25 October 2013

Just keep weaving...

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! It's that time of the week again, this week it's all about handwoven scarves, well mostly :-)

Some of you may already know that we are going back to England for Christmas this year, then we're going to the U.S. for a "real" holiday, woohoo! I was making the list for family presents last weekend (it's a bit late I know), there were 19 names on the list not including children, eek! Then I thought: I can do this - I already collected a few items I made throughout the year and I need to practice my weaving, so I will make scarves! ... if you are one of my folks from the "old country" please look away now ;-)

Scarf #1: that was the Monet's Garden I showed you last week.

Scarf #2: Cherry Ripe Scarf for my FIL, so named after the chocolate of the same name :-)
It came off the loom a bit shorter than I intended, but he doesn't like long scarves anyway, or so I'm told.

Scarf #3: A study of pickup sticks - actually I might keep this one to my self, it's made of cotton and there were a few mistakes.

Scarf #4: Yorkshire Moors - the colours remind me of the heathers on the Yorkshire moors, and this is all my handspun. The Warp is a 2-ply yarn that I spun with one single from the Rolags made on the blending board, plied with another single of alpaca, the weft is a 2-ply that I spun in the TDF. It's still a WIP and it's looking great :-)

Last weekend I had a lot of fun dyeing silk hankies with Jelly, he's pretty good with colours!
These are in our Etsy shop now, and there's a 10% discount for October. If you're interested you can get the coupon code here :-)  

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

18 October 2013

A hat, a scarf and a commission :-)

Welcome to my Fibre Arts Friday! I've got a few things to share this week, first up is a flat cap I knitted for Jelly who is playing Dickon from The Secret Garden in his school play. The rest of the costume was easy, or so we thought... as it turned out, the boy did not possess a single pair of trousers that are not jeans, trackies or combats. And he couldn't raid his brother's wardrobe because they are not the same shape. Luckily we found some in Savers, and we managed to find a nice waistcoat from another charity shop, so we are good.

Anyway, the flat cap. The pattern is Morgan from Knitty Fall 2008. It it a relatively simple pattern, you start from the centre and gradually increase out, the front of the cap is shaped via irregular increases. But once you are done with the main knitting the rest of the shaping is a bit fiddly but not difficult. The pattern called for two popper fastenings to hold down the top of the cap, but I didn't like the way it looked so I took those out and sewn the front edge to the peak instead. It's looks much better this way, I think.
The photo was taken in haste before school on the day the costumes were due in... the boy desperately needs a haircut!

I can definitely say I have caught the weaving bug! I finished my second scarf, this time using my handspun. You might remember sometime last year when I was exploring dyeing and carding, I made some hand carded batts called "I dream of Monet", I used the yarn spun from that for the weft and a commercial sock yarn for the warp.

Oh and I finished the spinning commission I took from the Gisborne market, I was quite nervous while spinning it, hoping that I wouldn't mess it up. I think it came out alright :-)

Before I sign off, Cat & Sparrow is running a promotion on Facebook for 10% off everything in our Etsy shop. Just click on the Facebook link to get the Coupon Code. For folks on the other side of the planet, the exchange rate with Aussie dollars will work in your favour at the moment ;-)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

11 October 2013

Introducing Cat & Sparrow :-)

I am so excited to introduce Cat & Sparrow Fibres, a collaboration of fibre creations between two friends: Cat (me) and Sparrow (a.k.a. Rachael Prest of The Sparrow Makes). Rachael and I met when I bought her wheel last year, yes you may remember the excitement I had when I acquired "Charlotte" the Ashford traditional. Rachael was the seller who very understandingly let me took the wheel there and then, and we have become friends since. As we both experimented with creating fibre and yarn we thought it would be a good idea to team up and sell at local makers' markets, and Cat & Sparrow Fibres was born.

Last Sunday we took part in our first big market at the Gisborne Olde Time Market and we had a ball!
The turn out was great and we all made sales, and I even got my first commission! A lady who didn't spin fell in love with some of my batts and commissioned me to spin them up for her :-)
Rachael wrote our first blog posting in Cat & Sparrow and we also started our Facebook page, link is here. We'd love it if you could give us some encouragement and "like" our page :-)

Wow, who could have thought buying a spinning wheel on eBay would lead into this exciting fibre adventure!

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

04 October 2013

Drama About A Wheel

I didn't write a post last week because I didn't trust myself not to write anything I'd later regret, you see, I was very close to commit some murderous acts on my beloved 16 year old son. Let me tell you why.

Remember Little Grace Special? Yes, the handmade wheel that I waited 5 months for and finally came two weeks ago? Last week my son broke the flyer. Huh? What?! How?! Well, he was lying on the sofa like teenagers do, and had his lanky legs dangling over the side. My wheel was on the other side. As he was getting up he did this lifting up the legs and kicking out thing and WHAM! the wheel took a tumble but didn't fall (just as well!) but the poor flyer took the full force and fell, one of the flyer arms snapped - he is a blue belt in Martial Arts!
I was stunned, gobsmacked, stupefied, speechless, and sad...  Of course it was an accident, and he was very contrite - he even offered me all the cash he had, the cash he'd been saving up for something special. But that didn't help at the time, my brand new wheel!!

Luckily Mike, the wheel maker, said that if I sent the flyer back to him he would repair it for me. And the good news is as I write this post the flyer is on its way back, so all is good. And I still love my son, dearly ♥

While I was feeling sad last week I had something new to keep me occupied, my Cricket Loom had arrived. I know I know, I was going to get it when I visit the U.S. in January but I gave in to my impatience. Well, there is another story in there but I will tell you another time, one drama a post is quite enough!

Anyway, I used the yarns that came with the loom and made a practice piece:
and here it is tied off, washed and dried :-)
The edges are a bit wonky, especially on the side where I carried the yarns and it's only short, but I am very happy with how it turned. This is so much fun!

On the spinning front as I couldn't use my new wheel I got to play on the Jenkins Turkish spindle, I already had two singles spun up so I used my new Swan to do the plying which was perfect as I found it's a little too heave to spin singles for my liking. I was very impressed with how much the Swan can hold, a whopping 118g and 163 meters in this case, wow!
Well, that's all the drama and excitement for me this week. Now it's your turn :-)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!