26 April 2013

Hand Dyed Rikke Hat

Welcome to another Fibre Arts Friday!  I am still in the mindless projects only phase, this week I'm showing you a very simple hat that is in progress. It's the Rikke Hat by Sarah Young, pattern available for free on Ravelry.

I'm using a skein of unknown yarn from my stash that I dyed sometime ago with KoolAid. I wasn't too sure about it when it came out the dye pot so it's been sitting in my stash...
When I was looking for the perfect yarn for the Rikke Hat this skein screamed at me and practically jumped into my hands, so here it is...
It's a bit hard to get the true colour which is somewhere between the two photos. The pattern itself is very easy although some might say that knitting garter stitch in the round is a bit tiresome, but it is a mindless project regardless which is what I need right now (No, the trial is still not finished but the end is in sight, really!). I also learnt to do the German twisted cast on as recommended by the pattern for a more stretchy edge. There are many videos showing how to do this on YouTube, I followed the instructions by TheKnitWitch.

Now show us what you've been doing in the wonderful fibre arts world :)

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

19 April 2013

Blanket for KOGO

KOGO (Knit One Give One) is an organisation that collects and distributes hand crafted items, mainly knit and crochet, to various charities from women's shelters to premie babies to the homeless... etc. I discovered KOGO when we moved to Australia in 2008 which coincided with my picking up knitting/crochet again after a long hiatus, since then it has become a tradition for me to contribute to the collection what I can each year. I don't often list items I make for KOGO but this week this is the only thing I have for show and tell ;-)

An easy baby blanket in garter stitch made from my stash yarn, I only have each colour for half a blanket so it became a blanket of two halves. This project has been in my car for a while and I only worked on it whenever I had to wait for something, it's finally done!
That's me for this week. In the meantime the trial continues... yes and I'm getting really tired!

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

12 April 2013

And the trial continues, so I spin on ...

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! I am very happy to be sitting here writing this post as I wasn't sure if I would have time, as it turned out the court adjourned at lunch time today so I was home early - yay!  I mentioned last week that I'd been working on a trial for a couple of weeks, well it is still going and is looking likely to run for another week at least. Some of you asked if I could talk about the trial here, unfortunately not yet, maybe after it concludes. If you are interested I can relay some anecdotes about courts and proceedings, but first thing first, some fibre goodness...
This is a merino silk blend 80/20, the top came from World of Wool - my new favourite online woolly haunts ;-)  There are many colours in the top: pink, lime green, yellow, orange, white... but because I spun it very finely the colours became muted and indistinguishable. The new shade does have some depth to it which I quite like, it has a very soft handle.

That's all I was able to do this week and even this was thanks to my weekly spinning group. If you don't mind my talking shop perhaps I'll just touch on a little bit of what I do - Vivian this is especially for you :-)

I have been engaged by the Office of Public Prosecutions to attend a murder trial and my job is to interpret for the accused, which means I provide simultaneous interpreting of everything that is uttered in court by the judge, the prosecutor, the defense barrister, and the witnesses...  etc. It's a demanding task and I enjoy it, the only downside is it leaves me drained at the end of the day but that's all part and parcel of the job. I am known as "Madam Interpreter" in court and I get to wear a headphone to help me hear, but I sit in the dock alongside the accused.

Here's a little trivia for you: in Australia women were not allowed to serve on the Jury until the 1960s.  Incredible, is it not?!

Supreme Court of Victoria - where the trial is being held:

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

05 April 2013

Mordant Wonders

A few weeks ago we had some storms which resulted in many fallen branches... and yes, you guessed right, this branch followed me home ;-)
This is a different species to the one I used before, although I haven't confirmed what it is yet as the identification of eucalyptus is proving to be a real challenge - that's another issue entirely, one I would like to learn more about but don't have the time right now. But even I can tell the differences: the leaves are of a slightly darker shade with a bluish tint, also the bark of the tree was rough and dark rather than brown and stringy like the last time, etc. However when I fed this information to Google it turned up a dozen possibilities, I'm just not skilled enough to pick this out from thousands of varieties of eucalyptus. So for now all I need to know is that it came from a tree in the park near the train station.

Anyway my initial attempt at dyeing a white skein pre-mordanted with alum returned a dark beige, not very exciting. Then I remembered from reading Spinning Around that you can change the colour by using different mordant and there were recipes in the book for making different "mordant teas"...  these are not real teas of course but a way of acquiring mordant without the use of chemicals. So I made a "iron tea" by soaking some metal hairpins in white vinegar, then I added the "iron tea" to the dye bath and added the beige skein, not knowing what to expect. Imagine then my surprise when I lifted the skein after simmering, a cool olive green, how's that for a change!
I was encouraged by the result, and as the dye bath was not exhausted I looked for something else to dye. There were a couple of balls fingering wool yarn in my stash that I was not crazy about, so they became the next experiment. The photos below are before and after:
The before colourway reminds me of German flag for some reason, not that I have anything against Germany, I mean I love sauerkraut! I'm just not too keen on these colours in one ball/skein, the afterwards muted tones are much more appealing to me :)

I am going to suspend any project that is intricate for a while, as I just started working on a trial which is likely to run for the next three weeks or longer, the demand on those little grey cells in the courtroom is a bit taxing on the old brain that I find it hard to concentrate when I get home. So for the time being I'm favouring mindless activities, like spinning...
This was an experiment with a merino/sparkly blend, I think the sparkly might be angelina but can't be certain. It came out rather well, n'est-ce pas? :)

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