creative chaos that happened in 3 days.
Designing our Monsters felting by hand is an amazing amount of workBest action sequence part 1 Best action sequence part 2 Thwack that Felt!! Finished pieces of feltstitch stitch stitch stitch stitch stitchSome Pocket Dollies Cool leech monster
Finished Stuffies!


It was a very very fun 3 days! 

~Kara


p.s.  I got my Master Spinner Level 1 workbook back... I passed! with flying colours! yay me!