I finished up spinning the 16ounces of llama fiber I began working on last month. Love It! It’s a little late in the season to start a project with it so I have decided to store it for later.
Handspun llama 2-ply yarn
finished handspun llama skeins
hanspun llama yarn on bobbins
I really want to start working on plant fibers now for spring. We’ll see. I still have about 8oz of the golden merino left to spin lace-weight on my Kromski Symphony. Hopefully I can finish it soon. It has been on the wheel forever, like literally years.
I washed up the skeins that were recycled from some ugly knitted projects I made years ago and never wore. The skeins were hung to dry on a drying rack placed in my bathtub. They are now packed away awaiting a second chance at becoming something nice to wear.
Hand Spun yarn skeins and sweater drying on a rack in the bathtub
I finished my Diminishing Rib Cardigan from Interweave Knits Spring 2009 cover and I like it. I kind of haphazardly spun and chain-plied that roving maybe 8 years ago and packed it away thinking I didn’t like it only to fall in love after it was knit up. I believe it is Ashland Bay merino top in the rose colorway. Sometimes it’s hard to perceive how a yarn will look once it is knitted, crocheted, or woven.
hanspun sweater stretched out to dry
two rows of chainstitch stabalize the neckline
The pattern did not call for a closure however I chose to crochet two pairs of ties on it. I also stabilized the neckline with 2 rows of chains stitches. I am not sure if I did the tubular cast-on correctly but it made the neckline more stretchy than I wanted. This is my first handspun garment. I’m pretty happy with the result.
Diminishing Rib Cardigan made from handspun merino yarn
I had not finished spinning my llama roving yet but I wanted to make another winter item. I had 2 skeins of bulky Noro Kochoran yarn in the color #65 that I bought at a local yarn shop liquidation sale. The yarn was hard on my hands. It was difficult to slide on my needles (Knit Picks nickel plated circulars in size 8). Kochoran has angora bunny in it. It shed a lot as I worked with it however I think that has resolved itself now that it’s knit up. I should have went up to a size 9 as recommended on the yarn label. ouch. I alternated it with some chain-plied handspun natural white cormo yarn.
What began as the Welted Cowl published in Vogue knitting winter 2010 morphed into a pretty nifty poncho as I changed up the amount of ribbed purled bands, completely disregarded gauge, and used up every last bit of the yarn I had. It is super, don’t need a coat, warm.
Welted Poncho paired with a hanspun angora fichu
So, I am just having all sorts of fun weaving these days. I am really happy with how my handspun, hand dyed/ natural grey wool wrap turned out. It is really soft. I ended up braiding the fringe and adding beads. I left little loose tufts on the fringe. I think it adds character and reminds me of the playful nature of the yarn.
Trying out my finished handspun wool wrap
close- up of braided fringe
Finished handspun ramboullet, hand dyed with natural grey wool wrap with gnarly fringe
I warped and wove the full 15″ width of my Leclerc Dorothy loom with most of my remaining handspun colored cotton. Oh my goodness!! I love, love, love the feel of the fabric. Believe it our not I have never handled handspun, hand woven cotton fabric before. It has a certain wild yet lush quality to it. I plan to use it for clothing. It was fun just weaving bobbin after bobbin not worrying about the pattern. I just pulled random colors out of my basket and wove till I was finished.
My Dorothy loom only holds 4.5 yards of warp. I was amazed at the shrinkage of the cotton. My finished cloth was 4 yards 5 inches. After washing it was 3 yards 23 inches!
Weaving in progress
I loaded up as much warp as I could on my 15″ Leclerc Dorothy loom. It holds 4.5 yards
Finished handspun cotton cloth
fuzzy( sorry for the pic quality) close-up of the handspun naturally colored cotton cloth.(brown, green, and recycled blue jean cotton in various combinations)
For what it’s worth, I do not own a bobbin winder and my shuttle only came with one plastic bobbin. Not to be deterred, I made some bobbins out of packing paper and wound them using a pencil with masking tape on one end affixed to my spinning wheel. Works like a charm.
Making bobbins out of packing paper
My rigged up bobbin winder. A pencil jammed into my spinning wheel orifice
packing paper bobbins
I also put a warp on my Kromski rigid headle loom. This one is just some clearance navy cotton yarn I felt like using up paired with a tan/gold recycled sari silk that is too close to my skin color to look good on my without a contrasting color. There was only enough cotton warp for about 2 yards of fabric. The pattern is a very simple weft float using a pickup stick.
warping a rigid heddle loom is fast. A nice option if you have only a small amount of yarn. The loom waste is minimal.
recycled sari silk yarn used for weft
rigid heddle weaving with simple pickup stick pattern. Cotton warp with sari silk weft
close-up. rigid heddle weaving with simple pickup stick pattern. Cotton warp with sari silk weft
I Could Use Another Bag, Maybe Two
I’m not much of a fancy, shmancy purse kind of girl. Usually when I carry a bag it’s on one of two occasions. For everyday, I wear a small pouch on a long cord, just large enough to carry my cell phone, keys, and cards. When I am traveling whether for a long walk or on my bike I use a drawstring backpack for anything I bring along. This summer I realized mines were looking tired. This was the perfect excuse to get crafty.
Back in my college days I attempted to learn embroidery. What I actually learned was that I am not guru material. I haphazardly use a running and chain stitches in order to add doodles of color. It works for me.
finished pieces for my new everyday pouch, ready for assembly.
close-up everyday pouch with knitted strap
wearing my finished everyday pouch
For both the pouch and drawstring backpack I used this technique with 3 strands of cotton floss to embellish some denim scraps I had. The cord for the pouch is cotton knitted eye-cord I made.
Things took an unexpected turn when I was deciding on straps for the backpack. Long ago, like literally 12 years ago, I became obsessed with learning to weave as a college student majoring in Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising. At school we were learning to weave on a big, elaborately engineered dobby loom. In a search at the local library I stumbled across weaving that was a little more my speed. Apparently I could weave with just cardboard cards, tablets. The cards would act as harnesses to raise the threads for weaving. I was able to weave narrow strips, the first using 10 cards with 40 threads. I never did anything with that sample (or any of the other narrow bands I wove). All these years later it would be the perfect addition to my bag project.
Great! Well sort of great. I only had enough for one strap. I needed to make another narrow band to match my original. This proved trickier than I thought. I remembered the pattern was from the book Creating With Card Weaving by Sally Specht. I found the draft and threaded up my cards with the same #10 crochet cotton used in the first weaving.
card woven stap in progress
newly woven bag strap
old sample and new sample side-by-side with the pattern from Card Weaving by Candace Crockett
In the end I realized that somehow I had managed to mix up the color sequence (not even realizing it). The two straps are different plus my old sample is more irregular with obvious mistakes. Oh well, I still think the bag turned out nice.
close-up of bag embroidery and new card-woven strap
Finished draw-string backpack
As a bonus, I am obsessed with weaving again. Time to dig out my old weaving hoard.