Whoot! Lord of the Rings Yarns- Worldwide Premier and Giveaway!

Whoot! Lord of the Rings Yarns- Worldwide Premier and Giveaway!

I am so excited to bring you my new yarn gallery, in celebration of todays Premier in Wellington New Zealand of the new Hobbit movie! VISIT THE GALLERY HERE!!  But I’d love you to read about it all here first, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Closes 1 December, details at the end of this post! For those of you who follow my Facebook page, you probably know I have been working on this series for some time already, well since earlier this year, a new project I started after the arrival of my Majacrat Aura, my ONE WHEEL (my preciousssss) with the uber amazing text engraved for me by Andy Poad, in ELVISH! Well how could I not make some Tolkien yarns on her?! I have had a lovely time experimenting, dreaming, drawing and planning, messing with fibers… Some of them I carefully prepared, washing, handcombing, blending, dyeing,  and others I used more rustically, creating texture and depth. And guess what, I still have loads of ideas for more in this series. I love how the books have so many incredible characters, settings, and emotions within them. Each of these yarns is made based on my own interpretations of the places of characters, I tried to incorporate key aspects of each into the yarn. Here is a brief description of what was in my head when I was planning the yarns.   Arwen: While Alpaca with Silver The beautiful white Arwen yarn is hand combed pure white Alpaca, traditionally spun as a smooth two plied yarn with a fine silver thread through it. I wanted this gorgeous flowing drape, smooth and carrying the beautiful dignity and grace of the Elves. Lothlorien: Pale Green Alpaca with Angelina Sparkles Along the same lines as Arwen, the other Alpaca yarn is Lothlorien, dyed in the palest apple green and filled with masses of delicate sparkles from some pale green Angelina, blended in as I combed it. This is also a clean lined, drapey flowing yarn. I was thinking of the magical forest, glowing, slightly delicate, dappled and green.. The Shire This yarn was a load of fun! Bright grassy greens of green New Zealand Merino, representing the hills of the Shire, red and yellow flowers made from fluffy BFL, blue strands flowing around it for the river, and flashes of sparkle as Gandalf lights the fireworks to celebrate Bilbo’s birthday! Hobbity Feet I love the Hobbitty Feet yarn! Naturally Brown New Zealand Polwarth forms the quite rustic, almost tree rootish, very earthy base, and of course the furry tufts, softest natural alpaca sticks out and a nice feathery way. I spun the Polwarth and then chain plied it into a...

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Food.

Food.

  Lets divert a little here ok? Cos I have been busy spinning, weaving, dyeing, posting about it… time for a break. And what could be better during a little side-tinkering than FOOOOOOD??! Not just any old food, no nonono no, cant have just any old food that takes our fancy, nope. I mean food that contains no gluten, gluten free, generally also meaning wheat free. So a few months ago my daughter was tested and found to have some food sensitivities. Well not too surprising, its in the family, in fact one of my brothers is basically allergic to everything. At one point he was seriously considering he was allergic to air. Or his wife. Luckily for him it was found that it was, in fact, a serious cat allergy that had certainly spread to pretty much everything, but reducing the main allergin did help reduce his other sensitivities to a bearable level and he was able to continue life as a married man. We were all relieved, my sister in law is ten kinds of awesome. My aunt also has various allergies, in fact that reminds me, I have a mission this week to wash and dye some of the beautiful alpaca I have to send her for christmas! This is the aunt who taught me to spin and gave me my first wheel then sent me to lessons too! And sadly she has since become more and more allergic to wool, she cant spin it anymore. So problem solved, Alpaca! I cant wait to see her spinning it 🙂 Ok back to my daughter. Clearly then this food sensitivity thing is not so rare after all. Last time we were back in New Zealand I noticed that all the Cafe’s have additional gluten free menus with all sorts of wonderous fare of every kind, it was blissfully easy to go out to eat! This acknowledgement of food issues hasnt really reached Holland yet, although I was very happy to find out that our local Pancake restaurant now does gluten free pancakes, OR lactose free pancakes, sadly not gluten AND lactose free in one pancake, but its a start! So basically when we found out that my daughter was both Lactose and Gluten sensitive, it did rather seem like the world had started rotating in the opposite direction. I mean, this IS the Netherlands, standard fare is pretty much ANYTHING in bread, chocolate sprinkles, speculaas cookies, of course cheese, and all followed with a glass of milk. Have you met many dutch people? They are tall, very tall. I swear its the milk, they drink it a lot, they are probably the least lactose intolerant people on...

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Art Yarn Wreath Making

Art Yarn Wreath Making

Hi everyone! This is a quick post, because actually it is rather late and I really should get some sleep! *yaaawwwn* My main goal with this post however is not to ramble on like I usually do, but to ask you to do that instead! If you saw my most recent newsletter you would have seen the mini tutorial I made describing how I constructed the crazy art yarn wreath (http://www.woolwench.com/videos-and-books/ then click on newsletters and scroll down).  When I made the tutorial it was really with the intention of just sharing my process and inspiration for it, because I know that when I read what other people are doing/making/thinking it often triggers my ideas and gets me creating! I hope this will have the same effect on you! Its the best time of year for getting makey, cos baby its cold outside! Nothing better than a table full of sparkly goodies and fairy lights to while away a few hours in blissful activity. So I would love to hear about your ideas! What Christmas creations are you planning? Cookies? Yarns? Knitted wonders or crocheted delights? I loved the knitted christmas tree balls (did that come out right?!)  that were popular last year but since I cant read a pattern that was well beyond my reach 😛 But I do love checking out what people are making, and I think the most wonderful and unique gifts are those made with love and by hand. Not sure if you can attach photos to comments here, but if you have pics of what you are making feel free to post on my FB page too! Nite nite x...

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In Which a Departure is Made and An Unexpected Journey Begun

In Which a Departure is Made and An Unexpected Journey Begun

What a month its turning out to be. Because of several things, including but not limited to: opening my second Etsy shop (thats a big YAY) with a slowly growing collection of my handmade accessories, a woven scarf so soft and cosy it would even keep the chill away if you suddenly found yourself at the feet of the Misty Mountains themselves, a beautifully whispy Mohair Cowl that I hand dyed in very pleasing colours that would not (in my humble opinion) see you feeling out of place in the court of Galadriel herself, and a lovely art yarn cowl completed with the most delightful of jewels created to match by Diedre Dreams, a legendary maker of treasures, and yes, I do believe there is a certain Dragon coveting this particular set.. And of course, there is the Gandalf the Grey cowl, because no journey can even be contemplated without him. Bringing me to the next part of this months journey. Did you know that the new Hobbit movie is due for release soon?! Peter Jackson is Premiering it in New Zealand next month! I am so looking forward to seeing it, and in anticipation of this event I am stepping up creation energy on my LOTR yarns. I have a collection of about 7 different yarns now, from Nazgul to Hobbits, Morder to the Shire, but I still have design ideas for a few more! If you have been following my Facebook Page you might have caught some sneak peaks of individual yarns. I hope to be ready to reveal the entire collection to coincide with the Hobbit Premiere in Middle Earth (Wellington). And then, of course, I will be looking for ideas of what to do with them! Some I can replicate and sell individually of course, but I want to keep the collection together, I am thinking about making some epic kind of LOTR yarn weaving, or something… Well, the journey is only part-way to its end, so no doubt by the time we get closer I will have come up with an idea for the conclusion, and no, dont worry, I am not going to do a Peter Jackson and stretch it out to make THREE pieces, I know a good story can be told in one go 😛 Yes I am a little …. concerned… that they are making three movies out of the Hobbit, it wasnt THAT big a book huh? But we will see won’t we, hopefully they have just been especially clever rather than ponderously slow.. Now speaking of ponderously slow, we have a departure to consider in this post too. And its not a physical one, no one has left or is leaving, its...

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Silk Hankies

Silk Hankies

  I thought I would start gradually adding some of the projects and how-to’s from past newsletters to the ‘Projects’ page. They will still be downloadable as pretty pdf files from the archive of course, but maybe its also handy here to have an overview of what was in the newsletter! The first of these was the one on spinning silk hankies, in my video I show two techniques for doing this, one is the technique you usually see when you look on You Tube for information about how to spin Mawatas, you know, put a hole in the middle of the hankie and pre-draft it. This is a perfectly good method and gives you a lot of control over the thickness you want to spin. I also show you another (and my preferred) method, of drafting directly from the corner, I find it is actually easier on my fingers this way, the most important thing being to make sure your hands are far enough apart that the fibers are easy to draft. They make a very satisfying popping noise as you pull them 😛 This technique gives you more control over the colours as you spin and tends to keep them together better than the other way. The last thing in the video is a little bit about knitting straight from an unspun hankie! Its actually really easy and makes a beautiful light fabric, so even if you are not a spinner you can still make great use of a silk mawata! Any questions? Post them in the comments and I will do my best to...

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