29 November 2013

A FO and, Gasp! A Floor Loom!!

Hello me dears! Welcome to Fibre Arts Friday! Today I have a FO (finished object) to share and... wait for it... a floor loom!! Yay!!! well, it will be a floor loom once I figure out how to assemble it!

The final countdown has began for our big trip - Around The World in 40 Days, as I write this there are 15 days 5 hours 48 minutes... I will try to keep a travel blog while on the trip to keep you updated. As for now, I am beginning to panic: there are still presents to be made, packing to be commenced, and all sorts of arrangement to be organised... ... and I can't seem to get into gear, eek!!

OK, the FO... this is a throw for my friend Elaine whom we will be seeing on our trip when we stop in Seattle. She picked the yarn herself as it goes with the decor in her house.
Tunisian crochet is most suited for entrelac, the process is much simpler than the knitted ones. As you only work with one square at a time you don't even need a real Tunisian hook, any crochet hook with a straight shaft should do the trick. The pattern is Sunset Ruana from Interweave Crochet Winter 2009.  I love this pattern for blankets or throws, I already used this pattern for a baby blanket in two different yarns which also turned out very nice. For this throw I added two rounds of crochet for the border with my handspun, I was going to do a bigger border but I didn't have enough yarn.

Now, what would you do if you see a floor loom for sale for only $180? You grab it quick of course! I couldn't believe my eyes when a listing popped up on my local "buy sell swap" page for a floor loom with bench, the interest was phenomenal but I was the lucky one, oh yeah :D 

The trouble is it has been dismantled for storage, and the lady who was selling it for her aunt had no idea what the make or model it was. Still, it was too good an opportunity to miss...
It's in my garage at the moment while I search for more information and, hopefully, an assembling manual. I posted the photo on Ravelry and some weavers recon it's a Toika Liisa loom judging by the side frame, so I sent an email to Toika to confirm. A lady from my spinning group who is also an avid weaver offered to help me put it together, so did Rachael (Sparrow). With any luck we could have this baby set up before my holiday, fingers crossed!

The question is: where do I put it? ... a sensible person would have asked this question before the purchase, obviously that wasn't me...

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

22 November 2013

A Fine Gradient

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! This is going to be a shortie today, Jelly is having a birthday sleepover tomorrow and he's ordered a mango cheesecake. I've never done one before, although there are tons of information on the WWW it can get a little overwhelming…. after hours of trolling through different websites and blogs I'd settled on a combination of recipes, if it turn out to be a success I'll tell you about it next week ;)

This week I finished spinning and plying a gradient skein, I made the batt back in September, it's a super duper soft and indulgent blend: Baby Llama, Corriedale Finn X, Alpaca, Merino & Cashmere. All natural colours.

Here it was on the drum carder:
And here it is all spun up:
It's a fingering weight, the skein weighs 134g and about 441 meters. I'm thinking a shawl, any suggestions of patterns?

Before I go I just have to share this little gem I found on Ravelry, it made me giggle - "accessory for fingerless mitts" :P
This is a free pattern, pattern link here.

Sparrow (Rachael) is away this weekend at a bluegrass festival, lucky her! I'm not if she'll manage a post for Cat & Sparrow, but we have some exciting stuff coming up soon, so stay tuned :)

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

15 November 2013

A little fibre blending experiment...

I did a little fibre blending experiment during the week, it's a bit like making a meal from leftovers, I blended various bits of fibre on the drum carder - there was merino, silk, bamboo, and some sparkly nylon, in an assortment of colours: lime, yellow, green, blue, red, pink, purple… And then instead of taking it off the carder in a batt as I normally do I pulled it off in a roving (well, several rovings actually) through a diz, erm, button… the result is quite stunning:
I'm calling it Carnival, because it's a cheerful colour way and it makes me happy, can't wait to spin this up :-) 

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

08 November 2013

Market Mitts and Tric progress

Yesterday I talked about Melbourne's weather being up and down like a yo-yo, and true to it's form today's temperature dropped 10℃ from yesterday's 26℃! Oh well, at least it wasn't as freezing as last Sunday when I was at the Gisborne market. It was a miserable day with rain and wind, my hands were so cold that I'd taken one of my handspuns from the stock and started making myself a pair of fingerless mitts. I only had a crochet hook with me so I started with a crochet mitts pattern, but my hands were so numb that I just couldn't continue to make the mitts to keep my hands warm.

I still couldn't continue with the piece after I got home because I didn't like the look of it, so I ripped it back and started again. The pattern I chose was the Garter Stitch Mitts by Ysolda Teague, it is a simple pattern worked sideways using short-row shaping.
I really like how they turned out, the handspun is very squishy and soft, they should keep my hands nice and toasty on cold market days. I only cast on 38 stitches and they worked up quickly. The project only used 58g of the handspun, so the pattern is a perfect fit for that single skein that you don't know what to do with. Raverly project page here.

A project update for Tric that I started back in August for my friend Elaine, it's been slow going due to the intricacies of the pattern (pattern recap: top-down seamless with collar and set-in sleeves worked simultaneously). At last I can report some progress:

Only the sleeves to do now so hopefully I will finish it soon. Some of the project notes on Ravelry noted that the piece grew after blocking so I'm keeping the length as it is and will take take when blocking so it doesn't grow too much.

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

07 November 2013

Warmer weather = "Bush Salute" season!

If you don't know what "bush salute" is you've obviously not been to Australia in the warmer seasons, for those who do, well you know what I'm talking about!

Tuesday was Melbourne Cup day (the biggest race event in Oz), we are not big horse racing fans so we didn't bother to partake but welcomed a public holiday nonetheless. It was a fine day, especially after the freezing weather last weekend - yes that's Melbourne weather for you, up and down like a yo-yo! Anyway it was a beautiful day so we went for a walk around the Cherry Lakes, well when I say "we" that didn't include J who was having his usual teenager sleeping-in, it was just myself, hubby and Jelly. There were some pretty pink flowers in the meadows:
...  pelicans flying in the sky (not a good picture, sorry!)
... and of course the typical Aussie backdrop of gumtrees
But where does the bush salute come in? Well, if you've ever been out and about on a warm day in Australia you are guaranteed to be greeted by swarms of flies, persistent flies. As Mr. Bryson testifies in his book Down Under or In A Sunburned Country depending which version you are reading:
... ... An Australian fly will try to suck the moisture off your eyeball. He will, if not constantly turned back, go into parts of your ears that a Q-tip can only dream about. He will happily die for the glory of taking a tiny dump on your tongue. Get thirty of forty of them dancing around you in the same way and madness will shortly follow.
   And so I proceeded into the park, lost inside my own little buzzing cloud of woe, waving at my head in an increasingly hopeless and desultory manner - it is called the bush salute - blowing constantly out of my mouth and nose, shaking my head in a kind of furious dementia, occasionally slapping myself with startling violence on the cheek or forehead. Eventually, as the flies knew all along I would, I gave up and they fell upon me as on a corpse.
Luckily the flies that swarmed us didn't all find us that interesting, only one or two pursued us most of the journey, the rest found other more attractive victims to bother instead. Bryson's account might have been a little extreme but you get the gist, maybe I should get one of those cork hats ;)

01 November 2013

Checking on the Spindle Candy forum is a dangerous thing...

... because you can so easily get hoodwinked, and I can prove it! I was just having a look (no harm in looking surely?) on the spindle de-stash page, the next thing I know I was spinning on these two little cuties:
The one on the left is a trindle, I have wanted one ever since I saw the one appeared in Andrea's posts over a year ago, even though I hadn't started spinning back then. So when I saw someone was destashing theirs I decided to grab it. I LOVE how the trindle spins, albeit a little wobbly but it spins and spins and spins, and it's so easy to wind on. The right hand one is a Riley's Turkish spindle, it's a little slow than I thought but still spins beautifully, maybe once there's more fibre on it it will spin faster.

The rolags are made on my blending board, of various dyed merino, silk, mohair locks and some sparkle, they are pretty easy to draft and very addictive to spin!

Meanwhile my production line for Christmas presents kept running, and I finished my scarf #4 the Yorkshire Moors scarf that was on the loom last week. I love how the self striping yarn in the warp make the colours shift.
And here's scarf #5 an Alpaca blend in greys and naturals, same yarn for both warp and weft.
That's it for me this week, now show us yours!

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