Manic Dynamic Majacrafters – Magic made on Looms!

Manic Dynamic Majacrafters – Magic made on Looms!

A little while ago, we (Esther, Donni, and Me) started up our new Manic Dynamic Majacrafters Facebook Group especially for those of us lucky enough to have our own Majacraft Dynamic Heddle loom to play with, (and those aspiring to have one). Since we started this group it has grown and grown in a most splendid fashion! We are up to over 160 members, and the creativity I see within the group is just fantastic and so inspirational.  I love it that the pieces people are making are all so incredibly different, unique, and very diverse, everyone has their own touch and special approach to working on their looms. So I thought it was a very interesting thing to highlight this idea of individuality and uniqueness by setting up a challenge for everyone! And the challenge? Make a piece in which the focus was on texture and form, rather than colour, so using the same tonal range within each piece, and working on developing ways of varying the weaving through creating surface design. I thought this might really highlight the unique approaches to the constructions and techniques used when creating these works of art. The results were stunning! I have gathered up some examples here of work from our group members. Its eye candy. Its brain boost. Its simply manically marvellous 🙂 I love each piece!   First, a pic of the piece made by a special friend who lives here in Holland too, Brigitte. These are totally ‘her’ colours 🙂 and I especially adore the way she has used the coils to make texture in the weft. Next is an image of some stunning textural elements created by Mary of Fiber Creek Farm, theres a lot going on in this piece but that is balanced beautifully by her choices of natural shades. This next gorgeous piece is from Tracie , I just love the colour, its so light and dreamy, and her use of contrasting textures and open weave really adds to that quality.    Now here is a very striking and dramatic item made by Robyn Betts from some amazingly black Alpaca fleece. She has also used some wonderful texture contrasts, and made a diva of a drapey scarf. I could see myself wearing this one ALL winter. Ahem 😉   What follows now is another wonderful, made in Holland, piece from Karen Bruinsma, her ‘Waterfall’ scarf, which combines some beautiful aqua blue shades with some very pretty textures and her clever use of the little felted neps that she created for this too. I must learn how to do that! Its awesome. The next image is from Rahel Hecht, who is creating some really stunning weavings...

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International Goodies

International Goodies

The world is an amazing place, and I love it when it all comes together on my kitchen table. Today I got this in the post! Some seriously bigass knitting needles, ordered and sent to me from Israel. I got 10 of these lovely shiny reels of different coloured thread, which arrived to me from India, rather exotically packed in a cloth envelope which was sewn by hand at the end. (I love that). Also on my table was, a funky piece of Rimu – a native tree of New Zealand which produces wonderful rich reddish hard wood (and my Aura is made of out it!) that my mum sent me and I am using as a coffee cup coaster. Bamboo Merino blend roving from World of Wool in the UK, some USA origin Root Beer, my Kuala Lumper Starbucks coffee cup, and a plastic shopping bag from the Naturalis Museum here in Holland. It suddenly struck me how all this stuff from so many places was so casually sitting here together on my very own kitchen table!. I am not sure what to think of this, only that I AM thinking of this XD I am also thinking that I cant wait to start using my needles but I dont want to raid my Etsy shop Stock to do it and I am eyeing all that roving I dyed today somewhat more greedily than I should be, it was all earmarked for shop stock and a custom order (Deidre, its possible I might steal your yarn before its even spun!). Its so easy to get sidetracked from the original goal sometimes isnt it?! So, two things – is it insane that we have these casual collections of global items in our immediate environment? Or is it a wonderful thing that the world is so interdependant and we can experience so much of it like this in our modern lives? And What am I going to make with these amazing...

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Hobbity Feet

Hobbity Feet

Maybe you know already, I am working on a new yarn series inspired by Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It seemed appropriate since my One Wheel campaign and the fact that my wonderful wheel is in-scripted in Elvish!  So I have already made my Mines of Moria yarn (which will be revealed when the series is complete!) and I have about another 10 planned! But today I made the prototype of my ‘Hobbity Feet’ yarn, and I really love how it turned out, very hobbity! I showed a pic on my Facebook page earlier.  I love the rich brown of the natural Polwarth and the lighter brown of the Alpaca together, they make a lovely blend that I think is really Hobbit-appropriate, rich and earthy. When I posted this pic on Facebook, someone suggested it would make great slipper toppers! I thought that was a fantastic idea! Since this skein was just a prototype practice, I hadn’t spun enough to do that, (next time though!)  but I did want to see it knitted up into something to know if my spacing and ‘hairy’ fluff was a suitable amount to make a nice effect. So I kinda just started knitting with the vague idea of making a cuff, since I didnt have a lot to play with, but it got longer, and as I knitted I thought it might make a nice boot trim, and then when I had finished it and was getting my boot to try it on, my son wanted the boot with it on and I thought… hang on… it would be a cool leg/foot warmer or even a dress-up! So he modelled it for me too 🙂 I will make him a second one so he will have matching feet. It was very simple knitting, cast on, stocking stitch, being sure to pull the hobbity bits to the outside, then cast off three each end to make the point! Thats what I like about art yarns, the yarn does all the work and the knitting can be really simple...

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How I Knit an Art Yarn iPad Sleeve

How I Knit an Art Yarn iPad Sleeve

I often get bits of leftover yarns, usually at least some leftover singles from a plying mission, and sometimes I even make myself a yarn to play with too!  This iPad sleeve is made from some bulky singles yarn  (merino Bamboo blend)which I had dyed in pretty mermaid colours, and some lovely natural coloured dark espresso brown Polwarth which I had autowrapped with gold thread. I also had an iPad that needed a nice cosy sleeve so I could put it in my bag without worrying about scratches.. Its no secret, I am not the worlds greatest knitter, in fact I am potentially the perfect contender for the coveted title of ‘Most Likely to Tangle Herself in Her Own Knitting’ award. But still, I valiantly dusted off my needles and and managed to cast on. In fact I think I cast on about 40 stitches, in this nice bulky yarn. I used circular needles because I always do regardless of the project, because otherwise I always drop the needle out of the stitches and have to pick them all up again and inevitably end up with holes. See I told you. I started knitting, stocking stitch (R1 knit R2 purl) and continued doing that until I thought it was about time to change colour, about a quarter of the way along the length of the iPad. I wanted the dark brown to be the ‘tummy’ of the sleeve and make a nice broad band around it. I did a two extra knit rows before I changed colour to give a different texture. After I changed colour I went back to the stocking stitch rows again until it was time to return to the green. Again a few knit rows for the texture, I am kinda symmetrical… When I had gotten to about an inch short of the total length I wanted (phew) I changed to garter stitch, just knitting each row until I was ready to cast off, which I did, at great risk to life and limb, but finally managed to cast off completely without strangling myself in deadly loops of yarn. This is really an easy project – no shaping required and just keep knitting until you get to the length you want! When I was done knitting I just stitched the bottom edges together and up the side to make it into a sleeve. Thats it! I think the beauty of something like this is the simplicity, allowing the yarn to do all the jazzy pzazzy stuff for you, in this case I got some pretty colour changes from my hand dyed yarn and the gold thread in the Polwarth really added some...

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