Valentines yarn 2013

Valentines yarn 2013

Something fun to do is make themed yarns, and of course the special days of the year are idea inspiration sources! I did the Christmas yarns: (click on the pics for larger images) and an Easter Yarn:  and also last years Valentine yarn with Roses (for which I also did the video – check that out on the Downloads page among the videos if you’d like to see one way of integrating objects). I didnt yet do a Halloween yarn, but this year I will for sure!) But now I am working on this years Valentine yarn 🙂 Its not really finished yet but I wanted to share it with you already, also cos sometimes its just interesting to see how something develops! I started out with a hot pink, yellow, orange, and purple merino roving. I spun a single, and after a few yards I stopped, broke off the roving and pulled some yarn back off the bobbin and wrapped it into a mini ball, and started crocheting it to make the little crochet hearts:  I started by chaining 4, then joining it into a circle with slip stitch (my crochet description is not going to be very technical because I am hopeless with patterns, but I will describe what I did!) Then I chained two, then *yarn over and put the hook through the middle of the circle to pick up the yarn and pull it through, yarn over and pull through two, yarn over pull though two again. I am not sure if this is double or triple stitch! I am sure someone will know and hopefully leave a comment with the proper term for this! I get confused between the english and American stitch names.. Ok then chain one* Then repeat * to * three times then chain two (this is the point at the bottom of the heart). then repeat * to * again. And thats it! When you get to the last stitch, pull the yarn all the way through to knot it, then I wove it back through the heart to the center and made one more chain there to fasten it. At this point you might want to treadle a little to make sure there is enough twist left between the heart and the orifice, and then join the roving back onto the unspun end of your yarn and spin more until you want to make the next heart. I wasnt sure if I wanted to leave this yarn as a single or to ply it, I felt that the proportions would be better though if it was plied. I happened to have a while single leftover from something else sitting beside...

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Open Day with Woool! Yarn Store The Hague

Open Day with Woool! Yarn Store The Hague

It only takes about an hour to drive from here to The Hague. Its a really nice city, Dutch center of government, home of many embassies and diplomats, site of the wonderful Peace Palace, a truly international city. And this extends even to the yarn stores! Woool is a lovely little shop packed with fibery goodies and creative activities, Pauline runs regular workshops and knitting groups, and she has a great eye for colour, its a visual feast as soon as you walk off the narrow street and into this cosy shop. And today it was truly an international hub of creativity. During the open day today the shop was buzzing with activity, I found myself speaking to people from all over the globe, UK, US, Holland (of course!) I heard a South African accent, me the only Kiwi, and did I hear a Scottish lilt at some point? And the focus of the day, fibery creations. There were people poring over knitting patterns and books, discussion about stitches and designs, others browsing the yarns and making their selections, and there was a lot of interest in the activities of myself, doing some corespinning from a multi-mixed up batt, Victoria Logan was there with her stunning animal creations ( http://www.victorialogan.co.uk) Andre was spinning on his Louet, from various bags of raw wool originating from, among others,  the Dutch Blauwe Texelaar breed, and Patty, with her wonderful Saori looms, a great attraction that took everyones interest young and er, less young! In the above picture you can see Patti demonstrating the Saori Piccolo loom, it was a major hit with the kids that had come along with their mums, and it was impressive to see how fast they picked it up and started creating fabric! I am quite seriously wanting this loom pictured below, (this VERY LOOM) to be my own. See my name written all over it? SEE? Patty is a Saori Dealer, her website is still under construction but she can be contacted via the email address listed on her page Here . She is a very knowledgeable weaver and happy to answer questions (at least, she hasn’t gotten sick of me asking them all the time, yet!) Anyway, I did more than just drool over the loom, really! Here is the proof! Above is my spinning from the afternoon, a soft and super bulky chain ply (navajo ply) made from one of my batts, which I especially packed with extra sparkle! And here below, are some of the yarns that are now in stock at Woool, hanging on the wall! I do believe there were some sales involving my yarn, and some batts too I think, and I know Pauline...

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Handspun Yarn Crochet Hoop Earring Kits!

Handspun Yarn Crochet Hoop Earring Kits!

Heres a heads-up pre-release sneak peek for WoolWench blog readers! I was taking yarn photos today when my order of circular hoop earrings arrived with the post (YAY). So I thought I’d take a quick pic to show you the kinds of things I have planned to put into my DIY Crochet Earrings kits! I have a range of earring sizes, 5, 6 and 7cm circle hoops  (1.9, 2.3 and 2.7 inch) and for something a little different, I also found some really cute square hoops (about 3cm across – 1.2inch), that are also super fun to crochet! Also I am having a lovely time making mini skiens of finespun yarn, working on colour blending within a small yardage so your earrings will have beautiful colours blending around the hoop. The mini skeins look really cute XD. While I am on holiday I will be making these on my spindle, perfect for smaller quantities! Also, I love my spindle, and this is a great reason to be using it 🙂 Along with the hoops and yarns will be lots of other choices for you, when I have the kits ready you will be able to pick from a range of colour coordinated beads, my handpainted wooden hearts, sweet feature beads such as the owls, or pretty delft blues, in fact anything my magpie eye spots while I am out shopping! I will make up kits with enough stuff for you to make a complete pair of earrings, including an instruction card, all you need to supply is the crochet hook (2.5mm) and a little glue if you choose a set with the wooden handpainted details. I am not sure if I want to add these to my Etsy store just now, so at least between now and Christmas, I will be selling these through my Facebook page and will occasionally post batch photos here on my blog. I will do the same with the completed earrings, as I make them I will post to my FB page, so keep an eye on that if you want a pair pre-made. If youre interested in buying some, the finished earrings will be priced between $12-$25 US (depending on materials and complexity) and the kits will be priced between $6-$14, also depending on the contents of the kit – the more expensive ones will have things like handspun silk, and special ‘jewel’ beads! Postage is just $2.50 worldwide on all earrings and kits (up to three pairs per order, 3+ will be $5 postage) If you want to make sure you get your own kit I will be working on them over the next week and will post here when they are...

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Spinning day today!

Spinning day today!

I know its meant to still be summer holidays, but here in Holland the weather hasnt cooperated with the dates, and actually I think we had summer one lovely Wednesday afternoon a couple of weeks before the vacation began. Since then we have had sporadic sunshine and a lot of rain. Today was a rain day. So I stayed indoors and dyed some sunshine, and then spun it! It was slightly accidental, in so much as, I am using a new dye brand for my yellow, and I didnt know quite how it was going to work. Now I do. Its an amazing, in-ya-face super vibrant incredible ‘Bright Yellow’ from Eurolana (World of Wool). Its so very sunny and bright, it was a very good experiment! I painted the roving with the yellow, added orange and let it blend in, then painted on some cherry red and let that bleed into the orange. Then I wrapped it all up and let it steam away. It was pretty hard to photograph, the colours were too bright for the camera! Spinning it was like catching the sun, I felt like Maui, the mythical demi-god of Maori legend, who caught the sun as it sped across the sky to make it slow down and stay long enough for people to enjoy its warmth, thats what I would love to do for our Dutch summer! Catch the sun and make it stay...

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Crochet Hat

Crochet Hat

A few days ago I made a corespun, then coiled yarn, of merino bamboo blend in rainbow colours. I thought it was quite a pretty yarn, and wanted to crochet something with it! This is what I came up with. So my crochet skills are not megalithic, but I figured out I could start with a chain circle, which I crocheted into enough times to make an approximate circle, then I just kept adding rows of treble crochet (I think!) and in each row crocheting three into every  other stich with a chain between the groups of trebles, so it turned into a nice flat saucer! I occasionally did a row of single crochet too, for variety..  Then I started reducing, crocheting into every other stitch, until it fit my head! At that point I did a part row, about half way around, then turned and did the next row over that, reducing again in places to make a kind of ‘peak’. It might not have been completely successful! But it sits on the head comfortably, and it has a nice open weave look to it that I like, showing off the colours just fine. I had my daughter model it for me, she is lucky to be able to wear pretty much any kind of hat. Me, I dont suit hats, but I do like to wear them too...

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