Archive for the ‘Yarn’ Category

The Vendors
July 27, 2009

There were about 250 vendors at the Quilt Festival. I saw so many lovely fabrics, patterns, notions, yarns, ribbons, beads and $10,000 sewing machines. Those I will write about tomorrow. I set a hundred dollar limit on myself and it was easy to stick to since I was trying to figure out a way to afford one of those sewing machines. I stayed within budget even with our exorbitant LA County sales tax. A few clover sewing notions, one bag pattern, and batik fabric strips to make it with were enough to satisfy my shopping appetite.


For the knitters there were yarns. Novelty yarns are also used in quilting for decorative embellishment. So one could buy whole skeins or even just a few yards of some of the more expensive yarns. I really thought hard about buying a box of the novelty yarns badly photographed below. I thought it would be fun to knit something with lots of little bits of coordinated yarns. Each box was over a hundred dollars so I passed on it. I felt a little funny photographing in the vendors booths. Maybe by next year I wont be so self conscious. The prettier sweaters are around the corner where I thought I would be too obvious.


I have seen the recycled silk fabric yarns in catalogs. I didn’t realize how soft the yarn would be. Just like a worn cotton shirt is softer than a new one, worn silk has the same comfy softness. Those skeins were tempting too.



Sock Start
April 13, 2009

If anyone says knitting socks on two circular needles is easy, then they obviously don’t remember their first pair. I think I fried my brain trying to figure this technique out yesterday. One needle for the fronts and the second for the backs was hard for me to visualize. Then I had to figure out how to get each sock in the right place on the needles. I tried the long tail cast-on and realized right off it would be too tight for socks. So I cast on using the cable style. The one thing that is bothersome at the moment is the cast-on edge is inside out. It is a minor quibble. I tried the sock over my heel and the edge stretches nicely which is the most important issue. So far the yarn color changes are matching from one sock to the next. All in all a good start of “glynis”, which is the first pattern in Cookie’s book. Now the next big task is finishing them before I start working on something else.


April 1, 2009

One of the only LYS in our valley is going out of business, so I went over to say my good-byes. I was not able to shop there very often. I do too many other crafts. The owner Karen is a very nice. I am sorry for her sake that her second home will be gone. She said it was just getting too stressful. All the yarn was 50% off. I wasn’t really interested in buying anything. Then a couple of projects I want to make came into mind and I found some yarn. With spring around the corner I was very drawn to some of the peach yarns instead of the usual brights that catch my eye. I settled on one skein of sock yarn. I want to try a two circular needle pair. A friend, Marsha, makes really pretty textured ones in self striping yarn. Hopefully mine will turn out half as nice. Then I have in the back of my mind an Estonian lace shawl form Nancy Bush’s new book. There wasn’t very much lace weight yarn left, but I thought these skeins would make a pretty shawl. I’ll use the darkest skein for the border. So two more projects are added to my list. I am still working on the sale yarn I bought last August. One project is 80% done and the other 60%. Too many projects, too little time. I am also trying to learn photoshop. It is a fabulous program. I am amazed at all it does. Maybe I can write about that another day.


Weaver’s Felt
February 6, 2009

I think this felting technique is called weaver’s felt. It is just an easy way to make felt. It works best using roving, or un-spun wool fibers. I didn’t have any so I just used some ends of different color wool yarn clippings which I untwisted. This was just a test. I wanted to see if it really worked after reading about it. All that is needed is the wool roving, a couple of towels as big as the piece you want to felt, and a bottle or two of clear dish soap. Then on top of one towel place one thin layer of fibers on the bias, followed by another layer on a cross bias, then a final layer like the first one. More layers make the felt thicker, but these three layers form the essential base. Novelty threads can be placed on top to make an artsy felt if desired. The next step is to saturate every fiber with dish soap. If any spot is missed there will be a weak place in the finished felt. Next place the second towel on top. Smooth everything out and roll it tightly like rolling up a carpet. Tie the roll tightly every few inches. Set the washing machine on hot and wash it. I used the longest agitation time setting on my washer. After washing throw it in the dryer or just unroll it, if impatient like I was, and see if it felted. The towel peeled right off and left this piece of felt. I saw a beautiful coat made with felt using this technique. My sample looks like dryer lint because of the colors I chose to try. I will think of this a warm weather project. Applying the soap is messy and I will do it outside next time. On the other hand my kitchen counter is really clean.


Close up photo of the fibers felting.


Celtic Way
January 27, 2009

I didn’t get very far on my Yarn Journey today. I had to stop and catch up on chores. Cleaning up I came across this sample of crochet form the “Celtic Way” booklet. It is crocheted in size 3 cotton thread. At the time I didn’t like the look, thinking it was too heavy to be pretty. Now I am not so sure, it is kind of interesting, though I do not know what I would make with the technique. You all be the judge, whether it is something to pursue or something to leave behind.